Black Olive Tapenade

Black Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade, referred to as pasta elias in Greek, is quite popular in Greece in the past few years.  You can find a large selection of olive tapenades from Greek olive oil companies made from Greek olives. Basically a mixture of crushed olives, garlic, capers, and herbs, this condiment is a healthy and tasty alternative to mayonnaise and other sandwich spreads. It is a source of the good monounsaturated fats and low carb, for those watching their carbohydrate intake.

I particulaly like tapenade made with kalamata olives, it is so much more flavorful, I can just eat off the spoon! As an appetizer I like to use olive tapenade as an alternative to dip accompanied by some pencil thin bread sticks, carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes. You can spread it on small toasts or rusks, pita bread and spread some on chgicken too. And it is great in pasta. I also use it in sandwiches instead of mayo. I make what I call a “Greek salad sandwich”.

Olive Tapenade Greek Salad Sandwich

Spread some black olive tapenade on whole wheat bread; add sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta, thinly sliced onions and cucumber.  Sprinkle the bread with oregano. This sandwich is really filling, you can fit one serving of vegetables in there, get about 4 grams of fiber and a small dose of antioxidants as well.

Black Olive Tapenade

Black olive tapenade in bowl with toasts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Savory tapenade made with black kalamata olives
Course: Appetizer, dip
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes
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  • Grind the olives into a paste in a food processor.
  • Add the crushed garlic clove continue mixing.
  • Add the herbs and continue mixing until the paste is smooth.
  • Add a pinch of black pepper
  • Serve topped with a few capers on top


*You can also add some sun-dried tomatoes.
*You don’t need to add olive oil, but if you make a large amount, add some olive oil on top of the jar to preserve it.
*Adding olive oil will increase the calorie count.
*When using olives Kalamon (Kalamata), you won’t need to add too much additional salt, if any.
Nutrition Facts
Black Olive Tapenade
Serving Size
1 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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Recipe Rating


  1. Barbara Oliver says:

    Elena –
    You are an amazing woman who has not only educated me about what REAL Mediterranean food really consists of, but offering such FABULOUS articles, recipes and suggestions. Also, your cookbook I purchased is MARVELOUS!!5 stars

  2. Thank you for this amazing recipe! When you ask for 7 ounces of olives, is that volume ounces (ie just shy of 1 cup), or weight ounces (ie approx 200g). Thank you -I cannot wait to try this in a sandwich!

  3. Jenny Lee Deer says:

    When I tried your combo for the sandwich with tapenade feta tomato etc I thought it was absolutely one of the tastiest foods I’ve ever eaten thank you for the recipe Elena.

  4. Hi Elena, I made this Pasta Elias today. It is extremely hot and humid today in Tarpon Springs, and cooking over a hot stove was not an option. I made this my meal by adding the tapenade over one slice of toasted whole wheat bread, shredded tuna fish and a few oil marinated sun-dried tomatoes, and a side Greek salad. One bite took me back to Greece…what an enjoyable dinner. Will be making this quite often. This definitely hit the spot!!!!5 stars