This olive tapenade without anchovies recipe is easy to make and comes together incredibly quickly – especially if you make it in a food processor. It’s excellent as a stand-alone snack on crackers or as part of a cheese board for a bright and briny addition. And because it omits anchovies from its list of ingredients, it’s also completely vegan!
While many vegetarian or vegan olive tapenade recipes without anchovies simply leave the salty little fish out and do nothing to replace them, I’ve added an umami booster so the flavour doesn’t fall flat.
So if you’re looking for something salty and bright to add to your appetiser repertoire, then this olive tapenade recipe is the one for you!
How to Make Olive Tapenade Without Anchovies
The easiest (and quickest) way to make this vegetarian olive tapenade is in a food processor. However, if you don’t have one (or can’t be bothered taking it out), it can just as easily be made by simply very finely dicing all of the ingredients with a knife and combining in a bowl.
If you’re using a food processor, then the first step is to add some pitted olives to the bowl of a food processor.
I’ve used black Kalamata olives when testing this recipe, however, you can use a mix of black and green olives (like Castelvetrano or Manzanilla) or all green olives.
Just make sure they are of a high quality. It’s also a good idea to double-check and make sure they’re all completely pitted because sometimes mistakes can be made!
Also add some rinsed, brined capers to the bowl. Capers are essential in any tapenade and add a bright and briny flavour. However, I recommend rinsing them to get some of the saltiness out of them, just because the rest of the ingredients are quite salty and it’s best to temper that.
Finally, add some fresh parsley, some lemon zest and grate in a couple of cloves of garlic. I recommend mincing or grating the garlic to ensure that it completely incorporates – you don’t want a large chunk of raw garlic in your olive tapenade.
Pulse these ingredients together to roughly chop both the olives and the parsley and to ensure everything is well combined.
Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl. Now, add in some fresh lemon juice (for acidity and brightness) and a bit of light miso paste.
Miso paste will seem like an odd ingredient to add, however, its funkiness and umami is an excellent stand-in if you’re not using anchovies or anchovy paste. The taste is not the same but it has many of the same qualities. It’s the same reason I use it in my pad thai without fish sauce recipe!
Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and then pulse the tapenade a few more times – just until the olives are completely broken down and the mix is spreadable. Be careful not to over-process because you want there to be some texture. This isn’t an olive paste, after all.
The tapenade is not ready to serve if you’re ready. It will also keep in the fridge for quite a while until you’re ready to use it.
- 250g (9oz) pitted olives, such as Kalamata or Castelvetrano (or a mixture of both)
- 2 tablespoons capers in brine, drained and rinsed
- 10g (1/4 cup) flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon light miso paste
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- Add the olives, capers, parsley, garlic and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times in order to roughly chop the olives and parsley and to combine the rest of the ingredients.
- Add in the miso paste, lemon juice and olive oil. Pulse a few more times, until everything is well-incorporated and the olives are finely chopped. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
If you don't have a food processor, you can simply very finely chop the olives, capers and parsley. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir until well combined.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This vegetarian olive tapenade recipe without anchovies is quick, easy and delicious. It’s sure to quickly become a favourite addition to a cheese board or to simply devour on top of crackers.
Are you on the hunt for a recipe for olive tapenade without anchovies? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!