Olivada is a tasty olive spread that can be used in so many ways.

Easy to make and just as easy to eat. You’ll want to always keep a jar of Olivada in your fridge.

bowl of olivada with bread, oil and parsley on wooden board.


Is it Olivada or Tapenade?

Ok. So I have to admit, I questioned this myself. Tapenade originated in Provence, France whereas Olivada is common in Spain and the south of Italy. Basically, olivada and tapenade are much the same condiment. Both consist of black olives, capers and oil with very often garlic, herbs and anchovies added. The best part about olivada or tapenade is that most of these ingredients are pantry staples. This delicious black olive paste can be whipped up in minutes in the food processor. And stored in the fridge for a month or even longer, I think.

Olivada is a little coarser than tapenade but then again, that may be personal taste.

About this Olivada Recipe

ingredients for this recipe.

This olivada recipe is adapted from Trattoria by Patricia Wells. Please feel free to adapt it to suit your taste. Use thyme or rosemary to add flavor or maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave out the anchovies if you don’t like them. That’s what cooking is about. Taste and experiment. Here you have the perfect recipe to do that. With this recipe you can adjust flavors to suit what you like. Just don’t try that with a sponge cake – baking is more of an exact science.

black olive paste in a white bowl.

How to pit olives?

Firstly, the easiest way is to buy a jar of pitted olives which is what I did because I wanted this Olivada to be made super fast! However the unpitted olives have the best flavor by far. It will still be good to use jarred, pitted olives but for amazing flavor buy unpitted olives. Or you may only have “pit-in” olives in the pantry or fridge. The most simple way is to put the olive on a chopping board and press it with the flat side of a large knife until it flattens and splits. Now you can take the pit out easily. Of course you could always buy an olive pitter.

black chunky spread on oval slice of bread.

Serving suggestions

You can use olivada on an antipasto platter along with my marinated eggplant, some peperonata and bruschetta with mozzarella or stir it through some hot pasta. What about adding olivada to some boiled new potatoes or to rice stuffed tomatoes. I know you will find heaps more uses for this yummy condiment and you will be making it again and again.

bowl of olivada with bread, oil and parsley on wooden board

Olivada Recipe

This garlicky black olive spread is quick to make and great to keep in the refrigerator for a tasty snack or for a fast meal with pasta.
4.97 from 28 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings:8 servings
Author: Marcellina


  • 2 cups pitted black olives See note 1
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets See note 2
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 garlic cloves See note 3


  • Add all ingredients except olives to the bowl of a food processor and process until well blended.
  • Add the olives and pulse until the olives are coarsely chopped and combined with the other ingredients.


  1. This recipe uses canned or jarred black olives not fresh olives. I like Kalamata olives but use the black olives that you enjoy the taste of.
  2. Use anchovy fillets in oil.
  3. Peel the garlic then chopped coarsely. Garlic can be reduced if you prefer less garlicky.
  • Place into a jar or container and cover the top with a film of oil. This way the olivada can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month.
How to use
  • Spread on fresh bread or toast or use a spoonful to flavor boiled new potatoes. Also delicious stirred through hot pasta for a quick, tasty meal.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Serving: 0g | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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  1. I haven’t made this, but do you use just plain black olives? Not Greek or marinated olives?

    1. Use cured olive, not fresh, that have been canned or jarred in brine. You could use marinated olives but I don’t think it’s necessary. Plain olive, Greek, kalamata olives are all good. Basically a black olive that you like the taste of.

  2. Firstly i want to say i love your recipes!
    I was wondering if i could leave the anchovies out of the olivada?

  3. Marcellina I love all of the ingredients in this. Such a comprehensive and enjoyable post. Just can’t wait to try it. Well done. Pinned for later. Pauline

  4. I don’t care what it’s called – it’s a lovely thing! Of course, it helps to love olives and capers!!!