What To Serve With Olive Tapenade: 15 Tasty Side Dishes

Olive Tapenade

An olive tapenade is a wonderful spread that can turn any meal into a Mediterranean delight. This blend of olives, capers, garlic, and olive oil is packed with flavor and can be served in many ways.

But to really enjoy it to the fullest, it helps to pair it with the right side dishes. Here are 16 side dishes that can perfectly complement the rich, salty, and briny flavors of an olive tapenade.

Olive Tapenade

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The best side dishes to serve with olive tapenade are polenta, soft pretzels, Korean corn dogs, wedge salad, tuna melt sandwich, pita chips, ham and cheese pinwheels, garden salad, crusty French bread, roasted vegetables, cheese platter, grilled chicken, crostini, Mediterranean pasta salad, quiche, and stuffed mushrooms.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Polenta


Polenta, with its creamy texture and mild flavor, is a fantastic vehicle for the robust flavors of olive tapenade. You can serve it soft, like a mash, or let it set and then grill or fry it for a bit of crunch. The smooth, creamy polenta is the perfect backdrop for the rich, complex flavors of the tapenade.

2. Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels, with their chewy texture and sprinkling of coarse salt, make a delicious pair with olive tapenade. You can dip the pretzels into the tapenade or spread it on like butter. The salty, yeasty flavors of the pretzel beautifully complement the briny, garlicky tapenade.

3. Korean Corn Dogs

Korean corn dogs

Adding a fun twist to the meal, Korean corn dogs can be surprisingly tasty when paired with olive tapenade. The sweetness of the corn dog batter provides a pleasant contrast to the salty, savory tapenade, and the tapenade's bold flavors complement the simple, comforting taste of the corn dogs.

4. Wedge Salad

A fresh, crisp wedge salad can bring a refreshing element to a meal featuring olive tapenade. The cool, crisp lettuce and tangy dressing provide a refreshing contrast to the rich, intense flavors of the tapenade. Topping the salad with a spoonful of tapenade can add a surprising burst of flavor.

5. Tuna Melt Sandwich

A tuna melt sandwich, with its savory tuna filling and melty cheese, is a hearty dish that pairs well with olive tapenade. The briny flavor of the tapenade complements the rich, savory tuna and cheese, adding a touch of Mediterranean flair to the classic sandwich.

6. Pita Chips

pita chips

Pita chips offer a simple, yet satisfying, crunch to accompany your olive tapenade. Their light, crispy texture and mild flavor make them a perfect vehicle for the tapenade. You can use them for dipping or spread the tapenade on top for a delicious snack or side dish.

7. Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and cheese pinwheels are a fun and tasty side that goes great with olive tapenade. The salty ham and creamy cheese wrapped in a soft, fluffy pastry provide a delightful contrast to the bold, tangy flavors of the tapenade.

8. Garden Salad

A fresh garden salad, with a variety of crisp, raw vegetables, can provide a light, refreshing contrast to the intense, rich flavors of olive tapenade. The freshness of the salad helps to balance out the richness of the tapenade, creating a balanced and satisfying meal.

9. Crusty French Bread

Crusty French bread is a simple and traditional pairing for olive tapenade. The crispy crust and soft interior of the bread is perfect for soaking up the rich flavors of the tapenade, and the mild flavor of the bread lets the tapenade shine.

10. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables make a hearty and nutritious side dish to serve with olive tapenade. The natural sweetness of the vegetables, enhanced by the roasting process, provides a wonderful contrast to the salty, briny flavors of the tapenade.

11. Cheese Platter

A cheese platter can be an excellent accompaniment to olive tapenade. The creamy, rich flavors of different types of cheese complement the savory, tangy tapenade. Add some grapes or figs for a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.

12. Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken, with its lean protein and smoky flavor, pairs well with olive tapenade. You can spread the tapenade on the chicken for a burst of flavor, making a simple grilled chicken breast much more exciting.

13. Crostini

Crostini, or little toasts, are another fantastic pairing for olive tapenade. The crunchy toasts are perfect for spreading with the rich tapenade, and you can top them with anything from cheese to roasted vegetables for extra flavor and texture.

14. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

A Mediterranean pasta salad, filled with ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and olives, can pair wonderfully with olive tapenade. The tapenade can even be used as a dressing for the salad, adding its robust flavor to the mix.

15. Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms, filled with a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs, make a delicious, bite-sized side dish that's perfect with olive tapenade. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs well with the briny, garlicky tapenade.

16. Quiche

A quiche, with its custardy filling and flaky crust, can be a delicious side to serve with olive tapenade. The creamy, savory flavors of the quiche complement the intense, salty tapenade, creating a rich and satisfying combination.

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Olive Tapenade

What To Serve With Olive Tapenade

Looking for the best sides to eat with your flavorful olive tapenade? We have 16 delicious ideas for the perfect meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: olive tapenade, tapenade
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Corrie


  • 1 olive tapenade


  • Make the best olive tapenade using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat olive tapenade with polenta, soft pretzels, Korean corn dogs, wedge salad, tuna melt sandwich, pita chips, ham and cheese pinwheels, garden salad, crusty French bread, roasted vegetables, cheese platter, grilled chicken, crostini, Mediterranean pasta salad, quiche, and stuffed mushrooms.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
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