Tapenade is one of my favourite spreads for canapes and snacking, and this easy Mushroom Tapenade is just perfect for wowing guests or just spreading on some crusty bread. Lush mushrooms, blended with rich olives and tangy capers, make this tapenade utterly irresistible and addictive.
I've tested this mushroom tapenade as is on toast, on crackers at parties, and also inside puff pastry pinwheel canapes, and I can tell you, it's a hit every time. This easy recipe is perfect for what I call "Party Season". That fun time in the lead-up and post-Christmas when you might need snacks to fortify you when hosting drinks parties. Or as an elegant something to bring along if requested.
If you're wanting other festive recipes to serve alongside the tapenade, I suggest my Cranberry Bean Ball Canapés or these Crispy Air Fried Oyster Mushrooms, or for more mushroom pates, this Easy Mushroom and Lentil Pate is perfect for sharing. All are always well received by omnivores, vegans and everyone in between.
I think the nicest thing about this recipe is that it's made from simple ingredients.
- Fresh Cremini or Chestnut Mushrooms- Chesnut, cremini and common white mushrooms are all the same variety, just with different names. Use lovely fresh ones for the nicest flavour.
- Dried Wild Mushrooms- I use a mixture of dried wild mushrooms, however a few dried shitake or porcini mushrooms would be just as delicious.
- Kalamata Olives-I love how rich and flavourul kalamata olives are and use de-seeded ones in this recipe. You can use any good quality olives. Just make sure they don't have the stone in them!
- Capers- the word Tapenade comes from the French Provencal word for capers- which is tapen. Capers provide acidity and brightness to the flavours.
- Garlic- the garlic gets cooked up with the mushrooms, so be generous.
- Fresh Lemon Juice- Essential for balancing the flavours.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- good EVOO helps create the paste texture, and also helps to preserve the tapenade.
- Flakey Sea Salt - just a little.
- Thyme and Parsley- Fresh herbs such as parsley and thyme are traditional in tapenade. They add aromatic flavours. You can use dried thyme if you wish, however fresh parsley is preferable.
See recipe card for quantities.
Making this mushroom tapenade is pretty simple. Follow along with the step by step illustrations for the perfect pate!
- Soak the dried mushrooms in some boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
2. Slice your fresh mushrooms, then pan fry in a splash of olive oil alongside the drained soaked mushrooms and the garlic.
5. Add the fresh herbs and lemon juice and pulse until you have a rough pate.
6. Add more olive oil and a little of the mushroom water if needed. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Hint: You can pulse the tapenade into a fine paste, or leave it chunkier, it's up to you. Be sure to taste to check the flavour balance is correct too.
🌶Substitutions & Variations
You can make a few adjustments to this mushroom tapenade recipe according to the ingredients you have available- here are my suggestions.
- Green Olives - You can use green olives in place of the kalamata olives. I suggest nice big juicy queen olives, or those good Spanish olives in a tin.
- Capers in Salt - If you wish you can use capers in salt rather than in brine. Rinse thoroughly before use.
- Chilli- some fresh or preserved chilli would give a nice kick to the tapaenade.
You could in theory make this tapenade if you chop everything very finely, and maybe use a mortar and pestle however it would be much easier to make if you have a food processor. I love using my Kenwood processor. It's very old now, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.
This tapenade recipe will keep for a few weeks in the fridge if you cover it thoroughly in a layer of olive oil. The olive oil acts as a preservative, preventing bacteria touching the tapenade.
You can also choose to freeze the tapenade for up to 3 months. I would suggest doing this in small blocks so you can just take out what you need to use.
Don't mince the garlic, just roughly chop it, and cook it in with the mushrooms, it will get minced up in the food processor.
This recipe is entirely vegan so it does not contain anchovies
Yes, make the tapenade up to 3 days ahead of serving. Just cover with a thin layer of olive oil to preserve it.
This is a totally gluten free recipe.
Easy Mushroom Tapenade
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 250 g (3 ½ cups) chestnut mushrooms (cremini mushrooms)
- 25 g (¼ cups) dried mushrooms
- 100 ml (½ cups) water (to rehydrate the dried mushrooms)
- 145 g (1 cups) Kalamata Olives (without seeds)
- 50 g (⅓ cups) capers (in brine)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 30 ml (2 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
- 30 ml (2 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil
- 10 g (1½ tablespoon) fresh parsley
- 10 g (1½ tablespoon) fresh thyme
- Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water.25 g dried mushrooms, 100 ml water
- Brush the fresh mushrooms then slice. Remove the papery skins from the garlic and smash a bit.250 g chestnut mushrooms, 3 cloves garlic
- Remove the now soaked dried mushrooms from their water, squeezing a bit. Save the water, you might need it later.
- In a large frying pan sautee the fresh mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the garlic and soaked dried mushrooms.250 g chestnut mushrooms, 25 g dried mushrooms, 30 ml extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic
- Cook until the mushrooms are browned and have halved in size.
- Drain the olives and capers (if they came in brine) and add to a food processor. Pulse the food processor a few times.145 g Kalamata Olives, 50 g capers
- Add in the cooked mushrooms, lemon juice and herbs and pulse until you have a thick paste. You can make it finer or rougher according to your personal preference.30 ml fresh lemon juice, 10 g fresh thyme, 10 g fresh parsley
- Add a little extra olive oil, taste to adjust seasonings.
- Serve immediatly, or put into a container and preserve with a little oil over the top. It will keep in the fridge for 2 -3 weeks.30 ml extra virgin olive oil