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Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade: Easy Holiday Appetizer (VIDEO)

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

The holidays are here, and everyone needs some easy ideas for appetizers! Dips or spreads are exceptionally popular. I do hope you have already tried my Black Olive Tapenade, and Smoke Oysters dip. Today's recipe is another one of my favorite tapenades that will make for a great appetizer or even a sauce for your next pasta dinner.

tapenade in a bowl with basil

Drenched with garlic, roasted red bell peppers, pesto, pistachios, and parmesan cheese, this Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade recipe will make you go for seconds! All these flavors marry together into one perfect bite. No fuss, easy, quick and no cooking is required.

sun-dried tomato tapenade

Ingredients you will need

lemon, parmesan, olive oil, oregano, pistachios, pesto, roasted pepper, sun-dried tomatoes,

Sun-dried tomatoes, I used this kind, but if you have another brand packaged in oil on hand then that's fine, just reduce the amount of olive oil in the recipe. I love oily dips; so additional good quality olive oil has never been a problem for me.

sun-dried tomatoes in a white bowl

Parmesan, of course good quality is a must, and please don't use the pre- shredded kind for this recipe.

parmesan on a cutting board

Pesto sauce, any classic pesto can be used. I used homemade.

Roasted red bell peppers, I used this kind. I always have a jar in my pantry.

Pistachios, if you are not a big fan of pistachios, then sunflower seeds are a great alternative.


Olive oil, just like in my other recipes, I recommend that you use high quality oil. My favorite is this one.

Garlic, fresh of course. Or fermented would be even better.

Oregano, dry is fine, but fresh would be even better.

Lemon, juice only.

What are sun-dried tomatoes?

While tomato botanists define it as a fruit and consumers call it a vegetable, what if I tell you sun-dried tomatoes are neither, because it's a spice, yes, a spice.

Tomatoes are officially "sun-dried" when all the moisture is taken out. At the same time, all the nutrients are left to deliver a super concentrated dose of rich vitamins and minerals. The most notable of these is lycopene, which is an immensely strong antioxidant.

There are many studies about tomato-based foods. In Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, researchers analyzed 21 studies on tomato intake and prostate cancer. Men who had eaten the most cooked tomatoes had a 19 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, compared to men who had eaten the least.

There are many reasons to love and eat tomatoes daily, and they are loved worldwide. Eating sun-dried tomatoes especially during the nongrowing season is smart in order to obtain all the nutrients originally received from summer tomatoes at their peak.

Natural MSG: What is that?

This recipe contains two ingredients that are glutamate - rich, meaning they naturally contain MSG. The end result is that these foods are rich in umami flavor. In this recipe it is the Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes that provide a concentrated umami flavor.

This harmless amount of umami rich components brings your savory food to another level of deliciousness. Millennials around the globe who enjoy strong umami flavors in foods such as cured meats, concentrated tomatoes products (i.e., tomato paste, sundried tomatoes), cheeses, wild mushrooms, fish sauce, miso, etc. most of these foods contain natural MSG flavorings due to either fermentation or from being dried. However, eating lab-produced MSG flavored products such as chips, cookies, etc. contain an abnormal amount of MSG and are therefore not of any health benefit to their diet. Please, read more on this subject here.

How to serve tapenade?

As much as I like to eat tapenade by spreading it on water crackers, or a crostini, a slice of sourdough bread, or even on boiled plain potatoes, this tapenade is also a wonderful sauce for pasta, chicken or fish. For making sauce, I like to mix a splash of the boiled pasta water into the tapenade or add it to white wine or cream and mix to my preferred consistency. I promise you that even the most boring dry chicken breast will sing under this tapenade.

How long can it last in the fridge?

This tapenade will last a few weeks, especially if you pour in an additional layer of olive oil before you seal up the jar.

It is great to have on hand around the holidays, and nothing can beat your homemade with any brand on the market. This recipe is well worth it to try, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family.

Let's do it...

Prep time: 5 minutes

Making time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Autor: Inna of

ingredients for the tapenade
pesto in glass, olive oil, nuts


1/2 cup parmesan grated

1 cup of pistachios

1 Tablespoon of pesto (I used homemade in the video)

1 lemon (juice only)

2 teaspoons of dried oregano

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup olive oil


1. First hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes (if you are not using ones packed in oil, you need to add liquid). In the video I used the juice from the roasted red bell peppers. Cover them with the juice and set aside for 10 minutes or so.

2. Using a food processor, add garlic, tomatoes with juice, pesto, roasted red bell peppers, pistachios, and parmesan. Pulse for a minute or so and scrape every once in a while.

3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and black pepper. Pulse a few more times or until you are pleased with the consistency.

4. Pour into a jar, and drizzle with olive oil, this step is optional, but does help to keep the tapenade fresh in your fridge.


slices of bread and sun-dried tomatoes tapenade

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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