Olive tapenade is a delicious paste made up of kalamata olives, capers, vinegar, and garlic. It’s perfect for this quick 5-ingredient pasta dish! Olive tapenade pasta comes together fast, but doesn’t skimp on flavor. Top it off with crispy breadcrumbs for the ultimate weeknight dinner!
There are few things I love more than quick, flavorful five ingredient meals. All you need are a few pantry ingredients and 15 minutes and you’ll be eating a tasty dinner.
Olive tapenade pasta with crispy breadcrumbs is one of those “back pocket” recipes. You know, the recipes you reach for when you need something quick. The go-to recipes that you can memorize and cook without measuring. This is one of those recipes.
I always have a jar of olive tapenade in my pantry. It’s good on crackers (with cheese!), crostini, as a sandwich spread, or you can dip veggies into it. But, if you really want a tasty way to enjoy it, make this pasta!
Olive tapenade is a Provençal dish made from black olives, capers, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and sometimes anchovies. The tapenade available at my local grocery store doesn’t contain anchovies, making it vegetarian. So, make sure you read your labels if you’re looking for this to be a vegetarian option.
The best part of this recipe? EASY. It’s so easy. If you can boil water, you can make this pasta!
While the water boils, you can chop up the parsley and grate the cheese. I don’t recommend skipping out on the freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano. When you have recipes with few ingredients, you want to make sure you’re using great quality ones. However, a lot of grocery stores have freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano available, so you have my permission to use that. 😉
My favorite part of this entire dish is the crispy breadcrumb topping. Use seasoned breadcrumbs to make things simple and toast them in a bit of olive oil until golden brown. It’s the perfect topper to the pasta.
You’ll want to add more cheese and parsley on top, too. Because, duh. There’s always room for more cheese. Finish everything off with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and you’ve got dinner in 15 (maybe 20) minutes. Does it get any better? I think not.
- 1 (12 oz.) Box Gluten-Free Spaghetti*, I like Barilla
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Seasoned Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs
- ½ Cup Olive Tapenade
- ¾ Cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for topping
- ½ Cup Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley, divided
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt and then add in the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, subtracting 1 minute from the recommended cooking time. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- While your pasta is cooking, heat a few drizzles of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs and toast them until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta back into the pot and add the tapenade, and ½ cup of the pasta water. Toss well to combine, adding additional pasta water if needed. Add in the cheese and ½ of the parsley. Season the pasta well with black pepper.
- Pile the pasta onto serving plates and top each with cheese, parsley, and the breadcrumbs. Finish each with a drizzle of olive oil and dig in!
- *If you aren't gluten-free, you can use regular pasta and breadcrumbs. Wheat pasta usually comes in 16 oz. boxes, but you don't have to worry about cutting it down to make this. Make the whole box and you'll probably need to add more pasta water. It's not necessary to increase the other ingredients. Extra cheese wouldn't hurt though! 🙂
Olive tapenade is so quick and easy to make. How can you use jarred and call it a recipe?
Yesterday the temperature was in the high 80s, but we needed comfort food! This dish was perfect because it didn’t take a lot of time to make. We are vegan, but not gluten-free. I made my own tapenade using my partner’s favorite olives, and omitted the cheese (I am not a fan of vegan cheeses!). It was great! And the toasted breadcrumbs were really good — I used Panko. I’ll be making this again. Thank you!
I made this yesterday. Needs much more tapenade. I did not use breadcrumbs but otherwise made as directed. Needed much more tapenade. About all I could taste was pasta, cheese, and parsley. Not a bad taste, but I really wanted more of an olive taste. When I reheat the leftovers, I will add much more. Very good as far as it went. I used Trader Joe’s jarred Tapenade.