Looking for a quick & easy appetizer that’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser? Make this restaurant-style olive oil bread dip.
It’s reminiscent of the warm bread & oil starter you’d get at an Italian restaurant. But it comes together in 5 minutes with just 7 ingredients.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m at a restaurant where warm bread and seasoned oil is brought to the table before dinner?
Forget about it.
It’s almost impossible to stop eating it.
The delicate flavor of extra virgin olive oil is enhanced with oregano and basil, fresh garlic, and sweet swirls of balsamic glaze.
It’s a beautiful balance of tangy, sweet, and salty.
Luckily there’s no reason to make a reservation at a restaurant like Buca de Beppo, Olive Garden, Carrabba’s, California Pizza Kitchen, or Macaroni Grill.
Olive oil dip for bread is so easy to make at home.
It uses pantry staples. And it comes together in 5 minutes or less.
Can’t beat that.
Make enough for two for a romantic evening in.
Or double the recipe & invite some friends over for a dinner party. After all, shareable plates are always so festive and fun.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe.
Extra virgin olive oil: Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil that you enjoy.
Garlic: If you’re a garlic fan, you’ll want to add a zested clove of garlic for bite. If you’re not, I recommend leaving it out.
Dried herbs: Dried oregano and basil add to the Italian vibes of this dish.
Salt & pepper: Just a dash of salt and pepper brings it all together.
Balsamic glaze: Although you can use standard balsamic vinegar for this dip, it’s even better with balsamic glaze.
Balsamic glaze is condensed, which heightens its sweetness. Plus, that thick, syrupy texture is downright addictive.
You can find it at Trader Joe’s or near the other vinegars at many grocery stores.
This bread dipping oil is delicious with any warm, crusty bread.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Olive fougasse
Step by step instructions
Here’s how to make this recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
If you’re using garlic, grate a clove with a Microplane zester. It becomes almost like a paste.
That’s good since you don’t want anyone to end up with a great big bite of chopped garlic.
If you don’t have a zester, finely mince it instead.
In a small, shallow serving bowl, combine the following:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grated or minced garlic (optional)
- Dried herbs
- Salt and pepper
Then add a generous drizzling (about 2 teaspoons) of balsamic glaze.
Serve with warm bread for dipping.
(As you’re dipping, if you run out of oil, simply add more + another drizzle of balsamic glaze.)
Make it your own
It’s easy to personalize this olive oil bread dip by varying the ingredients.
- Replace all or part of the olive oil with melted vegan butter. (Since butter is salty, you can omit the salt.)
- Replace the dried herbs with ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning mix.
- Vary the herbs: rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and/or parsley are good options.
- Replace dried herbs with a pinch of fresh herbs.
- Omit the garlic to really let the balsamic glaze and herbs shine.
- Replace fresh garlic with ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, a clove of roasted garlic, or lightly sautéed garlic.
- Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for a kick of heat.
- Add diced olives for extra briny flavor.
- Add a generous sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese to the top.
Bread and dipping oil is terrific alongside a salad. It’s also a delicious starter for an Italian dinner.
It goes well with any of the following:
Other ways to use bread dipping oil
In addition to being enjoyed with bread for dipping, this seasoned olive oil works well for other uses.
- Coat veggies before grilling – on skewers or in a grill basket.
- Coat crostini before toasting & finish with tomato bruschetta.
- Toss it with pasta, artichoke hearts, olives, cherry tomatoes, and roasted chickpeas for a delicious main course.
- Drizzle it on a leafy green salad, similar to balsamic vinaigrette.
- Add it to a charcuterie board along with crusty bread.
Because of the grated garlic, I recommend storing any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Note that the oil will solidify in the cold refrigerator.
Put it out on the counter for a few minutes before you need to use it again. It will come to room temperature & liquify.
Finish it within a few days.
Simple olive oil bread dip
- In a small serving bowl, use a fork or whisk to combine extra virgin olive oil, zested garlic (if using), dried basil, dried oregano, pepper, and salt.
- Squeeze in about 2 teaspoons of balsamic glaze. (If you don't have balsamic glaze, regular balsamic vinegar works too.)
- Serve with warm bread for dipping.