Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip

We don’t really frequent chain restaurants on a regular basis, we tend to gravitate more towards locally owned establishments with seasonal menus. This way of dining certainly limits our choices; however, we typically find ourselves pleasantly content with all aspects of the local dining experience – fresh food that’s in season, and most of the time they can even tell us where the produce came from that day. Not so with most chain restaurants.

Most of the time we walk away from a chain feeling as though we’ve been a little ripped off. We’ve had far too many less than adequate experiences with the chain scene and at some point found ourselves questioning why we continued to dine in a restaurant when we weren’t happy with the experience.

This certainly caused us to branch out a bit within our area – which was awesome, because we now have a pretty fantastic repertoire of restaurants on our radar that includes some of the best food that either of us have tasted. However, we still crave certain items from some of the chain restaurants we used to frequent.

I’ve been seriously jonesing for some Carrabba’s Italian Butter and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to post the recipe on MBA.

If you have never dined at Carrabba’s, you may not have experienced the herb and olive oil bliss that they serve with every meal. It’s incredibly addictive and pretty much the number one reason we used to dine there. They bring it out on a small dish and add olive oil to it table side – creating the perfect “dip” for their piping hot bread.

Although I was aware that olive oil came in several varieties, I wasn’t aware that you can actually conduct an olive oil tasting. Pretty fancy, huh? An olive oil tasting is actually performed much like a wine, coffee, or bourbon tasting following the “Four S’s” (Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow). After several sniffs and slurps, we decided to conduct our little tasting with pieces of ciabatta and we were surprised how much the oils varied!

I’m not going to pretend that many a meal I wouldn’t be content to simply sit with the bread, the Italian butter, and a glass of vino- who needs an actual meal?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

A copycat of Carrabba's Italian Butter made with a blend of herbs, garlic, and olive oil.


  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or according to your taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the dry spices. Add crushed garlic, stirring to combine and moisten the herbs.
  2. Transfer herb mixture to a small dish or bowl. Pour olive oil over herb mixture.
  3. Serve with fresh bread.


  • Feel free to use fresh or dried herbs.
  • For the recipe above, I used all dry herbs with the exception of the rosemary.
My Baking Addiction adapted from food.com

62 Responses to “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip”

  1. nicole {sweet peony} — November 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    this looks fabulous! not only the dip, but the bread!!! i love this dipping sauce @ carrabbas so i’m gonna make this at home! thanks jamie :)


  2. Valerie — November 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband loves Carrabba’s olive oil dip. It is indeed, addictive.


    • Samantha — February 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

      The name brand is LaRAMBLa but they have several so I still don’t know which one!The waitress gave me a take home packet and then I went on line.. they have 5 but was unable to contact them!! The olive oils are all different in flavor So I keep trying Carrabbas used to sell it at thier but no longer does! Sam

  3. Tracy — November 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Can’t wait to try this at home! I could make a meal out of bread, wine, and this dip, too. :-)


    • Samantha — February 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Also it is not an Italian olive oil it is from Spain! Talked to the chef at Carrabbas. Sam

  4. Peggy — November 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Are the measurements in your recipe based on dried herbs or fresh? (I was thinking that I read somewhere that you use less (more?) if you are using dried.) Thanks.


    • Jamie — November 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      I used all dry in this recipe except for the rosemary. Thanks for stopping by.

    • ashley — April 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      General rule of thumb is to use 2x the amount if you use fresh (like in this recipe, it calls for 1/4 tsp of oregano, if you used fresh, you’d use 1/2 tsp.)

  5. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This looks amazing… I’m tempted to go preheat the oven to bake some bread just so I have something to dip and a good reason to make this oil!!


  6. Ann P. — November 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    MMM this reminds me of college, when my roommate and I would sit and have a huge hunk of break with olive oil for dinner… and nothing else! What a perfect way to spice up (quite literally) a meal :)


  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food — November 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Ahhh… the simple pleasure of bread and olive oil and some herbs. It’s a favorite of mine.


  8. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — November 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    The Husband is crazy over Carrabas’ herbed dipping sauce! I must make this for him soon. Thanks for sharing :)


  9. Ann — November 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you SO much for the recipe…I LOVE that dipping sauce…it’s incredible!


  10. Paula Feldman — November 4, 2011 at 7:20 am

    We’re just now getting ready to harvest our olives…in the ‘panhandle’ of the boot-shaped peninsula…..your recipe is excellent. As is Carapelli(an Italian producer which has various gradations of oils). Have you ever tried dried lemon peel, origano and garlic in oil. Let sit for a few hours and use on fish? I would also recomend a simple olive oil, 2 drops of water(helps emulsion of same) and lemon juice for artichokes.
    Am so glad to see that folks in the USA are into olive oil….it’s really good for you and helps good cholesterol!


  11. Mary Beth Elderton — November 4, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I love this! At my old home, I had Rosemary growing in the front flower bed. I could just pick ht I need, add it to bit of garlic and red pepper, and serve with olive oil and home made bread. Lovely!


  12. Happy When Not Hungry — November 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

    This looks delicious and your photos are just stunning!


  13. The Sweet Cupcaker — November 4, 2011 at 7:42 am

    this is great! I always wanted a good dipping sauce for my breads and this is it! I know the feeling of always feeling underwhelmed by chain restaurants and it’s amazing what you can find once you go outside of the chain arena.


  14. Savorique — November 4, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I love olive oil dips! I must consume about a liter every 2 weeks. However, some olive oils are to be enjoyed plain and pure in order to fully enjoy its complex array of flavors.
    Also, I usually propose a few kinds of bread along with olive oil so as to further play with the flavors.


  15. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I love dipping bread in oil. The herb idea is awesome! Can’t wait to try!


  16. Lauren — November 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I love making knock-off recipes! Your photos are gorgeous.


    • Jamie — November 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      You are very sweet! Thanks so much!

  17. Erin — November 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Bread dipped in olive oil and herbs is one of my favorite things to have with any dinner! We do this all the time at home…but I am often very guilty of eating too much before our food is done cooking! ;)


  18. Connie — November 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I just came across this post and I got so excited when I recognized what you were about to tell us! I worked at Carrabba’s Italian Grill through college and LOVED it! I still rave about it to this day! Unfortunately there aren’t any Carrabbas in NYC (scandalous!!), but I try to go as often as I possibly can! One part of working at carrabbas was that we had to commit to memory each ingredient in each and every dish, including this herb mix. I hope you won’t be offended, but you are missing 2 small ingredients… There are actually 2 different kinds of garlic used, both fresh minced garlic and garlic powder. There is also parsley. 1/4 tsp. of both. This won’t make a huge difference in the recipe, but for those garlic lovers (like myself) you can never add too much garlic! Thanks for getting the word out about how great this stuff is!


    • Jamie — November 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks so much for your input – so glad you stumbled upon the post and commented! Now tell me this – do they use fresh herbs or dried? :)

    • judi — December 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      re: carrabbas olive oil dip
      what is the brand of olive oil and the name.. I am new to olive oil and dipping so need some help

  19. TidyMom — November 5, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Oh this looks fantastic Jamie! …….how funny I’m posting a dipping oil on Monday, inspired by a restaurant too! lol


  20. angela@spinachtiger — November 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I get so torn between great olive oil dips and cold butter on bread. Maybe both!


  21. Hillary — November 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I love the pictures for this post. Is that bread homemade or bought? It makes me drool every time I look at it- I definitely want it when I make this!


    • Jamie — November 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I wish I could say that the bread was homemade, but I’d totally be lying. It’s from our local bakery and was absolutely delicious!

  22. Heather Taylor @ Kids in the Sink — November 10, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Holy cow!!! I am so glad I randomly clicked on this! I LOVE Carrabbas dipping oil so I can’t wait to try this. It looks so wonderful. I need some bread. Like right now!


  23. Elizabeth — January 14, 2012 at 12:59 am

    I made this the other night and it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing!


  24. Patsy — February 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I have been looking for a really good dipping sauce, and this sounds like it. I am now following your blog. Patsy


  25. chris — March 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    only thing missing is romano cheese, gives it a real kick


  26. June — May 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    what kind of bread is that/where can i find the recipe?? it looks SO GOOD. seriously, i’m in love and i haven’t even tasted it


    • Jamie — June 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      The bread was actually purchased from a local bakery – I wish I could recreate it though!

  27. LISA — June 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    This was awesome, although it way too salty for my family. Next time I will omit the salt and add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Will def do again!!!!!


  28. Diana — June 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Being Greek, the most common mix for oil dip that I was aware of was extra virgin olive oil, oregano and lemon juice. Doesn’t even need salt (well we tend to do w/o salt anyway). You’re definitely right about being able to do without the meal-it’s absolutely delish especially with home made bread. :)


  29. Michelle — September 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Is the garlic supposed to be minced or crushed? The list of ingredients calls for minced, but the recipe says to add crushed garlic to the herbs. What do I do?


  30. Michelle H — October 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I found this recipe through pinterest and am thrilled to have it! (you have no idea!) My husband and I would do the exact same thing at the chain restaurant here and to be able to make it at home will save us so much time and money – not to mention I always preferred my own meal to theirs. We were just missing this little jewel! Thank you Jamie!


    • Jamie — October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the dip! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback on the recipe. Have a great day.

  31. Donna — November 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Oh My Lord I could kiss your face!!! This is the best thing that was EVER invented! Thank you so much!


    • MBA — November 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback – have a great day!

  32. Jo@foodepix.com — November 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Your pictures are lovely, would love for you to share your pictures with us at foodepix.com.


  33. Christina — November 13, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I can’t wait to try your olive oil and herb recipe; I love the Carrabba’s version! I came over from Pinterest to get the details. My website, pin4ever, lets pinners save a copy of all their pins, boards, and likes. Anybody can get a free backup right now, I hope you’ll check it out! Thanks!


  34. Baking Secrets — January 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you very much for this recipe. I just bought this olive oil in the market. Now I’ll know how to make it by myself.


  35. Meika — March 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the recipe ! My oven is out of commission for a few days until, I can get the heating element replaced. I am cooking Alfredo and Chicken.today. I wanted a dip for fresh bread. Normly when I bake bread we use a honey butter dip, that I feel is better suited for hot bread. I have experienced this dip in restuarants with room temperture bread, so I googled the receipe and found yours.


  36. Mary — August 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    This recipe is so delicious. It was a little to much oil for the amount of herbs, but I just added some more herbs. I also had to used pre-minced garlic from a jar, but I smashed it into the herbs and it released a very great flavor and aroma. Thank you for sharing!


    • Jamie — August 19, 2013 at 11:01 am


      Thanks for stopping in to share your experience with the recipe! Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!


  37. Tiff — August 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Oh my goodness; just found this recipe, just tried it, awesomeness. We used fresh basil, garlic, and rosemary. Love it!!!


  38. Clark — May 10, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    I made this dip tonight and it is indeed just like the fabulous stuff at Carrabbas, Well done! I think the secret is the Rosemary and the kosher salt.


  39. Jerri — September 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Hi, I know this has nothing to do with the dipping oil but… I had dipping oil at an Italian restaurant and in the center they had a black section the size of a quarter. It was really tangy and it went really well with the olive oil for dipping. The color was really dark and i thought it was ink of some kind. I have been trying to figure out what this was for the longest time. Could you possibly know what this was?


    • Jamie — September 25, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      My guess would be that it was balsamic vinegar or a balsamic vinegar reduction. I’ve seen both of these used in oil dipping sauces – the flavor is definitely tangy, but so delicious. I hope this helps!

  40. Webdy — January 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    May I also suggest getting a ceramic grater plate! When you grate garlic it comes out purée like and mixes really well!! Can also use it for nutmeg, hard cheeses and chocolate! I love mine!! the silicone tube will also peel the garlic when rolled!!


    • Jamie — January 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by with your grater tips.


  41. mary — May 11, 2015 at 10:55 am

    you say that you can use all dried herbs, but you used fresh rosemary, what is
    the purpose in that? ate at carrabbas for mothers day. just love love the oil and herb
    dip. I actually asked if I could buy the herb mix. cant wait to try this. thanks.


    • Jamie — May 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I used what I had on hand, Mary. This can be adapted and tweaked however you want. Enjoy.

  42. MK718 — March 22, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I’ve never been to Carrabbas but this dipping sauce is AMAZING! I used pita bread instead of regular bread but my stomach and I thank you. 


    • Jamie — March 23, 2016 at 8:45 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  43. mery — April 24, 2016 at 8:04 am

    this is so great..can we serve this as a breakfast ? thanks :)


    • Jamie — April 24, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Hi, Mery! This is perfect any time of day. :)

  44. Helen Athanaseas — March 21, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Fresh rosemary is soft and easily swallowed.Dry rosemary is not good to swallow.It’s like eating last year’s Christmas tree! Lol ! Greeks make a boiled vinaigrette with dry rosemary for fried fish.You push the rosemary aside to eat the fish.


    • Jamie — March 21, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Fresh rosemary is amazing, Helen! Thanks for your feedback!

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