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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip is a garlicky, flavorful accompaniment to any bread. This copycat of Carrabba’s Italian Butter is so easy to make, you might just want to enjoy it with every meal!

Shallow bowl of olive oil herb dip on a white platter with bread, olives and cured meats

We’re not eating out much these days – pretty much like the rest of the world, I’d assume.

You may or may not know this, but in addition to teaching, I spent a long time in the restaurant service industry, managing a restaurant while in college and waiting tables all throughout my teaching career.

While I could say a lot about waiting tables being necessary while also teaching full time, I’m here to focus on the food.

In our local area, we have tons of locally owned restaurants that we frequent all the time and are getting take-out from right now to help support the industry. But there’s one thing those restaurants don’t have, and that’s Carrabba’s Italian Butter.

If you have never dined at Carrabba’s, you may not have experienced this herb and olive oil bliss that they serve with every meal. The olive oil bread dip is incredibly addictive and it’s pretty much the #1 reason why we eat there.

They bring the herbs and fresh minced garlic out in a small dish and add olive oil to it table-side, creating the perfect “dip” for their piping-hot bread.

Shallow white bowl filled with olive oil herb dip on a white surface

Olive Oil Dip Ingredients

The ingredient list for this herbed olive oil dip is so ridiculously simple, you won’t believe it.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ve got all, if not most of the 6 ingredients in your house right now. Here’s what you’ll need aside from some salt and pepper:

  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh minced or crushed garlic, and
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the herbs, I go with dried, except for the rosemary. Dried rosemary is pretty tough and it takes a long time to soften in liquid, so I always use fresh rosemary in this dip. If you don’t have dried oregano or basil, fresh is great!

Close up of a bowl with olive oil herb dip next to bread and fresh rosemary

The Best Olive Oil for a Dipping Sauce

If you’ve been down the oil aisle in the grocery store recently, you know that there is a HUGE variety of olive oil to choose from these days.

For this dipping sauce, you’ll want to use extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed, allowing the fruity flavor of the oil to truly shine through.

If you’ve ever watched Ina Garten, you’ve heard her say to “use good olive oil.” And she’s right, especially for a recipe like this one where the key ingredient is olive oil and you’ll be able to pick up on those subtle flavors.

Buy the best one that fits your budget. The prices vary greatly and usually, the cheaper the price, the lower the quality of oil.

Garlic and herbs for olive oil herb dip on a white plate

Let’s Get to It! How to Make Carrabba’s Italian Butter

This dip is so easy to whip up that you’ll have it on the table in under 10 minutes, or as long as it takes for you to peel and mince a few cloves of garlic and chop some rosemary.

  1. Measure out your herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl or appetizer plate.
  2. Mix the garlic into the herbs and spices and then transfer the mix to a small shallow bowl or appetizer plate for serving.
  3. Pour the olive oil over the herbs and spices and stir gently to combine.

I mean seriously, could that BE any easier to make? It’s basically like infusing olive oil that you’re going to eat right away!

Bread and crackers surrounding a white bowl of olive oil herb dip

Tips for Making a Fantastic Italian Herb Olive Oil Dip

  • Use extra virgin olive oil. You won’t be cooking this dip so you’ll want an oil that tastes great raw.
  • Use fresh rosemary. The flavor of fresh rosemary will permeate through the dip faster than with dried rosemary. Plus, have you ever tried to chop dried rosemary? What a mess!
  • Fresh is best. While you can keep this dip in the fridge for up to 3 days before the fresh garlic and rosemary start to lose some of their punchy flavors, it’s really much better to eat right away when the flavors will be at their brightest.
  • Make more than you think you’ll need. I’m serious about this one! Whenever we make this dip for friends and family (or for just ourselves), it’s always gone in the blink of an eye.

White bowl of olive oil herb dip on a white surface surrounded by bread and charcuterie

What to Serve Garlic Infused Olive Oil Dip With

I’m not going to pretend that for many meals, I wouldn’t be content to simply sit with some warm and crusty bread, this Italian butter dip, some charcuterie meats and cheeses, and a glass of wine. Who needs an actual meal?

Some of my favorite breads to dip, aside from a good crusty French or Italian bread, are garlic parmesan pull-apart bread and brown and serve rolls.

But if you did want to serve this infused olive oil as a starter or side with some bread for a restaurant meal at home, I would fully endorse it.

Any kind of pasta meal would benefit from a side of this, especially this creamy pesto pasta with shrimp.

If you would normally dip your bread into soup, you might as well dip it into this olive oil dip while you eat your soup. Some of my favorites that would make excellent main dishes along with this dip are lasagna soup, sausage and lentil soup, stuffed pepper soup, and most especially this zuppa toscana. They’re all hearty and filling soup recipes so you definitely won’t be left hungry at the end of one of these meals.

And if you want to go a little lighter, a caprese salad would pair perfectly with this Italian-inspired dip.

Spoon in a bowl of olive oil herb dip surrounded by bread, olives and charcuterie

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip

By: Jamie
4.66 from 35 ratings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
A copycat of Carrabba's Italian Butter made with a blend of herbs, garlic, and olive oil.


  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or according to your taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


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


  • Feel free to use fresh or dried herbs. I like to use all dry herbs with the exception of the rosemary.
Adapted from


Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 146mg, Potassium: 8mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.02g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Dennis Yannakos says:

    These recipes are so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Dennis! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  2. Wendy Hampton says:

    Oh my goodness! I have never been to Carrabas, but I HAVE been looking for an “Italian Butter” olive oil dip for bread for some time and none of them had the great spicy flavor I was looking for. Well, I lucked out! This is it and there were also great tips in the comments which gave me some ways to change it up on occasion. We are so very glad to have found that recipe an thanks so much for sharing it! It is especially a treat during the “coronavirus stay at home” time here in California. I have all these ingredients in my home or in the garden!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Wendy! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  3. DeeDee says:

    We love Carrabba’s bread and dip too!!!! 
    Might I add that my husband doesn’t really do carbs

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, DeeDee! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  4. Helen Athanaseas says:

    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.

    1. Jamie says:

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

  5. mery says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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

  6. MK718 says:

    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. 

    1. Jamie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. mary says:

    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.

    1. Jamie says:

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