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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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.

4.66 from 35 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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69 Comments

  1. Webdy says:

    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!!

    1. Jamie says:

      Wendy-
      Thanks so much for stopping by with your grater tips.

      -Jamie

  2. Jerri says:

    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?

    1. Jamie says:

      Jerri-
      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!
      -Jamie

  3. Clark says:

    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.

  4. Tiff says:

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

  5. Mary says:

    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!

    1. Jamie says:

      Mary,

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

      Jamie

  6. Meika says:

    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.

  7. Baking Secrets says:

    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.

  8. Christina says:

    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!

  9. Jo@foodepix.com says:

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

  10. Donna says:

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

    1. MBA says:

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