Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) Sauce

Restaurant-style sauce with olive oil, Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick, if you like, to create your own flavor blend.

 

Restaurant-style sauce with olive oil, Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick to create your own flavor blend. | manilaspoon.com

 

When I was still living in the Philippines, there was one Italian restaurant that I frequently visited with my family and friends. It’s called Italianni’s and they now have several branches all over Metro Manila as through the years they have become so popular. Can you guess what made them so well-loved?

 

Restaurant-style sauce with Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick to create your own flavor blend. Italian Bread Dipping Oil (Sauce) | manilaspoon.com

 

You’d probably guess, their pasta dishes or perhaps their pizza or their Chicken Milanese and they’re all certainly great but no….not these. Perhaps, nearly 20 years ago when they first came to Manila this was a novelty but everyone that ate in their restaurant raved about their amazing Italian bread and the very tasty dipping sauce that went with it.

What’s more, it was an unlimited appetizer so you can imagine we really didn’t shy away from ordering a basket or 2 more! It was so good that we didn’t care that we were already so stuffed and may not eat much of the main dishes that we ordered. Oh, the good old days!

So….inspired by these delicious memories I decided to replicate their amazing dipping oil. I still need to work on their Italian bread but this will do for now.

You can certainly tweak the taste to your liking by adjusting the measurement to your preference, not adding any spicy kick or playing with a mix of herbs. But certainly do not omit the balsamic vinegar as the combo of good quality EVOO and excellent balsamic vinegar truly makes this dip so deliciously good.

My kids loved this and ate all the bread that I served with this. Also, it is even yummier with the parmesan cheese so I highly recommend serving this dip with it. Hope you enjoy this!

 

Restaurant-style sauce with Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick to create your own flavor blend. Italian Bread Dipping Oil (Sauce) | manilaspoon.com

 

I updated this recipe so it’s quicker and even easier to make. As always, let this measurement and ingredients serve as a guide to help you build your own version. Don’t forget the cheese!!!

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Looking for delicious recipes with Asian flair? Check out our cookbook – RICE. NOODLES. YUM. (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SOUTHEAST ASIAN DISHES). With 75 delicious rice and noodle dishes (each recipe has a photo of the finished dish), there’s a dish for everyone! Check out the video flip-through of our book.

 

Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) Sauce Ingredients

Restaurant-style sauce with Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick, if you like, to create your own flavor blend. – Italian Bread Dipping Oil (Sauce)

  • Herbs like basil or oregano, dried or fresh
  • Garlic cloves – optional but perfect for garlic lovers. If you have time, instead of using fresh garlic, brown them first in oil before adding.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – highest quality you can get because this is the star!
  • Balsamic Vinegar – a little goes a long, long way. This is a must for me. You made adjust the amount to your taste.
  • Grated parmesan cheese – I never make this sauce without this. Highly recommended.

This is good for 3 small dipping bowls so great for when you are having people over as it can easily be divided. 

Simply mix all the ingredients together and in 5 MINUTES you have a yummy dipping oil!

CHECK OUT THE RECIPE CARD for FULL INSTRUCTIONS below.

 

Restaurant-style sauce with Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick to create your own flavor blend. Italian Bread Dipping Oil (Sauce) | manilaspoon.com

If you like what you see and would like to receive new recipe updates, we’d love you to subscribe to our posts or join our site. Needless to say, we’d love you to like us on Facebook and Instagram, too where you can get more recipes and updates. Thanks and happy browsing!

 

5 from 4 votes
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Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) Sauce

Restaurant-style sauce with olive oil, Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick, if you like, to create your own flavor blend.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread dipping oil with herbs, carabbas olive oil bread dip, dipping oil with fresh herbs, italian bread dipping oil, italian bread dipping oil with balsamic vinegar, italian dipping oil, italian dipping sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 dipping bowls
Author Manila Spoon

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality) divided
  • 1 pinch dried or fresh Basil, or to taste (for each bowl)
  • 1 pinch dried or fresh Oregano, or to taste (for each bowl)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or minced 1 piece per bowl (optional)
  • 3-6 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • grated parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Divide the olive oil into 3 parts in individual, small, and shallow dipping bowls. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into each bowl. Adjust the amount of balsamic vinegar to your taste. 2 tablespoons of vinegar is right up my alley but feel free to adjust the amount to your taste preference. Begin with a tablespoon and add more if desired.

  2. Add the crushed or minced garlic (1 garlic per bowl), if using. If you’re not a fan of garlic, feel free to leave it out. I love garlic so I added it but it’s not required. Place a pinch or 2 of the herbs of your choice. For extra flavor, use freshly chopped herbs. Stir.

  3. Generously sprinkle with grated or shredded parmesan cheese on top. This for me is what makes this dip so yummy so don't omit unless you don't like it. Mop up all that yummy sauce with freshly warmed crusty bread!

 

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37 Comments

  1. April 6, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Yum! I am loving all the herbs in that dipping sauce. I would happily just eat that with bread and not even have a main meal haha.

    • April 6, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Yup, I will do exactly the same Dannii!

  2. April 6, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    O this brings back memories! Warm buttery bread in quality Italian spiced olive oil….a BIG thing in my Italian family!

  3. April 6, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    I used to work at Bertuccis and their dipping oil was LEGIT. I still remember the recipe, too. This looks just as good, if not better 🙂

  4. April 6, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    it's absolutely keeper recipe. pinning it!

  5. April 6, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Abby–it's been a while since I saw dipping oil like this at a restaurant, and I miss it!

    • April 6, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Now you can make it at home, Jill. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. April 6, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    This was always my favorite part of going to Italian restaurants as a kid. I would fill up on bread and dipping oil. Then I would make my parents mad by ordering spaghetti and not eating it because I was stuffed!

    • April 6, 2016 / 10:40 pm

      Hahaha. I can relate to that Jennifer! 🙂

  7. April 7, 2016 / 4:09 am

    I want a whole loaf of bread to myself to dip in this oil!

  8. April 11, 2016 / 7:31 am

    great bread and great dipping oil like this is the best, thank you xoxo

  9. April 12, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    I love making herbed oil…No gathering is complete without this on the cheese and appetizer board. Sounds wonderful. xoxo, Catherine

  10. May 5, 2016 / 9:22 am

    years ago ( a lot of years ago ) the thought of dipping bread in oil and eating it disgusted me , now after curiosity got the better of me I truly enjoy it so for the uninitiated give it a try you will be pleasantly surprised

  11. May 6, 2016 / 11:23 am

    In the picture, what's that in the middle of the bowl? Is it a chunk of butter? It wasn't in the recipe so I'm wondering. I want to make it just like in the picture so my family will think I'm a master chef.

  12. May 6, 2016 / 11:25 am

    What's that in the middle of the bowl in the picture? A chunk of butter? It's not in the recipe and I want to make it like in the picture so my family will think I'm a master chef.

    • May 7, 2016 / 3:00 am

      I think you are referring to the garlic. It's on the recipe above. Please enjoy, James!

  13. May 20, 2016 / 3:38 am

    Does this recipe keep? As in, can I make it ahead and leave it in the fridge for the flavors to really marry (like a day or two)?

    • May 26, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      If you wish you can make the vinegar and olive oil combo ahead. You may just add the herbs and garlic later especially if you plan to use fresh herbs as that would add more flavor, too.

  14. August 10, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    Beautiful pictures Abby! Love bread with olive oil, but never had it with herbs 🙂

  15. Anonymous
    October 18, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    Love this! Even when my husband and I just go to Olive Garden, we special order minced garlic with olive oil and fresh grated parmesan for dipping! Have to try asking them to add some herbs next time.

    • October 18, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      I can totally relate with you as we often ask the waiter for the ingredients too especially the balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese and then make our own mix. For me the balsamic brings this dip to another level of yumminess! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  16. December 24, 2016 / 5:54 am

    Can this be bottled and poured to plates? Some restaraunts have it seeved at the table this way.
    I would mince most of the garlic and add the cheese to the plate as well.

    • January 4, 2017 / 2:34 am

      Hi Renee, I am sorry for the late response. I had been quite unwell during the holidays so have been unable to respond. The restaurant where I first tasted it simply mixed the olive oil and balsamic vinegar right at the table and then they simply added the cheese on top. I added the minced garlic and fresh herbs for extra flavor but they are optional. Nonetheless, if you wish you can combine the oil and vinegar ahead if you like – it would just turn out more like a balsamic dressing. Just adjust to taste. Personally, I prefer to just mix a good quality virgin olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar when I need to make this adjusting it to my taste but it's up to you. 🙂

  17. May 2, 2017 / 9:04 am

    I love this ,looks absolutely delicious! It would be interesting to try this dishes with other yum!

  18. April 11, 2019 / 6:37 am

    I am very foody person love many different taste. Thanks!“

  19. Oren
    December 8, 2020 / 5:45 am

    I was just looking for this recipe and just like you, I first had this in Italliani’s where my brother used to work before. I’m already salivating just by reading your blog. Thank you for sharing this!

    • abigail
      Author
      December 8, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy.

  20. Marie-Charlotte Chatelain
    March 18, 2021 / 11:45 am

    5 stars
    Oh this sounds amazing and I would also really love this as a topping for pizza! HMMM with that garlic and those herbs!

  21. Emily
    March 18, 2021 / 11:46 am

    5 stars
    This Italian bread dipping sauce is my family’s favorite way to eat sourdough bread!

  22. Chris Collins
    March 18, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    5 stars
    I love having this Italian Bread Dipping Oil at restaurants, I never realised it was this simple to make at home! I’ll definitely be whipping up a batch tomorrow 🙂

  23. Tara
    March 18, 2021 / 12:14 pm

    5 stars
    Oh yum! I love how you added the garlic to each bowl. Such wonderful flavors and definitely perfect for pairing with fresh bread.

  24. Michelle
    March 18, 2021 / 8:35 pm

    The dipping oil is literally my favorite part of Italian restaurants. I can’t wait to make it at home!

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