Loaded bread dipping oil is the easiest – and quickest – appetizer for entertaining. Just mix a pile of gorgeous ingredients (think sundried tomatoes, parmesan, garlic and herbs) with olive oil and serve with soft, warm bread for the ultimate crowd-pleaser.
Picture this: you’re tired, you’ve just got home and you have guests due to arrive any minute. That’s where this dipping oil is PERFECT. It’s something you can pull together in literally 5 minutes and uses cupboard staples.
It’s really got a bit of everything. It’s deeply savoury, sweet, salty, spicy, full of herbs and just unbelievably delicious. It’s hard to believe something so simple can be SO gorgeous. I guarantee your guests will be crowding around the bowl, going in for more and more.
Plus, you can get creative and switch things up based on what you have on hand. Don’t like olives? Use more sundried tomatoes. Want to keep it vegan? Switch out the parmesan. To get you started, I’ll also share SEVEN delicious bread dipping oil variations I think you’ll love too!
None of the ingredients for the dip are hard to find, and I’m sharing easy alternatives and swaps you could make below.
- Olive oil. I like using a good quality extra virgin olive oil – the dip is all about the base of the oil, so you ideally want a good one if possible.
- Balsamic vinegar. This brings a little sweet, caramel element to the dip which it needs because the rest of the ingredients are quite strong and salty.
- Sundried tomatoes. I like using semi-dried tomatoes because they tend to be softer than sundried – but if you can’t find them, regular sundried tomatoes are great. Try to find a brand that’s marinated in olive oil for superior flavour.
- Olives. My favourite olives are Kalamata, so that’s what I’m using here. Use whatever olives you like best, or swap them out for more sundried tomatoes if you’re not an olive fan.
- Parmesan. Everything is better with a little parmesan in my opinion! Try to use a block and grate it finely yourself for the best texture. You could skip this if you want to make the dip vegan.
- Herbs. I’m using fresh rosemary and thyme leaves, but you could use basil, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, marjoram or coriander. You could also swap the fresh herbs for dried ones.
- Garlic. I’m using 3 cloves here, but you can cut that down if you’re worried about it being too garlicky.
- Seasoning. Chilli flakes, flaky salt and lemon zest come together to lift the dip and cut through the richness. You can leave out the chilli flakes if you’re worried about it being spicy.
How to make it
It really is as easy as getting all your ingredients into a large, shallow bowl and mixing to combine. Give it a little taste, and add a bit more salt if you think it needs it. I like to mix the oil in the dish I’m going to serve it in just to save on dishes, but you can also mix it in a bowl and then transfer it to whatever you’d like to serve it in.
Got a question?
I love using a really good quality extra virgin olive oil, but any olive oil will do.
The oil will last for at least a week, stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You can use it in different ways – it’s lovely spooned on top of grilled meat, dolloped on top of poached, fried or scrambled eggs, tossed through a crunchy salad or slaw or used as a quick pasta sauce or dressing for pasta salad.
The beauty of this recipe is that you really can make it your own, based on what you have to hand and what you like. You could use more sundried tomatoes, or use jarred artichokes or red peppers.
Seven easy bread dipping oil variations
This is SUCH a customisable recipe which is why it’s so perfect when you need something fast.
- Pesto bread dipping oil. Mix 2 tablespoons of basil pesto with 1/2 cup of olive oil, a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves, the zest and juice of a lemon, 1 tablespoon of chopped toasted cashews (or pine nuts) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Hot honey and lemon bread dipping oil. Mix 1/2 a cup of olive oil with the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes, a handful of fresh thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Pizza bread dipping oil. Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, a handful of chopped fresh basil, 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
- Spicy sweet chilli bread dipping oil. Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup chilli oil, 2 tablespoons sweet chilli jam, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed toasted peanuts and a good handful of chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves. A little lime juice to finish things off is great too!
- Triple garlic bread dipping oil. Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 8 confit garlic cloves, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 3 chopped smoked garlic cloves, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 2 sprigs of finely chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon of flaky salt. Keep things even easier by just using raw garlic if you like.
- Greek-inspired bread dipping oil. Mix 1/2 cup of olive oil with 1/3 cup chopped oregano, 1/4 cup chopped mint, 1/4 cup chopped thyme (or use dried herbs), 1/2 cup crumbled feta, 1/2 cup chopped olives (I used green and Kalamata), the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Sun-dried tomato pesto bread dipping oil. Mix 1/2 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto, a handful of fresh thyme and oregano leaves, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted almonds.
Watch me make it
If you like this recipe, here are some other great ideas for entertaining
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below to let me know how you get on.Print