Bread dipping oil gets a flavor boost with this easy recipe, layered with sundried tomatoes, grated garlic, fresh and dried herbs, and Parmesan cheese. If you've been looking for an olive oil bread dip, look no further. This no-fuss mezze, appetizer or afternoon snack takes less than 10 minutes and it's so delicious.

An overhead photo of bread dipping oil on a plate with a spoon.
Photo Credits: Suzy Karadsheh

Bread dipping oil is like the holy grail of the mezze world: it takes little time to make, uses pantry essentials, and is endlessly useful.

You can make it to hold off hungry kids (or husbands, wives, boyfriends, and even yourself) while you cook dinner. It’s also great for getting an easy bite on your table for people to enjoy while you whip up fresh cocktails like Negronis or sunny Limoncello Spritzes.

With tart-sweet sun-dried tomatoes, aromatic oregano, fresh peppery parsley, and umami-rich parmesan cheese, this dressed up olive oil dip has an Italian spirit. And you can adapt the recipe according to what you like and what you have. Serve with good crusty bread, Focaccia, French bread or gluten-free bread/breadsticks. 

Table of Contents
  1. Bread Dipping Oil Ingredients 
  2. Ingredient Spotlight
  3. How to Make Bread Dipping Oil
  4. Ways to Mix It Up
  5. What to Serve with Olive Oil Bread Dip
  6. More 10-Minute Recipes that Go with Bread 
  7. Olive Oil Dip with Parmesan and Herbs Recipe
Ingredients for bread dipping oil including olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, Aleppo flakes, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, parmesan cheese and a loaf of crusty bread.

Bread Dipping Oil Ingredients 

This olive oil dip is meant as a pantry situation–I almost always keep all these ingredients stocked. If you don’t have the full list, though, everything is easy enough to substitute (more suggestions in the “Ways to Mix it Up” section below). 

  • Extra virgin olive oil: A high-quality, fresh-tasting oil with a pleasant flavor is essential (see “Ingredient Spotlight” below for my suggestions). 
  • Garlic adds that famous sweet-and-savory flavor. 
  • Parsley adds freshness and a lemony, peppery note.
  • Dried oregano gives the dip an intensely herbaceous quality. 
  • Sun Dried tomatoes add depth of flavor with carmelized, tart and sweet bursts. You can stock up at our shop, or substitute with other preserved flavor-makers, like briney capers or olives. 
  • Red pepper flakes add an assertive kick. If I’m wanting something a bit more mild, I go for ground black pepper or Aleppo Pepper instead–you can read all about Aleppo pepper in our guide and try it for yourself at our shop
  • Parmesan cheese adds a rich umami quality but it’s really just a bonus. For a vegan version, simply leave out the parmesan. 
A close up of bread dipping oil on a plate.

Ingredient Spotlight

Extra Virgin Olive oil is a huge part of this recipe so quality counts. Consider it the canvas that supports all the other flavors. If you get your hands on a really delicious olive oil that’s fresh and peppery and full of nuance you can happily serve it on its own. But it also gives you the chance to load it with your favorite seasonings. A great oil will make all the difference!

If you like a rich and peppery oil, try our Spanish EVOO. For something very delicately exquisite still but more mild-tasting, try our Arbequina EVOO or Italian Nocellara EVOO.

Bread dipping oil on a plate surrounded by small bowls of Italian seasoning and parsley, a wedge of parmesan cheese on a plate, pieces of crusty bread, a bottle of Aleppo pepper and olive oil.

How to Make Bread Dipping Oil

This olive oil bread dip is beyond low-maintenance: just mix and serve. Here are the 2 steps!

  • Mix. Add ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil to a shallow bowl. Use a microplane or the smallest side of a box grater to grate in 1 small peeled garlic clove. Add 2 teaspoons chopped parsley leaves, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine.
  • Finish and serve. Finely grate parmesan cheese directly on top (about 3 tablespoons, or more to your liking). Gently mix with a spoon and serve, alongside your favorite bread.Bread dipping oil on a plate surrounded by small bowls of Italian seasoning, parsley, and sun dried tomatoes and a wedge of parmesan cheese on a plate.

Ways to Mix It Up

This recipe is meant as a guide–I encourage you to tweak it and find what makes you scrape the bottom of the dish. Here are some ideas:

  • Add balsamic vinegar–see this post for tips on sourcing high-quality balsamic.
  • Roast the garlic and add the jammy, sweet whole cloves. Here’s a guide for How to Roast Garlic. A whole head of garlic may seem like a lot but they won’t last long–and you can spread leftovers on toast, sandwiches, or add them to Homemade Focaccia
  • Add lemon zest for extra zing. 
  • Add olives or capers for a briny element. 
  • Mix up the dried herbs, adding Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning. I often add a spoonful of za’atar and it’s absolutely amazing (you can read more about za’atar in our guide and try it at our shop).
  • Mix up the fresh herbs with other tender green herbs like basil, marjoram, or a combination. 
A close up of bread dipping oil on a plate with a spoon.

What to Serve with Olive Oil Bread Dip

Any good rustic bread works well here–a crusty loaf, fluffy flatbread like Pita Bread or Barbari, French bread, Focaccia, gluten-free breadsticks, you name it.

To build your mezze table without much effort, put out a bunch of small bowls with tasty snacky things. Olives, 5-Minute Marinated Feta, toasted nuts, dried fruits, and Easy Tzatziki Sauce all come to mind.

More 10-Minute Recipes that Go with Bread 

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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The 4 bottles of olive oil included in the signature bundle of olive oils from the Mediterranean Dish shop.
5 from 4 votes

Olive Oil Dip with Parmesan and Herbs

Suzy Karadsheh
An overhead photo of bread dipping oil on a plate with a spoon.
Layered with flavor, color, and texture, this 10-minute (tops) recipe is a no-brainer. An easy addition to your rotation, and feel free to change up the ingredients with what you have on-hand.
Prep – 5 minutes
Total – 5 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian/Mediterranean
Serves – 6 people (makes ⅓ cup)
Course:
Dips and Appetizers

Ingredients
  

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to your liking
  • Good crusty bread, ciabatta, or flatbread, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Mix. In a shallow bowl, stir together the oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sun dried tomatoes.
  • Finish and serve. Grate the parmesan cheese directly on top. Gently mix with a spoon and serve, alongside your favorite bread.

Video

Notes

  • Olive oil suggestions: A high quality, fresh tasting oil with a pleasant flavor is essential. If you like a rich and peppery oil, try our Spanish EVOO. For something rich and exquisite still but more mild-tasting, try our Arbequina EVOO or Italian Nocellara EVOO.
  • Mix it up: I often add about a teaspoon or so of za’atar and it’s amazing!
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 130.1kcalCarbohydrates: 3.2gProtein: 1.5gFat: 12.9gSaturated Fat: 2.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8.9gCholesterol: 2.2mgSodium: 51.8mgPotassium: 169.5mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.7gVitamin A: 116.8IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 31.4mgIron: 0.6mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with some Spanish olive oil we were gifted. It was so delicious and easy. I had tomatoes in oil so I drained them before adding. My family loved it. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Marg! We used dried sun-dried tomatoes here, but I think the one's jarred in oil would likely work, as well! This is so good! Hope you give it a try!