Grab a crusty loaf of bread and make this quick Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip. This easy restaurant inspired Italian appetizer is a perfect meal starter.
Many Italian restaurants serve bread as an appetizer either with butter or an olive oil dip. Normally, I prefer butter on my bread. But, I have to say, my all time favorite bread dipping oil comes from Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant. You want to know what makes their version so good? It’s the crispy fried garlic.
Most of the other versions versions I’ve tried only use dried herbs and olive oil. While others use fresh garlic or garlic flavored oil. And they are good, but nothing remarkable. By adding toasted garlic, the olive oil bread dip becomes something special. The crispy garlic adds great texture and crunch. I purposely try to get a few crispy fried garlic pieces in every bite!
Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Ingredients
If you don’t want to make your own toasted garlic, you can buy these Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets on Amazon. Personally, I’ve never tried them, but they have almost a 5-star rating.
Although, if you can, I highly recommend you make the toasted garlic at home. Especially since it’s so easy and less expensive to make at home. All you’ll need is a small head of garlic which I can get for about $0.35.
To keep preparation simple, I use Italian Seasoning. For me, it’s much simpler since I only have to get out one spice jar instead of three. Although, if you don’t have Italian Seasoning, you can also substitute an equal amount of rosemary, parsley, and oregano.
For the Parmesan cheese, I use the pre-grated kind that comes in a green bottle. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, I really like the flavor of it. Although, feel free to use fresh if you have that on hand.
Finally, be sure to use a high quality olive oil. It will make all the difference in the flavor of the bread dip.
Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip Prep Tips
When preparing your garlic, try to smash the garlic cloves as thin as possible. This will help expose more surface area to the pan when cooking. Then, this will help more of the garlic to crisp up.
Try not to walk away from the garlic as it is cooking. It can burn very easily especially towards the end of cooking. As soon as it turns golden brown all the way around, remove the garlic to a paper towel.
After you cook and remove the garlic, if you still have bits of garlic that are not crispy, you can return the garlic to the pan with the oil, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Please note, the garlic will continue to crisp as it cools. So, if in doubt, remove the garlic before it’s fully crisp and let it cool.
Personally, I like a little bit of spicy heat in my bread dipping oil. So, I add 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. Although, if you are sensitive to heat, reduce the amount used to 1/4 tsp. Or leave it out entirely.
How to Store the Bread Dipping Oil?
This recipe will make a lot, but it stores well in the fridge for about a week. If you want to extend the shelf life even further, leave out the garlic and Parmesan cheese. Then, when you’re ready to use it, add everything together.
Additionally, you can toast your garlic in advance. If you prepare it in advance, it also needs to be stored in the fridge. But, when you’re ready to eat, assembly will be even faster.
I recommend storing the toasted garlic olive oil bread dip in a glass jar with a metal lid. That way the garlic smell will not linger after you wash it.
TIP: If your hands still smell like garlic after washing them, try this trick. Rub your fingers on stainless steel, and it should get rid of the smell!
Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip Serving Suggestions
The best way to enjoy this Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip is with a loaf of crusty bread. If you’re interested in learning how to make the bread pictured above, I highly recommend the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
This is not your typical recipe book. It reads almost like a regular book explaining how to get the best bread at home. Since getting the book, I probably make Artisan bread once or twice a week. And it looks like it came right from the bakery! Plus, it is so easy and tastes delicious.
But just about any good quality bread will be delicious with this bread dip!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you love Carino’s as much as I do, you should also give these copycat recipes a try:
- Copycat Johnny Carino’s Italian Nachos
- Carino’s Chicken Bowtie Festival Copycat
- Copycat Johnny Carino’s Chicken Milano
Or to find all my other copycat recipes, click here!
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Toasted Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning* Dried
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes*** Optional or to taste
- 2 tsp Parmesan Cheese
- 6-8 cloves Garlic Fresh, Smashed and Peeled
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp Olive Oil Good Quality
- 1 loaf Bread
- In a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the oil on low heat until the oil is warm (not hot). Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 10-12 minutes).**
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic onto a paper-towel lined plate. Allow to cool completely. The garlic will continue to crisp as it cools. Once the garlic is cool, chop the garlic into small pieces.
- In a small bowl, combine Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Add red pepper flakes to taste.***
- When ready to serve, add the toasted garlic, spice mixture, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil to a small ramekin. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread.