Carrabba’s Bread Dipping Spices

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I was off of work last Friday so I decided to take advantage and make a romantic dinner to be ready when Adam got home from work (it is VERY rare that I have dinner waiting for him)! We had a great pasta dish, which I’ll be sharing later this week, and I wanted something extra special on the side.

Adam & I love Carrabba’s…our favorite thing is their dipping spices for the bread!! So amazing! This recipe is pretty close to it. I had to sub a few things because basil isn’t readily available here except in those little packs that are way expensive, so I subbed with an additional tbsp. of fresh parsley and added just a tad of dried basil. If you do use fresh basil just half the amount of parsley listed below. This was really fabulous and it made for a really elegant pairing with our pasta for a romantic dinner.

I do have to admit our romantic dinner was eaten on TV trays watching DVR’d episodes of CSI…our favorite way to spend an evening! Do you eat on TV trays or at the table, or a combination of both? We mostly eat on trays in front of the TV…we really communicate a lot throughout the day so we don’t mind unwinding at dinner in front of the TV for now.

Carrabba’s Bread Dipping Spices
Makes 1/4 cup

2 tbsp. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tbsp. fresh-if using fresh reduce parsley to 1 tbsp.)
1/8 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. fresh)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes)
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients except olive oil & lemon in a blender or food processor and chop until all ingredients are similar in size. Stir in the olive oil & lemon juice.

For Serving:
In a small dish, place 1 1/2 tsp. spice mixture. Pour 3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil over top of the spice mixture. Serve with french bread for dipping.

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  1. Yum, I love the dipping sauces from them, too. Shamefully Eric and I always eat in front of the tv – the dining table is there when we have company over, we unwind with our dvr'd shows (we realized we hadn't watched 3 episodes of America's Next Great Restaurant and we're still missing 5 episodes of No Ordinary Family!). Ugh, we're so behind on tv.
    This looks fantastic, although this might be a meal all by itself, too!!! hehe

  2. Macaroni and Cheesecake says:

    Yeah! So glad to know we aren't alone in eating in front of the tv:)

  3. JennPennell says:

    L.O.V.E. this! our favorite resturant is carrabbas too! thanks for posting!!!

  4. The recipe looks great! We never ate at the table until we had kids.
    When they're all out of the house, I'm sure we'll go back to eating in front of the TV!

  5. Christa @ BrownSugarToast says:

    Hey! I just found your site and love it! Your strawberry poptarts look so yum. My hubby and I love Carrabbas too and are especially attached to the bread dip. 🙂 I just wrote about this on my blog today, mentioned your link, and used your awesome pic (with you credited, of course!) 😉 Hope you get some traffic from it! 🙂

  6. Macaroni and Cheesecake says:

    Christa, Thank you so much and thank you for the link love! I appreciate it!!:)

  7. Hi, I came across this and got excited cause I work at a Carrabba’s. It makes me happy to hear people say its their favorite restaurant. Here is the actual recipe: fresh rosemary, fresh basil, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, dried oregano, granulated garlic, crushed red pepper, cracked black pepper and kosher salt. As far as the amount of each ingredients? They will never tell!

  8. AHHH! I just found this on pinterest…. can I tell you how excited I am to have found this recipe and your blog.

  9. We love carrabba’s! Can’t wait to try this, it’s so unfair to go there wanting to eat the entree but then they bring you the bread and this dipping stuff, and you fill up!

  10. I work there and there is no thyme in the recipe

  11. Ill second the “I work there” comment…well I used to. The recipe Is pretty easy. It’s got no thyme. And no lemon juice.

    Crushed red pepper
    Black pepper
    Garlic (fresh and granulated)
    Kosher salt

    Then just put that on a plate and swirl it around in EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil.

  12. Basil is super easy to grow and then just freeze the leaves so you can have it whenever you want some

  13. I made this dipping spice recipe one night when we were having spaghetti and it was a huge hit! My husband RAVED about it and said we’re making it from now on every time we have Italian food LOL.

  14. Maddy C says:

    I work at carrabba’s. This recipe might be good but it is incorrect.

    • This may not be exactly the recipe but it does result in a similar taste & flavor. It’s a good way to get a great dipping sauce at home if you can’t make it to a Carrabba’s.

  15. I too used to work at a Carrabbas and the other employees corrected the ingredients but forgot one vital part. All of the herbs and spices are hand chopped with a knife and cut into each other. It may seem silly to some… But finely chopping the herbs by hand vs. using a processor does enhance the flavor.

  16. Maureen says:

    Does anyone know a way to store larger quantities?

  17. Another “cheat” way of making it which tastes pretty close is mixing some Italian seasoning w/red pepper and salt. After dried ingredients are mixed, add water to make it “tacky”. Put on plate with EVOO and enjoy!

  18. Thank you so much for this recipe. I found you thru pin it. I am now following you.
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  19. well……. I worked at Carrabas for a while in florida, and this pinterest recipe is wrong, although some of the ingrediants are correct, It is all fresh ingredients never dried, no lemon juices, it also has ground white pepper, powdered garlic , crushed red pepper, everything is hand chopped….. NEVER use a blender or food processor. hope this helps you get a little closer to your own Carrabas experience.

  20. How long will this keep and should the herb mixture be stored in the fridge or on the counter over that period of time in the mean time?

    • I’m not sure how long it will last as we ate it right away, but I’m thinking because of the fresh parsley it wouldn’t keep that long. Maybe if you combine the dry spices together and then right before you are going to serve it place it in the food processor with the parsley and garlic then it could last longer and without those two items you can store on the counter. If you do make it all together, I would definitely store it in the refrigerator but I don’t think it will last more than a day or so. I’d love to hear how long it keeps if you do end up storing it all together. Hope that helps!

  21. i just tried this and i disliked it i did not think it tasted at all like it

  22. Yummy! I’ve never been to Carrabas…so I can’t compare it to that, but I think I could dunk a shoe in it and it would make it taste good! I even had to improvise because I ran out of olive oil while making it. I added some safflower oil with the olive oil and it is still delicious! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  23. Hi there,
    Wanted to let you know my recipe for the dip that is awesome in the summer time when we have the herb garden going. Carrabba’s uses fresh herbs and that’s what makes it so tasty:)
    Fresh Rosemary
    Fresh Oregano
    Fresh Basil
    Salt and Pepper
    Olive Oil
    Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    I use equal parts of each fresh herb, mincing them fine with the garlic. Add S&P, EVOO, and the pepper flakes and there you go:)

  24. MMMMMMMmmmmmm!!! Just made this and followed the recipe exactly, but I doubled it and added in some tomato paste and finely grated fresh parmesan. My whole family loves it…except for my two year old who isn’t quite sure about it, lol! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  25. sunsetbride09 says:

    What is the best EVOO brand to use?

    • There are several good ones. I Usually prefer Pompeian but I’ve used the Crisco and Bertolli (i think thats it) and they are good too. Of course there are more expensive kinds that are probably even better but don’t usually fit into our budget. Hope that helps!

  26. Ex Carrabba's server. says:

    I’ll have to try this. It’s not quite the actual recipe. My boyfriend still works in the kitchen at Carrabba’s.. so I’m lucky, I can have the real thing anytime.

  27. Hi there, I saw your post on pinterest. I used to work at Carrabba’s and the ingredient list for this will forever be etched into my mind. We had to memorize it to tell the guests. This is the order that I memorized it: fresh & dry garlic, red & black pepper, salt, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and basil. As far as I know, it’s equal parts of all ingredients.
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  28. Blair Grandi says:

    I love this site…and this recipe…I do not usually frequent “chain” restaurants…but visiting Carrabbas a few times reminded me of my little Italian kitchen my Mom used to make magic from…this dipping sauce made me 10 again…now if they could just open one here in Hawaii…

  29. I made this with fresh ( basil, rosemary, parsley & garlic) and dried herbs (oregano , red pepper), came out very flavorful but quite wet! almost like a pesto? Can I dry it out before freezing or refrigerating?

    • I’m not sure if you can dry it out, it should be somewhat of a paste instead of completely dry since you use fresh & dry herbs, but if you place it in the fridge it should be just fine.