Bagna Cauda is a traditional Italian olive oil dip, served hot, infused with tons of garlic and anchovies. Dip assorted raw or lightly steamed veggies and crusty bread in this “hot bath” of heaven.
Roughly pronounced “banya cowda” translating to “hot bath” in English, this Italian anchovy and garlic infused olive oil dip is assertive and complex and unexpectedly delicious, even for those who aren’t big anchovy fans!
The best way I can describe Bagna Cauda is like taking your taste buds on a deep ocean dive, submerging them into a warm, buttery bath of sea water. Your mouth will be on a wild trip, with touches of sweet from the garlic, salty from the anchovy, buttery and peppery from the olive oil, and richness from a touch of butter swirled in before serving. YUM.
What is Bagna Cauda?
Bagna Cauda is a simple Italian anchovy and garlic infused olive oil dip. It’s served hot with raw or lightly steamed vegetables and breads to dip into it! Bagna Cauda originated in Piedmont, which is in Northwestern Italy.
Bagna Cauda is classically enjoyed as part of Christmas Eve dinner…but it’s really delicious year-round with a variety seasonal vegetables!
How is Bagna Cauda Pronounced?
Bagna Cauda, meaning “hot bath” in Italian, is most easily pronounced “Banya Cowda” in English.
- Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil is the base of Bagna Cauda.
- Garlic – garlic…and lots of it! You’ll need a whole head!
- Flat fillet anchovies – I use anchovies in olive oil.
- Unsalted butter – a touch of butter is swirled in at the end of the cooking process to add richness and a slight creaminess. Yes please!
- Assorted vegetables & breads – for dipping!
What to Dip in Bagna Cauda (Vegetables & Breads!)
Raw or lightly steamed in-season vegetables and breads are traditional dipped into Bagna Cauda. Here’s a list of my favorite options:
- Cauliflower florets
- Broccoli florets
- Asparagus (or Broiled Asparagus!)
- And crusty bread!
How to Store Leftover Bagna Cauda
Bagna Cauda keeps quite well in a covered bowl for a day or two in the fridge. Reheat slowly in the microwave or on the stove. Best if enjoyed the day-of!
Other Dip and Spread Recipes on Tastefully Grace!
- Olive, Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
- Lemon, Roasted Garlic Hummus
- Best Guacamole Ever
- Garlic Sweet Potato Spread
- Roasted Eggplant Spread
- 1 medium head garlic peeled (about 10 large cloves)
- 2 ounce can flat fillet anchovies in olive oil drained
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Assorted cut vegetables & breads see post for ideas!
- Remove garlic cloves from head and peel cloves.
- Add cloves to a food processor with olive oil. Pulse food processor until garlic cloves are minced (not smooth).
- Pour garlic oil into a medium skillet. Over low heat, slowly heat garlic oil for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Oil should bubble gently. Do not turn heat too high (which would scorch the garlic).
- Add anchovies to skillet and shred anchovies into small pieces with 2 forks. Let anchovies melt into the oil for 10-15 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally.
- Remove bagna cauda from heat and add butter. Swirl in until melted.
- Serve bagna cauda hot in a ramekin or bowl along with veggies and bread for dipping. If you have a small fondue pot over a warmer or flame, that would be even better!
Assorted Veggies & Breads To Dip
- While anchovies are melting, steam veggies for 5-10 minutes in a covered pot with about an inch of water, if desired. You can also serve some or all veggies raw. Heat bread in oven until warm.
- Serve with assorted raw or lightly steamed vegetables (like fennel, cauliflower, broccolini, carrots, peppers, radishes) and bread. See full post above for more ideas!