Bagna Cauda Recipe

Bagna Cauda: a butter-anchovy dip from Northern Italy, served warm,

The Bagna Cauda recipe (pronounced Báhn-yah Ców-dah) comes from Northern Italy and produces a rich anchovy-butter-garlic-olive oil dip. It means "hot bath" and who wouldn't welcome a hot bath like this on cold day?

Served warm, indeed, Bagna Cauda is an old, classic dish that can be a sit-down meal or casual, fondue-like dip. It is an excellent crusty-bread and vegetable dip, comfort food and diet food in one.

Include it in your next "Italian" theme party! 

Bagna Cauda

3 2-ounce cans quality anchovy fillets
6 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled, to taste
1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground pepper

Mince or press the garlic. Finely chop the anchovy fillets, reserving the oil.

Heat the butter, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Add the anchovy fillets and reserved oil, garlic and pepper. Warm through.

Transfer the sauce to a butter warmer, fondue pot or chafing dish over very low flame, or, if you prefer, you can serve Bagna Cauda in a warm serving bowl, and reheat as needed. But don't burn the butter!

Serve warm with vegetable dippers such as cauliflower, edible-pod peas, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, endive leaves, cooked artichokes and with crusty bread, which is great for catching the drips, no, essential. Makes about 3 cups.


  • Lightly roast or blanch the non-leafy type vegetables, like asparagus and bell peppers. (Veggies you wouldn't normally eat raw) Not only does it make the veggies a little more palatable, but it makes the colors and flavors pop. Never cook them limp, though.  And note that this suggestion is contrary to its history where field or vineyard workers dipped whatever raw vegetables were handy. 
  • Play with the olive oil and butter measurements until you're happy with the effect. It's all good.
  • Substitute walnut oil or hazelnut oil for the olive oil. You can also include a handful of finely chopped hazelnuts in the dip if you use hazelnut oil.

Cook's Notes

  1. This recipe makes quite a bit of Bagna Cauda but that's a good thing. Leftovers can be served over pasta or potatoes, or used to fry or scramble breakfast eggs in. I'm sure you'll think of more to do with this rich sauce. 

What Wine Goes with Bagna Cauda? 

Another Great from Northern Italy--Frittata

More dips like the Bagna Cauda recipe 

Fondue Recipes

Rigatoni and Broccoli

Easy Shrimp Fettuccine

Surprise me


Join the party! Tell us how you were able to use or improve the recipe(s) or tips on this page.


Join the party! Tell us how you were able to use or improve the recipe(s) or tips on this page.

"I spend many happy hours
on your site."

Karen, Canada

Art for the kitchen...

"Your website has the best dip recipes. They are easy and everyone loves them... Your BLT Dip is a manly favorite. Your Pumpkin Dip totally ROCKS!!!"
Lee Ann, U.S.

About Wine and Cheese Parties...

"I have researched the net and I found your site the most helpful. You make it look so easy!"
Zelda, Australia

Theme Parties

Pasta Party

Mexican Fiesta

Martini Party

Have a Ball!

Housewarming Party

Wine and Cheese Party

Movie Awards Party

Soup Party

Tea Party

"Think I've found a little gem. Thanks."
Chris, U.K.

" I love this site. I'm a caterer & I find so much info, ideas & recipes!"
JoAnn, U.S.

"I love your recipes, and the humour you dish up with them."
Kate, Australia