Silky Bagna Cauda Recipe

Bagna cauda is one of the best and most popular Italian appetizers you can make, and its roots go way back! According to Philos Kitchen, bagna cauda likely originated during the Middle Ages and can be traced to a beautiful little town named Piedmont, Italy. This wonderful recipe first made its way into a cookbook in 1875, and people have been enjoying it ever since. 

Recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply came up with this bagna caudal rendition, and her own spin is out of this world. "This is the perfect dish for entertaining friends and family,," Dalton says. "It tastes delicious, especially with the fresh vegetables and crudites." As for her favorite part? "I love that with a few simple ingredients you can create a really tasty dip that is so 'moreish,'" Dalton shares. "It does have a distinct flavor, but it's rich and transforms the taste of vegetables." 

Gather the ingredients for silky bagna caudal

The first step in any recipe is gathering all the ingredients. You need butter, canned anchovy filets, chopped fresh parsley, crème fraîche, garlic cloves, and water. There are also a few optional ingredients, including sliced crudites like bell peppers, cucumber, and fresh bread.

Once you have those items, you can make this delicious, silky smooth dip. 

Melt the butter and add the anchovies and parsley

Grab a saucepan and place it on your stove. Turn on the heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, toss in the anchovies and parsley. "The flavor of the salty anchovies with aromatic garlic and creme fraîche makes the sauce silky, smooth, and creamy," Dalton shares.

Continue cooking until the anchovies dissolve into the butter.

Add crème fraîche, water, and garlic

There are still a few more things you need to add to the saucepan to make your dip. Toss in the crème fraîche, water, and garlic. "The special ingredient here is the creme fraîche. Bagna cauda traditionally isn't creamy, but this adds a real depth," Dalton notes.

Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer

Once the liquid comes to a boil, lower the heat and gently simmer the ingredients for about 15 minutes. While the mixture simmers, be sure to stir frequently. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened.

Blend the ingredients

Once slightly thickened, add the mixture to a food processor or blender, or use a stick blender in the saucepan. Turn the blender on and mix to your desired consistency. If you want the mixture to be more flavorful and slightly thicker, you can always add it back to the saucepan and let it simmer a little longer to reduce further.

Serve and enjoy

The last step is always the best because it means you can finally enjoy the final product. Dalton recommends serving the silky bagna cauda in a bowl with a little reserved oil. You can dunk crudites like peppers and cucumbers or fresh bread into the dip. "You could use it as a dressing on salads, or a sauce to serve with meat including steak," Dalton says. "Or even drizzle [it] in sandwiches." The possibilities are endless! 

And if you have any leftover, you don't have to toss it out. "Leftovers will keep for a month in the fridge (don't forget to put the sauce in a jar and cover it with oil), and it can be frozen," Dalton shares. 

Silky Bagna Cauda Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
If you're unfamiliar with one of Italy's best appetizers — bagna caudal — it's time to whip up this tasty anchovy dip that goes great with crudités.
Prep Time
Cook Time
silky bagna cauda in bowl
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 anchovy fillets, drained, keeping some of the oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water
Optional Ingredients
  • bell peppers
  • cucumber
  • fresh bread
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the anchovies and parsley and cook until the anchovies dissolve into the butter.
  2. Add the crème fraîche, water, and garlic to the saucepan, and slowly bring it to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes, frequently stirring, until the ingredients have reduced and slightly thickened.
  4. Using a food processor, blender, or stick blender, blend the ingredients together. Check the consistency — if you want it to be more flavorful and thicker, add it back to the pan and simmer for longer.
  5. Serve warm in a bowl with a little reserved olive oil, and dip with crudites and fresh bread.
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