15-Minute Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

spaghetti aglio e olio pasta aglio e olio recipe

spaghetti aglio e olio: What exactly is it?

Spaghetti aglio e olio refers to spaghetti with garlic and [olive] oil. It’s a traditional Italian pasta dish that’s immensely popular, due to its ease of preparation, affordability of ingredients, and pure simplicity. With little more than fragrant garlic, olive oil, and basic pantry items, it’s no wonder spaghetti aglio e olio is so well-loved.

what you’ll love about spaghetti aglio e olio

  • There are less than 10 simple, budget-friendly ingredients in this tasty dish
  • You can make it completely vegetarian or you can add your favorite protein
  • You likely have most of the ingredients already in your pantry or fridge
  • Leftovers keep well for lunch the next day
  • Garlic…olive oil…parmesan…you just know it’s gotta be good!
spaghetti aglio e olio pasta aglio e olio recipe

Pantry ingredients for spaghetti aglio e olio

Though amounts can vary a bit depending on taste, the basic ingredients include:

  • Use your favorite brand of dry spaghetti noodles: feel free to try gluten-free spaghetti or even whole grain spaghetti.
  • Plenty of garlic belongs here! There’s nothing as wonderfully aromatic as sautéed garlic. Unless you add chopped onion to the mix, and we do.
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil. Since there are only a handful of ingredients that go into this simple pasta dish, use the best olive oil you can find, as it will make a difference in the dish.
  • Lots (and lots) of freshly grated parmesan cheese; grab a nice block of parmesan and grate it yourself. You can definitely taste the difference between freshly grated parmesan and pre-grated parmesan from the store.
  • Here’s your chance to use almost the entire bunch of fresh parsley, with little going to waste. Fresh parsley is the spotlight-herb for this refreshing pasta.
spaghetti aglio e olio pasta aglio e olio recipe

Spaghetti Aglio e olio
commonly asked questions

What does spaghetti aglio e olio mean?

It translates into spaghetti [with] garlic and oil. For best results, we always use high quality olive oil.

How can I make my spaghetti aglio e olio taste better, with more intense flavors?

Slice your garlic very thinly, and don’t skimp on the olive oil. The mixture of sautéed garlic, onion, and olive oil creates a fragrant aroma for your dish. For a boost of flavor, add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon over your finished dish. Don’t forget to salt the cooking water for your pasta.

Can I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth?

Yes, in fact, we love chicken broth for its richer flavor. If you don’t need to keep it vegetarian, feel free to use your favorite broth.

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15-Minute Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

This 15-Minute Spaghetti Aglio e Olio uses only a handful of healthy, natural ingredients. It comes together quickly and tastes freshly delicious. Pairs well with any protein or veggies.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • 13 oz dry spaghetti
  • 4 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I use red onion for color)
  • 1/2 cup regular strength vegetable broth (or chicken broth, for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: Dried red pepper flakes, 1 lemon sliced into wedges, extra parmesan cheese
  1. Cook Pasta: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain pasta in colander. Transfer pasta back into the empty pot and toss with 3 TB olive oil; cover and set aside.
  2. Sauté: While spaghetti is cooking, heat 1 TB olive oil in large skillet until oil is hot. Add garlic and onion, stirring until aromatic and browned, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Combine: Add garlic mixture to the pot of cooked spaghetti and stir to combine well. Add broth to loosen pasta as needed. Add parsley and parmesan cheese, tossing until well coated. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle with desired amount of red pepper flakes and serve with fresh lemon wedges/extra parmesan cheese.


* I use chicken or veggie broth for extra flavor, but you can use the traditional pasta water instead (reserve some of the pasta water before draining the pasta, and use that for the liquid.)

*This dish is fantastic with Lemon Dijon Grilled Chicken or 10-minute Garlic Shrimp.

*If you enjoyed this dish, please come back and give it a rating 🙂


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 489
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 474.8 mg
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 19.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 17.3 mg

Keywords: spaghetti aglio e olio, spaghetti with garlic and oil

Theresa D. Begay

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