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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.

spaghetti aglio e olio pasta aglio e olio recipe
Spaghetti aglio e olio refers to a popular Italian dish made with garlic and oil.

What is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Spaghetti aglio e olio translates 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. Simplicity is our proud motto around here.

With little more than fragrant fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a few other basic pantry items you may already have in your kitchen, it’s no wonder spaghetti aglio e olio is so well-loved.

Fun fact: aglio e olio is pronounced AH-lee-oh eh O-lee-oh.

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, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers.
  • You can easily dress it up with sautéed shrimp, grilled chicken, mushrooms, or whatever your eaters desire.
  • Garlicolive oilparmesan…you just know it’s gotta be good!
spaghetti aglio e olio pasta aglio e olio recipe
Less than 10 basic ingredients go into spaghetti aglio e olio.

Simple Pantry Ingredients

Though amounts can vary a bit depending on taste, the basic ingredients are items you may already have in your pantry and fridge. Here they are:

  • Dry spaghetti noodles: feel free to experiment with the type; try gluten-free, whole grain, or even high-protein 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 noteworthy difference.
  • 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. Make your job easy with a good cheese grater.
  • Aside from pesto sauce, this may be 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
Use your favorite kind of spaghetti: regular, whole grain, or gluten-free.

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 garlic very thinly and don’t skimp on the good quality 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 using good quality bone broth for its depth of flavor. If you don’t need it to be vegetarian, feel free to use chicken or beef broth.

More to Cook and Eat

Also Try Lemon Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus


15-Minute Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

5 from 4 ratings
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 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5
Author: Amy Dong


  • 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)
  • ½ cup regular strength vegetable broth, or bone broth, for extra flavor
  • 1 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese , use a cheese grater
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: Dried red pepper flakes, 1 lemon sliced into wedges, extra parmesan cheese


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle with desired amount of red pepper flakes and serve with fresh lemon wedges/extra parmesan cheese.


* It’s highly recommended to grate your own good-quality wedge of parmesan cheese, as it makes a worthwhile difference. We like this cheese grater, as it makes the job easy. 
*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 🙂


Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.2g | Protein: 19.6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 17.3mg | Sodium: 474.8mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 3.1g
Course: Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Alexandria Kala Akins
    • 5 stars

    It was great and easy! I think next time I’ll add in some meat like pork or chicken. Maybe Salmon. I did have to improvise since I didn’t have some of the ingredients. I used garlic powder and feta cheese, perhaps an odd choice, but still turned out pretty good. Thank you!

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, thank you so much, Alexandria! 🙂

    • Marvin Berroya Marmeto
    • 5 stars

    I always prepare this pasta to my friends, because it’s very easy to prepare♥️i put prawn as toppings♥️

      • Amy Dong

      Love the prawn idea!

    • Marvin Berroya Marmeto

    I always prepare this pasta to my friends, because it’s very easy to prepare♥️

    • Jennifer A

    Oh, this is by far my favorite way to eat pasta! Simple, fresh ingredients and it is absolutely delicious! I have made this multiple times and last time I was out of parsley – still delicious! Thank you for another winning recipe!!

      • chewoutloud

      It’s one of our simple favorites for dinner, too, Jennifer 🙂 Happy continued cooking!

    • kylie cre8tone (@cre8tone)

    I love spaghetti! easy to prepare, yummy to eat.. simply irresistable!

    • Tiffany Yong

    Aglio Olio are the go-to spaghetti for both me and my boyfriend! I love eating them, but I’ve never tried the red pepper flakes (haven’t seen them before). I usually like them really peppery!

    • Jackie

    I remember my Italian Mom telling me to roll the Ls when pronouncing Aglio e Olio (like “al-ya ol-ya”) …what fun to say! Such a simple pasta dish that is so darn good. Can’t go wrong with this one.

    • Bhushavali

    Ha! That’s an easy one and a veggie one. And I have some pasta lying in my kitchen for quite some time now. Gonna do this tomorrow.

    • Lisa Rios

    I love any and every kind of spaghetti! This looks delicious, and yes, please I’ll eat it just as it is.

    • Nancy Johnson Horn (@themamamaven)

    Oh, we’re huge spaghetti fans here. I would totally make this (but for my portion, I would have to leave the parmesan out – I’m lactose sensitive).

    • Journa Liz Servito Ramirez
    • 5 stars

    Aglio e Olio is our family’s favorite. We love to put fresh prawns and chili on it. You are making me so hungry!

    • Claire

    Oh wow, that’s a super simple dish! I’ve been looking for ways to add variety into my dinners!! Thanks for the idea!

    • Shubhada Bhide

    This easy and quick spaghetti recipe looks delicious and really tempting. I will give this recipe a try and put some twist. Love it.

    • hillcitybride

    I love a good spaghetti! And I agree that adding red pepper flakes to add zest is always a good idea. 🙂

    • biancadottin

    This is an amazing recipe idea and a fun twist on spaghetti. I’m going to add this to our menu. I think my family of picky eaters will love this.

    • Thelittlelai: Beyond limits

    Wow, you guys seemed to be really surrounded with snow. Anyway, the spaghetti looks really luscious and I would love to get some and try it. I’m sure that you guys really have enjoyed the food while the snow is pouring heavily.

    • Heather Barber McMechan

    Wow, 15 minutes? Now I have to try this. I love making quick meals on busy days. And I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be one of them. I’ll bookmark this recipe for tomorrow.

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