Pasta with Garlic and Oil

Pasta with Garlic and Oil is one of the most simple yet satisfying pasta recipes you can make! Spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes. This easy pasta recipe is ready in just 15 minutes!

Looking for more pasta dinner ideas? Try my 20 Minute Pasta Carbonara or my Zucchini “Pasta” With Tomato Sauce!

Pasta with Garlic and Oil |

Who knew pasta could be so simple and full of flavor? This angel hair pasta with garlic and oil recipe (also known as spaghetti aglio e olio which means garlic and oil in Italian) is so easy to make. This pasta in oil and garlic can be made with ingredients you probably already have them in your pantry! All you need is 7 ingredients to make this recipe! 

The focus of this dish is the pasta. Everything else including the lemon, garlic, and oil are used to accentuate the flavor of the pasta – the star of the show!

I like to make this pasta with garlic and oil when I am in a pinch and need something to make fast! This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make start to finish. It can be done all in one pot. Less cleanup = happier cook.


The full ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.

  • Pasta: I use whatever pasta I have on hand. Either whole wheat thin spaghetti or regular spaghetti will work.
  • Olive oil: Good quality extra-virgin olive oil is essential to the flavor of this dish!
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced, for an absolutely mouthwatering taste!
  • Lemon juice: Adds just the right amount of acidity to balance out the oil.
  • Parmesan: This cheese adds a tangy, nuttiness and saltiness to the pasta.
  • Spinach: I threw in the spinach as an added bonus. Throwing leftover spinach in pasta is a great way to sneak in extra nutrients.

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil |

How to make this Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic recipe

  1. Firstly, boil the pasta per package instructions. (My pasta took about 8 minutes for al dente.) Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. Secondly, in the pot the pasta was cooked in, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  3. Then, add in red pepper flakes and spinach and cook for an additional minute. Return the pasta back to the pan and stir in the rest of the oil and lemon juice.
  4. Finally, take the pot off of the heat and sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Tips for making the best pasta with garlic and oil

  • Make sure to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil in this recipe. It’s so important for the flavor!
  • It is important to cook your pasta to al dente. Overcooked pasta is not good especially in this recipe where the pasta is the star of the show. Using thinner pasta, it will cook quicker! 
  • Always make sure to salt your water. This flavors the whole dish.
  • Rinse your noodles in cold water after they are done cooking to make sure they don’t stick together.

Learn how to make spaghetti aglio e olio at home |

What kind of pasta should I use for Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic?

In this pasta recipe, I prefer to use spaghetti as it cooks quickly, however, any pasta will work! The most important thing is to cook it al dente, and to not overcook it! Here are some other pasta suggestions:

  • Angel hair
  • Thin spaghetti
  • Fettuccine
  • Linguine
  • Vermicelli
  • Tagliatelle
  • Pappardelle
  • Capellini
  • Penne
  • Fusilli

Can I make a gluten-free version?

Of course! Just use gluten-free spaghetti and follow the directions on the package, as you would with regular pasta.

Can I add in any extra veggies?

Yes! Pasta with broccoli, garlic, and oil is a favorite in this house! Here are some other veggies to toss in:

  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes (I like cherry)
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms (I recommend sautéeing with the garlic)
  • Scallions
  • Artichoke
  • Capers
  • Olives – kalamata, black or green

Garlic and Oil Spaghetti |

Craving more Classic Italian recipes? Here are some more Italian dishes to try:

Pasta with garlic and oil

4.23 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Thin spaghetti tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Boil pasta per package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil into the pot the pasta was cooked in. Add in garlic and saute for one minute.
  • Add in red pepper flakes and spinach and cook for an additional minute. Add pasta back to the pan and stir in the rest of the oil and lemon juice.
  • Take off of the heat and sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Pasta with garlic and oil
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Comfort food, Pasta with garlic and oil, spaghetti aglio e olio, Vegetarian Recipes


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Recipe Rating

Comments - page 1/3

  • This looks so delicious, can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing this easy pasta recipe, the garlic gives it a great flavour. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  • Making this recipe tonight! I can’t wait!
    I’m going to take a chance and add browned sausage meat which will make it a main dish!
    Hope it works! What can be bad???

    • Hi Sharon,

      I agree with you that adding sausage will be awesome! You may want to add a bit less oil because sausage can be a little bit oily sometimes. Although if you make sure to drain the sausage it should be fine.

      Hope you enjoy!


  • This pasta turned out to be perfect and really very beautiful thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful recipe I made this for my kids and they really loved it a lot.The garlic really taste god in the pasta I never ever have tried this before really beautiful.

  • Taryn

    You need to add about one half cup pasta water to this, and never rinse your pasta. Never.

  • Jackie

    This was absolutely delicious! Love the addition of spinach. To the two people who gave it a one star: Try actually making the recipe before you decide to bash it with your arrogant opinion. You have no right to rate it when you didn’t even try it!

  • Sheri

    This was delish!!! Thank you. I put chopped up roasted turkey breast in it and it was great!! My husband always has to have meat. Also, I am dairy free, so I put a little nutritional yeast on top at the end. Nutritional yeast tastes like cheese.

  • Debbie B.

    Oh my word, this is delicious, and if you’d like a little protein, adding one package of the frozen shrimp that has been peeled and prevailed is scrumptious in this. I put it in at the very beginning with the oil and garlic. Very quick and easy AND tasty. We like veggie egg rolls with it. Yummm…😉

  • Desmond Riordan

    How is this recipe vegan if it has cheese in it?
    If you’re using Parmesan, the dish isn’t even vegetarian as animal rennet is used in the making of Parmesan.

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