Pasta with Garlic and Oil

Pasta with Garlic and Oil is one of the most simple yet satisfying dishes you can make! Spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes. Ready in just 15 minutes, this is perfect for a quick meal with minimal effort! It’s also naturally vegan with gluten-free options.

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.

Is this a vegan pasta recipe?

Yes, it is! There are no dairy or animal products at all in this Pasta with Oil and Garlic recipe and as a result, it is naturally vegan.

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:

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Pasta with garlic and oil

2.34 from 3 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
  • 1/2-1 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
Calories 777 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 448mg19%
Potassium 558mg16%
Carbohydrates 90g30%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 4489IU90%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 371mg37%
Iron 3mg17%
* 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


  • 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.

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