Spaghetti Aglio e Olio served on a black plate with two pieces of garlic toast in the background.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti aglio e olio is the perfect meal when you’re low on time, money and energy. It’s a delicious dinner that comes together quickly, with just a handful of affordable ingredients.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta aglio e olio, pasta with garlic oil, spaghetti aglio e olio, spaghetti recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 408kcal


  • 16 ounces Spaghetti cooked to package directions for al dente
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt for the pasta water plus extra for the finished dish (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5-6 Large Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley chopped for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese for serving, optional


Start the pasta water before making the aglio e olio

  • Start a large pot of water over high heat. Bring the water to a full boil. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the water to come to a full boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water after it comes to a boil.
  • Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook it to package directions for al-dente.
  • Before draining the pasta reserve at least one cup of the cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot.

Make the garlic oil

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • When the olive oil is hot, but nowhere near smoking, add the garlic to the skillet.
  • Cook the garlic gently for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. You’ll know it’s done because the garlic will become very fragrant.
  • Take the skillet off the burner or the residual heat will continue to cook the garlic.

Finish the spaghetti aglio e olio

  • Add the garlic oil over the cooked spaghetti and toss well.
  • Then add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and continue tossing until the noodles are slippery and really easy to toss.
  • Season the pasta aglio e olio with salt, to taste. As a reference we added 1 teaspoon of salt to ours.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve it with parmesan cheese, if desired.


It only takes a few minutes to heat the olive oil and cook the garlic, so start the pasta before getting started on the oil.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.2mg