Skip to content

Easy Weeknight Dinners: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Easy Weeknight Dinners: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen after a long day at work? Do you crave a quick and delicious meal that can be whipped up in no time? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the wonderful world of easy weeknight dinners and introduce you to a classic Italian dish that is sure to become a family favorite: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

The Magic of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Imagine a plate of perfectly cooked spaghetti, glistening with golden olive oil and infused with the flavors of garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Each bite is a symphony of simplicity and taste, transporting you to the streets of Italy with every twirl of your fork. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is the epitome of comfort food that can be prepared effortlessly, making it the ideal choice for a busy weeknight.

A Versatile Dish

One of the best things about Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is its versatility. You can enjoy it as a standalone dish or pair it with your favorite protein such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or even sautéed vegetables. The simplicity of the dish allows the flavors to shine through, making it a perfect canvas for your culinary creativity.

Ingredients Made Simple

One of the reasons why Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a go-to weeknight dinner option is its minimal ingredient list. You don’t need fancy or hard-to-find ingredients to create this flavorful dish. All you need is spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, and pepper. These pantry staples come together to create a meal that is both satisfying and delicious.

Cooking Made Easy

Now that we have discussed the beauty of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, let’s dive into the cooking process. Boil a pot of salted water and cook the spaghetti until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan and sauté minced garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving some of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti in the garlic-infused olive oil, adding a splash of the cooking water to create a silky sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Voila! Your Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is ready to be devoured.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio a vegetarian dish?

Yes, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a vegetarian dish as it doesn’t contain any meat or animal products. However, you can customize it by adding your favorite protein if desired.

2. Can I use other types of pasta instead of spaghetti?

Absolutely! While spaghetti is the traditional choice for this dish, you can use any type of pasta you prefer. Linguine, fettuccine, or even penne work well with the garlic and oil sauce.

3. How spicy is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

The spiciness of the dish depends on the amount of red pepper flakes you use. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce the amount or omit them altogether.

4. Can I add vegetables to Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Yes, you can add sautéed vegetables such as spinach, cherry tomatoes, or mushrooms to the dish. They will add extra flavor and nutritional value to your meal.

5. Can I make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in advance?

While Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is best enjoyed fresh, you can make the garlic-infused olive oil in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply cook the pasta and toss it in the pre-made sauce.

6. How can I make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio gluten-free?

To make this dish gluten-free, you can substitute regular spaghetti with gluten-free pasta. There are many options available in stores that offer the same taste and texture.

7. What can I serve as a side dish with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio pairs well with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or even a side of roasted vegetables. Choose a side that complements the flavors of the dish.

8. Can I freeze leftover Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

It’s not recommended to freeze leftover Spaghetti Aglio e Olio as the texture of the pasta may change. It is best to enjoy it fresh or refrigerate any leftovers and consume them within a day or two.

In conclusion, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a delightful and easy weeknight dinner option that will satisfy your cravings for a delicious Italian meal. With its simple ingredients and quick cooking time, it’s a dish that can be enjoyed by both novice and experienced cooks alike. So, why not give it a try and bring a taste of Italy to your dinner table?

Easy Weeknight Dinners Spaghetti Aglio e Olio compressed image3

Easy Weeknight Dinners: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 12 ounces of spaghetti
  • ½ to 1 cup of pasta water
  • ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch of lacinato kale
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • cup of chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese (amount not specified)


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions in a pot of boiling salted water until it is firm to the bite (al dente).
  • Before draining the pasta, set aside 1 cup of the cooking water.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring and cooking for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic is lightly browned around the edges.
  • Add the kale, salt, and a few grinds of pepper, using tongs to toss and cook until the kale is wilted, which may take up to 1 minute.
  • Combine the spaghetti with the kale mixture and toss.
  • Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then toss again.
  • If the pasta appears too dry, add the remaining ½ cup of pasta water to create a light sauce.
  • Season to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan or vegan Parmesan.
Keyword breakfast, dessert, dinner, favorites, gluten free, main-dish, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


Recent Recipes

Never Miss A Recipe!

Join thousands of subscribers and get our best recipes delivered each week!

Table of Contents