Pasta aglio e olio offers rich, delicious garlicky flavour with plenty of kick for all you spice lovers. It only requires FIVE simple ingredients, and it’s super easy to make. This recipe is a simple one to prepare, but wow is it flavourful. A perfect choice for busy weeknights when you need a quick meal, without sacrificing on flavour!
This is a recipe that I grew up with and I have fond memories of my parents making this dish quite often. So, needless to say, it’s definitely a family favourite.
But here’s why YOU will love this dish!
- It’s naturally vegan, as is so no “weird” ingredients.
- You only need 5 ingredients and 20 minutes!
- It’s spicy, but you can control the levels by using less peppers, if preferred.
- It’s filling, satisfying and totally comforting.
Although we typically use penne pasta for this recipe, you may use any variety of pasta shapes or sizes.
Or you may also use whole grain or gluten free varieties, if needed.
Pasta Aglio e Olio is naturally vegan which isn’t always easy to come by in a classic Italian dish. And although it’s traditionally topped with Parmesan cheese, you can keep this one dairy free by topping it with my Vegan Parmesan Cheese instead.
How to prepare Pasta Aglio e Olio
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
First I get my pot of water on the stove top and let it come to a boil.
While I’m waiting, I wash and cut up my broccoli.
Then I add the oil, garlic and peppers in a large skillet and set aside.
EXPERT TIP: Make sure you use a big enough pan that your cooked pasta will fit into later. (After all, we wash enough dishes as it is, right?)
Once your water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Make note of how many minutes your pasta choice requires for “al dente” pasta.
Since you don’t want to overcook your broccoli, cook your pasta until there are about 8 minutes left of cooking time. Then add your broccoli to the same pot.
(For example: if your pasta requires 13 minutes, cook the pasta for 5 minutes before adding your broccoli to the pot.)
When your pasta and broccoli has about 5 minutes left to cook, start to sauté the oil with the garlic and peppers until golden brown, without burning your garlic.
Drain your pasta and broccoli, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add the reserved water, cooked pasta and broccoli to your skillet. Then sauté everything together for about 1-2 minutes longer.
Serve sprinkled with extra chili flakes if desired, and dig in!
More vegan Italian recipes!
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms with Cranberry Risotto
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
- Vegan Pasta e Fagioli
- The BEST Vegan Lasagna
- Or, if you’re so inclined, learn all about making your very own homemade tomato sauce to use in a variety of dishes!
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
- 1 pound penne or pasta of choice
- 1 large broccoli cut into florets
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6-8 dehydrated chili peppers or to taste
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil and add your pasta, cooking according to package directions for al dente pasta. Add the broccoli to the pot when there are 8 minutes left to cook your pasta so the broccoli does not overcook. *See notes* Drain pasta and broccoli once cooked, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil, garlic and peppers to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until peppers and garlic are slightly browned, approx. 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water, your pasta and broccoli to the pan. Sauté everything together, constantly mixing for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with extra chili flakes or Vegan Parmesan Cheese if desired.
Sounds delicious…. however, 1/4cup of olive oil….. wow… Can this be made with no oil? …or maybe just a couple tablespoons of olive oil? Thank you.
Hi Carol, you can try 2 tablespoons of oil with 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Enjoy!
Can you suggest any alternative to dehyrdrated peppers?
Hi Liz, yes you may use 1-2 teaspoons of chili flakes to your heat preference. Just watch the oil carefully so it doesn’t burn. Hope you enjoy!
Annie @ Annie's Noms
I love Italian cuisine and we have it a lot at home, but I have never heard of this dish before! It looks wonderful, I love how quick and easy it is to make too!
Thanks so much Annie. It’s so simple and SO delicious!!
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
Ever since watching the movie Chef, I’ve loved aglio e olio! I absolutely love your rendition, it’s so filling!
Thanks so much Eden, appreciate the kind feedback! 🙂
American cuisine always focuses on the heavier sauces from Italian cooking and yet these simple ones are so delicious (and so much easier). Now that my husband is eating broccoli, I’ll have to give this one a go with GF pasta!!
Thanks Luci. Hope you and your husband enjoy!
Cynthia | What A Girl Eats
I love how simple and tasty this recipe is! Perfect for a quick meal!
Thanks so much Cynthia!
Looks like such an easy and delicious recipe, can’t wait to try! 🙂
Thanks Kate, it really is!
I love this traditional Italian dish! My parents made it best and glad to now have a recipe for it to carry on this tradition. Thanks for all your great recipes!
You’re so welcome Donna. There’s something very special about a nostalgic dish. 🙂
This pasta dish sounds fabulous. Love the use of chili peppers in it.
Thanks so much Andrea, it’s truly comforting and delicious!