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Pasta Aglio e Olio (Pasta w/ Garlic & Oil)

pasta aglio e olio in skillet on white cutting board

I’ve got a classic Italian dish for you this time. This is a recipe that I grew up with and I have fond memories of my parents making this dish quite often. It’s definitely a family favourite. This recipe 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 Pasta Aglio e Olio 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!

Pasta aglio e olio in skillet with chili flakes and cashew parmesan cheese

Although we typically use penne pasta for this recipe, you may definitely use any variety of pasta options. Rigatoni and fusilli are great choices as well. 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 this is traditionally topped with Parmesan cheese, I like to top my bowl Vegan Parmesan Cheese to keep it dairy free.

How to prepare Pasta Aglio e Olio?

Well, that’s really simple! 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 prepare my oil, garlic and peppers in a large skillet and set aside.

By this point, my water is boiling and I add my pasta to the pot. Pay attention to how many minutes your pasta choice requires for “al dente” pasta. Since you don’t want to over cook 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 you 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 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add the reserved water, pasta, and the broccoli to your skillet. Then sauté everything together for about 1-2 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with extra chili flakes if desired, and dig in!

vegan pasta aglio e olio close up

Did you enjoy this Italian recipe? Want more? Try these!

Or, if you’re so inclined, learn all about making your very own homemade tomato sauce to use in a variety of dishes!

pasta aglio e olio in skillet on white cutting board

Pasta Aglio e Olio (Pasta w/ Garlic & Oil)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: nut free, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Pasta Aglio e Olio is a classic Italian pasta dish that uses sautéed garlic and spicy peppers to deliver bold flavour with a kick!
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  • 1 lb penne or pasta of choice
  • 1 large broccoli cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 6-8 dehydrated chili peppers or to taste
  • 1/4 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 1/4 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.


If your pasta requires 13 minutes to cook, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli to cook for the remaining 8 minutes.
Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 91.2mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.8mg
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?Mention on IG and tag #thishealthykitchen!
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.

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  1. Luci's Morsels

    5 stars
    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!!

  2. Donna

    5 stars
    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!

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