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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Are you one of those pasta fanatics who is always on the lookout for interesting and delicious recipes featuring your favorite Italian staple? If so, we have just the recipe for you! This classic Spaghetti Aglio e Olio dish takes minutes to prepare and is sure to become a go-to dinner option for busy foodies, moms, and families.

With its savory garlic-based sauce seasoned with red pepper flakes over al dente pasta noodles thrown together in no more than 20 minutes of prep time (including slicing garlic!), this easy meal promises to bring big flavor without much effort. Read on for our step-by-step guide that will transform simple ingredients into an unforgettable plate of comforting goodness!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

If you are a pasta lover, then you must have tried the classic Pasta Aglio e Olio, which is pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, and parsley. But have you ever tried adding some shrimp to it? Well, let me tell you, it elevates the dish to a whole new level! Today, I’m going to share with you my version of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Shrimp.

Use Only The Best Olive Oil

The use of top shelf olive oil in this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe is a game-changer.

High-quality olive oil provides a robust and nuanced flavor profile that balances and enhances the simplicity of the other ingredients. Its rich, fruity undertones offer a perfect counterpoint to the shrimp’s brininess and the sharp bite of the garlic.

Moreover, high-quality olive oil has a higher smoke point, ensuring the oil retains its health benefits and flavor during the cooking process. Thus, it’s not merely a cooking medium in this dish, but a star ingredient that plays a crucial role in the overall experience.

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Fresh Garlic Or Bust

Fresh garlic is an integral component of this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and its importance cannot be overstated.

Unlike refrigerated pre-chopped garlic, fresh garlic cloves deliver a more potent, vibrant, and authentic flavor. The pre-chopped counterpart often loses its potency and succumbs to oxidation over time, resulting in a less robust flavor profile.

On the other hand, fresh garlic, when sliced just minutes before use, releases allicin, a compound responsible for the distinctive aroma and health benefits of garlic. Therefore, for the most flavorful outcome, stick to fresh garlic every time; your taste buds will thank you!

Not that I’m “above” that chopped jarred garlic. I have a giant-sized jar of it in my fridge almost always and it gets used, often. When garlic is such a big part of the final dish, it really pays to use fresh sliced garlic.

You need more PASTA in your life.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Have you heard of a Spaghetti Fork??

This little utensil is the greatest thing you’ve never heard of. You can twirl to your heart’s content and the pasta will NEVER SLIDE OFF. It is amazing. Is it a little ridiculous? Sure. But if you are as serious about your spaghetti as I am, it is ridiculously necessary.

Get 75+ of my favorite Traeger Recipes here!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

How to make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



Put a big pot of well-salted water on to boil. Drop the pasta once it is at a rolling boil.


Olive Oil

Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Put in the garlic and red peppers and saute gently for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the garlic from the pan and reserve.



In another pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp and then cook in the butter. Don’t overcook! And don’t discard any liquids that release from the shrimp either.



Drain the pasta but reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water. Turn the heat back on under the olive oil pan to medium / medium-high. Toss the pasta with the oil and then add any remaining butter and liquid from the shrimp, but don’t add the shrimp yet.

Toss and stir the pasta until most of the shrimp liquid is absorbed. Start adding little bits of the pasta water and stirring and tossing. You’ll soon get a kind of “creamy” sauce developed in the pan. You may not need all the pasta water.

Toss the shrimp in last so they don’t overcook.



Remove from the heat, mix in some fresh parsley and the reserved sauteed garlic, and enjoy while hot!

Try with my Blackstone Garlic Naan!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio FAQ

Can this dish be made ahead of time?

It can, but it won’t be as good. This dish is at its best right when it comes out of the pan. The pasta will continue to absorb the liquid the longer it sits, and we all know that pasta loses its quality on a reheat too. I wouldn’t advise making this in advance on purpose.

What’s the best way to store and reheat leftovers?

Any airtight container will work for storing any leftovers you might have. I would not keep it longer than a day or two for the best results.

Sure! You can mix in more red pepper flakes if you like more spice. You can add in a little white wine too, if that’s your thing. Want to omit the shrimp? Do it. This is your meal, I’m just here to help make it amazing.

What’s the best olive oil to use for this recipe?

Using high-quality olive oil is key to success with this dish! I recently got to try a California company’s oil from Gold Ridge Organic Farms, and it was amazing. You can get your own here.

Organic Olive Oil

Enjoy with a Homemade Caesar Salad!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

More great pasta recipes to love!

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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Yield: 6 servings

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

This simple but exceedingly flavorful pasta dish is something all cooks should have in their back pocket! Olive oil, garlic, pasta, pasta water, and parsley come together in this dish, and shrimp brings it right

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 tablespoons Vampire Killer Garlic Parmesan Rub
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly shaved parmesan cheese


  1. Get a large pot of water on the stove to boil over high heat.
  2. Salt the water until it tastes like the ocean. Basically not so salty you want to spit it out, but noticeably salty.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot and move on to the next step.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  5. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic is starting to turn lightly golden brown and is soft. Remove the garlic from the oil and reserve it.
  6. In a separate, large saute pan, preheat over medium-high to high heat. Add the butter and let it melt and start to sizzle.
  7. Season the shrimp with the Vampire Killer rub and put it into the hot melted butter. Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is no longer opaque and it is pink on both sides.
  8. Remove from the heat, but reserve any liquid in the pan. We're about to use it.
  9. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water from the pasta pot, and then drain when the pasta is cooked al dente.
  10. In the pan with the olive oil, turn the heat back up to medium to medium-high and add in your drained, hot pasta. Toss with the olive oil to evenly coat.
  11. Pour in all the butter and liquid that was released when you cooked the shrimp, but don't add the shrimp yet. Just the liquid.
  12. Toss and stir until the shrimp liquid starts absorbing into the pasta.
  13. Start pouring in small amounts of the pasta water and continue to toss and stir the pasta around. The pasta will absorb the liquid as you stir.
  14. Keep adding more water, a little at a time, until a light sauce forms in the pan. You may not need the entire 1 1/2 cups. It depends on how much you cooked your pasta in the pot and how saucy you want your final result.
  15. Add the shrimp in and toss with the pasta. Remove from the heat and toss in the fresh chopped parsley and sprinkle with freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Add the reserved cooked garlic on top.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 565Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 263mgSodium: 1313mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 33g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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