Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs

Overhead close up of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in black bowl.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs is a simple, traditional Italian dish that’s super wallet friendly and delicious. Simply dressed with buttery breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Spaghetti with Bread Crumbs. How’s that for carbs on carbs for you? Enter comfort food at its finest.

I absolutely adore Spaghetti Aglio e Olio for several reasons:

  1. It’s quick
  2. It’s easy
  3. It can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand
  4. It’s cheap (super cheap!!!)
  5. It’s delicious 

I threw this dish together the night after making this yummy Jalapeno Popper Kale Salad. I had an obscene amount of yummy, buttery bread crumbs left over and it was a shame to continue eating them by the handful let them go to waste.

Being that it was a long day and I was feeling a bit lazy, I could have been complacent in just eating bread crumbs, a few slices of prosciutto and a wedge of parmesan for dinner. In fact, in my past single-self life, that may or may not have happened one more than one occasion.

However, being the good wife that I am, I decided not to subject Rick to my old eating habits and throw this together instead. 

This Spaghetti Aglio e Olio will be on your dinner table in a hurry PLUS it's super budget friendly using ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Pasta is normally my go to dish when I’m looking for something quick and easy. I’ll either pull some of my Sunday Gravy out of the freezer or throw together this quick Pea & Bacon Pasta.

Browsing through the cupboard on this particular night, I found a box of spaghetti, those aforementioned bread crumbs, and garlic (which is always on hand). Throw that all together with some fennel and a dash of red pepper flakes, top it off with grated cheese, and WOW – Really?! Yummm….

If you don’t have any breadcrumbs on hand (and/or you don’t feel like making them) feel free to use panko or packaged breadcrumbs instead.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Ingredients

There are three key ingredients for pasta aglio e olio:

  1. Spaghetti
  2. Garlic
  3. Olive Oil

My recipe adds in a few more flavor elements to the dish – but they’re totally optional:

  • Crushed Fennel Seeds
  • Parmesan
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Lemon Zest

Overhead close up of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in black bowl.

What to Serve with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Overhead close up of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio in black bowl.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Bread Crumbs

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: aglio e olio, spaghetti
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 873 kcal

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs is a simple, traditional Italian dish that's super wallet friendly and delicious. Simply dressed with buttery breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Print

Ingredients

Breadcrumbs

  • 6 slices French bread
  • 4 Tablespoons butter

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 12 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely crushed fennel seeds
  • Generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
  • Lemon zest for topping (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Bread Crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toast bread for 15-20 minutes, flipping once during the cooking. Let cool slightly and process in food processor or blender to create breadcrumbs. Toss crumbs with the melted butter, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on your baking sheet and toast for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente. 

  2. Brown the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed fennel seeds and red pepper flakes along with the bread crumbs and let heat together until the flavors meld.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Toss the pasta in the skillet with the bread crumb mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and add additional pasta water if moisture is needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and lemon zest, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Bread Crumbs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 873 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 600mg 25%
Potassium 411mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 141g 47%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 5g
Protein 26g 52%
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 3.4%
Calcium 8.6%
Iron 28.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you loved this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

This recipe was originally published in April 2015. It was updated in June 2019 to add new photographs and update the content. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

Wine Pairings for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio 

  • Chardonnay goes excellently with this dish. The buttery bread crumbs are enhanced by the creaminess of this wine.
  • A classic Italian wine, Chianti, is a great match for this dish. It’s a lighter bodied red that won’t compete with the delicate flavors.

11 comments

  1. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Wow! I’m so impressed by your minimalistic deliciousness here! I love being able to throw something amazing together from what I find in my cupboards!

    Reply

  2. Beth (OMG! Yummy)

    Love carb on carbs as long as I don’t do it every day 🙂 Adore that you offer wine pairings. And I know how my daughter would finish the dish at her place before eating – a squeeze of meyer lemon. This looks like just the kind of thing I feel like eating tonight!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Beth – I say, as long as you’ve got a salad on the side, you’re good to go 😉

      Reply

  3. Josie

    This looks amazing! Love the idea of adding breadcrumbs to the pasta! Genius 🙂

    Reply

  4. Melissa | Bits of Umami

    Okay – I just wanna nom on a giant bowl of these NOW. Soooo tasty!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Melissa! Those papa rellenas of yours look pretty AMAZING as well!

      Reply

  5. Cher

    I was raised on this! Delish. 😃😃

    Reply

  6. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam


    Delicious recipes like these really make me miss the days when I wasn’t GF!! I love the idea of fully embracing the carb deliciousness of pasta and adding bread crumbs because you only get one life!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I could not live without pasta!!!

      Reply

  7. Hillary Knudsen

    This sounds perfect! There’s nothing more satisfying than throwing a simple pasta together and it turning out delicious. I totally feel you on the days when you’re feeling lazy and all you need to be happy is a piece of bread, prosciutto, and a chunk of parmesan! 🙂

    Reply

  8. jennie lamancuso


    I love pasta and this reminds me of a dish my grandma made for us when we were little. Thanks for a pleasant and delicious adventure. Love you.

    Reply

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