Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs

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

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Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Recipe

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

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Bread Crumbs

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. 
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • 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 )


Bread Crumbs

  • 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

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 873kcal | Carbohydrates: 141g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 5.1mg

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.

16 thoughts on “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs”

  1. 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!

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. This recipe skipped so many steps! I’m very confused! Would love if you could make your recipes a little more clear for amateurs like me

  5. 5 stars
    I Love this dish. Breadcrumbs, #1 olive oil, garlic, -and all variety if needed. Now with fennel seeds thanks to you 😀


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