How To Serve Aglio Olio Recipe Without Olive Oil Easy

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For those who love the simplicity and elegance of aglio e olio (garlic and oil), but can’t or don’t want to use olive oil, fear not! This recipe delivers all the garlicky goodness with a healthy, olive-oil-free twist.


Pasta Aglio e Olio story - The Plant Based School
Pasta Aglio e Olio story – The Plant Based School

1 pound dried pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, or your favorite)

  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 1/4 cup pasta water (reserved from cooking)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vegan parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions for al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.

    2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little water (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and the sliced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and softened, but not browned.

    3. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the garlic or flakes.

    4. Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

    5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately add it to the skillet with the garlic sauce. Toss everything together to coat the pasta evenly.

    6. Add the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. You want a light sauce that clings to the pasta, not a soupy dish.

    7. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley and basil (if using). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    8. Serve immediately, garnished with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and additional red pepper flakes if desired.

    Nutrition Facts (approximate per serving):

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: Depends on the amount of salt used
  • Carbohydrates: 70g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 10g

  • Please note: These are approximate nutrition facts and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    This aglio e olio recipe proves that you can still enjoy this classic Italian dish without olive oil. With a flavorful broth base and a touch of spice, it’s a delicious and healthy option for anyone looking for a lighter take on the original.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

    Absolutely! Any type of pasta will work in this recipe. Spaghetti and fettuccine are classic choices, but penne, rigatoni, or even whole wheat pasta would be delicious as well.

    2. What can I substitute for red pepper flakes?

    If you don’t like spice, you can omit the red pepper flakes altogether. Alternatively, you could try a pinch of crushed red pepper or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a milder heat.

    3. What if I don’t have fresh herbs?

    Dried herbs can be used in a pinch. Substitute 1 tablespoon dried parsley and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil for the fresh herbs.

    4. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

    This recipe is best served fresh, as the pasta can become soggy if reheated. However, you can prepare the garlic sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the sauce gently before tossing it with the cooked pasta.

    5. What other vegetables can I add to this dish?

    This recipe is a great base for customization. You can add chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, or even a handful of steamed asparagus to make it a more complete meal.