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Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

Gluten Free Keto Low Carb Vegetarian

Recipe by Chef Michele Ragussis

  • Cook Time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Difficulty Easy

Low-Carb Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Are you looking for a good, ultra-simple dish that’s as impressive as it is delicious? If you’re not already familiar with spaghetti Aglio e Olio, then it’s a must-try!

What’s that? You’re following a low-carb diet? Well, absolutely no worries, friend. We’ve got you covered with the ultimate low-carb spaghetti Aglio e Olio. It’s a traditional Italian dish!

Garlic & Olive Oil: Two Magic Main Ingredients

When you go to your favorite Italian restaurant, you probably marvel at how a few simple ingredients combine to make something so very delicious. Many Mediterranean dishes embrace simplicity and goodness, with high-quality ingredients combined "just so."

Let’s face it—if you live in the beautiful Mediterranean, the last thing you want to do is spend hours prepping ingredients and cooking over a hot stove. Plus, the abundance of beautiful, fresh, flavorful produce makes it easy to toss together a memorable meal in minutes.

Well, it doesn’t get simpler than Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. What does Aglio e Olio mean? For those who don’t speak Italian, Aglio is "garlic," and Olio is "oil." So, in short, the basic ingredients are spaghetti with garlic and oil—easy-peasy, right?

One of the secrets to really delicious Italian food, especially this dish, is using the very best olive oil you can find. In Italian, olives are ubiquitous, and many an Italian prides themselves on recognizing the subtle differences between the varieties.

Olive oil is a very healthy fat (making it an excellent choice for people on keto). It's a heart-healthy oil that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, olive oil contains polyphenols—antioxidants—and monounsaturated fat, as well as phytosterols (which may reduce cholesterol).

So how do you know good olive oil? Should you use virgin, extra virgin, or pure? Olive oil is a great choice for cooking and drizzling on your favorite dishes, but with all the varieties, how can you be sure to buy the right kind?

Most chefs prefer extra-virgin olive oil (a.k.a. EVOO) for applications where olive oil is the main attraction. It has a robust flavor and makes delicious dipping oil. EVOO also works well for cooking (up to around 400 F).

Virgin olive oil is less common. It doesn't get the "extra" moniker because it may have some flavor deficiencies or defects (most are pretty undetectable). Because the flavor isn’t as forward as extra virgin olive oil, you may want to use virgin olive oil for cooking or combining with other ingredients, where it’s not the only star of the show.

Pure olive oil (or sometimes just plain olive oil) is usually available at your local grocery store amongst the other cooking oils. Pure olive oil is refined (heat or chemically treated) to boost the flavor. Generally, pure olive oil won't have as strong a flavor or color as extra virgin or virgin oil. It also has a higher smoke point—upwards of 450 F—so you can use it to fry foods.

You may also see light olive oil at the store. Light olive oils are also refined and contain less virgin olive oil. The light refers to the flavor and aroma (not that it’s low in calories). So while it’s perfectly fine to use light olive oil for applications with a similar smoke point to pure olive oil, it’s important to realize that you’re still consuming the same number of calories (about 120 calories per tablespoon).

If you’re following a low-carb, high-fat diet like the ketogenic diet, you can consume any olive oil you like. For this delicious recipe, we suggest splurging for the best extra virgin olive oil you like. It’s really one of the primary flavors here.

The other primary flavor is garlic. But the key to making perfect low-carb Aglio e Olio is to slice the garlic very, very thin. The thin slices are then gently toasted in the olive oil. The cooking process imparts so much delicious flavor to the entire dish that it’s definitely worth the effort to slice up your garlic cloves with a nice, sharp knife.

When you cook your garlic, you'll watch it closely for a slight amount of color. Then, as soon as it begins to toast, you'll add the It’s Skinny Spaghetti, and the dish is ready to enjoy! Top it with cheese, and get ready to be amazed at how simple components come together for one fabulous meal!

Getting the Low Carb in Your Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Let’s talk about low-carb spaghetti. Traditional pasta is NOT a regular feature on most low-carb diet agendas. A cup of cooked white pasta has just over 40 grams of carbohydrates (usually right around 43 grams). For those of us on keto or another low carb diet, that makes pasta a no-go.

But what’s life without pasta? As you may realize, a secret to keto diet success is avoiding deprivation, and depriving yourself of pasta is a recipe for sadness. Fortunately, It’s Skinny comes to the rescue, offering you a tasty, spot-on way to lighten up the carb count in all your favorite dishes.

It’s Skinny comes in four great styles:

  • Spaghetti
  • Fettuccine
  • Angel Hair
  • Rice

Order up each kind on our website, or choose the variety pack if you’re feeling indecisive.

It’s Skinny is made from a veggie named konjac. It’s not a super popular vegetable in the United States, but chefs in Asia have used it in dishes for many years. The texture of raw konjac is similar to a potato or a turnip. But this high-fiber vegetable has a low-carb secret: glucomannan. Glucomannan fiber in konjac root helps you stay full because it keeps blood sugar steady.

In other words, It’s Skinny is delicious, filling, and available in all your favorite pasta (and rice) styles. Even better, It’s Skinny is extremely easy to work with. To use It's Skinny in your favorite dish, you just open the package, drain, rinse, and add it to your pan at the end of cooking the other components of your dish.

When It’s Skinny heats through, it’s ready to serve. Imagine having low-carb pasta in less than 3 minutes!?! It’s a dream come true.

This recipe for low-carb Aglio e Olio really lets It’s Skinny shine. The Spaghetti takes on the flavors of the surrounding ingredients. The texture is great! For a simple meal, this dish is filling and fast—a true winner!

Questions About Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta

Almost every cook faces some kitchen conundrums now and again. Even though Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a fairly straightforward dish, it’s important to get it right. Here are some common questions answered.

How do I get perfect garlic for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Sliced garlic is one of the secrets to making this dish truly great. The small slices toast up like little garlic “chips.” Once they’re perfectly cooked, they infuse the surrounding oil with garlicky flavor and add a nice crunch to each bite.

So how do you get perfect garlic slices? Use a sharp knife and take your time. Fresh garlic cloves are small, but by using a sharp knife, they will stay still on the cutting board. Slice a few cloves very thin and use them right away. For this recipe, skip the jarred minced garlic and treat yourself (it's worth it)!

Can I add protein to this dish?

A traditional Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe is just oil, garlic, and pasta (occasionally with a little parsley). When you add red chili pepper flakes, the dish technically becomes Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. Many chefs don’t add cheese (but as cheese lovers, we say go for it).

Cheese adds a nominal amount of protein to the dish. But if you want to add more, you could include any protein you love. Shrimp is a nice addition. Clams, mussels, and even salmon would also work well with the simple flavors. Of course, you can always toss in some chicken too. Make it your own!

Do I have to use Spaghetti?

Yes, you definitely can use a different type of pasta in this low-carb recipe. Try it with Fettuccine if you prefer a thicker noodle. Delicate Angel Hair pasta is lovely with the simple sauce. Would It’s Skinny Rice work? Hey, if you prefer the texture of Rice, who are we to judge?!

The truth is that any It’s Skinny variety will work just fine in this dish. It’s Skinny shirataki pasta has ZERO net carbs and only 9 calories per pack, no matter the style. So you can mix and match your favorite Pasta shape in any of our recipes, and the stats stay exactly the same!

How to Make Low-Carb Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Ready to make this easy-but-delicious weeknight Italian dish? With It’s Skinny, this simple recipe comes together so fast. It’s the perfect way to appreciate simple flavors while still treating yourself to a luxurious, yummy pasta dish. For this one, we say splurge on top-notch main ingredients!


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  • Spaghetti | It's Skinny
  • 1 package of It's Skinny Spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese




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