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Zucchini Aglio e Olio

Zucchini Aglio e Olio | Well and Full | #vegan #recipe #healthy

This recipe is a fresh twist on the classic spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil pasta) using seasonal zucchini! Vegan with GF option.

Today’s recipe is an homage to one of my favorite summer vegetables, zucchini! It’s also a variation of one of my go-to pasta recipes, one that I used to make in college. At the time I didn’t know that this was a legit recipe called spaghetti aglio e olio… to me it was just garlic pasta! I love a nice simple meal, and this one fits the bill very well. 

All it takes to make this zucchini aglio e olio is olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. (And pasta, of course!) To lighten up the dish a bit, I added in zucchini, which goes so well in pasta! Some delicious toppings can include spinach, kale, or even fresh basil for a flavor twist. However, the most important thing here is to sauté the garlic, which helps avoid the bitterness and pungency of raw garlic. I’ve also added in some flavor add-in ideas, including lemon zest or this amazing vegan pesto!

I remember this one time in college, just after I turned 21, I made this pasta recipe and drank an entire bottle of white wine with it! Oh, the college days. That’s such a fun memory I have. Nowadays, I’ll have this pasta with a glass or two of red wine. Technically red wine isn’t supposed to go with light, vegetarian dishes, but who cares about the rules! I’d recommend this spaghetti aglio e olio with a glass of pinot noir, if you feel so inclined. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Zucchini Aglio e Olio | Well and Full | #vegan #recipe #healthy

Zucchini Aglio e Olio

This recipe is a fresh twist on the classic spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil pasta) using seasonal zucchini! Vegan with GF option.

Course Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Keyword garlic, olive oil, pasta, red pepper flakes, zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 12 oz Spaghetti or other long pasta
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 6 Cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 4-6 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Chopped Basil or Spinach if you'd like


  1. To begin, prep your veggies - mince the garlic, and spiralize the zucchini. I recommend discarding the innermost portion of the zucchini, as it can get soggy. Compost it or save it for making vegetable broth.

  2. Once the zucchini is spiralized, gently pat the zoodles dry with a paper towel or clean cloth, removing as much water as you can without squishing them.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt the water, then add in your pasta. Once the pasta has been in for a few minutes, remove about a 1/2 cup of the salted pasta water and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente (do not overcook!), then drain.

  4. In a large pan or saucepan, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Start with 4 tbs - you can always add more later. Once the oil is hot, add in the minced garlic and sauté up until the garlic is just about to brown (but do not brown). To the pan, add in your pasta, with a sprinkling of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. To prevent the pasta from going dry, add in the reserved salted pasta water in small increments to loosen.

  5. After about 1-2 minutes of sautéing, add in the zucchini noodles and toss well. At this point, taste a pasta noodle to gauge the flavor. Feel free to add more salt or pepper if you like!

  6. Once the zucchini noodles are warmed (you don't want to overcook them, they'll get mushy), remove the pan from heat and serve. For garnish, add on some chopped spinach or basil if you like.

  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • This pasta is naturally vegan, but feel free to add some freshly grated parmesan cheese for a vegetarian option!
  • For a vegan twist, add in a bit of lemon zest and juice for a lighter flavor, or add in a few tablespoons of vegan pesto!

Zucchini Aglio e Olio | Well and Full | #vegan #recipe #healthy


For more vegan and vegetarian recipes and meal inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram @wellandfull! If you make a recipe, please tag me in the photo and use the hashtag #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your creations!

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