Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch

This Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is very easy to make on your stovetop. I use Trader Joe's Chili Onion Crunch, which gives it an amazing kick. The recipe is quick, easy, and so delicious! Who knew something so simple could be so good?!

spicy spaghetti aglio e olio

Making Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio couldn’t be easier! It sounds fancy, but all you need is a few ingredients and a little bit of time and you’ll have an amazingly delicious pasta dish. This recipe was created by my husband Ryan, who prepared a delicious meal for my recent birthday.

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It was a ‘work with what we have’ kind of meal, and let me tell you it turned out so delicious! We have made it several times since then, and it’s always a hit with everyone in my home. It’s a super quick dish that comes together so easily!

a bowl of spicy spaghetti aglio e olio

What is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is literally Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil in Italian. It’s a very simple dish, but it’s so delicious. It’s also called Pasta Aglio e Olio and some people may refer to it as olive oil pasta. My version is spicy and super easy to make. Making it spicy turns it into Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino!

a baking dish filled with spicy pasta aglio e olio with a pair of tongs sitting on top of the pasta

What Ingredients Do I Need for Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

This Pasta Aglio e Olio uses only 3 ingredients. I have added them below and added a little description to tell you exactly what I use for the best results.

  • Spaghetti Pasta: You’ll need one pound of spaghetti pasta. Any brand will do.
  • Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch: Ok, this right here is one of Trader Joe’s yummiest creations. It is AMAZING. It packs a kick and a crunch! If you haven’t tried it yet, you must!
  • Olive Oil: You will need half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. This is the extra virgin olive oil we use at home.

That’s it! 3 ingredients and some salt and you’re set!

holding a jar of trader joe's chili onion crunch

Substitutions for This Spicy Pasta Aglio e Olio Recipe

Since I tend to get questions about substituting items in recipes, I’ve added some below that you’re probably going to ask me and I’ve answered them for you. If you have other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Can I Use a Different Kind of Pasta?

My recipe calls for spaghetti pasta, but we have made it with other pasta as well. Ryan’s favorite was using thin spaghetti. You can also use penne, farfalle, rotini, or just about any other kind of pasta. If using a different type of pasta, make sure to follow the instructions for cooking time on the package.

What If I Don’t Have Chili Onion Crunch?

The Chili Onion Crunch from Trader Joe’s is so good! We use it on so many different things! I love eating it spread on focaccia bread, I love it on eggs, and so many other ways! While it is a super important part of the recipe, I realize not everyone will have access to it. I’ve got you covered!

As a simple replacement for the Chili Onion Crunch, use the following mix of spices:

  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • ½ tablespoon dried minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Just add this mixture of seasonings to the olive oil and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

a plate of spicy pasta with olive oil and chili pepper, garlic, and onion

What can I Serve With Spaghetti Aglio e Olio?

This pasta recipe can be served as a side dish or as a stand-alone meal. You can serve it as a side for a protein like chicken, beef, or fish. We have eaten it with my Oven-Roasted Thighs, and with my Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts.

quick garlic bread recipe

You can also toss in some cooked cubed chicken or some cooked shrimp. For my birthday, Ryan added shrimp to it. My family’s favorite way to eat it is with the shrimp! Whatever you serve it with, you should definitely make some homemade garlic bread to go with it!

Essential Items

Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

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Featured Items

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How To Make Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

To help you make this pasta aglio e olio recipe, I’m adding a visual step-by-step of the process. You’ll also find some extra tips and tricks to help you be successful with this recipe. So, get a large stockpot and a small saucepan out, and let’s make this wonderful olive oil pasta!

Step 1: Fill a Large Stockpot with Water and Boil

The first thing you’ll need to do is fill a large stockpot with 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Let the water come to a boil over high heat. Continue through the next steps while waiting for the water to come to a boil.

Step 2: Coat the Pasta in Olive Oil

Next, put your uncooked spaghetti pasta in a baking sheet. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the pasta and toss it with your hands until it’s all coated.

I know there’s controversy about adding olive oil to the water when boiling pasta. My method adds the olive oil straight to the pasta so it sticks to it when boiling it. I tested the recipe without this step, and I highly recommend not skipping it. The pasta has a much better texture and doesn’t stick at all.

Step 3: Prepare the Olive Oil

In a small saucepan or skillet, add the olive oil, two heaping tablespoons of Chili Onion Crunch, and salt. Cook this olive oil mixture over medium heat until you see the onion and garlic in the Onion Crunch begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking while boiling the pasta. This will allow the flavors in the Chili Onion Crunch to be infused into the olive oil.

Step 4: Boil the Spaghetti Pasta

Once the water in the stockpot has come to a rolling boil, bunch the pasta together, and snap the pasta in half. I usually do a small bunch at a time to make it easier. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it for 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente. Stir the pasta immediately after adding it to the pot and periodically during the cooking time to avoid sticking. Drain the pasta when it’s done cooking.

Step 5: Add the Olive Oil Mixture to the Pasta

After draining, return the pasta to the pot and add the olive oil mixture. Toss the pasta until everything is mixed together and the pasta is fully coated. Serve immediately.

Serve and Enjoy a Warm Bowl of Pasta!

There you have it! This has to be one of the simplest pasta dishes ever and the flavor is absolutely amazing! And it only took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Don’t you love fast and easy meals like this?

I know you will absolutely love this Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe as much as we do! Please let me know in the comments when you try it! If you loved this recipe, I bet you’ll love my Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini.

a plate of spicy olive oil spaghetti and a fork with the pasta wrapped around it

Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio


4.58 from 73 votes
Prep Time
2 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
12 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
This quick and simple Italian dish is a perfect busy day meal. All you’ll need is some spaghetti pasta, olive oil, and a jar of Chili Onion Crunch from Trader Joe’s and you’ve got a delicous pasta meal in minutes.
spicy spaghetti aglio e olio

Essential Equipment


Chili Onion Crunch Substitute


  • Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, place the uncooked spaghetti in a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the pasta with a teaspoon of olive oil, and toss until coated.
  • In a small saucepan, add the olive oil, Chili Onion Crunch, and kosher salt. Cook over medium heat until the garlic and onion in the Chili Onion Crunch begin to sizzle. Reduce heat to low and allow to continue cooking while boiling the pasta.
  • Once the stockpot has come to a rolling boil, bunch the pasta together and snap in half. Slowly add to the boiling water and cook, stirring immediately after adding to the water and periodically during cooking so that the pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook for 10 to 11 minutes or until al dente. Drain using a colander.
  • Immediately return the pasta to the pot and add the infused olive oil mixture. Toss until the pasta is fully coated with the olive oil mixture.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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6 thoughts on “Spicy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch”

    1. Hi Beth! When my husband adds shrimp to this dish, he starts cooking the shrimp in a separate skillet until they start turning red, then takes them off the heat, covers them, and sets them aside while we make the pasta. Then we toss the shrimp in with the pasta and the oil after the pasta is cooked. We don’t add any extra seasoning to the shrimp. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

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