This quick spaghetti arrabiata is ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect spicy tomato pasta to make at home for date night, dinner parties, or a delicious hearty meal prep. All you need is 7 ingredients.
There is nothing I love more than quick and simple dinners that are also vegan friendly. Some of my favorite recipes are the easiest, like my Creamy Vegan Gigi Hadid Pasta or Vegan Truffle Pasta or my Easy Gluten Free Tomato Soup made from scratch.
Check out my whole section on more quick and simple dinners for your next meal plan.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Can be made gluten free. If you are gluten free or serving gluten free dinner guests, prepare this spaghetti arrabiata with your favorite gluten free spaghetti made from brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, etc. Some of the best brands of gluten free pasta are Jovial, Banza, or Trader Joe's.
- Easy to make for a crowd. If you are having a dinner party, spaghetti arrabiata is an excellent choice because it is incredibly easy to make in larger portions without compromising flavor or taking additional prep work.
- Meal prep friendly. This spaghetti arrabiata will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make pasta on a Sunday night and eat it as a quick easy lunch all week long.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- spaghetti - The most popular pasta to use in spaghetti arrabiata is of course spaghetti. However, if you do not have spaghetti on hand, you can substitute another pasta like penne or any other pasta. You can also use a gluten free pasta, if desired or needed.
- crushed tomatoes- Note that crushed tomatoes are not the same as tomato sauce or plum tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are made with a mix of diced tomatoes and tomato puree, whereas tomato sauce has no texture and plum tomatoes are whole, peeled tomatoes. If necessary, the next closest thing to use would be diced tomatoes. You may need to add a bit of tomato paste if using diced tomatoes or the arrabiata sauce may be thin.
- garlic - I do not recommend substituting the fresh minced garlic with garlic powder. The flavor of fresh garlic can not be replicated and is a must in this homemade arrabiata.
- basil - Similar to garlic, fresh basil should not be substituted for dried basil. The arrabiata sauce would be much less flavorful and less fresh tasting.
- red pepper flakes - An essential in making an arrabiata pasta sauce. This is where the spice comes from and cannot be omitted.
Step by Step Instructions
- Start cooking the spaghetti. Cook the pasta according to package instructions in a separate pot, and drain once ready.
- Sauté onion and garlic. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium low heat until hot. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, basil, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and simmer the arrabiata sauce for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Keep the heat on medium low to prevent it from cooking too quickly. The arrabiata needs time to allow the heat from the red pepper flakes to infuse into the tomato sauce.
- Add in the cooked spaghetti. Toss the cooked spaghetti in the arrabiata sauce until well coated and the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Serve spaghetti arrabiata immediately while hot. Top with additional fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese.
There are a few differences, but the main difference is that marinara sauce has a fresh, sweet tomato flavor, while arrabiata sauce is prepared with dried red chilies or red pepper flakes and is spicy. Marinara sauce is not typically spicy at all.
The word arrabiata means "angry" in Italian and is a node to the spiciness and hotness in flavor.
Yes, this spicy pasta sauce freezes very well and can be stored in a freezer safe container, jar or bag for up to 3 months for optimal flavor. If planning to freeze the sauce, allow it to come to room temperature before transferring to the container you are freezing in. This will prevent excess condensation building up in the container and prevent freezer burn.
If your sauce has become too spicy, add a bit of coconut cream or vegan cream cheese to help cut the spice. This will make the sauce more creamy and less traditional, but it will be more palatable and won't make your sauce go to waste.
- Adjust the red chili flakes to taste. If you are sensitive to spice, you can start with a lesser amount. If you love spice, I recommend adding an additional ½ tablespoon of red chili flakes to the sauce. Always remember you can add more to your arrabiata sauce, but you can't subtract, so be careful and don't make it too spicy!
- Add your favorite veggies! This spaghetti arrabiata can be served plain, but I like to add my favorite veggies like broccoli or mushrooms to make it more filling and nutritious. If adding veggies, sauté them for a few minutes after sautéing the onions and garlic.
More Easy Pasta Recipes You'll Like
Quick Spaghetti Arrabiata
- ½ lb spaghetti
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes optional to add ½ tbsp more for extra spice
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes no salt added
- 1 tbsp basil, chopped plus more for garnish
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Parmesan (vegan) for topping
- Begin by cooking the spaghetti according to the package.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium to low heat.
- Once the olive oil is heated, add in the garlic and yellow onion. Cook until fragrant, approx 3-4 minutes.
- Add in crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, tomatoes and chopped basil and mix well.
- Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken up slightly, and the red pepper flakes will infuse with it, causing it to be spicy.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet and toss until it is well coated. Option to top with vegan parmesan and basil.