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With plenty of garlic, fresh tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, this spicy spaghetti arrabbiata makes the perfect weeknight dinner! It’s comforting, plant-based, and requires just 30 minutes and 10 ingredients!

Close up of spaghetti arrabbiata on a plate with fresh basil.

📘 What Is Arrabbiata

Arrabbiata is a spicy pasta sauce that originated from Italy, and more precisely from the Lazio region, which is located in the center of Italy. It is prepared with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and dried chili peppers.

Ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and fresh basil.

🥣 How to Make It

This pasta dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare and requires just 10 basic ingredients you probably already have on hand, making it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!

Here is what you will need:

  • Tomatoes – Preferably ripe and juicy tomatoes. While you could use a can of diced tomatoes, I recommend using fresh tomatoes for a better flavor.
  • Garlic and shallots – Plenty of garlic: 4 cloves! Regarding the shallots, feel free to use half of an onion if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Chili powder – Use 100% ground chili powder, not chili seasoning. Alternatively, you can use crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh basil – For freshness and a subtle peppery flavor!
  • Salt and sugar – Sugar will help cut the acidity of the tomatoes and yield a more balanced flavor.
  • Pasta – I went with spaghetti here, but you can use bucatini, linguine, or even penne!

It starts with the aromatics: garlic and shallots that are sautéed until fragrant.

Next, pour in the puréed tomatoes and add the seasonings. Let the sauce simmer partially covered for about 12 minutes, or until it has thickened.

The sauce should be thick enough to coat a wooden spoon or spatula, as you can see below.

Arrabbiata sauce in a saucepan.

Once the sauce is cooked, stir in the finely chopped fresh basil and adjust the saltiness and spiciness to taste.

Finally, add the cooked spaghetti to the arrabbiata sauce and stir to coat!

🌿 What to Serve It With

While this spaghetti arrabbiata is delicious on its own, you can take it to the next level by topping it with crumbled vegan camembert, vegan blue cheese, vegan parmesan, or your favorite vegan cheese!


Is this arrabbiata sauce very spicy?

While it obviously depends on your spiciness tolerance, I would say it is mildly spicy. If you are not used to spicy dishes, use only half of the recommended amount of chili powder.

How long does this spaghetti keep?

As with most pasta dishes, this one is best served immediately. You can, however, prepare the sauce up to 3 days in advance.

Close-up of spaghetti arrabbiata with fresh basil.

I hope you are going to love this spaghetti recipe! It’s garlicky, a bit spicy, and SO delicious! Definitely a weeknight-friendly dish!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Spaghetti arrabbiata on a plate, topped with fresh basil and chili.
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Quick Spaghetti Arrabbiata

5 from 3 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Delicious spaghetti coated in a homemade arrabbiata sauce prepared from fresh tomatoes! Plant-based, 10 ingredients, and ready in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Total Time : 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 363 kcal


  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 4.5 ounces uncooked spaghetti or bucatini


  • Cut the tomatoes in halves and remove the core and seeds. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender and blend on high for 5-10 seconds or until almost smooth. You still want to keep some texture so do not blend for too long. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced shallots and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add the puréed tomatoes, sugar, chili powder, salt, and dried thyme. Let simmer partially covered with a lid for 12-14 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Note: the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chopped basil leaves. Taste and adjust the saltiness to your liking. Cover to keep warm.
  • To cook the pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add them to the sauce. Stir to coat the spaghetti with the arrabbiata sauce.
  • Serve immediately topped with fresh basil leaves, vegan parmesan, and/or red pepper flakes for extra spiciness!


  • If you want a smoother and slightly less acidic flavor, feel free to peel the tomatoes before blending.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 363 kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.1 g | Protein: 10.9 g | Fat: 8.7 g | Fiber: 5.7 g | Sugar: 12.4 g
Course : Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine : Italian
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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5 stars
We made this a couple of nights ago and loved it. My wife is heat-adverse, so the kick was just right for her: I added a few red pepper flakes at table.
We thought it was a hair sweet but chalked that up to using home-grown tomatoes. We’ll cut back on the sugar, though next time. And we will make it again. Quick, easy, and full of flavor!

5 stars
We made it again the other night. It’s really a great recipe. We’re retired, so not in the ‘quick dinner on a worknight’ crowd, but we were working late in the garden, and came in asking, “What’s for dinner?” Why not Tomas’s Spaghetti recipe? I can’t get it on the table in 30 minutes like you do, but it’s close.
I think it will be our ‘go-to’ recipe. So much more interesting than sauce piled on top of noodles.

5 stars
We just got back from Italy and I was craving a simple fresh pasta dish and this hit the spot! I used half the sugar because I’m not use to cooking with sugar in tomato sauce and it was just right for me.