Spaghetti Arrabiata

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Spaghetti Arrabiata – A quick and simple homemade pasta dish that uses fresh garlic and canned tomatoes to create a savory, spicy dinner!

Pasta is always something Kim and I can agree on. Whether it’s a creamy kielbasa pasta or Mexican spaghetti, we adore pasta. In fact, we eat it at least one a week. For today’s post, we’re sharing Kim’s spicy spaghetti arrabiata. Garlic and red pepper flakes, sauteed in olive oil and simmered with crushed tomatoes. It’s the perfect sauce to wake up your taste buds!

An up-close view of the finished pasta.

How to make spaghetti arrabiata:

  1. Grab a medium sized saucepan and place it over low-medium heat. When the pan has warmed up, pour in the olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. Let the oil and pepper flakes cook for about 1-minute. After that, add in the minced garlic. Allow the mixture to cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover it and let it cook for about 25-minutes.
  4. As the sauce cooks, prepare the spaghetti noodles per the box instructions. Drain them and set them aside.
  5. After the sauce cooks, do a taste test and add more spices if needed. Turn off the heat and toss the noodles with the sauce.
  6. Enjoy immediately with garlic knots, air fryer garlic bites or cheesy garlic bread.
Collage showing how to make spaghetti arrabiata.

Recipe Tips:

  • You can easily determine how spicy you want the dish in a number of ways. Decreasing the amounts of garlic and crushed red pepper flakes will reduce the heat.
  • For a fiery spaghetti arrabiata, increase the amounts of garlic and pepper flakes.
  • We chose spaghetti noodles; however, feel free to use any dry pasta you want. Just keep in mind that certain pastas are better at, “soaking up,” the sauce.
  • If you’d like to add chicken to the pasta, try this Chicken Penne Arrabiata recipe. It looks amazing! Some other great add-ins are steak, veal, grilled vegetables, or a splash of red wine.
  • Add a pinch of baking soda to help balance the acidity of the tomatoes .
  • The sugar is optional, so feel free to omit it.
Aerial view of the pasta topped with shaved parmesan.

Storage Options

Refrigerator: Spaghetti arrabiata stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Freezer: This past dish can be frozen in a freezer bag(s). Allow it to cool completely, then place leftovers in the bag. Remove as much of the air as possible, and seal shut. The pasta will stay good in the freezer for about 2 months.

Reheating: Reheat chilled pasta in a pan on the stove over low heat to prevent it from drying out. Place frozen pasta in the refrigerator to thaw overnight before reheating.

What does arrabiata mean?

When directly translated from Italian to English, arrabiata means, “angry.” So, it should come as no surprise that arrabiata sauce has a spicy kick.

What is the difference between arrabiata sauce and marinara sauce?

Both sauces start with a tomato base, but arrabiata is made spicy from the use of chiles. We use red pepper flakes in ours. Marinara sauce is a mild, meatless sauce seasoned with savory spices like garlic, oregano, or basil depending on the recipe.

What is the difference between arrabiata and Bolognese?

Much like with marinara sauce, both arrabiata and Bolognese begin with a tomato base. However, arrabiata is prepared with chiles or red pepper flakes which makes it fiery or spicy with heat. Bolognese is a meaty, hearty sauce that isn’t spicy but rather savory with beef, possibly vegetables, and savory Italian spices.

An aerial view of the finished spaghetti arrabiata.

Spaghetti Arrabiata

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 1 can, San Marzano tomatoes if available
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional (see tips)
  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked per the box instructions
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. When the saucepan is hot, add the olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the garlic. Cook for an additional 30 seconds.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
    1 tablespoon garlic cloves
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover, and cook at a low simmer for 20 to 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.
    28 ounces crushed tomatoes
    1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    Salt and pepper
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
    8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • After the sauce cooks, taste and add more salt if necessary. Add the noodles to the sauce, and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of about 2-3 ounces of the spaghetti arrabiata. Additionally, the calorie count does NOT include the Parmesan cheese and fresh basil garnishes seen in the photos.
*Actual calories will vary.
*For more information and tips, please refer to the post.


Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 1451mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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