Liturgical Living,  Feeding Future Saints,  Recipes

The Perfect Meatless Recipe for Lent

Skip the cheese pizza and feed your family this easy and delicious meatless meal this Lent!

Meal for meatless Fridays during Lent. Bowl of vermicelli pasta in a white and green bowl with parmesan and ricotta cheese on top. Red pepper flakes are sprinkled on top of the ricotta cheese. The bowl is sitting on a brown wooden table.
Feed your entire family for a few dollars with this easy and delicious pasta recipe!

Growing up, my family was not religious. We never observed Good Friday or attended Easter services. It wasn’t until I met my cradle Catholic husband that I was introduced to the concept of Lenten traditions. One of those traditions was eating “Ollie Oil” on meatless Fridays during Lent (Aglio e Olio in Italian).

I’ll be honest, liturgical living is not my strong suit, even on a good day. So the struggle to come up with vegetarian recipes for dinners during the long, tiring days of Lent is very real. Most Fridays, I end up throwing a frozen cheese pizza into the oven and calling it a night.

When my husband described this dish to me, I was skeptical that it could possibly be considered easy. But this dish really is the perfect quick and easy meal for those busy Lenten Friday nights. Not only is it simple, delicious, and kid-friendly, but the ingredients are probably all sitting in your pantry right this moment!

*This recipe contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate disclosure here.*

Aglio e Olio (“Ollie Oil”)

The perfect meatless meal for busy Friday nights during Lent. With only a few basic ingredients, you can have a flavorful meal on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 – 8 cloves Garlic Fresh or dehydrated (use less if dehydrated)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
  • 1 lb Vermicelli Pasta (or long pasta of your choice)
  • Ricotta Cheese (optional)
  • Parmesan Cheese (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)


  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Heavily salt the water for more flavorful pasta.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté your garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant.
  • Once the pasta is cooked and drained, carefully add the pasta to the skillet with the other ingredients.
  • Sauté until the pasta is evenly coated with the oil.
  • Add a dollop of room-temperature ricotta on top of the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and extra red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve immediately.


Stir the ricotta into the pasta for extra-creamy deliciousness! Or skip the cheese altogether for a vegan-friendly option. 
Keyword Garlic, Italian, Olive Oil, Parmesan, Pasta, Red Pepper, Ricotta, Vegetarian

And that’s it! It really does not get much more simple than this. It’s also super simple to customize the recipe to feed as many people as you need. We’ve even taken this dish to our parish’s “Soup and Stations” meals before Friday night Stations of the Cross during Lent and it was incredibly easy to make enough to feed 50+ people with minimal effort.

Finding ideas for easy, meatless dinners for Friday meals can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to feed little ones. I hope this little recipe makes living liturgically during Lent (or all year long, if you abstain from meat on all Fridays) a bit easier so you can focus on journeying with Our Lord toward his Passion and Resurrection!

Enjoy and have a blessed Lent, everyone!

To Him through Her,

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