How Much Pasta Should I Make Per Person?

We're answering the age-old question: How much pasta per person? Use our handy chart to determine how much to cook based on pasta shape.

how to measure pasta, learn how much pasta to cook with this guideShutterstock / marekuliasz

It’s sometimes difficult to determine the amount of pasta to cook for a recipe, especially if the package is opened and partially used. Follow along as we break down how much pasta you should make per person, along with tips on perfecting your pasta game. (Looking for a great dish? Try these incredibly easy pasta recipes.)

Make the Best Pasta with These Tips

  • Save your pasta waterPasta water acts a thickening agent to pasta sauce! Pour over noodles before adding the sauce.
  • Cook spaghetti the right way: Carefully hold spaghetti in boiling water and ease it down into the water as it softens, pushing it around the edge of the pan. When fully immersed in the water, stir the spaghetti to separate strands.
  • Try adding sugar to spaghetti and meatballsA pinch of sugar to pasta sauce will mellow out the acidity—creating a more balanced sauce.
  • Pair your pasta with a complementary sauce: Heavier sauces, like Alfredo, are best for wider noodles (hello, fettuccine Alfredo), whereas thinner sauces are perfect for skinnier noodle shapes like angel hair. To figure out which one works best for your pasta, you need to know the different types of pasta sauce.
  • Freeze your leftovers: Yes, you can really freeze cooked pasta. Just make sure to freeze your pasta and sauce separately

How Much Pasta is in a Portion?

A single serving size of pasta is typically about two ounces of dry pasta—amounting to about a cup of cooked pasta. Measuring out two ounces of dry pasta can get tricky when dealing with smaller pasta shapes like bow tie and macaroni. That’s why we threw together this handy chart for you! By the way, here is what al dente means.

How Much Pasta to Make Per Person

The chart below is a guideline for dry, packaged pasta. (If you’re serving for a group, just add up the dry amounts based on how many people you’re serving.)

Type of Pasta
Uncooked Amount Per Person
Angel Hair 2 oz
Bow Tie 1 cup/2 oz
Egg Noodle 1 cup/2 oz
Elbow Macaroni ½ cup/2 oz
Fettuccine 2 oz
Linguine 2 oz
Medium Shell ¾ cup/2 oz
Rigatoni ¾ cup/2 oz
Rotini ¾ cup/2 oz
Spaghetti 2 oz
Thin Spaghetti 2 oz
Vermicelli 2 oz
Ziti ¾ cup/2 oz
Try these fork-twirling good spaghetti recipes.
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Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.