How to Measure Out a Serving Size of Pasta Before Cooking

You can measure out pasta before cooking to ensure accurate serving sizes.

You can measure out pasta before cooking to ensure accurate serving sizes.

Measuring out serving sizes can help to prevent overeating. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a large portion size is one of the biggest problems leading to weight gain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture counts ½ cup of cooked pasta as a serving size. Most dried pasta doubles in volume when cooked, so measure out a smaller portion of pasta than what you plan to eat. For example, 1 ounce of dried pasta will equal ½ cup of cooked pasta.

Measure dry pasta by weight rather than volume to increase accuracy. Set your scale to "0" before you put the pasta on it.

Place the pasta on your food scale. A 1-ounce serving of pasta does not seem like very much. For short pasta, it will be approximately one handful. A 1-ounce serving of long pasta will be the diameter of a dime when bunched together.

Wait for a few moments for your scale to give you a reading. A digital scale will give you the reading quickly. A spring scale may take a moment to balance and settle down.

Take into account the weight of the container if you are using one to hold your pasta. This will ensure a correct reading for your pasta on the scale. For example, if your container weighs 2 ounces, your scale should read 3 ounces when weighing the pasta for a 1-ounce serving.

Add more pasta or take away pasta as necessary until you have the portion size you want. For example, if your scale reads 2 ounces with only the pasta on it, take out a half a handful of pasta at a time until your scale reads 1 ounce.

Items you will need

  • Food scale
  • Uncooked pasta


  • If you do not have a food scale, you can measure out your dry pasta using measuring cups. A 1/4-cup measuring cup equals 2 ounces.

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About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.

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