Pasta and Rice Conversions & Equivalents

How frustrating is it when you’re cooking dinner from a great recipe you found in your favorite cooking magazine that says you need 2 cups of cooked rice but you have no idea how much dry rice that takes. Or what if you need to know how many cups of cooked macaroni yields from 1 cup of dry macaroni?

I’ve been there so I created this helpful list of rice and pasta conversions and equivalents I think will help all home cooks. I know I’ll be referring to it often.

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How Much Pasta Per Person?

The question most often asked about pasta is how much dry pasta do you cook per person? This really depends on a bunch of factors including the type of pasta, how it is served, what it is served with and who are you serving it to.

According to the pasta manufacturer Barilla, 2 ounces of dry pasta is the right amount per person. That sounds right if the pasta is a side dish to a chicken or meat entry or if you are serving it as a small plate appetizer.

In many of my favorite Italian cookbooks, they suggest 1 pound (16 ounces) of pasta for 4 people or 4 ounces per person. That seems like a lot of pasta to me. I typically cook a pound box of pasta like penne or a pound package of spaghetti or fettuccine for the four of us, but there are usually leftovers at the end of the meal.

I’m going to say 3 – 4 ounces per person depending on what type of eater you are feeding should work out nicely. Another way you’ll see long pasta like spaghetti or angle hair presented in cookbooks and on the internet is in diameter. For example, a 2⅛ inch circumference of spaghetti equates to 2 ounces dry spaghetti or 1 cup cooked.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I measured out the circumference of my pasta before cooking. I have seen those spaghetti measuring tools you can purchase that have different sized wholes in them to use to measure out circumference, I think I even have one somewhere in the drawer but it rarely sees the light of day. Maybe I need to give it a try.

Pasta Conversions & Equivalents

1 pound dried pasta (16 oz.)serves 4 – 5 people
2 ounces long pastasyields 1 cup pasta cooked
2 ounces short pastasyields 1¼ cups cooked
2 ounces soup pastasyields about⅔ cup to 1 cups cooked
2 ounces shellsyields about 1 cups cooked
1 pound dried pastaequals 4 cups dry pasta
1 cup of dry pastayields about 2 cups of cooked pasta
1 pound of dry pastayields about 8 cups of cooked pasta
2 ounces (1 cup) dry egg noodlesyields about 1 cup egg noodles cooked

How Much Rice Per Person?

Like pasta servings, this depends on if you are you serving it as a side dish or as the main dish with other ingredients added to it. It also depends on who you are serving it to. And then it depends on who you ask.

Many recipes I see call for about 1 cup of cooked rice per serving. Some dietitians as well as the USDA say this is too much and you should only eat ½ cup cooked rice per serving. I think that unless you are on a special diet, somewhere in the middle works fine.

In our house, since we are always using leftovers for the girls lunches, so we usually cook more than we are going to serve for dinner and portion out what “feels” right for each kid.

Rice to Liquid Ratio

The most common ratio for rice to liquid is 1 to 2 or 1 cup rice to 2 cups of water which will yield 3 cups cooked rice. The formula is simple: 1-2-3.

So if you were cooking 2 cups of rice, you would cook it with 4 cups of liquid to yield 6 cups of cooked rice.

I’m saying liquid here and not water even though most people cook their rice in water because you can try cooking your rice in chicken or vegetable stock for extra flavor.

Rice Conversions & Equivalents

1 cup uncooked white riceyields 3 cups of cooked white rice
1 cup brown whole grain riceyields 4 cups of cooked rice
1 cup long grain riceyields 3 cups cooked rice
1 cup dry pre-cooked instant riceyields 2 cups cooked rice
1 cup uncooked wild riceyields 3 cups cooked wild rice
Assuming 1 cup of cooked rice per person.

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¾ cup (96 grams) uncooked riceserves 2 persons
1 cup (180 grams) uncooked riceserves 3 persons
2 cups (360 grams) uncooked riceserves 6 persons
Assuming 1/2 cup of cooked rice per person.
¾ cup (96 grams) uncooked riceserves4 persons
1 cup (180 grams) uncooked riceserves6 persons
2 cup (360 grams) uncooked riceserves12 persons

Other Important Ingredient Conversions