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While your plate set probably came with soup and salad bowls, it’s likely that it doesn’t include larger-format bowls for enjoying pasta. Sure, you can enjoy some quick spaghetti in just about any bowl, but even butter noodles can benefit from a proper pasta bowl.
The best pasta bowls are larger than typical bowls, typically accommodating from 20 to 32 ounces or more. Instead of being shaped like deep mixing bowls, pasta bowls are low and wide, making it easier to get to your pasta regardless of what shape it is. Most pasta bowls are made of china, ceramic, tempered glass, or melamine.
Yes, it almost seems as if there are as many pasta bowls as there are types of pasta. To help you narrow it down, we did the research to find some of the top-rated pasta bowls on the market. We then purchased them for our home tester to put through their paces. She plated saucy pasta dishes, large green salads, breakfast yogurt bowls, and more, rating each bowl's ability to hold a heaping serving, withstand the maneuvers of various utensils, match the rest of a table setting, and more.
Based on her findings, here are the best pasta bowls for your next bowl of homemade ravioli or family-favorite carbonara.
Best Overall: Fiesta 32-Ounce Pasta Bowl
Gorgeous color options
The size and shape make it versatile
Retains heat well when microwaved
Thicker and heavier than other options
Whether you like to keep things colorful or are trying to match another serving set you already own, these pasta bowls will deliver. Fiesta dinnerware has been around for a while, so you very well may have other pieces. The stackable bowls (great for small spaces) come in one of the largest arrays of colors we’ve seen—16 different shades, including neutrals, such as white and gray, to bright, bold colors, such as purple and red.
Our tester found that the gorgeous "Mediterranean-ish" turquoise color and the subtle striping around the interior and exterior of the bowl added extra visual appeal. She reached for this bowl again and again thanks to its sturdy design, versatility, and good looks.
She used the bowl for cheese-filled tortellini with spinach in olive oil, as well as yogurt bowls, cereal—and even used it to serve a street corn salad for Cinco de Mayo and a small fruit salad for two for breakfast. "I think it would also work well for salads, grain bowls, chili, heating leftovers (I microwaved leftover Chinese food in these and the ceramic seemed to retain the heat pretty well), and more," she adds.
These porcelain china pasta bowls are loved by reviewers because of their large size—they hold up to 32 ounces each. They are also microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 32 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
"I would definitely recommend these bowls. I think they're extremely versatile, a great everyday size, durable, easy to clean, and available in a ton of colors to match kitchen decor or existing dinnerware." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Restaurant-Style: Aaron Probyn Bone China Pasta Bowl
Shape really shows off food
Clean white design
Dishes may be hot to the touch
The best pasta bowls have two key features: They have low sides that contain noodles but make it easy enough to lift the food out; and they are wide, leaving plenty of room for lots of delicious sauce. Beyond that, the most important thing is to simply choose a pasta bowl that goes with your decor. That being said, all-white pasta bowls are a classic choice since the food really pops against the timeless neutral.
These handmade bone china white bowls go with any color scheme, so they can move with you from house to house. Plus, they are just elevated enough to toe the line between everyday and formal use, which makes them very versatile pieces of dinnerware.
Our tester likened the shallow design of these bowls to something you’d be served in a restaurant. These bowls made basic spaghetti in marinara sauce look like a gourmet meal.
These lightweight bowls are both microwave- and dishwasher-safe. They’re about the width of a standard dinner plate and our tester found they could stack right alongside her plates in the dishwasher.
Material: Bone china | Volume: 32.25 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
If you’re looking to match your current place settings, white china pasta bowls tend to coordinate with everything, though there are also a few basic color options in several sets.
"This bowl elevated the presentation of my pantry staple spaghetti and jarred marinara and made it look like something I'd order in a restaurant." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Budget: Corelle Winter Frost White 20-Ounce Bowl 6-Piece Set
Safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and oven
Doesn't coordinate with formal dining sets
When it comes to pasta bowls, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality product. If you’re satisfied with plain white options without fancy design elements or glazing, there are plenty of affordable options out there. This set of six bowls is about as good as you can get in terms of price, with each bowl netting out at under $5 if you can find the set on sale.
With a 20-ounce capacity, these pasta bowls are a standard size that can comfortably fit a full serving of pasta and sauce, if not more. Our tester found these bowls ultra-practical for everyday use and noted they’re the ideal shape and size for pasta entrees or sides, as well as salads, snack plates, burrito bowls, and more.
They’re made with triple-layer strong glass, which not only looks great but is also incredibly functional and durable. They’re lightweight, stackable, and highly resistant to chips and breaks. Additionally, these plates are microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe. Reviewers highly recommend the set, calling them the perfect size and shape—plus many vouch for the fact that they last for many years, despite the low sticker price. Our tester agrees, saying, "I noticed no marks to the finish after using or washing and, like other Corelle pieces I own, these seem very durable and resistant to breakage."
Material: Tempered glass | Volume: 20 ounces | Number of Pieces: Six
"Although this set is budget-priced, the durability and versatility of these bowls is unmatched. Pasta, salads, leftovers, snack plates—I piled it all into these bowls and continue to reach for them daily." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Oversized: Le Tauci Pasta Bowls
Made of thick, quality stoneware
Chip- and crack-resistant stoneware
Large surface area makes them versatile
Retains heat well
May be too heavy for some people's taste
If you have a large appetite or simply prefer larger-scale dinnerware with more surface area, these oversized pasta bowls are a great choice. At 45 ounces, the shiny white ceramic bowls are large enough to use as small serving bowls, but aren’t comically large—you can definitely use them for larger individual portions of noodles, too.
They’re an especially good option for anyone who wants to use the bowls for all types of food, such as soups, like ramen, or large dinner-sized main course salads. Our tester even used them to serve a fruit salad and pretzels at her toddler’s birthday party.
Despite the generous capacity, the shallow silhouette keeps them looking refined—not clunky. The bowls are made of thick, quality stoneware that’s both chip- and crack-resistant to hold up to everyday use including spins through the dishwasher and microwave.
Material: Ceramic | Volume: 45 ounces | Number of Pieces: Four
"These generously sized bowls were the perfect choice for containing a saucy fettuccine dish with room to spare for meatballs or even a slice of garlic bread or two on the side." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Design: Villeroy & Boch Vapiano Pasta Bowls
Beautiful design and shape elevate any table setting
Color coordinates with almost anything
Nesting design for easier storage
Can’t buy singles
Take up width in storage cabinets
These lovely pasta bowls, a set of two, are of European manufacture but are readily available in the U.S. They’re perfect for pastas and salads, and their gently curved oval design makes them more eye-catching than plain, round bowls.
Villeroy & Boch, the esteemed, centuries-old German manufacturer, makes these out of porcelain, which is lightweight, yet sturdy, and can be popped right into the dishwasher. Our tester does note that, however, because of their depth and curved oval shape, these bowls take up a lot of rack space—so it may be tricky to fit more than a few on a rack.
Our tester also noted that the shape and design elevated her table setting but points out that these may not be the best choice for families with young children, who may find the bowls tough to carry and eat out from.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 26 ounces | Number of Pieces: Two
"They easily hold more than a standard 2-ounce serving of pasta, and the two low-curved sides helped me move noodles onto my fork. I could see these bowls also coming in handy for serving beef stew piled over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Matte: Williams Sonoma Terre Pasta Bowls
Matte finish feels good to the touch
Four attractive color options
Adds a nice rustic touch to kitchen decor
Matte finish may pick up silverware marks
These sturdy demi-matte stoneware pasta bowls come in four different shades to suit a range of decor styles, but every color has one thing in common: The sleek design will lend sophistication to both everyday and formal meals. They mix and match well, too, making them a welcome addition to just about any set of dishes you may already have.
Still, these pasta bowls are very functional. At just over 36 ounces, these bowls are bigger than many other standard options. Our tester compared the overall size to a 10-inch dinner plate in terms of storage and noted the wide, flat bottom of these bowls offers plenty of real estate for pasta or a standard protein plus starch and veggie meal. Plus, they don’t break easily, and they are dishwasher- and microwave-safe—all qualities that make the set of four great for families.
Material: Ceramic | Volume: 36.5 ounces | Number of Pieces: Four
"The matte finish on these bowls added a homey, rustic feel to my dining room table. The finish also feels so good, I wanted to eat all of my meals off of these." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best for Entertaining: TGLBT Pasta/Salad Bowls
Elegant, neutral white
Great price for set of eight
Easy to maneuver long pasta
A little thinner than other options
If you’re setting yourself up to serve a crowd on a regular basis or just want extra serving-size dishes handy, this set of eight bone china pasta bowls is perfect. The neutral white color and simple design coordinate with almost any other dishware, they’re dishwasher-safe, and the full set stacks very compactly.
Unlike stoneware or even other dish materials, bone china is lightweight and looks delicate and elegant on the table. Our tester noted these bowls feel thinner and more fragile than others on this list. As with all dishware, common sense dictates that you should take care not to slam them together or you’ll risk chipping the rims. She also found they didn’t retain heat as well as ceramic or stoneware bowls.
Still, a set of eight bowls at an affordable price is a versatile solution for dinner parties or having extra serving dishes on hand.
Material: Bone china | Volume: 22 ounces | Number of Pieces: Eight
"The porcelain material of these bowls doesn't feel as heavy-duty or durable as ceramic bowls, but the design is clean and simple and the full set stacks neatly and compactly." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best for Outdoor Dining: Pottery Barn Cabana Melamine Individual Bowl
Durable for al fresco dining
Attractive color options
Perfect for pasta salad or snacks
Very easy to clean
On the small side
When it comes to dining outdoors, durability is arguably the most important feature of any dinnerware. When you’re carrying meals from the kitchen to your outdoor dining table or eating in the wind, the chance of breakage is just that much higher. But disposable options aren’t ideal for a variety of reasons—they’re not eco-friendly and are much less sophisticated.
Your best choice is melamine. These pasta bowls have all the same qualities of much more refined ceramic options. Our tester notes these bowls are a bit smaller than others on this list and resemble a cereal bowl more than a pasta bowl. Still, they easily fit a standard serving of pasta with sauce, oatmeal, yogurt and granola, and more. "They don't retain heat as much as ceramic, so I'd actually prefer these bowls for items other than warm pasta dishes. I could see serving pasta salad or a side of pasta in these," our tester adds.
Choose from four rich colors—stone, charcoal, turquoise, and navy—that complement a wide range of styles. Plus, you can complete your set with all of the companion pieces available, from serving bowls and platters to salad and dinner plates. They’re top-rack dishwasher-safe, but like all melamine, not recommended for microwave use.
Material: Melamine | Volume: 26 ounces | Number of Pieces: One or four
"These bowls almost had me fooled into thinking they were ceramic. I found a lot of versatility in them for serving everything from salads to macaroni and cheese and breakfast cereal." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Denby White Square Pasta Bowl
Feels sturdy without being too heavy
Neutral white matches anything
Great for salads and dips
Sometimes it’s nice to have dishes on the table that aren’t all the same shape, and having square pasta bowls can help highlight the visual beauty of any pasta dish. These are smaller in volume, but nicely shaped, and the color is neutral so will match almost any other dishware.
Our tester found the sloped sides of this bowl somewhat take away its versatility—it’s a bit too shallow to use for soup, cereal, or very saucy pastas since overfilling the bowl can easily slosh food over the rim. It can hold approximately 18 ounces, which our tester found a better size for salads or dips and bread.
The Denby pasta bowl can be purchased as a single piece or part of a set in which all the dishes have that similar square shape with just slightly rounded corners. They’re safe in the oven and microwave and can go right in the dishwasher.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 18.7 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
"The rounded corners and shallow design of this bowl make it a good choice for serving salads or dips as well as pasta." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Handmade: YomYomCeramic Rustic Ceramic Pasta Bowl
Handcrafted and distinctive
Strikes a balance in size and shape
Coordinates with other handcrafted pieces
Can be placed in the oven
Won’t blend well with all décor
Pasta is a special dish that deserves special dishes. You can’t get more special than these one-of-a-kind handcrafted ceramic pasta bowls from YomYomCeramics. The interiors are glazed, but the exteriors are matte and metallic, with raw, organic design schemes—each handmade and unique. A delightful way to present pasta, ramen, or veggies, they’re entirely safe in the dishwasher, microwave, and even the oven.
Our tester enjoyed a serving of cheese-filled ravioli out of this bowl and found the material offers a lot of grip so food doesn’t slide around. Her one caveat is the "gritty" texture of the interior: "The texture helped hold food in place, but I didn't like how a stainless steel utensil felt against it," she explained. She found the best way to run this bowl through the dishwasher was to place it on the top rack, since the curved edges made it a bit tricky to stand upright in the rack.
They won’t exactly match most dishware, but does that matter? These offer elegant presentation and an interesting aesthetic—no two are exactly alike—and adding them to your table supports the work of a gifted ceramics artist.
Material: Ceramic | Volume: 20 ounces | Number: One, two, four, six, eight, 10, 14, 18, 24
"This one-of-a-kind bowl is so unique looking that pottery fans will want to display it even when it's not in use." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
If you’re looking for a generously sized pasta bowl whose range of color options will match almost any table setting (and has stellar heat retention to boot), the Fiesta 32-Ounce Pasta Bowl will fit the bill. For something that also complements your existing dinnerware but has a wallet-friendly appeal, we recommend the six-piece Corelle Winter Frost set.
How We Tested
We purchased 10 of the best pasta bowls and sent them to our freelancer, Sharon Lehman, to test. She first inspected the bowls right out of the box, evaluating their design, thickness, and durability, as well as how well they matched the rest of her table setting. She then used the bowls for a variety of saucy pasta dishes, including ravioli with tomato sauce, tortellini with olive oil, classic spaghetti, and linguine with clams. Sharon also used the bowls for other dishes like salads, yogurt bowls with fruit and granola toppings, reheated leftovers, and microwavable frozen meals.
She assessed whether each bowl was able to accommodate an ample serving of those foods and whether she was able to maneuver the food in the vessel easily; how well the material was able to retain heat (including after microwaving if applicable) before food cooled down; whether the bowl sustained scratches from forks and knives; and other observations. Lastly, she evaluated how easy each bowl was to clean, either by hand-washing or running it in the dishwasher if it is dishwasher-safe.
Finally, Sharon rated each bowl on the following attributes: Material, Design, Functionality, Quality of Finish, and Overall Value.
What to Look for in Pasta Bowls
The classic design of a pasta bowl balances two things that are typical of most pasta dishes: noodles and sauce. Whatever the noodle shape—and there are many—you’ll want all of them to have contact with the sauce and mix evenly. The low, spread-out shape of a pasta bowl is ideal for that sort of sauce distribution. Conversely, because the pasta bowl isn’t flat, it also helps contain the sauce, all nice and cozy with the noodles—no sloshing over the sides. Many people also especially appreciate pasta bowls that have a wide, flat lip because that lip creates a visual frame for the food.
Pasta bowls range in size from under 20 ounces to much larger. Depending on how you’re dining and whom you’re feeding, the sizes in the middle can often do double duty as either serving bowls or large, elegant, single-serving dishes. The generally accepted serving size for pasta is 2 ounces dry, which ends up being about a cup of noodles once cooked. With sauce added, that’s not as skimpy as it might seem. Even with a standard portion, though, there is something visually appealing about having the pasta and sauce gracefully resting at the center of the dish, framed by the edge of a beautiful pasta bowl.
Like most dishware, with pasta bowls there are many materials to choose from. Stoneware, pottery, china, glass, melamine, plastics, and even wood and bamboo. The type of material doesn’t necessarily indicate quality or lack thereof, but you do want to select pasta bowls that work with your lifestyle, cooking habits, cleanup, and personal taste.
Many matched sets of dishes often include a bowl or plate that might be labeled “pasta” or “salad,” but the shape and utility are roughly the same. If your dishware doesn’t already include a dish suitable for pasta, and if having matching dishes is important to you, look around until you find a pasta bowl that coordinates. There are many available styles, and you’re sure to find one that you like.
If you’re a dishwasher person, be sure to select a pasta bowl of material that’s dishwasher safe. Also, a thicker and heavier dish will tend to retain a food’s heat better, and a pasta dish of a heavier material will keep the food warmer, albeit marginally. But really, isn’t the pasta usually all eagerly twirled, forked, or slurped up and long gone before it has any chance to cool off?
Are all pasta bowls heavy?
Pasta is primarily associated with Italian cuisine, and there is a particular design aesthetic surrounding Italian stoneware, so many of the pasta bowls you see will be of that design or emulating it. That said, pasta bowls aren’t heavy simply because they’re pasta bowls. The weight of any dish has more to do with its overall size, the type of material it’s made from, and its design.
Can I use a soup bowl for pasta?
You can use any sort of dish you wish for pasta, but pasta bowls typically have a low, wide design, with or without a rim. The reason for this is that the shape contains the sauce and allows a perfect sauce distribution, where the sauce clings to, but doesn’t overwhelm the pasta. A soup bowl, on the other hand, is better for foods like, well...soup, in which you want everything to be swimming freely around in the broth together.
Can you eat pasta on a regular plate?
Many a grandmother, Italian or otherwise, has served up spaghetti and meatballs on a big, wide plate. It’s not that it doesn’t work; it does, but the classic Mediterranean design of the pasta bowl has a raised side that Nonna would likely pick if she had the choice.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, a culinary school graduate who has written and edited hundreds of stories about small home goods and food for a wide range of women's lifestyle publications.
Jenny Kellerhals updated this roundup. Jenny is a food and beverage writer based in Queens, New York. With over a decade of experience in professional kitchens, she keeps her standards high, and at home, only the most reliable dinnerware and best equipment make the cut.
Catherine Russell also updated this roundup. Growing up, her grandmother's kitchen was one of her favorite places to be. Warmed by the oven and redolent of spices, she learned to bake, roast, broil, and cook most anything from scratch, and often with only the recipes as grandma remembered them.