We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
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. 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. Most pasta bowls are made of china, ceramic, tempered glass, or melamine.
Here are the best pasta bowls for your next bowl of homemade ravioli or family-favorite carbonara.
Best Overall: Aaron Probyn Bone China Pasta Bowl
Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
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. For that reason, white pasta bowls are a great choice for the average person.
These handmade bone china white ones 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. Still, they are both microwave- and dishwasher-safe, making them convenient options, too.
Material: Bone china | Volume: 32.25 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
Best Budget: Corelle Winter Frost White 20-Ounce Bowl 6-Piece Set
Microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe
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, but this set of six is about as good as you can get in terms of price, with each plate netting out at under $5 when you find the package on sale.
At 20 ounces, these plates are a very standard size that comfortably and easily fits a full serving of pasta, if not more. They’re also made with triple-layer strong glass, which looks great, but is also incredibly functional. They’re lightweight, stackable, and 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.
Material: Tempered glass | Volume: 20 ounces | Number of Pieces: Six
Best Oversized: Le Tauci Pasta Bowls
Basic color options
Chip- and crack-resistant stoneware
May be too large for smaller servings
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. Despite this, the shallow silhouette keeps them looking refined—not clunky. But don’t worry, they won’t break in the dishwasher. The bowls are made of quality stoneware that’s both chip- and crack-resistant to hold up to everyday use.
Material: Ceramic | Volume: 45 ounces | Number of Pieces: Four
Best Set of Two: Villeroy & Boch Vapiano Pasta Bowls
Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
Beautiful, organic shape
Color coordinates with almost anything
Porcelain can be fragile
Can’t buy singles
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 design is somehow 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 in the dishwasher.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 26 ounces | Number of Pieces: Two
Best Set of Four: Williams Sonoma Terre Pasta Bowls
Dishwasher-, oven-, and microwave-safe
Four attractive color options
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. 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
Best Set of Eight: TGLBT Pasta/Salad Bowls
Elegant, neutral white
Great price for set of eight
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 pasta bowls is perfect. Unlike stoneware or even other dish materials, bone china is lightweight, and although it looks delicate and elegant on the table, it is quite sturdy. They do stack, but as with all dishware, common sense dictates that you should take care not to slam them together or you’ll risk chipping the rims. The neutral white color and simple design coordinates with almost any other dishware, and they’re dishwasher safe. With eight bowls in the set, you’ll quickly discover how useful pasta bowls can be as serving dishes or salad plates.
Material: Bone china | Volume: 22 ounces | Number of Pieces: Eight
Best Range of Colors: Fiesta 32-Ounce Pasta Bowl
16 color options available
Microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe
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.
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. The vast majority call the bowls practical, versatile, sturdy, and attractive.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 32 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
Best for Outdoor Dining: Pottery Barn Cabana Melamine Individual Bowl
Perfectly durable for al fresco dining
Attractive color options
Not microwave safe
When it comes to dining outdoors, durability is arguably the most important feature for 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. 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.
Material: Melamine | Volume: 26 ounces | Number of Pieces: One or four
Best Square: Denby White Square Pasta Bowl
Safe in oven, microwave, and dishwasher
Neutral white matches anything
Porcelain can be fragile
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. 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 oven and microwave and can go right in the dishwasher.
Material: Porcelain | Volume: 18.7 ounces | Number of Pieces: One
Best Unique Design: 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. Buy one or a set. They won’t exactly match most dishware, but does that matter? These offer elegant presentation—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
If you’re looking for a pasta bowl that will match almost any table setting and be appropriate for nearly any level of formality, the Aaron Probyn Bone China Pasta Bowl will fit the bill. For something equally complementary of your existing dinnerware, but with a wallet-friendly appeal, we recommend the six-piece Corelle Winter Frost set.
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.