How Much Salt to Add to Boiling Water?

Boiling salted water for pasta or potatoes.
Diana Rattray

Many recipes instruct you to cook items in "boiling salted water." The recipes sometimes list the amount of salt to use, but not always.

Unless the recipe tells you exactly how much salt to add, use about 1 heaping teaspoon of table salt for each quart, and add it after the water begins to boil. This is a good rule of thumb to use when you boil potatoes, cabbage, pasta, and more.

Here's how to substitute coarse salt for table salt.

  • To substitute Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt or Maldon sea salt for table salt, use about twice as much.
  • To substitute Morton Kosher Salt or fleur de sel for table salt, use about 50% more.
  • Covering the pot will help the water get to the boiling point quicker.

See Also

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Boiled Cabbage