How many carbs are in a single spaghetti noodle?

Spaghetti noodles are a pantry staple for many people. They’re versatile, budget-friendly, and easy to cook. But when watching your carbohydrate intake, you may wonder just how many carbs are packed into a single noodle strand.

The Basics of Pasta Nutrition

Pasta is made from a simple combination of durum wheat flour and water. Durum wheat contains protein, vitamins, and minerals. But the biggest component is starch, which is a carbohydrate. Specifically, durum wheat flour contains:

  • Starch: 71-73%
  • Water: 11-13%
  • Protein: 13-15%
  • Fat: 1-2%
  • Minerals: 0.8-0.9%

So when looking at the nutritional makeup of pasta, it’s clear that carbs reign supreme. The specific amount of carbohydrates present depends on the shape and type of pasta.

Nutrition Facts for Spaghetti Noodles

Spaghetti is a long, thin rod-shaped pasta. It’s typically made from durum wheat semolina flour.

The nutritional information for a 1-ounce (28 gram) serving of dry spaghetti is (1):

  • Calories: 107
  • Carbs: 22 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugars: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams

So in 1 ounce (about 2/3 cup) of dried spaghetti, there are 22 grams of net carbs. This comes exclusively from the starch in the durum semolina flour.

Carbs in a Single Spaghetti Noodle

To determine the carbs in just one spaghetti noodle, you need to know the weight. Noodles expand in size when cooked as they absorb water.

Here are some estimates for the size and weight of dry and cooked spaghetti noodles:

Noodle Status Length Diameter Weight
Dry 6-7 inches 1/16 inches ~2 grams
Cooked 6-7 inches 1/8 inches ~6 grams

Based on this, one dry spaghetti noodle weighs approximately 2 grams. And a cooked noodle weighs around 6 grams.

Using the nutrition information that 1 ounce (28 grams) of spaghetti contains 22 grams of carbs, we can calculate:

  • There are approximately 0.8 grams of carbs in one dry 2-gram spaghetti noodle
  • There are approximately 2.4 grams of carbs in one cooked 6-gram spaghetti noodle

Carb Differences Between Spaghetti Types

Keep in mind that these carb counts are for plain, traditional spaghetti. But there are many types of specialty pastas that may contain more or less carbs.

Some examples:

  • Whole wheat spaghetti: 24 grams of carbs per 1-ounce serving
  • Gluten-free spaghetti: 18 grams of carbs per 1-ounce serving
  • Protein-enriched spaghetti: 20 grams of carbs per 1-ounce serving

So if you switch from regular pasta to a whole wheat, gluten-free, or high-protein variety, the carb count per noodle may be a bit different.

Cooking Method Affects Noodle Carb Content

In addition to the type of spaghetti, the cooking method can also impact the retained carb content:

  • Boiling: No significant change in carbs
  • Roasting: Removes some moisture, so carbs concentrate slightly
  • Frying: Absorbs oil, decreasing carb percentage slightly

For example, a fried or roasted spaghetti noodle would have slightly more carbs by weight than a boiled noodle. But the difference is small.

Factors That Alter Carb Absorption

The total carbohydrate content tells you how many grams of carbs are present. However, the net absorption of carbs can vary based on a few factors:

  • Fiber content: A noodle higher in fiber will have less digestible carbs.
  • Cooking time: Overcooked pasta becomes more digestible, increasing carb absorption.
  • Pairings: Fats and acids (like lemon juice) slow digestion and carb absorption.

For example, a lightly cooked spaghetti noodle served with marinara sauce will have a lower glycemic effect than a heavily overcooked noodle served alone.

Noodle Serving Size Makes a Difference

Of course, most people don’t eat just a single noodle at a time. The recommended portion size for cooked pasta is 1/2 cup.

This serving size provides:

  • Around 30 grams of carbs for regular spaghetti
  • Up to 36 grams of carbs for whole wheat spaghetti

The more noodles you eat in one sitting, the more carbs you’ll consume. Keep your serving size modest if you’re keeping an eye on your overall carb intake.

Can You Reduce the Carbs in Spaghetti?

If you want to enjoy pasta but are limiting carbs, there are a few tricks to reducing the carb content of spaghetti:

  • Use a vegetable spiralizer to turn veggies like zucchini into noodle shapes.
  • Look for low-carb pasta made with soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, or hearts of palm.
  • Replace half the noodles with spiralized vegetables.
  • Cook noodles for the minimum time to retain the most fiber.
  • Cover noodles with chunky, fiber-rich sauce.

Swapping half of the pasta for veggie noodles cuts the carbs in half. You still get the enjoyment of noodles with a lighter carb load.

Cooking Tip for Low-Carb Needs

Here’s one final tip for reducing the impact of carbs when preparing pasta:

If cooking for someone who needs to watch their carb intake, cook their noodles separately. Cook the low-carb noodles first, then transfer them to a bowl and cover to retain heat. Cook any regular noodles for others in a separate pot of fresh boiling water.

This prevents the low-carb noodles from absorbing extra starch from the water used for regular pasta. Simply cooking low-carb and regular noodles together means the low-carb ones will take in additional carbs from the water.


A single spaghetti noodle contains less than 1 gram of digestible carbs when dry. A cooked noodle has around 2 grams of carbohydrates.

The exact carb amount varies based on the type of spaghetti, cooking method, and what it’s served with. But for most basic spaghetti noodles, a single serving averages:

  • 30 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup of regular spaghetti
  • 36 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup of whole wheat spaghetti

To lower the carb impact, stick to a modest portion size. You can also sub in veggie noodles or look for low-carb pasta alternatives. Follow the package directions for accurate nutrition information on specialty pastas.

With a little mindfulness of portions, spaghetti can be enjoyed even when limiting your carb intake!

Leave a Comment