How many Oz is a serving of vegetables?

Quick Answer

The recommended serving size for vegetables is typically about 1 cup or 2-3 oz. However, serving sizes can vary depending on the type of vegetable. Leafy greens often have a larger recommended serving around 2 cups or 2 oz. Starchy vegetables like potatoes may have a smaller serving around 1/2 cup or 1-2 oz. Ultimately vegetables should make up the largest portion of your plate.

How Much is a Serving of Vegetables?

When it comes to healthy eating, consuming enough fruits and vegetables is key. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends filling half your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal.[1] For most adults, this equates to about 2-3 cups of vegetables per day as part of a balanced diet.

But when looking at a single serving, how many ounces of veggies should you eat? Here is a breakdown of typical vegetable serving sizes:[2]

Vegetable Type Serving Size
Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, lettuce) 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked
Raw vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, celery) 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked
Cooked vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans) 1/2 cup cooked
Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas) 1/2 cup cooked

As you can see, a serving ranges from 1/2 cup to 2 cups depending on whether the vegetable is raw or cooked. But how many ounces is that exactly?

Here is the typical weight in ounces (oz) for common vegetable serving sizes:[3]

Vegetable Serving Size Ounces
1 cup raw leafy greens ~1 oz
2 cups raw leafy greens ~2 oz
1 cup raw vegetables ~4-8 oz
1/2 cup cooked vegetables ~2-4 oz

So in general, a single serving works out to around 1-2 oz for leafy greens and 2-4 oz for other vegetables.

Of course, these serving sizes are just general guidelines. When in doubt, remember the basic advice to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Focus on getting a variety of colors and types of produce each day.

Factors that Affect Vegetable Serving Sizes

Several factors can affect appropriate vegetable serving sizes, including:

Type of Vegetable

Leafy greens like spinach and kale are less dense than broccoli or carrots, so they have a larger recommended serving size of 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked. Starchy veggies like corn and potatoes have more calorie-dense carbohydrates, so the serving size is smaller at 1/2 cup cooked.

Raw vs. Cooked

Cooking reduces water content and shrinks the vegetable, so cooked veggies have a smaller serving size than their raw counterparts. For example, 1 cup raw broccoli shrinks down to about 1/2 cup cooked.

Age and Gender

Serving sizes may be larger for adult men, teenage boys, and very active women who have higher calorie needs. Older adults, kids, and less active people may opt for smaller servings to meet their needs.

Dietary Needs

People managing diabetes or watching carbohydrates may limit starchy vegetable servings like corn and potatoes. Low-calorie diets may focus on leafy greens and broccoli to maximize nutrients and fullness. Fiber-rich diets can emphasize larger servings of vegetables overall.

Typical Serving Sizes for Common Vegetables

Here is a more detailed breakdown of typical serving sizes for many common vegetables:[4]

Leafy Greens

– Spinach: 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked
– Kale: 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked
– Romaine lettuce: 1 cup raw
– Mixed greens: 2 cups raw

Cruciferous Vegetables

– Broccoli: 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked
– Cauliflower: 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked
– Brussels sprouts: 1/2 cup chopped or 5-6 small sprouts
– Cabbage: 1/2 cup chopped

Starchy Vegetables

– Potato: 1 small (3 oz)
– Corn: 1/2 cup or 1 small ear
– Green peas: 1/2 cup
– Plantain: 1/3 cup sliced

Root Vegetables

– Carrots: 1 medium raw (7-8 oz) or 1/2 cup chopped cooked
– Beets: 1 small raw (2-3 oz) or 1/2 cup cooked
– Parsnips: 1/2 cup chopped
– Turnips: 1/2 cup chopped

Beans and Legumes

– Green beans: 1/2 cup cooked
– Snap peas: 1/2 cup
– Lima beans: 1/2 cup
– Refried beans: 1/2 cup

Summer Squash

– Zucchini: 1/2 cup chopped or 1 small (6 oz)
– Yellow squash: 1/2 cup sliced
– Eggplant: 1/2 cup cubed

Winter Squash

– Acorn: 1/2 cup cubed
– Butternut: 1/2 cup cubed
– Pumpkin: 1/2 cup mashed

Other Vegetables

– Tomatoes: 1 small raw (2-3 oz) or 1/2 cup chopped
– Bell peppers: 1 medium raw (4 oz) or 1/2 cup chopped
– Mushrooms: 1/2 cup raw or cooked
– Asparagus: 5-6 spears
– Onions: 1/2 cup chopped
– Avocado: 1/4 whole fruit or 1/2 cup cubed

Tips for Getting Enough Vegetables

Aim to include a few servings of vegetables at both lunch and dinner. Here are some tips to help increase your vegetable intake:

– Load up sandwiches, wraps, tacos, pizza, and casseroles with veggies.

– Include a salad and/or roasted, grilled, or sautéed veggies as a side dish.

– Try veggie-based soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and oven-roasted vegetables.

– Snack on raw veggies and hummus, salsa, or guacamole.

– Add spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and tomatoes to eggs and omelets.

– Mix vegetables into rice dishes, noodles, and casseroles.

– Puree veggies like cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini into sauces, dips, and spreads.

– Drink vegetable juice and smoothies made with leafy greens and carrots.

Serving Size Equivalents for Visual Reference

To get a better visual for vegetable serving sizes, here are some common equivalents:

– 1 cup raw leafy greens = one loosely packed handful

– 1/2 cup chopped vegetables = about the size of a tennis ball

– 1 small potato = about the size of a computer mouse

– 2 cups lettuce = 4 large leaves

– 1 cup raw veggies = about 16 standard baby carrots

– 1 medium bell pepper = roughly the size of a baseball

– 1 cup broccoli florets = about the size of a lightbulb

Nutrition Content of Vegetable Servings

In addition to the volume-based serving sizes, it can be helpful to look at the typical number of calories and grams of carbs, fiber, and protein in vegetable servings:[5]

Vegetable (Serving Size) Calories Net Carbs Fiber Protein
Broccoli (1/2 cup) 15 2g 1g 1g
Carrots (1/2 cup) 25 5g 2g 1g
Spinach (1 cup) 7 1g 1g 1g
Bell Pepper (1/2 cup) 13 2g 1g 1g
Potato (1 small) 110 26g 2g 3g
Sweet Potato (1/2 cup) 70 17g 3g 2g

As shown, vegetables provide healthy carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with very low calorie counts. Focusing on non-starchy vegetables can help keep net carbs in check.

Serving Size Recommendations

To summarize typical vegetable serving sizes:

– 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked is a standard serving for most non-leafy vegetables

– 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked is recommended for leafy greens like spinach and kale

– 1/2 cup cooked is a serving for starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes

– Vegetables should cover about half your plate or make up 2-3 cups per day

– One serving is approximately 2-4 oz depending on vegetable type and whether it’s raw or cooked

– Serving sizes may be adjusted based on age, gender, activity level, and dietary needs


Vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet, providing essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant compounds. While serving sizes vary, a good rule of thumb is 1-2 cups per meal, depending on vegetable type. Adults should aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables per day as part of a balanced diet. Focus on getting a variety of colors and maximizing non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. Measure portions to get a better sense of amounts that work for your calorie needs and health goals. With so many nutrients packed into vegetables, filling half your plate with produce is a simple strategy for better overall health.

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