The typical household is stocked with a set of dishes that includes things like appetizer plates, dinner plates, and soup bowls. Maybe you have a healthy collection of novelty coffee mugs and dinner party-worthy serving bowls. But what many people overlook is the pasta bowl, which as any true noodle lover will tell you, is a highly underrated serving vessel.
Don't believe us? We're here to change to change hearts and minds with some of the most gorgeous (and functional!) pasta bowls around, lovingly selected by a handful of noodle-crazed Delish editors and in-the-know chefs.
What should I look for in a pasta bowl?
Cereal bowls and soup bowls both have small mouths and high sides, but that's no good for twirling beef ragu-slicked strands of fettuccine. Pasta bowls, on the other hand, are usually shallow with a wide mouth and low sides. There are always exceptions to this rule (and we include a few of those below!) but generally pasta bowls have more surface area for noods to spread out and can hold more than the average cereal or soup bowl. More space allows for a perfect sauce-to-noodle ratio—plus, it sets the stage for a gorgeous Instagram pic.
Speaking of which: Want an IG-worthy photo? When plating spaghetti, use tongs and twist while plating for a slightly twirled effect. (Peep this garlicky spaghetti for inspo.) For shorter pastas, make sure pieces are evenly sauced before plating and spread them out evenly on the plate (just like this spicy rigatoni).
What are the best pasta bowls?
Options abound when it comes to pasta bowls. Some are simple, utilitarian workhorses that won't distract from the beauty of a pancetta-spiked penne alla vodka. Other bowls are works of art unto themselves and deserve honored spots on display in your kitchen. But they all make fantastic additions to any dish collection—good luck choosing just one set!
"Hawkins New York Essential Dinnerware coupe pasta bowls are my favorite," Lauren Gustus, chef at Sweet Chick in New York City, said. "They are simple and modern and come in beautiful colors." The shape is also perfect for any pasta noodle, with tons of flat surface area to spread them out.
"These bowls come in so many colors to mix and match and can hold an entire box of pasta if you want," Julia Smith, Delish's director of video, said. "They're smooth, and the bowl fits in my lap when I'm watching T.V. and eating." If that doesn't make you want to click "add to cart" right now, we don't know what will.
"Heath makes beautiful and very functional and sturdy tableware," Chef Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said. "I love this bowl in particular because it makes everything in it look gorgeous. The 9-inch diameter makes it just the right size to serve it on a table with all the wine glasses, flatware, and other plates, but it also fits in your hand if you just want a big bowl of cacio e pepe while you watch Netflix."
These are a favorite of Delish Director of Content Operations Lindsey Ramsey. "I like how they are flat on the bottom with a gradual rise, so they feel full and prevent sauce from going everywhere as I twist noodles," she said. "Plus the colors spark joy."
“The bottom of this bowl is small [but] the top is large, making the food in the bowl look full and attractive," Chef Hu Youmeng, the pasta chef at MR CHOW Beverly Hills, said. "The thermal insulation effect of ceramic bowls is also good." Also, think about how a light noodle and green leafy vegetables might stand out against this bowl's dark rim. Gorgeous!
"[I] randomly purchased these in the desperate need for something quick and I really like them," Philip Swift, Delish's Senior Post-Production Supervisor, said. Other people on Amazon like them for their affordability, ability to use them in the microwave and dishwasher, and "how sturdy and big they are," as one reviewer put it.