Angel Hair Pasta Vs. Spaghetti

Spaghetti and angel hair pasta may look alike, but they are very different. Have you ever wondered what the differences between them might be? This article compares the two pasta varieties and dives a little deeper into each.

What Is Angel Hair Pasta?

Angel hair pasta is a long, thin noodle with a rounded, cylindrical shape. It is extremely thin, hence the name “angel hair” pasta. These fine noodle strands are considerably delicate and can break easily. Angel hair pasta has a diameter of between 0.78 to 0.88 millimeters

Because of the delicate nature of the angel hair pasta, it is most often paired with light sauces. Pairing it with thick sauces will overwhelm the pasta and either make it clump together or fall apart. 

Light, thin sauces and finely chopped vegetables are the best pairings for this super thin pasta. Seafood is often served with angel hair pasta, such as mussels and clams. Thin pasta like these angel hair strands requires simple ingredients when making a dish, so the pasta isn’t lost in the dish.

What Is Spaghetti?

Spaghetti is a staple pasta variety in Italian cuisine. In fact, it may just be the most popular of all kinds of pasta. This pasta also comprises long, thin, cylindrical noodles. It’s made from durum wheat, and the strands of spaghetti pasta are about 10-12 inches long. 

Spaghetti is a very versatile type of pasta and is incorporated into numerous well-known dishes worldwide. It can be paired with both thick and thin sauces, with tomato sauce and meatballs being the most popular pairing.

Angel Hair Pasta Vs. Spaghetti: What Is The Difference?

Angel hair pasta and spaghetti bear many similarities, but characteristic differences are not hard to spot. Here are a few differences when examining angel hair pasta vs. spaghetti.

  • Size: Angel hair pasta is thinner than spaghetti. The former has a diameter of between 0.78 and 0.88 millimeters, while the latter has a diameter of between 1.5 and 2.8 millimeters. Therefore, spaghetti is visibly thicker, while the angel hair pasta strands have a delicate appearance.
  • Texture: Due to its larger diameter, spaghetti has a denser texture when cooked. It requires an al dente cooking approach as it is best enjoyed a bit firm and chewy. However, angel hair pasta has and maintains a lightweight appearance. Therefore, it’s softer and more delicate than spaghetti.
  • Culinary Uses: Although these pasta varieties don’t differ much in taste and flavor, they pair differently with sauces. Spaghetti is more versatile as it can take on creamy, thick sauces and lighter sauces. While angel hair pasta is mainly paired with light vegetables, seafood, and thin sauces. 


Angel hair pasta and spaghetti have many similarities as they are both thin and long, stranded pasta. But, as illustrated above, they bear some differences. Understanding these differences is crucial as they will dictate the type of meal you make at the end of the day.