How long should spaghetti cook?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How long should spaghetti cook? We will tell you how to cook spaghetti al dente; spaghetti for the following day; how to cook spaghetti with milk or whole wheat pasta.

How long should spaghetti cook?

Spaghetti should cook for about eight minutes. If you want the spaghetti to be loose, without the sensation of sticking one on top of the other, they must be cooked with plenty of water. The proper proportion is to use one liter of water for every 100 grams of spaghetti. 

If you wonder how much salt to add to cook spaghetti, the recommended amount is one and a half grams of salt for every liter of water. It may seem like a lot of salt, but in reality, much of it will stay in the cooking water.

It is important to add the salt when the water starts to boil, and right after adding the spaghetti. The last step in getting spaghetti al dente is to set an adequate cooking time. 

The spaghetti is al dente when it is cooked on the outside and in the center, there is a thin semi-cooked thread. To achieve this cooking point, you must look at the cooking times specified by the manufacturer, and test them as you approach that time.

Times specified by manufacturers:

  • Rooster spaghetti number 3: cooking time 8 minutes. Rooster gluten-free spaghetti and noodles have this same cooking time.
  • Gallo fine pasta spaghetti: cooked al dente in 3 minutes
  • Cooking time for whole wheat spaghetti rooster and spaghetti with egg: 7 minutes
  • Gallo noodles, 6 minutes cook
  • Barilla spaghetti number 5, as well as whole grains, take 8 minutes to cook al dente.
  • Barilla’s gluten-free spaghetti has a cooking time of 10 minutes.
  • Thicker Barilla spaghetti needs to extend the cooking time to 11 minutes.

How to cook spaghetti the way Italians do

Spaghetti were born in Naples, thanks to Antonio Viviani who in 1842 gave them this name when he associated them with small pieces of rope.

The following tips are taken from the recommendations given by the Barilla Academy:

  • If you cook spaghetti for several people (3 or 4) it is not worth cooking the pasta in a small saucepan, since as you will see the water has to be abundant.
  • For every 100 grams of pasta, one liter of water and 7 grams of salt. If you cook for 4 people it would be 400 g, 4 liters and 28 g of salt. A level tablespoon of salt is 20 grams, so that would be a tablespoon and a little more.
  • Cover the pot, the water will boil faster.
  • Check the cooking time recommended by the manufacturer. There are different thicknesses of spaghetti and the time can vary between 7-9 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not add the pasta until the water is boiling. If you add it before it will pass for sure. You will have to add the cooking time and the minutes that it has been in contact with very hot water. It is a very frequent mistake because of the rush to add the pasta before the water boils.
  • Do not rinse the spaghetti after cooking. Unless you are preparing a pasta salad or cold recipe. It is better to drain the pasta in a colander. When put under the tap, the spaghetti will lose starch and texture. The sauce you add will not soak in the same way.

If you cook pasta for the next day

Many people work in the morning, and we have to bring our lunch. Still, we are so busy when the sun rises that we do not have time to prepare pasta, for example, and for them, we can prepare it the night before and have pasta in the morning already done that only needs to be heated.

The trick to making a good pasta for the next day is to cook it a couple of minutes less than the average cooking time; for example, in the case of spaghetti, these require about 10 minutes to be ready but to be able to store them in the fridge, We will cook them only for 8 minutes, after draining them we add a little oil and stir well and then put them in a container with a lid and leave them in the fridge.

If you cook pasta with milk

Pasta does not always have to be cooked with water; when you want to add more creativity and flavor, you can cook it with milk. Everything starts as the traditional procedure, pour water into a normal pot, bring to a boil, add salt and pasta when it boils and cook for about 10 – 14 minutes as indicated on the pasta packaging.

In a separate pan or pot, cook onions, garlic, and a little meat or chicken in small pieces, and when everything is golden brown, add two cups of milk, salt, bay leaf, and pepper to taste. When the pasta is ready, drain it so that it runs out of water in the pot, and then you will add that stew to which you put the milk. Mix everything for two minutes, let it rest, and you will have a creamy paste with milk.

If you cook whole wheat pasta

For those who enjoy taking care of their silhouette, whole wheat pasta is the best and preparing it is relatively easy. Start by locating a large pot and adding water and salt to taste and then bring to a boil over high heat for approximately 6 minutes. And don’t add the pasta until the water reaches a boiling point.

When you have your water boiling, add the pasta, lower the heat in your kitchen to a medium setting and leave the pasta for 8 minutes, some whole wheat pasta can take longer to cook, so we recommend checking the packaging to make sure how long you should let it cook.

Final recommendations

Once you add the pasta and know the recommended cooking time, if it is 8 minutes, for example, turn off the heat after 4 minutes, half of the cooking time. Then leave the pasta in the pot for another 4 and a half minutes. Add 50 seconds, the pasta will continue to cook when the water is very hot. 

Have you found the steps to cook spaghetti helpful? Please let us know what you think!


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *