Difference Between Macaroni and Pasta (With Table)

“All Macaroni are Pasta, but all Pasta are not Macaroni.” Macaroni and Pasta are the ultimate comfort food across the country. They have become an important Italian delicacy in India, especially in Northern Indian states. Many people tend to confuse macaroni with pasta because of their similar features and taste but they are two complete different entities.

Macaroni vs Pasta

The difference between Macaroni and Pasta is that, pasta is made from unleavened dough of durum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs. Whereas, macaroni is dried pasta in narrow-tube shape which needs to be boiled in water to consume.

Macaroni got it’s publicity with the introduction of “Mac n Cheese” which is an American favourite packaged comfort food. It comprises of macaroni which is C-shaped, narrow tube made of dried pasta which is boiled in water and mixed with cheesy sauce usually made of cheddar. Before the packaged Macaroni and Cheese, the traditional way was to make it in a casserole and bake it in the oven.

There are approximately 350 different types of pasta. Amongst them, spaghetti is one of the most consumed pasta all over the world mainly because of the dish “Spaghetti and Meatballs” which is also an American comfort food. Besides spaghetti, penne is also a classic type of pasta which is a tube shaped and hollow from the centre. Other pasta types include Farfalle, Linguine, Fettuccine, Fusilli etc.

Comparison Table Between Macaroni and Pasta

Parameters of ComparisonMacaroniPasta
DefinitionIt is a type of dried pasta in form of narrow tubes.It is a form of Italian cuisine made of durum wheat dough mixed with water or eggs.
PopularityMacaroni is more popular because it can be commercially produced and sold all over the world.Pasta is less popular because it is inconvenient to commerically produce and sell it.
ShapeIt is C-shaped,narrow tubes with a hollow center.It comes in various shapes and forms ranging from noodle like to hollow tubes, from spiral shaped to flat surfaced.
LongevityMacaroni has a longer duration than Pasta because it has been dried off and the moisture is removed to increase it longevity.Pasta has a shorter duration than Macaroni as it is freshly made and due to the retained moisture, it can go bad easily.
Production ProcessProduced only by machines due to it’s complex shape.Produced by hand because of kneeding and sometimes through simple machines.

What is Macaroni?

Macaroni is a C-shaped, narrow tubed, dried form of pasta made with Semolina or all purpose flour. It is also referred as elbow macaroni sometimes. The term “Macaroni” is derived from ancient Greek term “Macaria.”

Macaroni has become an essential part of American diet. It is made from grains which comprises the most essential part of healthy diet. It is low in carbs and calories. According to recent studies, it is established that if eaten in moderation, macaroni can be considered as a part of healthy diet because it is rich in fibre and nutrients.

Besides this, macaroni is a good source of energy and when combined with eggs, vegetables, dairy, chicken and fish, leads to amazing results. Many researchers even concluded that whole grain macaroni can lead to weight loss since it has less calories. Whole grain macaroni even helps with stomach problems and keeps cholesterol levels low.

Macaroni is sold in packaged boxes all over the world. It is highly popular amongst children. These include sides of cheddar, cheese, spices, poultry, chicken and vegetables. Boxed Macaroni can be enjoyed as hot and cold both . Hence, it makes a good school meal as it tastes good while cold as well.

What is Pasta?

October 25th is celebrated as World Pasta Day. Pasta has it’s origins from Italy. Hence, an average Italian eats 60 pounds of pasta every year. Fun fact about pasta: Before machinery was invented, pasta was kneaded by foot.

Pasta is a filling dish. It can keep you away from being hangry for hours. Al Dente pasta which not only tastes better but also keeps you full longer. Alongside, pasta also keeps your sugar levels in check and may help prevent cancer.

Pasta is low in fat, sodium and gluten free. Infact , most pasta like spaghetti, elbow noodles and fettuccine are vegan. Hence, they become a popular choice for people who choose to be vegans.

In 2020, pasta sales saw a huge boost as consumers became accustomed to preparing meals at home. Pasta can be stored for months and is a versatile dish to make. Hence, many households opted to purchase pasta. Pasta is highly liked by children and with a little variation of cheese, vegetables, chicken or poultry, the hunger pangs of children and even adults can be satisfied.

Main Differences Between Macaroni and Pasta

  1. While macaroni is confined to a specific narrow tubed, hollow, C- shaped curve, pasta has a diverse range of shapes and sized extending from round noodle like to spiral shaped.
  2. Many believe that macaroni and pasta are both originated in Italy. Whereas, only pasta was originated in Italy and macaroni was originated in China.
  3. Macaroni is considerably more popular than pasta as it is commercially feasible and profitable to produce.
  4. Macaroni has a longer life span as compared to pasta as macaroni is dried off and all it’s moisture is removed to increase it’s longetivity.
  5. Only macaroni is produced using machines due to it’s complex shape and nature. Whereas, pasta uses no machines or very simple machines to be made.


Pasta and macaroni as two different entities though having similar features and usage. Pasta has become an essential part of many people’s lifestyle now because of the time it takes to cook and serve which is why Italy exports 1.7 million tons of pasta every year.

Each of pasta and macaroni can be prepared from anywhere between 10-30 minutes. They are highly customisable and versatile. Hence, they can be added into various different flavours. Some people also include macaroni and pasta in desserts and appetizers.

Dessert ravioli, Torta Ricciolina, Chocolate stuffed shells, Mezzi Maniche Dolci and Panzarotti con Ceci are a few desserts made from pasta and macaroni.

Despite all their differences, pasta and macaroni are both highly energising and rich in carbohydrates food substances. They make a very healthy option for consumption and must be included in our meals once in a while.


  1. http://jphs.iautmu.ac.ir/article_527817.html
  2. https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US8238725
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