How Much Macaroni Per Person?

A jar of macaroni pasta.

Short answer
When serving pasta as a main course, we allow around 75-85 grams of dried pasta per person. In the case of macaroni, though, because this shape is most commonly paired with an outrageous amount of cheese, we reduce the amount to around 60-65 grams per person to reflect the additional calories and richness that the cheese provides.

Long answer
Macaroni is a rather divisive pasta shape that has been the subject of many an impassioned argument. Some say that it should only ever be served as a side dish, while others are keen to bolster its legitimacy as a stand-alone main course. Some people add meat, vegetables, and breadcrumbs, while others consider a big bowl of nothing more than macaroni and cheese to be the perfect comfort food that doesn't require any messing around with.

We're going to stick our necks out and admit that we only ever eat macaroni cheese as a side dish. We completely understand why some people consider it to be one of the most comforting main courses known to Man, but we find the heady combination of carbohydrates, fat, and salt to be too much of a risk to our wastelines.

For this reason, we recommend 30-35 grams of macaroni per person when serving as a side dish. For a main course, you might think we're being stingy, but we wouldn't recommend going much above 60-65 grams per person.

Macaroni cheese (or mac 'n' cheese to our American friends) is something you'll struggle to find in Italy. Their famous 4-cheese dish called Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi is a riotous celebration of the combination of pasta and cheese, but it's a very different beast from American or English macaroni cheese, where gooey cheddar is the order of the day.