Capellini vs. Spaghetti: What’s the Difference?

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The Italians changed our lives by introducing joy in the form of pasta into our lives. There are over 300 kinds of pasta that come from Italy alone. Wow! Among the different forms of pasta, capellini and spaghetti are quite similar to each other in terms of appearance as well as taste. 

Capellini is one of the finest kinds of pasta we can get and is thinner than spaghetti. On the other hand, spaghetti is undoubtedly one of the most famous types of pasta and is thicker than capellini. In this article, we will compare capellini and spaghetti to better understand their differences, nutritional values, and uses. So let’s get to it!

What is Capellini?

As aforementioned, capellini looks a lot like spaghetti, but if you take a closer look, you will notice that it is quite thinner than spaghetti. Also, it has a faster cooking time, and for this reason, it can get overcooked real fast if the timing isn’t right. Rather tricky to perfect, no? However, if cooked right, capellini pasta has a soft and delicate texture and yummy taste.

In case it gets overcooked, capellini pasta gets gooey and sticky, and it’s not really a treat for the eyes. A rule of thumb is to add a little bit of salt and olive oil to boiling water before adding capellini pasta to the cooking pot. This keeps the pasta from sticking and also adds an interesting taste. A fun fact about capellini pasta is that it is also called “angel hair pasta” because it is rod-shaped, delicate, and has a long, silky appearance after boiling.

Nutritional Information

  • 1 cup (122 grams) of capellini contains:
  • 193 calories
  • 1 g protein
  • 38 g total carbohydrate
  • 1 g total fat (of which 0.2 g is saturated)
  • 2 mg sodium
  • 54 mg potassium
  • 2 g dietary fiber
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 7 g sugar


Capellini consists of complex carbohydrates which take time to break down in the body to simple sugars (glucose) and hence, raise blood sugar levels at a controlled rate. This makes it a good meal for diabetic individuals who also happen to be pasta-lovers. Since it has a low glycemic index, everyone can enjoy it in an adequate amount.

This type of pasta is also low in sodium, making it a great food choice for hypertensive individuals who don’t want to miss out on the pasta’s goodness. In addition, the dietary fiber present in capellini is good for the digestive system and helps you reach the state of satiety (feeling of fullness) soon so that you don’t overeat.

What is Spaghetti?

Spaghetti, or “Psghetti” as referred to by most children, is a traditional Italian cuisine loved and enjoyed by all in different parts of the world. The word “spaghetti” means “little twine,” which is basically what it resembles. If you’ve seen The Big Bang Theory, you’ll know that the singular word for confetti is confetto – thank you, Sheldon Cooper. Similarly, it’s been revealed that “spaghetti” is, in fact, an Italian plural word and that a single strand or the individual noodle is actually called “spaghetto”!

Spaghetti is normally made from durum wheat semolina, and it’s commonly white because of the use of refined flour, but whole wheat flour can also be used. The two common forms of spaghetti are spaghettoni and capellini. The former is the thicker form of spaghetti, while the latter is the thinner form.

Nutritional Information

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 cup (140 grams) of spaghetti contains:

  • 221 calories
  • 8 g protein
  • 3 g fat (of which 0.2 g is saturated)
  • 43 g total carbohydrate
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 4 mg sodium
  • 6 mg potassium
  • 5 g dietary fiber
  • 8 g sugar


One of the benefits of spaghetti is that it has zero cholesterol and a very low amount of sodium, making it suitable for people with blood pressure problems. In addition, it offers sustained energy, meaning it provides us with an adequate amount of carbohydrates.

Moreover, spaghetti is a versatile food that goes well with any sauce and makes a good pair with other food items as well, depending on your preference.

Pastas Similar to Capellini and Spaghetti

Visits to the grocery store to pick out a certain type of pasta can get tricky if you don’t know the basic differences among different types of pasta because of their similar appearance. We’ll cover some pasta names and their unique properties so that you feel more confident the next time you visit the Italian bistro near you:

Spaghetti: Long noodle with medium density and thick appearance.

Capellini: Extremely delicate, ultra-thin, characteristic angel hair-like appearance, will get mushed together if overcooked.

Linguine: Wider than spaghetti noodles, rounded at the edges.

Vermicelli: Similar to spaghetti, slightly thicker. The word vermicelli means “little worms.”

Fettuccine: The word means “thick ribbons,” which is what this type of pasta resembles. Thick and flat appearance.

Pappardelle: Broad, flat, and large. These noodles are wider and thicker than fettuccine noodles, and the dough commonly has an extra egg added to it.

Lasagna: Flat sheets, easily differentiated, topped with meat and/or tomato sauce. Lasagna is very popular among the types of pasta.

So What’s the Difference Between Capellini and Spaghetti?

To summarize everything we’ve covered so far, here are some key differences between capellini and spaghetti:

  • Capellini is thinner than spaghetti.
  • Spaghetti is not as hard to perfect as capellini.
  • Capellini has a delicate texture because of which it can easily be overcooked. Spaghetti, on the other hand, has more prep time.
  • Capellini goes well with seafood, whereas spaghetti can be paired with different spaghetti sauces, meat sauces, etc., and it’ll develop its own delicious taste.
  • One cup of spaghetti contains more calories, more protein, and more carbohydrates than 1 cup of capellini.