Difference Between Noodles and Spaghetti
By Claire Miles - September 12, 2022

Pasta, or at least spaghetti, looks so much like noodles that some believe they share the same origins despite being recognized on entirely different continents.

Table Summary

Associated with Asian cuisinesAssociated with European cuisine
Made from soft flours like rice flour and buckwheatMade from rough flour-like durum.
The dough is salty and may not include eggsThe dough is salt-free and typically includes eggs.
Exists in only one shape/formHas multiple shapes/forms
Relatively inexpensive and served in broths and soupsCosts more and is served with a sauce


Noodles are prepared from unleavened dough rolled flat, sliced, stretched, or extruded into long strips or strings. Noodles are manufactured from several starchy ingredients, including potato, mung beans, wheat, buckwheat, rice, acorn, and others. They are usually paired with soups and casseroles. Noodles can be kept chilled for brief periods or dried and stored for later use.

Pasta is a traditional Italian dish comprised of dough made from durum wheat, eggs and water, extruded or stamped into various shapes, and cooked in boiling water.

Noodles VS Pasta

Noodles are made from softer wheat, whereas pasta wheat is made from the hard durum variety that grows in the Mediterranean region. Softer wheat noodles have a lighter color, a smoother, silkier texture, and cook faster. In contrast, tougher durum wheat pasta has a more golden color, a strong, elastic texture, and a harsher bite.
In addition, noodles typically contain salt, which is added to soften the protein and help bind the dough, whereas Pasta is mainly salt-free. This means that no additional salt is required when cooking the noodles.
Pasta is typically made with eggs in the dough and sliced with a machine. Noodle dough does not typically contain eggs and is stretched by hand. Also, while Pasta exists in numerous shapes and forms, such as the rigatoni and linguine, only the string spaghetti-like form is associated with noodles.
Finally, Noodles are inexpensive and served in soups, broths, or casseroles. Pasta is the main dish by itself and is usually just topped off with a sauce.