Your Guide To The Best Pasta Pot (In 2023)

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Just want to know my top pick? The Cuisinart 12 Quart Stainless Pasta Pot is not the cheapest but, for the quality, represents excellent value.

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Pasta is so easy to cook that it’s a frequent go-to food for my family. My children never complain about pasta, whatever the sauce. It’s also a fantastic base for vegetables and protein, making a nutritious and wholesome meal.

Of course, if you want to make the best pasta for your family, you need a pasta pot. I’ve reviewed some of the best pasta pots on the market to help you make your choice:

How to Find The Best Pot For Making Pasta

Just like there isn’t one way of cooking pasta, there are different types of pasta pots. Many of these are actually stock pots that come with additional accessories specifically designed for making pasta. For instance, several pots come with strainer lids, colanders (inserts), and standalone strainers. Keep reading to find out more.

Cooking Pasta

Cooking pasta is simply a case of boiling water and adding the pasta. But there are some steps you can take to add more flavor and elevate the taste of your pasta.

A pot with pasta next to it ready to cook

For starters, you should salt the water before boiling it. You want to add enough salt that the noodle is seasoned when tasted plain. As another little trick, I drizzle some olive oil into the water. This helps stop the pasta from sticking and adds some flavor.

Another tip is to save some of the pasta water after boiling the noodles. Add some of the pasta water to the sauce to give it an extra boost. How much you add depends on the sauce recipe. A good example is this pasta carbonara recipe, which uses pasta water to give a creamy texture to the cheese sauce. It’s buonissimo!

Straining Capability

The main feature of the best pasta pots is that they have some way to strain the pasta. That’s the difference between a pasta pot and a plain stock pot. Once you’ve removed the water, add sauce and the pasta is ready to go.

Strainer Lids

Strainer lids are a way of keeping pasta preparation simple. Simply boil the pasta in the pot and pour away the water when it’s done boiling. It helps if the lid is “lockable” so you can use both hands to hold the pot. 

Of course, the size of the holes is a key factor. If the holes are too large, noodles might escape. If the holes are too small, it could take a long time to drain the water. And if you’ve ever had to hold a large pot full of water while it was draining, you appreciate a lid that drains quickly!

Strainer Inserts

The more traditional type of pasta pot has a strainer, also known as a colander. This insert, which has holes in it, is super easy to use. Keep the pasta inside the strainer and when you are ready simply lift it out. The water will drain naturally (give it time to drain!)

Pots with colanders often also come with steamer inserts, making them more versatile. Use them for making rice, steaming vegetables, and more.


The right size is a subjective matter. The natural question that follows is, “How much pasta do you typically make?”

For my family, a 6-quart pot is more than enough. For a larger family, you could go up to 8 quarts. For a couple 3 quarts might be enough. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least one quart per person. If you frequently have guests, factor in those extra servings.

The other consideration with size is whether it is big enough to cook spaghetti noodles. You can, of course, just stand the spaghetti in the pot until the bottom softens enough for it all to go in. I’ve done this for years. But there’s no question that it’s more convenient to simply drop the spaghetti noodles in one go.

Material: Nonstick or Stainless Steel?

When boiled properly, pasta should not stick to the pot. You might have the occasional noodle that sticks, but you can just scrape off that piece.

Pasta floating in water

You don’t need a nonstick pan to cook pasta.

I used to have problems with this. I would use a stainless steel pot to boil pasta, and after several minutes of boiling, the pasta was stuck to the inside of the pot. It was a mess to serve and clean up. Turns out, the problem wasn’t the pan. It was me! I was overcooking the pasta.

Nonstick is safe, so if you will be using the pan for other things – by all means, consider it.

However, I would recommend stainless steel for pasta pots. Stainless steel lasts much longer than non-stick and doesn’t have the questionable chemicals that many non-stick pans do. Plus, it’s not that difficult to clean if you know how to use it.

Stainless steel doesn’t have the most even heat distribution, so sometimes it’s mixed with other metals (such as aluminum.) But this isn’t really a factor when boiling pasta, since the motion of the water distributes heat throughout the pot.

Ease of Cleaning

The good news? Most pasta pots are dishwasher-safe. Avoid any fancy materials, and you shouldn’t have any problems. Of course, check the manufacturer’s product description to confirm.

Even if a pasta pot is not safe for the dishwasher, it shouldn’t be too tough to clean. Unless you overcook the pasta, you won’t have much in the way of stuck-on food. Maybe just a random noodle.

For each pasta pot below, I’ll highlight whether it is dishwasher safe. Beware, though – these pots can be big! They might not fit in your dishwasher.


I don’t have room in my kitchen for a pot I can only use with pasta. I need something versatile that has other uses. Of course, a pot is a pot. You can still use it for things like soups. Nonetheless, a pasta pot skyrockets in value if it:

  • Has a see through tempered glass lid
  • Comes with steamer insert
  • Is oven safe
  • Has a nonstick or at least less sticky surface

Other Options

If you are on a budget or have limited space, I’ll explain how to turn your existing stockpot into a pasta pot. It may not even cost you a thing!

Best Pasta Pots: Product Reviews

Best Pot for Pasta

Read about the best pasta pots in the section below. Find information about the size, material, strengths, and weaknesses of each option.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12 Quart Stainless Pasta & Steamer: Best Overall Pasta Pot

Cuisinart makes a quality pasta pot for a mid-range price. This pot includes some useful accessories. In addition to the stainless steel pasta pot, you also get:

  • Tight-fitting stainless steel lid
  • Pasta insert- easy to use, just lift and it drains
  • Steamer insert
Cuisinart 4-Piece Cookware Set, 12 Quarts, Chef's Classic Stainless Steel Pasta/Steamer, 77-412P1

I like the tight-fitting lid and steamer for versatility, and the pasta insert is great for easy draining. My main complaint, however, is with the lid–it’s not see-through. While that’s inconvenient, the stainless steel construction does mean it will last longer. The fit is the most important thing, and this lid fits securely.

At 12 quarts, this pot has space for anything. That means you won’t have a problem cooking for guests. It will probably be too big if you have a small kitchen.

Many customers report being happy with the quality and durability of this 18 / 10 stainless steel pasta pot. There were some complaints about it arriving with defects, though. Make sure to check the pot as soon as you get it and return if anything isn’t right.

This Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel pot is one of the best pasta pots and very well could be used in many restaurants. As long as the pot fits in your kitchen, I’d say you can’t go wrong with it.


  • Super versatile
  • Sturdy and robust
  • Great value for quality
  • Max fill water line to avoid overflow
  • Strainer reaches nearly to bottom of pot
  • Easy to clean despite being stainless steel


  • Some customers report it coming with machine grease and needing cleaning
  • Steamer insert is too small
  • Too big for small kitchens
  • Occasional reports of it arriving defective–Check on arrival and return if any problems

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 Quart Stock Pot: Versatile Pick

Although this Calphalon stainless steel pasta pot is expensive, it is so much more than a pasta pot. In fact, it’s a four-piece cookware set! As well as the stockpot, you also get the following pieces:

  • See-through tempered glass lid
  • Pasta insert -easy to use
  • Steamer insert

Furthermore, the set is dishwasher safe and oven-proof, making it incredibly versatile and convenient to use.

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot with Steamer and Pasta Insert

The stainless steel construction might make it hard to clean, depending on how you use the pot. The dishwasher may not remove all the stains. You’ll have to scrub it well, using vinegar for especially tough stains.

If you only use this pot for boiling pasta and steaming vegetables, it’s unlikely to get very dirty. You shouldn’t have any trouble cleaning it, in that case.

At 8 quarts, this size is enough for most uses. Be aware that the strainer insert doesn’t reach the bottom of the pot. If you are cooking pasta, this means you have less than 8 quarts of cooking “space”. The nice thing, though, is it has the advantage of letting you use the pasta insert as an additional steamer


  • Versatile
  • See through lid
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe
  • 8 quarts is enough for most uses
  • Suitable for induction stove
  • Durable


  • Pricey
  • Strainer doesn’t fill pot – less room for pasta and more water needed
  • Not great for braising, metal is too thin
  • Thin lip on lid can cause sputtering and increase mess
  • Can be tough to clean

All Clad Stainless Steel Pasta Pot and Insert: Best Splurge Pick

Most All Clad stainless steel cookware is multi-ply with several layers including aluminum. Not this All-Clad pasta pot. This pot features stainless steel construction with an aluminum insert in the base only.

Why not, if multi-ply is better? Because you don’t need even heat distribution for pasta pots where you are boiling water. Multi-ply helps avoid hot and cold spots on the cooking surface, and this isn’t a problem when boiling pasta.

All-Clad is one of the premier cooking brands, making high-quality, stainless steel cookware. Many of All-Clad’s products are still made in the U.S.A., as well. This brand might know a thing or two about making the best pasta pots.

This pasta pot is not the biggest or best that All-Clad has to offer, but I recommend it as a splurge. It’s a way of buying a premium pasta pot at a more affordable price.

All-Clad Specialty Stainless Steel Stockpot, Multi-Pot with Strainer 3 Piece, 6 Quart Induction Oven Broiler Safe 500F Strainer, Pasta Strainer with Handle, Pots and Pans Silver

As well as the pasta pot itself, you get:

  • 4-quart insert
  • Stainless steel lid

This isn’t the most versatile of pasta pots, and All-Clad offers larger pasta pots with steamers… at a higher price, of course.

Even so, this is a pot that looks good and will last a long time. If you like high-quality cookware and only need a small pasta pot, then this could be the one for you.


  • Durable
  • Includes a lid
  • Aluminum base insert for fast heating


  • Pricey
  • Not super versatile

Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot: Best for Small Kitchens

The Gotham Steel 5-quart pasta pot is an attractive-looking pasta pot with a blended ceramic/titanium non-stick surface.

Since the pot is dishwasher safe as well it is very easy to clean up.

Unfortunately you lose some time while straining the pasta since the lid strainer is a bit slow. It’s meant to be a versatile solution with different size holes for different pasta. It also has nice pouring spouts to avoid mess. In reality the holes get blocked so you need to switch sides, and it takes too much time.

Gotham Steel 5 Quart Stock Multipurpose Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid & Twist and Lock Handles, Nonstick Ceramic Surface Makes for Effortless Cleanup Tempered Glass Lid, Dishwasher Safe, Graphite

This is a nice pan to get. It won’t last forever, but it is versatile in it’s own way.


  • Large and small straining holes for different foods
  • Nonstick surface – super easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Pouring spouts help avoid water going everywhere
  • Lockable see-through tempered glass lid & strainer
  • Good price for quality


  • Be careful with surface, it can scratch
  • Plastic handles not suitable for oven
  • Slow to drain water and strainer can get blocked
  • Lids and handles can get hot
  • Not suitable for induction stoves

If you like this brand, check out my guide to the best Gotham Steel cookware.

Excel Steel 8 Quart 18/10 Stainless Steel 4 Piece Multi-Cookware Set 

This nice 4 piece set includes the following pieces besides the stainless steel stock pot:

  • Steamer insert
  • See through tempered glass lid
  • Colander

This is a good value cookware set that is very versatile. You do need to take a little care as it isn’t the highest quality:

  • Dry it straight away as it may spot or even rust
  • The thin metal can dent or warp – be careful
8 Quart 18/10 Stainless Steel 4 Piece Multi-Cookware Set With Encapsulated Base

At 8 quarts, the size is enough for most uses. However the strainer insert doesn’t reach the bottom of the pot. This means you have less than 8 quarts of room to cook with. This does let you use the pasta insert as another steamer.

If you think that this won’t be big enough for you, the manufacturer has a larger 12 quart alternative. If you aren’t sure, the 8 quart is probably big enough!

EXCELSTEEL 4 Piece 18/10 Stainless Steel Multi-Cookware Set With Encapsulated Base, 12 Qt


  • Cleans up easily when cooking pasta
  • Versatile
  • Great price
  • Dishwasher safe
  • See-through lid of tempered glass


  • Thin bottom can burn food when not cooking pasta
  • Strainer doesn’t fill pot – less room for pasta and more water needed
  • Will “spot” if not dried straight away
  • Very lightweight material – can get damaged
  • Handles can get hot

Farberware 8-Quart Classic Stainless Steel Stockpot

This Farberware Stainless steel pasta pot is solid and well built. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about its handles and its lid.

I like the design of the lid with the holes on the top. It’s simple enough to use. It has a locking mechanism, though this doesn’t appear to be particularly sturdy.

Farberware Classic Series Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot with Lid, Stainless Steel Pot with Lid, Silver

I would expect the stockpot to last longer than the plastic handles and the lid. This isn’t the end of the world as you would still be able to use the pot itself. But the lid is very helpful for cooking pasta so how you use the pot might change.

For what you are paying you get a decent quality pasta pot that will last a while. Once it starts to fall apart, the pot itself will still be usable.

Meanwhile it’s super easy to use and clean up, especially as it is dishwasher safe.


  • Good value
  • Comfortable handles
  • Oven safe to 175 °C (350°F )
  • Good quality stainless steel
  • Can use on induction stove
  • Solid thick bottom
  • 8 quarts all usable when boiling pasta
  • Dishwasher safe


  • 175 °C (350°F ) is low for oven
  • Pitting / spotting can occur if you don’t dry straight away
  • Lid and handles are not very sturdy – will break eventually

Bialetti Oval 5.5 Quart Pasta Pot

While this pot looks nice, it is a complete no-no for me. The lockable lid doesn’t actually lock properly. This means that you could cook your pasta, have it ready and then end up pouring it down the sink! No thank you.

Bialetti Oval Aluminum 5.5 Quart Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid, Nonstick, Black

I do like the range of colors – including one that would work with my kitchen. (My kitchen has a similar color theme as my website).

The design is pretty good as well. The pot is oval shaped to better fit spaghetti despite it’s compact size. Long ones still won’t fit completely, but this helps.

This pot has potential but it’s not there yet. As a further example – the strainer holes are big enough for spaghetti to slip out. One to keep an eye on – if they get it right in the future it could be great!


  • Range of colors – choose your favorite
  • Affordable
  • Lockable strainer lid 
  • Shape is designed to accommodate noodles despite size


  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Lid doesn’t lock properly – can end up pouring your meal into the sink!
  • Not suitable for induction stoves


Are pasta pots useful?

Pasta pots are very helpful when it comes to draining the excess water used in boiling pasta. When you use a normal stockpot and don’t have a strainer or colander to help, you risk scalding yourself with boiling water.

A pasta pot will have some mechanism for draining the water safely, allowing you to get on with eating your pasta.

How big should a pasta pot be?

As a very rough guide allow at least one quart per serving when buying pasta pots. So if you need 6 servings then at least a 6 quart pasta pot, though consider a8 quarts.

However, this will depend on the setup of the pasta pot and size of strainer / colander and how much you eat. Of course this assumes you have cooked a separate sauce for the pasta.

Can you use a pasta pot as a stock pot?

Pasta pots are stock pots but with special lids, colanders or strainers. So yes, you can use them as stock pots. However, depending on the type of lid, steam may be more likely to escape from a pasta pot than a stock pot.

Best Pasta Pots: My Verdict

Best Pasta Pot With Strainer (& Best Overall)

I would choose the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12 Quart Stainless Pasta / Steamer as the overall best pot for pasta. It’s versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. It’s more expensive than other pots, but you pay for the higher quality. Treat it well, and it should last for a long time.

The Cuisinart Chef’s Class Stainless Steel product line is a good quality affordable line, and worth considering if you want other cookware.

I’ve recommended the Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 8 quart Stock Pot in the past, but it isn’t always available. If you can find it, it’s one of the best pasta pots out there.

Best Pot With Strainer Lid and Best Pot for Small Kitchens

My favorite pasta pot with a straining lid is the Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot. It is also versatile but in another way. It’s not meant for steaming, but the nonstick surface makes it easy to cook pretty much anything. You could even whip up the sauce in the same pan, saving you another dish to clean at the end of the meal.

Gotham Steel non-stick is a healthy, Teflon-free version, so don’t let it put you off. However, be aware that non-stick pots never last as long as stainless steel. You’ll have to replace this one eventually.

If you want something easy to use and don’t mind replacing it at some point, I would recommend the Gotham Steel Multipurpose Pasta Pot. If you want a lifetime piece, you should go with another option.

Still, you’ll get good value for your money. This Gotham Steel pot is great for a small kitchen and should serve enough pasta for a family of 4-5.

Other Alternatives

Clip-on Silicone Strainer, Kitchenware, Colander and Strainer, Pan Strainer- Spaghetti, Vegetable Strainer (Green)

If you don’t have the budget or the space for a dedicated pasta pot there are alternatives. For example you could buy a generic strainer that you fit on a stockpot you already have.

Or you could get a generic colander to put in a pot.

A sieve - you can use this to strain pasta

Finally if you have a sieve already just use that as a strainer – I’ve done this when my colander is in the dishwasher. It’s a little bit more work, but means not spending any money or taking up any more space!