• Home
  • Guides
  • Pasta vs Rice noodles: How Are They Different?

Pasta vs Rice noodles: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between pasta and rice noodles, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the pasta vs rice noodles comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 24, 2023.

Pasta and rice noodles belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare pasta and rice noodles and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Pasta is a traditional Italian food made from wheat flour and water. The most common types of pasta include spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and fettuccine. Still, there are many other varieties available.

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body. It also contains small amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like iron and B vitamins, depending on the type of pasta and the flour used.

It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for weight management and a balanced diet. It can be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet when paired with vegetables and lean protein sources such as legumes and in moderate portions.

Pasta can be enjoyed in a variety of ways; it can be cooked in different sauces, with herbs and spices, and can also be used in salads and soups. There are also different types of pasta available for those who are gluten intolerant or prefer a lower-carb option, such as rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and lentil pasta.

Pasta is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Rice noodles

Rice noodles (Oryza sativa) are a type of pasta made from rice flour and water and are commonly used in many Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese.

They are a good source of carbohydrates, small amounts of protein and fibers. They are gluten-free and easy to digest, making them a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Rice noodles can be used in various dishes such as soups, stir-fries, and salads. They are often used in traditional Asian dishes like pho, pad Thai, and chow mein. They are also available in different widths and lengths and can be used in various ways to suit different dishes and preferences.

Rice noodles are considered a functional food, as they have been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. They are also a sustainable crop, as they are easy to grow and have a low environmental impact.

Rice noodles is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

Pasta vs Rice noodles Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing pasta vs rice noodles.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of pasta and rice noodles and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

PastaRice noodles
Energy371 kcal364 kcal
Carbs74.7 g80.2 g
Sugar2.67 g0.12 g
Fiber3.2 g1.6 g
Protein13 g5.95 g
Fat1.51 g0.56 g
Saturated Fat0.277 g0.153 g

Pasta vs Rice noodles Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing rice noodles vs pasta for weight loss, rice noodles is slightly lower in calories, with 364 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of pasta.

However, both pasta and rice noodles can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Pasta vs Rice noodles Protein

Grains and most grain products, including pasta and rice noodles, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Pasta offers around 54% more protein than rice noodles.

Pasta has 13 grams of protein per 100 grams, while rice noodles has 6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Pasta vs Rice noodles Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in pasta and rice noodles.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 7% higher in rice noodles than in pasta. It has 80.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 74.7 grams in pasta.

There’s less sugar in rice noodles than in pasta, 96% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of rice noodles contains 0.1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pasta contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in pasta and rice noodles.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 3.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, pasta is a better source of fiber than rice noodles which pasta offers 1.6 grams per 100 gram portion.

Pasta vs Rice noodles Fats

Like most other grains, pasta and rice noodles are low in fat.

Fats in pasta and rice noodles are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in pasta and rice noodles:

  • Pasta: 1.5 grams per 100 grams
  • Rice noodles: 0.6 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, rice noodles is 33% lower in saturated fats.

Rice noodles and pasta contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Pasta vs Rice noodles Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of pasta and rice noodles.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

However, rice noodles has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

Pasta and rice noodles contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), and vitamin E.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins pasta and rice noodles contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

PastaRice noodles
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.09 mg0.031 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.06 mg0.017 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.7 mg0.221 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.431 mg0.051 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.142 mg0.015 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)18 µg3 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0.11 mg
Vitamin K0.1 µg0

Pasta vs Rice noodles Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the pasta and rice noodles comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Pasta is a better source of sodium than rice noodles.

On the other hand, rice noodles is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Pasta and rice noodles contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how pasta and rice noodles compare when it comes to mineral content.

PastaRice noodles
Calcium21 mg18 mg
Copper0.289 mg0.078 mg
Iron1.3 mg0.7 mg
Magnesium53 mg12 mg
Manganese0.917 mg0.498 mg
Phosphorus189 mg153 mg
Potassium223 mg30 mg
Selenium63.2 µg15.1 µg
Sodium6 mg182 mg
Zinc1.41 mg0.74 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between pasta and rice noodles.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.