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Vermicelli vs Angel Hair Pasta: What’s the Difference?

Is it okay to refer to all thin pasta as vermicelli?

Are you unsure about the difference between angel hair and vermicelli? If so, then this post is for you.

Whether you’re a novice home cook venturing into Italian cuisine or a professional chef looking for detailed information on two types of popular pasta strands, this blog post will explain both of these ingredients in depth!

We’ll cover their characteristics, uses, similarities and differences in order to help you make an informed decision when preparing your next delicious dish.

Summary of key points

We found that the primary distinction between vermicelli and angel hair pasta is their size and texture. Italian vermicelli tends to be slightly thicker than angel hair pasta, with a chewier texture. Angel hair pasta, also known as capellini, is finer and has a more delicate texture. Despite their similarities in shape, the two types of pasta are used differently in culinary traditions; vermicelli is often found in stir-fry dishes and has a broader application in various cuisines, whereas angel hair pasta is predominantly used in Italian cooking. The diameter of vermicelli is generally less than 0.06 inches, while angel hair measures around 0.035 inches, highlighting the subtle but significant difference in thickness between them.

What is Vermicelli?

Vermicelli is a type of pasta that is thin and long, similar to spaghetti.

It originates from Italy and is made from wheat flour and water.

Vermicelli comes in different sizes, with the thinnest ones being called capellini or angel hair.

Vermicelli can be used in various dishes such as soups, stir-fries, salads, and desserts.

In some cultures, it is also used for making sweet dishes like kheer in India.

It is important to note that vermicelli should not be confused with rice vermicelli, which is made from rice flour instead of wheat flour.

What is Angel Hair Pasta?

Angel hair pasta is a type of pasta that is thin and delicate, similar to vermicelli.

It’s also known by the name ‘capellini’, which means ‘little hairs’ in Italian.

This pasta is most commonly made from durum wheat flour and water, although some recipes may also call for egg yolks.

As you can see from the table, angel hair pasta has a very thin shape with a delicate texture.

It’s much thinner than spaghetti and has a diameter of only 0.

85mm, which makes it perfect for light sauces or simple olive oil and garlic dressings.

Angel hair pasta has been around for centuries and has become a popular choice in many households due to its fast cooking time (usually around 3-5 minutes).

It’s also great for making cold salads during the summer months or using as an alternative to traditional noodle varieties.

Overall, angel hair pasta is a fantastic option for those who want something light and quick to prepare without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Its unique characteristics make it stand out from other types of pasta, including vermicelli.

Differences Between Vermicelli and Angel Hair

Vermicelli and angel hair are both types of long, thin pasta that can be used in a variety of dishes.

However, they do have some distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

One major difference between the two is their thickness.

Vermicelli is typically thinner than spaghetti, but still thicker than angel hair pasta.

Angel hair is known for being the thinnest type of pasta available on the market, making it a popular choice in lighter dishes where the focus is on the sauce rather than the pasta itself.

Another factor that sets these two pastas apart is their texture.

Vermicelli has a firmer texture than angel hair, which can become mushy if it’s not cooked just right.

On the other hand, angel hair has a delicate texture that some people find almost fragile.

In terms of shape, vermicelli tends to be round or slightly flattened, while angel hair retains its rounded shape.

This may seem like a minor difference but can affect the way sauces adhere to the pasta and how easy it is to twirl around your fork.

Overall, whether you choose vermicelli or angel hair will depend on your personal preference and what dish you plan on using it for.


The origins of vermicelli can be traced back to ancient China, where it was known as “falimian”.

This pasta was made by kneading rice flour with water and shaping it into thin strands.

From China, vermicelli spread throughout Asia and eventually made its way to Europe during the Middle Ages.

Angel hair, on the other hand, is a type of pasta that originated in Italy.

It is believed that it was first created in the 14th century in Naples.

The pasta’s name comes from its fine, delicate texture – similar to that of an angel’s hair.

Vermicelli and angel hair also have unique characteristics when it comes to cooking time, thickness and texture which we will discuss in-depth in the next few headings.

Thickness and Texture

Vermicelli and Angel Hair may look alike, but there is a slight difference in their thickness and texture.

Vermicelli is slightly thicker than Angel Hair pasta, and its texture is chewier.

On the other hand, Angel Hair has a thinner diameter and usually cooks faster than Vermicelli.

As you can see from the table above, Vermicelli is denser compared to Angel Hair.

Hence, it can hold sauces better as it does not get soggy or overcooked easily.

Meanwhile, Angel Hair has a delicate texture that needs to be cooked for only a short period of time since it tends to break apart quickly when cooked for too long.

Moreover, Vermicelli is commonly used in soups since it can add more body to broths.

It holds its firmness well even in hot liquids.

In contrast, Angel hair is mostly used in light sauces or simply drizzled with olive oil as it complements the delicate flavor of the pasta.

Ingredients Used

Vermicelli and angel hair pasta are two types of thin pasta that are often confused for each other.

Although they look similar, their differences lie in texture, thickness, and flavor.

These noodles are made up of only a few simple ingredients, but each plays a crucial role in how they turn out.

As you can see from the table above, both vermicelli and angel hair pasta consist of flour and water.

However, angel hair contains eggs while vermicelli does not.

The addition of eggs to the pasta dough gives angel hair a rich yellow color and adds depth to its flavor.

Salt is an optional ingredient that can be added to either type of noodle for seasoning purposes.

Some manufacturers add salt as it enhances the taste of noodles while others don’t as salt may sometimes interfere with making particular dishes.

Despite containing nearly identical ingredients, vermicelli and angel hair have unique textures because their production methods differ slightly.

Vermicelli is made using rice flour while angel hair is most commonly made using wheat flour or semolina which alters noodle’s texture; however, semolina variants still retain enough firmness to hold sauces well due to gluten content.

Culinary Uses and Pairings

When it comes to culinary uses, both vermicelli and angel hair pasta are versatile in nature.

They can be used in a variety of dishes such as soups, stir-fries, salads, casseroles, and much more.

Additionally, they can also be paired with different types of sauces and flavors to enhance their taste.

To elaborate on the pairings of these two types of pasta – usually, vermicelli is paired with lighter sauces made of herbs, lemon juice or a lightly flavored broth whereas angel hair is paired with thicker sauces such as ragu or bolognese sauce.

This is because vermicelli is relatively thinner than angel hair which has a slightly thicker texture.

To sum up this section – If you are looking to make a lighter dish that packs a hint of sourness or herbal infusion then go for vermicelli but if you want an intense flavor with thick sauce go for angel hair pasta instead.

Regional Differences in Preparation and Serving

To give you an idea of the differences between vermicelli and angel hair pasta, let’s take a look at how they are prepared and served in different parts of the world.

In China, vermicelli is often stir-fried with vegetables, meat or seafood for a simple yet satisfying meal.

Indians also make use of this thin noodle for several recipes such as upma (a dish made from semolina), kheer (sweet dessert made from milk) or seviyan biryani (a vegetarian delicacy).

Meanwhile, Vietnamese cuisine has pho – a soup dish served with rice noodles.

Angel hair pasta is mostly paired with tomato-based sauce or oil-based toppings in Italy.

It’s usually served al dente for that perfect bite.

In America, it’s sometimes paired with meatballs or chicken Parmesan.

These culinary practices show how each country has their unique way of preparing their local ingredients.

The variety of ways each type is used clearly shows how cultural differences affect the way we use food in our diets.

Exploring these differences allows us to learn about different cultures through their cuisine.

In the next heading, we will discuss some similarities between vermicelli and angel hair pasta that can be useful for anyone willing to experiment with these two ingredients.

Similarities Between Vermicelli and Angel Hair

Vermicelli and angel hair pasta may sound like totally different dishes, but they are actually quite similar.

Here are some common traits that both these pasta types share:

  • Both vermicelli and angel hair usually come in thin strands. Usually made from semolina wheat, these Italian staples are similar in texture too – their thinness makes them cook faster than other pasta varieties.
  • Another similarity is that they can be used interchangeably as substitutes for each other in most recipes. For instance, if you don’t have vermicelli at hand, angel hair would make a good substitute to make your Asian style noodle soups or salads. Similarly, if you don’t find angel hair at your store, you can replace it with vermicelli when making some Filipino or Vietnamese noodle bowls.
  • They also offer comparable nutritional value – both are low in fat and sodium and thus make a healthy addition to any meal.
  • Lastly, did you know that the literal translation of ‘vermicelli’ is ‘little worms’? Well, not surprisingly enough, the Angel hair variety also happens to be referred as ‘capellini’ which means ‘little hairs’ in Italian. The funny name similarities add another fun fact to their similarities list.

Popular Brands of Vermicelli and Angel Hair Pasta

Now that we know the similarities and differences between Vermicelli and Angel Hair pasta, it’s time to explore some of the popular brands of these two pasta types.

Both vermicelli and angel hair pasta are widely available in grocery stores all around the world.

Some of the most recognized brands of vermicelli include De Cecco, Barilla, Buitoni, and Ronzoni.

On the other hand, some popular brands of angel hair pasta include Skinner, Mueller’s, Dreamfields, Delverde, and Jovial.

These are just a few examples to give you an idea of the different options available when it comes to Vermicelli or Angel Hair pasta.

Of course, there are many other brands available in the market; so, don’t hesitate to try out different brands and find the one that suits you best.

Which is Healthier: Vermicelli or Angel Hair?

When it comes to deciding which is healthier between vermicelli and angel hair, there are several factors to consider.

Let’s take a closer look at them below.

First, we can compare the calorie content of these two types of pasta.

A 2 oz serving of cooked vermicelli contains around 200 calories, while the same amount of cooked angel hair pasta contains about 220 calories.

So if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, vermicelli might be the better choice.

Next, we can look at the nutritional value of these two pastas.

One benefit of vermicelli is that it contains more iron – a nutrient that’s important for maintaining healthy blood cells – than angel hair does.

However, angel hair has slightly more protein and dietary fiber than vermicelli, so it might be a better option if you’re looking for those nutrients specifically.

Another factor to consider when comparing these two types of pasta is their glycemic index (GI).

The GI measures how quickly carbohydrates from food are absorbed into your bloodstream and can affect your blood sugar levels.

Vermicelli has a lower GI than angel hair, meaning its carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly and provide sustained energy over time.

This could make it a good option for people with diabetes or anyone else who wants to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.


As we compared Vermicelli and Angel Hair in terms of their nutrition, taste, texture and usage, it is safe to say that both types of pasta have their pros and cons.

However, the ultimate decision as to which one is better lies in your personal preference.

To sum up our findings, Vermicelli tends to be thicker and chewier while Angel Hair is delicate and finer in texture.

Vermicelli has a higher amount of fat and protein content than Angel Hair but Angel Hair is lower in carbohydrates.

When it comes to versatility in cooking, both types can be used interchangeably depending on what dish you want to make.

Whether it is for stir-fry, soups or salads, either type can work well with the right combination of ingredients.

Vermicelli vs Angel Hair Pasta: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Interested in understanding the variance between Vermicelli and Angel Hair Pasta? Here's a detailed guide to help you differentiate between these two delicate pasta varieties.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Vermicelli
  • Angel Hair Pasta


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Vermicelli vs Angel Hair Pasta
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