It can be difficult to know how much to cook – especially foods like rice and pasta. But cooking just the right amount of food for you and your family is an easy way to reduce food waste.

Overfeeding leads to wasted food and bigger waistlines!

How much do we need?

How much each person needs to eat can vary, so use this handy guide to know how much to cook:

  • Protein (meat) should be the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
  • Carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, rice etc) should be equivalent to the size of your clenched fist.
  • Vegetables and salad should equal two cupped hands.
  • Fats (cheese, dressing etc) should be the size of your thumb.


Portion Guide updated 2018

Handy hint: trace around one hand of each member of your family and stick it to your fridge as a visual reminder of how much to portion per person.

How much to cook?

With some foods it can be tough to know how much of the raw ingredient you need. Pasta, rice and grains expand when cooked, while some vegetables lose so much water they end up half their size.

We’ve taken out the guess work for you with these guidelines. If you do mistakenly cook too much, take it for lunch the next day or use it up with one of our great recipes.

1 person 2 people 4 people 6 people
Rice 1/3 cup 2/3 cup 1 1/3 cup 2 cups
Pasta 100g 200g 400g 600g
Couscous ½ cup 1 cup 2 cups 3 cups
Porridge Oats ½ cup 1 cup 2 cups 3 cups


Cooked too much? Learn what to do with leftovers