National Spaghetti Day: The Definitive Guide

When celebrating holidays, there are the big ones that many people observe such as Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. In the lull between those holidays, you can always find a food-related holiday on the calendar, such as National Spaghetti Day. I’ll tell you everything about it today.

What is National Spaghetti Day? National Spaghetti Day is celebrated on January 4th and is a chance to eat that most popular pasta dish, spaghetti. Restaurants usually give out freebies and deals on this holiday.

I’m here to provide lots more information about National Spaghetti Day, such as its history, what you can do on this day, and how to find deals and specials.


What Is National Spaghetti Day?

kitchen stove with a pan and boiled pasta on it

National Spaghetti Day is a United States holiday that celebrates spaghetti, the cylindrical, long pasta that kids and adults slurp up with vigor. 

Spaghetti often tops the list for the most popular type of pasta, at least here in the US. 

Over in Italy, where spaghetti originated, spaghetti might not always be top dog, but it’s typically within the top five types of most popular pasta, says Italian Food ExpertsOpens in a new tab.

When Is National Spaghetti Day?

Mark your calendars, as January 4th is National Spaghetti Day. 

Although by January, many people begin planning their diet-related New Year’s resolutions, surely, you can make an exception for this esteemed holiday. Or you can even make spaghetti healthy such as by preparing zoodles. 

National Spaghetti Day is best celebrated as a winter holiday. After all, nothing fills up your belly and your spirit on a chilly night more than a hot plate of spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce!  

The History of National Spaghetti Day

Where did National Spaghetti Day come from? That’s the thing, no one is quite sure! 

Although people generally enjoy the limelight that comes from being credited with creating a holiday, when it comes to National Spaghetti Day, no one has stepped forth to claim having invented it.

How long National Spaghetti Day has been celebrated appears to be shrouded in mystery as well. Considering how many national holidays there are (every single day) and how many are related to food, it’s understandable that the origins of some of them might be lost to time.

One thing’s for sure, we’re fortunate to have National Spaghetti Day!

Since I can’t talk about the holiday’s history, here are some fascinating facts about the history of spaghetti instead. 

Spaghetti used to be a lot longer than it is today. As the 20th century got underway, the preference for shorter spaghetti became more apparent, hence why the average length of each piece of pasta is between 10 and 12 inches.

The word spaghetti is a plural Italian word; the singular form is spaghetto. The word originates from the term spago, which translates to “twine” or “thin string.” 

Spaghetti and meatballs, which is probably the most popular spaghetti dish, is an Italian-American creation.

All other spaghetti meals are solely Italian, everything from spaghetti Bolognese to spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) and spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil). 

Why Is National Spaghetti Day Celebrated?

You might be wondering, why is National Spaghetti Day a thing? To that, I say why not?

All nature of food is celebrated throughout the year. For example, the day before National Spaghetti Day, on January 3rd, is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. 

Oh, and right after National Spaghetti Day, on January 5th, is National Whipped Cream Day.

Heck, just in January alone is National Bean Day, National Fig Newton Day, National Blondie Brownie Day, National Peanut Butter Day, and National Green Juice Day.

Spaghetti deserves its moment in the sun as well, and it gets it every year on January 4th.

Besides, pasta is very popular. This Statista chartOpens in a new tab. shows an upward trend in spaghetti and pasta sauce consumption in the US between 2011 and 2024. 

According to Share the PastaOpens in a new tab., every year, Americans hungrily gobble down 5.95 billion pounds of spaghetti and other pasta. Per person, that’s about 20 pounds of pasta eaten a year and nine ounces of pasta per day.

Share the Pasta cites the results of a survey from the National Pasta Association or NPA. According to that survey, most of the participants (86 percent) consume pasta at least weekly. 

Even though pasta is from Italy, here in the US, we’ve made it our own and continue to. It’s worth celebrating! 

What Do You Do on National Spaghetti Day?

National Spaghetti Day isn’t going to earn you a day off work unless you take vacation or personal time, but you should still set aside some time to celebrate it if you can.

How do you get into the spirit of National Spaghetti Day? Here are some ideas! 

Buy Spaghetti

Spaghetti is inexpensive and widely available. Even if you don’t get a chance to boil any pasta on National Spaghetti Day, if you stock up your cabinets with boxed pasta to make the next night you’re craving it, that’s a good way of celebrating in my book! 

Convert Spaghetti Sauce Into Pizza Sauce

If you’re not a huge fan of pasta but you love pizza, turning spaghetti sauce into a rich and creamy pizza sauce is easier than you might realize. If you’re looking for inspiration you should read my article, How to Use Spaghetti Sauce as Pizza Sauce.

Make Your Own Sauce

Spaghetti and tomato sauce are a match made in heaven, but there’s no need to limit yourself to only tomato sauce.

You can explore a whole vast world of pasta sauces, including:

  • Umbrian Ragu pasta sauce with dry red wine, sliced prosciutto, pork, onions, carrots, and celery
  • Truffle cream pasta sauce with extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan, black truffle meal, and butter
  • Bechamel sauce with broccoli, mushrooms, butter, garlic, white wine, chicken, Parmesan, and milk
  • Pomodoro pasta sauce with Parmesan, pureed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, garlic, and onions
  • Pesto sauce with Parmesan, basil, pine nuts, and garlic
  • Frutti di mare pasta sauce with white wine, clam juice, anchovy fillets, tomato juice, garlic, onions, shrimp, scallops, and mussels
  • Bolognese sauce with celery, carrots, onions, tomatoes, white wine, milk, ground beef, and nutmeg
  • Alfredo sauce with Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, and butter

You can find most of these sauces on any grocery store shelf. If you have the time though, I highly recommend making your own pasta sauce instead.

Making your own homemade spaghetti sauce flavor is more delectable, the ingredients fresher, and there are no preservatives so the sauce is much tastier.

That said, if making your own sauce from scratch is a bit overwhelming, sprucing up store bought spaghetti sauce is another great option.

I add my own ingredients to store bought spaghetti sauce so often that I wrote an entire article titled: How to Make Store-Bought Spaghetti Sauce Better.

Whip up a Pasta Recipe

Eating spaghetti is practically a requirement on National Spaghetti Day. Remember, your pasta dish doesn’t have to be unhealthy if you’re on a diet or you have a dietary restriction such as gluten intolerance. 

Whole-wheat pasta or spaghetti made from vegetables such as zucchini will slash the calories and carbs (at least zucchini will) while still allowing you to properly celebrate this fun foodie holiday. 

Dine at an Italian Restaurant

Hey, it’s a holiday, so maybe you don’t feel like cooking. I don’t blame you for that! National Spaghetti Day can be the perfect excuse to pile the whole family into the car and treat them to a nice meal at an Italian restaurant. 

What’s the Difference Between National Spaghetti Day and National Pasta Day?

National Pasta Day is on October 17th every year. The holiday is part of a broader National Pasta Month, which is every October. 

Isn’t it redundant to have both, you’re wondering? Not at all!

National Pasta Day is a celebration of all types of pasta, of which there are nearly 30 recognized types. Some of them include penne (tubular pasta), tagliatelle (ribbon pasta), pappardelle (thick ribbon pasta), rigatoni (large tubular pasta), linguine (thin ribbon pasta), and farfalle (bowtie pasta).

Who can forget lasagna or macaroni either?

Yes, spaghetti can be celebrated on National Pasta Day, but not on its own. That’s what National Spaghetti Day is for. This day is a celebration of only spaghetti, no other types of pasta. 

In that regard, spaghetti is a very fortunate type of pasta. After all, there is no National Farfalle Day or National Penne Day. Those types of pasta only get the attention on National Pasta Day.  

National Spaghetti Day Specials 

Here’s another reason you won’t want to miss National Spaghetti Day the next time it comes up: all the deals, specials, and freebies! 

While the available deals vary from year to year, you can bet that Italian brands and restaurants will jump all over the holiday to incentivize consumers to spend.  

In 2020, deals resource Clark DealsOpens in a new tab. states that Romano’s Macaroni Grill offered a deal where if you joined their e-club on National Spaghetti Day, you could have saved $5 on your bill the next time you visited the restaurant.

Olive Garden offered a free pasta topping for 2020 National Spaghetti Day if you created your own pasta. You could also have input a code to shave 15 percent off the cost of your online order that day.

Maggiano’s gave its consumers a free Classic Pasta if they ordered a Chef Featured Pasta or Specialty Pasta. If you signed up for Buca di Beppo’s Buca E-Club on National Spaghetti Day 2020, you could have gotten a free pasta entrée. 

As you can see, many Italian restaurants go all-out for National Spaghetti Day. The next time this esteemed holiday is getting close on the calendar, start checking your email inbox and combing social media to take advantage of all the great deals specifically to promote National Spaghetti Day!