Spaghetti pasta on table with copy space

Breathing isn't the only thing that's more difficult at high altitudes. In the mountains' thin atmosphere, cooking everyday items also becomes somewhat different. If you've ever read the back of a cake mix, you know that altitude changes things like cooking time. Here is how to cook pasta up in the mountains.

Fill the pot with water to within a few inches of the top, and add a dash of salt if desired.

Place the pot on stove and turn the burner to "High."

Once the water boils, add pasta. At high altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature, so it is important to have water at a full, rolling boil before adding the pasta.

Reduce heat slightly, so water continues to boil but doesn't overflow the pot. In general, cook pasta for three to four minutes longer than the recommended time on the package to account for the lower boiling temperature.

Taste pasta frequently as the end of its cooking time approaches. When tender, remove from heat, drain and serve.


  • When preparing the sauce to go with the pasta, be sure to account for the pasta's extra cooking time. You will need to start the pasta sooner than you're accustomed to when cooking at lower altitudes.