How Big is 5 Quart Pan & How Much Food Can it Hold?

Are you looking forward to getting a small pan of 5 quarts, but not sure how much food it can cook?

This blog post is for you.

Let’s break it down simply.

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How Big is a 5 Quart Pan?

A 5-quart pan is approximately 10-12 inches wide and 3.5 to 4 inches deep, with holding capacity of about 4.75 quarts of liquid.

For example, the T-fal Specialty Nonstick Saute Pan, measuring 12 x 3.5 inches (excluding the handle), has a capacity of 4.73 liters.

So, a 5-quart pan can cook about: 

  • Liquids: 16 cups (4 liters)
  • Cooked dense food: 8 pounds (3.6 kg)
  • Chicken:
    • 3 large or 5 average-sized chicken breasts
    • A whole-cut chicken
  • Ground meat: 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of ground beef
  • Uncooked grains: 2 cups of uncooked rice or pasta
  • Stews: 4-5 quarts (4-5 liters)
  • Pasta with sauce: 1 box of cooked pasta with sauce


  • How much your 5 quart pan can hold depends on food density. Therefore, a 5 quart pan can allow you to cook about half the capacity to sauté or fry ingredients for voluminous foods like vegetables freely.
  • It would be best not to overload the pan to ensure efficient heat distribution, ensuring that your food cooks evenly. Its ample capacity also means you can prepare meals for a small gathering without worrying about running out of space.

Simply Put

For everyday cooking, having a 5-quart pan in your kitchen arsenal is a practical choice for a small to medium family. It provides you with the flexibility to cook various dishes, from sauces and soups to pasta and stir-fries, all conveniently and hassle-free.

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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