Making Sense of Recipe Dice Sizes

Written By Zahra Ubaidullah

When cooking from a recipe, you’ll find a lot of information that will help you make the perfect dish. Along with temperature, time, measurements, and ingredients, you may see instructions on how to chop or dice each ingredient. Have you ever wondered what that means? What’s the difference between a “rough chop” and a “large dice”? Does it really matter?

Following the dicing recommendations of your recipe will make your recipe look good, help the flavor and texture, and cut down some prep time and food waste. Here are some pictures of the common dice sizes you might find in a recipe, compared to a Canadian quarter:

Rough Chop (paysanne)

Used for stock, or cutting down vegetables that will be pureed

Image of rough-chopped carrots 

Large Dice (¾ inch × ¾ inch × ¾ inch)

Large cube shape typically used for stews or stocks

Image of large-diced carrots  

Medium Dice (½ inch × ½ inch × ½ inch)

Medium cube shape typically used for soups and garnishes

Image of medium-diced carrots  

Fine Dice (¼ inch × ¼ inch × ¼ inch)

Small cube shape, typically used for sautéing

Image of finely-diced carrots  


Suitable for vegetables and herbs, garnish

Image of minced herbs  

Shredding (chiffonade)

Suitable for herbs and leafy greens

Image of shredded herbs  


Long, parallel, rectangular cuts, squared off (trimmings can be used for stock, soups or puree)

Image of julienne-cut carrots          

Learn more about knife skills (PDF) from the Culinary Institute of America’s Food & Beverage Institute.