What Are The Best Substitutes for Fusilli Pasta

What Are The Best Substitutes for Fusilli Pasta?

Fusilli pasta, popular for its spiral shape, is widely enjoyed and known for its versatility in recipes ranging from salads to soups and casseroles.

Nevertheless, situations may arise when fusilli pasta is unavailable in your pantry, or you require a substitute due to dietary restrictions or personal preferences. It is crucial to be aware of the most suitable alternatives for fusilli pasta that can replicate both its distinct spiral shape and texture.

If you are looking for a substitute for fusilli pasta, it’s best to choose pasta with a similar texture and shape. If you are out of pasta, here are some of the best alternatives that you can use:

1. Rotini Pasta

rotini pasta

Rotini pasta resembles fusilli pasta in its spiral shape, and features a tighter spiral formation, making it an ideal choice for dishes that benefit from a heartier pasta texture.

This type of pasta is often paired with tomato-based sauces, yet it can also be incorporated into salads and soups for added variety and flavor.

Rotini pasta also goes great with roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, roasted vegetables, Italian sausage, and one-pot curry pasta.

2. Gemelli

gemelli pasta

Gemelli pasta, named after the Italian word for “twins,” is a pasta variety that resembles two strands twisted together, forming a distinctive corkscrew shape.

Interestingly, Gemelli pasta is not achieved by twisting two strands around each other but rather by shaping a single strand of pasta into an S-shape and then twisting it around itself.

Due to its comparable texture and shape, gemelli pasta serves as an excellent alternative to fusilli pasta. It is mostly used in salads, or paired with creamy sauce and grilled chicken.

3. Cavatappi

cavatappi pasta

Cavatappi, also known as cellentani, is a fantastic alternative to fusilli pasta, possessing a hollow and twisted structure of shorter length. Cavatappi is typically textured with ridges on its surface, adding to its appeal.

One notable advantage of Cavatappi is that it is crafted without the use of eggs, making it an excellent substitute for individuals with egg allergies who are seeking an alternative to fusilli pasta.

Belonging to the macaroni family, Cavatappi is frequently utilized in pasta dishes featuring red sauces or as a key component in macaroni and cheese recipes.

4. Rigatoni

rigatoni pasta

Rigatoni, derived from the Italian word “rigato” meaning “ridged,” refers to short, wide pasta tubes featuring external ridges while maintaining a smooth inner surface. Rigatoni’s design makes it an ideal choice for robust, chunky sauces, as its ridges and wide center effectively capture the sauce.

Furthermore, the pasta’s shape facilitates the containment of meats and large vegetables within its hollow space.

Rigatoni also shines in baked pasta dishes due to its ability to securely hold onto melted cheese. This type of pasta is commonly associated with southern Italian cuisine, adding to its culinary appeal.

5. Farfalle

farfalle pasta

Farfalle pasta has a fun bow-tie shape or a butterfly. Farfalle in Italian means “butterflies”. Farfalle pasta, also known as ‘bow tie pasta,’ owes its name to its distinct shape.

This highly adaptable pasta is a wonderful companion for both delicate sauces (such as those made with olive oil or butter) and indulgent sauces (such as cream, tomato, or pesto). It can also lend its delightful flavor to salads.

Additionally, farfalle can serve as a delectable garnish for a bowl of stir-fried vegetables or meat, adding an extra touch of tastiness. It looks great in salads.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of Fusilli pasta?

Rotini is especially good in salad recipes. Another great stand-in for fusilli pasta is Cavatappi as it’s hollow and twisted. Its shape makes it a good choice for serving with thick sauces.

What is the difference between penne and fusilli?

Penne is best with cream sauces because of its shape, and Fusilli is spiral-shaped making it great with chopped onions, carrots, pancetta, and ground meat.

Is Fusilli a ribbon pasta?

No fusilli is a twisted spaghetti, which is spiral-shaped. Fettuccini is ribbon-shaped pasta best for sauces like cheese or tomato sauce.


Some of the best substitutes for fusilli pasta are rotini, Gemelli, Rigatoni, Farfalle, and Cavatappi. You can also penne pasta, macaroni, or even zucchini noodles, and cucumber noodles. You cannot go wrong with these pasta choices. Keep in mind that textured pasta is great for thick sauces.

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