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Delicious Choices: 5 BEST Cavatappi Pasta Substitutes

Pasta nights are sacred, right?

You’ve got your sauce simmering, cheese grating, and then bam, no cavatappi. It’s like someone popped your balloon.

Lucky for you, the pasta aisle is a treasure trove, full of twists and turns that can save the day.

We’re about to dive into five killer swaps for our beloved cavatappi.

Trust me, your dinner is not only saved; it might just get an unexpected upgrade.

Grab your fork, because we’re about to get twisty.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cavatappi Pasta

If you’re looking for something to replace the classic cavatappi pasta, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are five great substitutes that will give you an equally delicious meal without all of the carbs and calories.

1 – Penne

If you’re a fan of pasta, then you’ve probably had your fair share of penne.

This popular type of pasta is known for its distinct shape, as well as its delicious taste and texture.

Penne is a great option for those who crave heartier pasta, as it has a slightly chewy texture that pairs well with thicker sauces.

Additionally, penne is easy to substitute in recipes that call for Cavatappi pasta.

If you’re looking to add a little bit of extra flavor to your dish, try substituting penne for Cavatappi the next time you’re in the mood for pasta.

2 – Rigatoni

Rigatoni is a type of pasta that is originally from Italy.

It is made from durum wheat and has a cylindrical shape with wide ridges running along its length.

The name “rigatoni” comes from the Italian word for “ridged,” which refers to the distinctive ridges on the pasta.

Rigatoni has a firm texture and the ridges help to trap sauces and ingredients, making it an ideal choice for heartier dishes.

The wide shape of rigatoni also makes it a good substitute for cavatappi pasta in recipes.

When cooked, rigatoni holds up well to heavier sauces and ingredients, making it a versatile option for many different types of dishes.

3 – Farfalle

Farfalle pasta, also known as bow-tie pasta, is a type of Italian pasta that is made from flour, water, and eggs.

The dough is rolled out into thin sheets, then cut into strips and formed into a distinctive bow-tie shape.

Farfalle pasta has a firm texture and holds up well to heavier sauces.

It is also commonly used in cold pasta salads.

If you are looking for a substitute for cavatappi pasta, farfalle is a good option.

The two pastas have similar shapes and textures, so they will work well in the same dishes.

Just be sure to cook the farfalle for one minute less than the Cavatappi, as it has a tendency to overcook more easily.

4 – Fusilli

Fusilli is a type of pasta that is made from durum wheat and shaped into spirals or corkscrews.

It has a firm texture and a slightly chewy flavor that pairs well with robust sauces.

Fusilli can also be used as a substitute for Cavatappi pasta in many recipes.

When cooked, it has a similar texture and can absorb flavors in the same way.

For this reason, Fusilli is a good choice for dishes that feature bold, creamy sauces.

When substituting Fusilli for Cavatappi, be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Fusilli generally requires one to two minutes less cooking time than Cavatappi.

With its distinctive shape and versatile flavor, Fusilli is a delicious addition to any pasta dish.

5 – Cavatelli

Cavatelli is a type of pasta that originates from the region of Molise in Italy.

It is made from a simple dough of semolina flour and water.

The dough is then formed into small ridged shells, which gives the pasta its signature curved shape.

Cavatelli has a chewy texture and a mild flavor that pairs well with both light and hearty sauces.

When substituting cavatelli for other types of pasta, it is important to choose a sauce that will not overpower the delicate flavor of the pasta.

Some good options include pesto, Alfredo, or tomato sauce.

For a heartier dish, try pairing cavatelli with sausage or meatballs.

No matter what sauce you choose, cavatelli is sure to add a touch of Italian flair to your meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cavatappi Pasta

Searching for the ideal substitutes for cavatappi pasta? Your quest ends here! Explore our curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace cavatappi, ensuring a delightful twist to your pasta dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Penne
  • Rigatoni
  • Farfalle
  • Fusilli
  • Cavatelli


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Cavatappi Pasta
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