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Italian Delights: 5 Best Ziti Pasta Substitutes

Okay, digging into pasta dishes, you’ve likely had your fair share of ziti. Great choice, right?

But here’s the kicker: sometimes, ziti just isn’t on the shelf. You’re standing in the aisle, thinking, “Now what?”

That’s where we swoop in!

We’ve got the lowdown on five rockstar substitutes that’ll keep your pasta game strong. No ziti? No problem.

Each substitute we’re about to unveil brings something special to the table – from their unique shapes to how they hug that sauce.

Ready to mix up your pasta nights with some bold moves? Let’s get into it and keep those pasta dreams alive and kicking!

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ziti Pasta

For those who are gluten-free or simply looking to switch up your pasta game, we’ve got some good news— plenty of delicious ziti substitutes are out there.

Here are our top 5 picks:

1 – Rigatoni


Rigatoni and ziti are both types of tubular pasta that originated in Italy.

They are both made from durum wheat flour and water, and they are both traditionally egg-free.

Rigatoni is slightly larger than ziti and has a ridged surface that allows the sauce to adhere to it more easily.

Ziti, on the other hand, has a smooth surface.

Both rigatoni and ziti are commonly used in baked pasta dishes, but they can also be used in other ways.

For example, rigatoni is often used in soup, while ziti is often used in salads.

Consequently, while rigatoni and ziti share many similarities, they also have some notable differences.

2 – Mostaccioli


Mostaccioli and ziti are both types of tubular pasta that can be used in various dishes.

Mostaccioli is usually slightly wider than ziti and has ridges on the outside of the tube.

The ridges help the sauce cling to the pasta, making it a good choice for dishes with thick, chunky sauces.

Ziti, on the other hand, is smooth all over.

It is often used in baked pasta dishes because it absorbs flavor well and doesn’t fall apart when cooked for a long time.

Both mostaccioli and ziti can be used in various recipes, so it’s a matter of personal preference which one you choose.

3 – Penne


When it comes to pasta, there are so many different options to choose from.

But if you had to pick just one, which would you choose? Penne or ziti? Both of these pasta shapes have their distinct advantages.

Let’s take a closer look at each one to see which one comes out on top.

Penne is a tubular pasta shape perfect for thick, creamy sauces.

The ridges on the outside of the pasta help the sauce cling to the noodles, making every bite even more flavorful.

On the other hand, Ziti is a smooth pasta shape ideal for lighter sauces.

The long, thin noodles are also easy to twirl around your fork, making them a popular choice for kids and adults alike.

So, which one is better? It depends on your personal preference.

No matter which you choose, penne and ziti make a delicious addition to any meal.

If you like heartier sauces, then penne is the way to go.

But if you prefer lighter sauces or simply enjoy the classic “twirl-ability” of ziti, this pasta shape is probably a better fit.

4 – Elicoidali


Elicoidali pasta is a type of pasta that is similar to ziti.

It is long and tubular and has a wide, hollow center.

The pasta is made from wheat flour, water, and salt.

Elicoidali is traditionally used in the Italian cuisine for recipes such as spaghetti alla carbonara and baked ziti.

The pasta can also be used in soups and salads.

The main difference between elicoidali and ziti is the width of the pasta.

Elicoidali is wider than ziti, which makes it heartier and more filling.

It is also slightly less versatile since it cannot be used in recipes that require smaller pieces of pasta.

Overall, both elicoidali and ziti are delicious types of pasta that can be used in various dishes.

5 – Sedani


Any discussion of sedani must begin with a comparison to its close cousin, ziti.

Both pasta shapes are tubular, but sedani is slightly wider than ziti and has smooth sides.

The shape of sedani makes it well-suited for hearty sauces, while the smooth sides help it to absorb sauce more evenly.

On the other hand, Ziti is better suited for lighter sauces due to its narrower shape.

Its ridged sides also help the pasta to hold onto the sauce more effectively.

In terms of texture, sedani has a slightly toothier bite than ziti, making it ideal for dishes with robust flavors.

All in all, sedani is a versatile pasta shape that can be used in a variety of recipes.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty dish or a light and flavorful meal, sedani is a great choice.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ziti Pasta

Looking for alternatives to ziti pasta? Here's a curated list of the 5 best substitutes that will seamlessly replace ziti in your favorite dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Rigatoni
  • Mostaccioli
  • Penne
  • Elicoidali
  • Sedani


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for ziti pasta
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