10 Best Ziti Pasta Substitutes

Italian cuisine has so much to offer and it’s hard to resist not to try it. When it comes to pasta it’s even harder not to experience that delicacy with the variety of sauces they offer.

The love for pasta cannot be described; it can only be tasted and enjoyed every second of every bite. The thing with pasta is that it can serve as a main dish, a side dish, and whenever you feel like it. It comes in all shapes and sizes and all of them have different names and different sauces that they are served with.

Ziti pasta is in the list of variations of differently shaped pasta that are commonly used in our daily cooking meals. Without realizing the name of them, we typically use this long-shaped pasta very often.

Boiled, baked, or anyhow you prefer, ziti pasta is delicious with a mix of sauces. However, since Italians are very strict when it comes to the shape of pasta and sauces, can you use other pasta types instead of ziti? Can I substitute ziti pasta? Of course!

The best substitutes for ziti pasta include Penne, Mostaccioli, Rigatoni, Bucatini, Chifferi, Elicoidali, Cannelloni, Maccaroni, Ditali and Manicotti.

Before you jump into the substitutes, learn more about Ziti pasta so it would be easier to choose the proper replacement based on the recipe you are making.

What’s Ziti Pasta?

boiling pasta

Before we go on to discuss some of the best replacements for Ziti, we need to know what type of pasta it is.  Ziti pasta is typically used for oven baking.

Long and tube-shaped pasta noodles come from the word Zita that means bride. They are a classic for wedding dishes. That’s where they get the name.

Furthermore, Ziti goes along well with lighter sauces that have olive oil or fresh tomatoes. When you are cooking Ziti, you have to boil them while the sauce is being prepared.

Typically it takes about 12 minutes for the pasta to be cooked al dente. In your sauce, you can always add meat, mushrooms, peppers, onions, cheese, and many more ingredients.

After you mix everything it is best for the pasta to be baked. You can also add mozzarella cheese on top of it. Now that we know more about Ziti, let’s take a look at its replacements.

Substitutes for Ziti Pasta

The following Ziti pasta substitutes have a similar shape and can help you save your recipe. So, make your pick and start cooking!

1. Penne


Penne is another tube-shaped noodle pasta that differs in the cut angle. It comes from the Italian word that means quill and describes the shape of the pasta.

You can make the swap if you are baking. You will have more space inside the noodles based on the recipe and ingredients that you are making. 

2. Mostaccioli


Mostaccioli is another suitable replacement for Ziti pasta.

The shape and length are quite similar to penne and often they are compared. You should also know that Mostaccioli doesn’t have ridges.

You can make the replacement for baking and the good thing about Mostaccioli is that you can fill them up with ingredients inside. 

3. Rigatoni


Another replacement for Ziti pasta is Rigatoni. This tube-shaped pasta noodle comes in different sizes but they can easily replace Ziti pasta in many recipes.

When compared, Rigatoni is actually thinner than ZIti. This type of pasta can work in fresh or baked recipes.  

4. Bucatini


Long and thick pasta noodles which will also be a good substitute for Ziti is Bucatini. They have a small hole that makes them different from Ziti pasta, but no less a good substitute.

Usually, because of the shape of Bucatini, this pasta is often used with many sauces, but you can throw them in the oven for baking as well.  

5. Chifferi


Ziti pasta finds its replacement in Chifferi pasta. It is a different, short, chunky tube pasta with a semicircle shape.

Chifferi is a type of pasta that, because of its shape, is used for soups. It is typically mixed with light sauces with extra cheese.

Use Chifferi to make pasta salads or for baking.  

6. Elicoidali

On our list, you will also find Elicoidali which is a good replacement for Ziti.

The shape of Elicoidali is similar to rigatoni. However, the ridges’ spiral shape and design are unique for this type of pasta.

It is also a hollow noodle that you can add ingredients into. 

7. Cannelloni


A type of pasta that you typically find on a menu is Cannelloni.

It can serve as a great substitute for Ziti pasta because it is wide and has a good length. It is also ideal for baking.

Add extra flavors, sauce and even fill them up with something to create a perfect dish.

8. Macaroni

Macaroni salad

The most popular pasta which is used in cooking with a combo of many sauces is Macaroni. A pasta noodle has many similarities with Ziti, like in the shape, size, and even cut.

The only thing that differs is the length. Macaroni is ideal for baking, boiling, combining with many sauces and you can always add extra cheese. 

9. Ditali

Ditali is a ring-shaped pasta noodle that is not similar to Ziti but it can still replace it.

It comes in many different sizes, so pick the one that suits you best for the recipe you are making. Usually, Ditali is used for cooking soups and for baking as well.  

10. Manicotti

Last but not least, you can use Manicotti as a replacement for Ziti pasta. Its name actually means sleeves, so this suggests that the noodles will be hollow with a ridge shape.

It is large and you can easily use it to replace Ziti in baking. This type of pasta comes close to Ziti, so the replacement will be ideal. 

Related Questions

What pasta can be substituted for ziti?

Ziti pasta finds its replacements in Mostaccioli, Rigatoni, or other similar tube-shaped pasta. 

Is ziti pasta the same as penne?

No, Ziti pasta is not the same as Pene, but they are similar. They have quite different shapes and cut ends which help you distinguish between them. 

Can I substitute macaroni for ziti?

Macaroni is a good replacement for Ziti pasta. The best part? It is also easy to find and you can add in almost every recipe that calls for Ziti. 

Is ziti and rigatoni the same?

Ziti and Rigatoni pasta are not the same.

When compared, there is a noticable difference in shape and size. The cut end is also different. You can also use them both as replacements in many recipes. 

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