7+ Substitutes You Need To Try For Ziti

You can’t resist well-cooked pasta, especially if it’s Italian cuisine. Ziti is one of the many variations of pasta in existence. You can serve them as you choose, whether it’s boiled, baked, or combined with different sauces.

Ziti dates back to the late middle ages when it was served in the palaces of nobles as part of a sumptuous banquet dish. It later became a staple food in Italy before gaining popularity globally. And this pasta is still prevalent in many southern Italian towns today.

So, what happens if you can’t find ziti pasta? Your best option is to use a ziti substitute. And this article will explore the best substitutes for ziti pasta when you just can’t find ziti.

Ziti Substitute Options:

1. Penne

It’s not uncommon to mistake this pasta for ziti as both look similar. However, unlike ziti’s flat edges, penne has its ends cut at an angle, giving it a more interesting appearance. Although it was initially created in Liguria, you’ll find penne pasta in different parts of the world. 

You can cook penne in various ways, but it’s the best ziti substitute when tackling a baked pasta recipe. Just like any tube pasta, it’s easy to overcook these. So, you should keep an eye on them when boiling them. 

2. Rigatoni

Rigatoni works so well with the ziti dish that you might forget for a moment that you aren’t using ziti. These are short, wide pasta tubes with ridges on the exterior and a smooth surface inside. Made from semolina flour, rigatoni first appeared in the 19th century.

Rigatoni is ideal for thicker sauces because its ridges and large center help scoop up and hold the sauce. This type of pasta is, however, thinner than ziti. But you can incorporate this ziti substitute when trying different pasta bake recipes.

3. Macaroni

Aside from being a good ziti substitute, macaroni is used to prepare a host of tasty dishes. As with most pasta, they come from whole grain and contain a healthy amount of fiber, which lowers cholesterol.

Macaroni shares similar properties with ziti, but macaroni is shorter with slightly a curved shape. Like ziti, macaroni is also a popular choice for baked pasta meals. Therefore, you can easily use macaroni as a substitute for ziti. But macaroni is a versatile pasta and can be used in various dishes. 

4. Elicoidali

This medium-sized tubed pasta is an excellent ziti substitute for several reasons. While elicoidali resembles rigatoni, its tube is narrower, and its ridges are slightly curved. 

You can easily overcook elicoidali, but they do an excellent job holding their form even when boiled until soft. Elicoidali is great when used in baked dishes. And it works well with various creamy sauces, cheeses, and other common Italian food ingredients.

5. Sedani

Using sedani as a substitute for ziti in your meal is a fantastic idea. This form of pasta is often compared to rigatoni due to its medium length and shape. Sedani is similar in size and shape to ziti and macaroni.

Sedani is a sort of pasta that needs to be cooked and sauced as soon as possible before serving. Even when adding sauce, you should add enough to prevent the pasta from sticking together. If you’re not serving these with a sauce, you could always use them for a pasta bake.

6. Bucatini

Bucatini, also known as perciatelli, is a thick, cylindrical, spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow down the center. This pasta is popular in Lazio, especially in Rome. Its long hollow rods and smooth texture feel like ziti but much thinner.

You’ll need to cut bucatini into shorter pieces before cooking when using it as a substitute for ziti. That is unless you prefer it at spaghetti length. You can cover the pasta with the sauce just like when serving spaghetti or linguine. But it will work well in a baked dish when cut into smaller pieces.

7. Ditali 

Ditali may be a viable ziti substitute if none of the other options are available. This ring-shaped pasta noodle is relatively small but tastes like most kinds of pasta. Ditali is typically about 5 mm in diameter and 5 mm in length.

This pasta is commonly used in soups such as minestrone, but they also bake well. If you prefer a smaller variant, opt for ditalini, the slimmer version of this pasta.


Although it’s used in several dishes, finding ziti in the store can be challenging. Thankfully, there are several alternatives you can utilize as substitutes for ziti. Each has its unique shape, but the taste will be almost identical.