The 9 Best Substitutes for Farfalle Pasta

There’s nothing more annoying than needing to make the perfect dish, only to realize you don’t have the ingredients!

But don’t worry — if you’re out of farfalle pasta, I’m here to save the day.

I’ve been in this spot too many times myself and trying to find the best substitutes for farfalle pasta can feel like a challenge.

So, I got my taste buds ready and went on a mission to try as many different alternatives as possible.

Trust me – no one will even notice that you switched up your usual recipe!

What is Farfalle Pasta?


Farfalle pasta is a type of Italian noodle with a unique bow-tie shape.

It’s also known as “butterfly” or “bow-tie” pasta due to its distinctive shape, which adds an interesting element to any dish.

Farfalle is made from durum wheat and water, giving it a firm texture that stands up well in dishes.

It has slightly ridged edges that make it great for catching sauces and other ingredients within the dish.

It can be used in both hot and cold recipes like soups, salads, casseroles, or even as a main course by itself.

Its versatility makes Farfalle an excellent choice for creating endless delicious meals!

The 9 Best Substitutes for Farfalle Pasta

Farfalle pasta is a classic Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries.

However, it can be difficult to find in some areas or may not be available at all times.

If you need a substitute for farfalle pasta, here are nine great alternatives:

1. Penne


Penne is a type of pasta that is shaped like small tubes or quills. It has a slightly curved shape, which makes it ideal for catching sauces.

Penne is often used in Italian-style dishes, such as lasagna and baked ziti.

Penne is also great for making cold salads, because the tube shape helps to hold onto dressings better than other types of pasta.

It works especially well with light dressings, such as olive oil and lemon juice.

Penne can be substituted for farfalle pasta in many recipes; however, it’s important to take into account how the dish will look when finished.

Farfalle’s bow tie shape looks attractive on plate presentations, so if you are serving your dish to guests you may want to stick with farfalle instead of penne.

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Overall, penne pasta is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes from hot dishes to cold salads – just keep presentation in mind when deciding between penne and farfalle!

2. Rotini


Rotini is a type of pasta that is shaped like small, tightly wound spirals.

Rotini is a versatile pasta and can be used in many different recipes.

It’s perfect for salads, soups, casseroles, and baked dishes.

Rotini holds its shape well when cooked, so it’s great for recipes that require the pasta to hold up during baking or stirring.

This makes it an excellent choice for macaroni and cheese dishes as well as other creamy or saucy pastas.

The shape also allows sauces to cling easily to each spiral giving your dish lots of flavor with little effort!

Rotini also works well in lighter dishes like salads or soups where you don’t want too much starchiness from traditional noodles but still need something substantial such as farfalle (bowtie) pasta would provide.

The rotini will give more texture without being overly heavy.

3. Fusilli


Fusilli is a type of Italian pasta in the shape of tightly wound spiral coils.

It can be made from durum wheat semolina or whole wheat flour, and it is available in regular and gluten-free varieties.

Fusilli has a firm texture when cooked and holds chunky sauces well due to its ridges.

Due to its unique shape, fusilli works best with chunkier sauces like pesto or cream based sauces such as carbonara or Alfredo.

It also stands up well to heavier toppings like grilled vegetables, sausage, or meatballs.

Fusilli is equally delicious cold in salads; just add your favorite dressing for an easy meal!

4. Rigatoni


Rigatoni is a type of pasta that is tube-shaped with ridges.

It has a slightly curved shape and can be found in short, medium or long lengths.

The ridges on the rigatoni make it ideal for saucy dishes because they help hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta.

It also works well with chunky sauces as the ridges give them something to cling to.

Rigatoni also has a slightly chewy texture which makes it perfect for hearty dishes like casseroles and baked pastas.

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The hollow center means that it holds lots of flavor when cooked in soups or stews, making it great for slow cooker meals too!

It’s often used as an alternative to farfalle pasta, particularly in Italian recipes such as lasagna or baked ziti.

Rigatoni can also be used instead of penne or macaroni in creamy dishes like mac and cheese.

5. Orecchiette


Orecchiette is a type of pasta that originates from the Puglia region in Italy.

It is shaped like a small bowl or ear, hence its name which translates to “small ears” in Italian.

This pasta works well with chunky sauces and vegetables as it can hold them nicely within its shape.

Orecchiette also has a rough texture which helps to absorb sauces better than other types of pastas.

Orecchiette makes an excellent substitute for farfalle pasta when making soups and stews since it won’t get soggy as quickly as farfalle does.

The same goes for salads – orecchiette will help keep your salad crisp even after marinating in dressing overnight.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, orecchiette can be used instead of farfalle to make casseroles such as macaroni and cheese or baked ziti dishes.

The shape adds an interesting twist to these classic dishes,

6. Cavatappi


Cavatappi is a type of spiral-shaped pasta that resembles corkscrews.

This pasta is made from durum wheat, which makes it sturdy enough to hold up in soups and sauces.

It’s also perfect for chunky sauces because the shape helps to keep the sauce on the noodles rather than running off.

Cavatappi can also be used instead of farfalle pasta in many recipes.

The spirals are similar in size and texture to bowties and will provide a nice contrast when mixed with other kinds of pasta or vegetables.

Cavatappi works well with creamy sauces such as alfredo, pesto, and tomato-based dishes like arrabbiata or carbonara.

It can also be used as an alternative to traditional macaroni noodles in macaroni salads or casseroles, adding an interesting twist to your favorite recipes!

7. Conchiglie

Conchiglie Pasta

Conchiglie, also known as shell pasta, is a type of Italian pasta shaped like curved shells.

It can be made from durum wheat semolina flour and water or with additional ingredients such as eggs and saffron.

The shape of conchiglie makes it ideal for recipes that require large amounts of sauce to be incorporated into the dish.

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For example, conchiglie works well in creamy casseroles and baked dishes since the ridges on each shell help capture more sauce than traditional farfalle pasta.

This type of pasta also works great in soups and stews since the shells hold their shape after cooking.

Conchiglie can also be used in lighter recipes such as salads or tossed with vegetables for a simple side dish.

Overall, this type of pasta is an excellent choice when you want to add extra flavor and texture to your meal!

8. Macaroni

Macaroni Pasta

Macaroni is a type of pasta that is shaped like a small hollow tube.

It has been popular for centuries and can be found in many different shapes and sizes.

Macaroni is usually made from hard durum wheat flour, but it can also be made with other types of flour such as semolina or whole wheat.

Macaroni makes a great addition to soups, casseroles, salads, and baked dishes.

This type of pasta holds its shape well during the cooking process so it won’t turn mushy when cooked for extended periods of time.

It’s also great for making macaroni cheese since the tubular shape allows the cheese sauce to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Macaroni can also be used in cold dishes as part of an antipasto platter or as part of an Italian-style salad.

9. Radiatore

Radiatore Pasta

Radiatore is a type of pasta shaped like small radiators.

They are somewhat similar to farfalle, but with ridges that give them a unique texture.

Radiatore can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups and salads.

They also make a great base for casseroles and other baked dishes.

When cooking radiatore, it’s important to keep an eye on the time – they only need about seven minutes to cook properly.

To substitute radiatore for farfalle pasta, just follow your favorite recipe using the same measurements and cooking time as you would for farfalle pasta.


The 9 Best Substitutes for Farfalle Pasta

What if you don't have farfalle pasta on hand, but still want to make a delicious pasta dish? Don't worry – this article has got you covered! I'm here to share the 9 best substitutes for farfalle pasta so that you can still enjoy a delicious meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 400 kcal


  • Penne
  • Rotini
  • Fusilli
  • Rigatoni
  • Orecchiette
  • Cavatappi
  • Conchiglie
  • Macaroni
  • Radiatore


  • Pick your favorite substitute from this list.
  • Prepare the rest of your tasty meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!