7+ Delicious Orecchiette Substitutes

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Pasta is the quintessential go-to ingredient for those who prefer comfort meals. Orecchiette pasta is one of the most popular.

Orecchiette pasta is characterized by a shell-like form, a deep hollow, and a pleasing texture. Its distinctive form is achieved by passing the pasta dough through a latterina. The hollows provide an important benefit by allowing the pasta to suck up loads of sauce.

As a result, instead of rich creamy meals, combine this pasta with saucier ones. You may also serve orecchiette pasta with hearty meat sauces and stews.

But, other types of pasta might simply be substituted with orecchiette. This collection of orecchiette substitutions can help you when you’re looking for alternatives.

If you can’t locate orecchiette in your local grocery, try one of our 7 finest replacements. These choices can provide a tasty lunch for your family or visitors.

1. Gnocchi

Gnocchi originates from the Tuscan area of Italy and is a decent replacement for orecchiette. This pasta’s main components are semolina flour and potatoes. Egg, white pepper, and salt are among the other components.

Gnocchi may be eaten in a variety of ways. One method is to use it in meat or vegetable meals with a tomato-based sauce. Nonetheless, it should be noted that gnocchi includes wheat gluten due to the use of semolina flour. Those who are gluten intolerant should avoid this choice and instead choose another orecchiette substitution from this list.

2. Tubettini

Tubettini is comparable to orecchiette in many ways, including its long and spherical form. This pasta may be made using a number of flours, but the most common is durum wheat flour. In addition, tubettini is often used in robust Italian meals with thick sauces.

Tubettini is a delightful alternative to orecchiette. Apart from the fact that it has a similar form to orecchiette, it has a harder texture.

3. Farfalle

Farfalle is another fantastic alternative to orecchiette. This pasta is of the same geographical origin as orecchiette. It’s also a healthier and lighter sort of pasta made from bigger bits of dough.

This pasta’s bow-tie design has made it renowned among Italian cuisine aficionados. Although its form is distinct, its hollows are comparable to orecchiette. As a result, it’s a perfect alternative for orecchiette. Farfalle may be served with creamy or thin sauces.

4. Fusilli

Fusilli is said to have originated in two different regions of Italy, notably Tuscany and Abruzzo. Fusilli pasta is shaped like a corkscrew or spring. Similar to orecchiette, its form features wide grooves that are perfect for scooping up sauce.

Fusilli’s lengthy, spiral shape makes it an ideal alternative for orecchiette. This spaghetti goes well with nearly everything and works well with both thick and runnier sauces. But, fusilli must be cooked for a few minutes longer than orecchiette to soften adequately.

5. Corallini

Using durum wheat flour, the inhabitants of Naples, Italy, fashioned short, firm pasta tubes. This invention evolved into the corallini pasta we know today. It’s also a great replacement for orecchiette.

Corallini pasta resembles macaroni but is substantially shorter in length. As a result, while choosing a sauce to accompany a corallini pasta dinner, one must exercise caution. This pasta is often used in recipes with a lighter sauce. But, it is also ideal for pasta bakes.

6. Conchiglie

Conchiglie pasta is the fancy term for seashell or shell pasta. It’s usually prepared using ordinary durum wheat flour. Nonetheless, a tri-colored variation is sometimes available. The tricolored variant comes in three flavors: basic, red from natural tomato extract, and green from spinach extract.

Conchiglie is almost similar in form to orecchiette, which makes it an ideal alternative. It is also available in two sizes: conchigliette and conchiglioni, which allude to little and giant conchiglie, respectively.

7. Penne

Penne pasta is a hollow, cylindrical pasta. The penne tube’s inside wall is smooth, while the outer is furrowed.

This pasta form comes in a variety of sizes and is known by numerous names. The original penne pasta is still the most popular. When combined with marinara and pesto sauces, penne pasta is an excellent alternative for orecchiette.


It is possible that orecchiette pasta is not always accessible in shops. As a result, you should prepare yourself with different possibilities that may serve as viable alternatives. When a replacement for orecchiette is required, any of the following will suffice.


What can you use in place of orecchiette?

If you can’t locate orecchiette, use any other shaped pasta, such fusilli, farfalle, or penne.

What pasta shapes are similar to orecchiette?

Tubettini, which are both long and circular, are a decent substitute for orecchiette. They may be produced using a variety of flours, but the most common is durum wheat flour. This spaghetti is very popular with meat or spinach sauces.

What is another name for orecchiette pasta?

Strascinati are a kind of pulled pasta prevalent in southern Italy. With a knife, iron, or fingers, they may be dragged across grooved boards or baking boards. The two most common forms are orecchiette (especially popular in Puglia) and cavatelli.

Why is orecchiette the best pasta?

It’s a little, ear-shaped pasta that goes well with sauces. Their little cup form scoops up more flavor in each mouthful. The versatility of orecchiette allows it to be dressed up or down. As a casual family supper, serve it with a substantial Bolognese.

What is the best tasting substitute for pasta?

6 Healthy Substitutes for Classic Pasta
“Zoodles” are Zucchini Noodles. Zucchini has a minimal saturated fat, salt, and cholesterol content.
Shirataki Noodles. Quinoa Pasta. Rice Pasta. Black Bean Pasta. Shirataki Noodles.

Is orecchiette the same as orzo?

Orecchiette are little, circular pasta shapes in the form of an ear. The concave form is ideal for capturing and retaining sauces and other ingredient morsels. Although orecchiette is bigger than orzo, it works well in soups, salads, and pan foods.

What is the difference between orecchiette and cavatelli?

Cavatelli translates as ‘small hollows,’ and although orecchiette are more delicate, cavatelli are a bit puffier, somewhat like gnocchi, but with a hollow created from the side. Pugliese may sometimes make cavatelli dough with ricotta, thereby turning them into hollowed-out gnudi.

What is the rarest pasta shape?

Su Filindeu, the world’s rarest pasta, is found on the island of Sardinia. Su filindeu, which means “the threads of God” in Sardo, are lengthy strands of pasta that can only be created by hand.

Is orecchiette pasta the same as shells?

Orecchiette, sometimes known as “small ears” in the pasta industry, originates in the southern Italian province of Apulia. It’s usually prepared with thin rounds of fresh pasta dough delicately squeezed with the thumb to form little shells—ideal for cradling all that delicious sauce.

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