8 Great Substitutes for Ditalini Pasta


Ditalini is a short tube-shaped pasta used mainly in soups, appetizers, and several light salads.

It may be hard to find sometimes, and longer pasta just won’t do as replacements.

Pasta is an important part of one’s diet since it is a good source of carbohydrates. All in all, it works well in most recipes and is known for its versatility.

8 Great Substitutes for Ditalini Pasta

Here are eight great substitutes for ditalini pasta to add to your following recipe exploring Italian flavors.


Tubettini is essentially a smaller type of ditalini. It is also tubular and is often used in light and thin soups, broths, and stocks. It is easier to find as compared to ditalini.

It’s a suitable replacement for salads too.

Although this is a smaller pasta, it has a firm texture and goes well with light flavors.

There are two kinds; regular tubettini, which is smooth and tubettini rigati, which has ridges. Either variety works well in thinner soups like minestrone.


This is a small tubular pasta good for soups. It is easier to find and works well in soups and salads.


Macaroni is a readily available pasta that is light in texture.

This kind of pasta is used primarily in sauces and salads. There are many varieties and cuts of macaroni available in the market, and they are relatively inexpensive too.

Macaroni is an excellent alternative to ditalini in salads since it has a smooth texture and a tubular form and would carry dressings very well.


Macaroni is an easy-access and affordable alternative that can be used in pretty much any dish in place of ditalini. It works exceptionally well in salads.


Orzo is a kind of micro-pasta that is shaped like rice. It is also known as risoni. This would be a great replacement for ditalini in recipes like soup, casseroles, and stews.

Its small shape and barley-like texture also make it a great component in salads and appetizers.

It works especially well in hearty soups like minestrone because of its small size and can easily substitute ditalini.


This is a very small rice-shaped pasta. It goes well in baked recipes as well as soups.

Acini Di Pepe

Acini di pepe translates to ‘seeds of pepper’ or ‘peppercorns’ in Italian.

They are also sometimes referred to as ‘pastina.’ Or tiny pasta. As the name suggests, this type of pasta is small in size, as small as a grain of cooked couscous.

Acini di pepe is an excellent substitute for ditalini since it would work well in broths and soups. This tiny variety of pasta can be found easily in Italian stores, groceries, and online services.


This unique pasta is a good substitute for ditalini in broths and soups.


Anellini in Italian means ‘small rings’. This is a smaller variety of ring-shaped pasta called Anelli. Anellini can be commonly found in Italian stores.

Campbell’s premade ‘Spaghetti-os’ is also made of anellini pasta.

This Sicilian hoop-shaped pasta is a suitable replacement for ditalini’s unavailability; it’s used in recipes that involve stewing or baking. It is also great in soups.


This is a small-sized ring-shaped pasta originating in Sicily that can easily replace ditalini in many recipes, specifically bakes, and stews.


Fregola is a unique type of small-sized pasta. It is typically hand-made out of durum semolina, making it a relatively healthier pasta. Fregola is also uniquely pre-roasted, attributing to its signature nutty flavor.

Fregola is very similar, texturally, to acini di pepe, and one can use it anywhere acini de pepe can. Additionally, the fregola may be slightly chewy.


This is a unique small pasta with a distinct flavor. It is also a healthier alternative and is texturally similar to acini di pepe.


This is an interesting kind of pasta that works very well in soups. Originally, stortini was a kind of pastina whose unique shape was introduced to pique young children’s interest.

As a substitute for ditalini, stortini would work well in most recipes, specifically broths, and salads. Its tubular and curved form may lead many to call it a smaller version of macaroni’.


Stortini is a small-sized tubular pasta that can be used in place of ditalini in salads and broths.


Conchigliette stands for ‘small conch shells’. This type of shell-shaped pasta is used primarily in recipes involving salads and soups, enriched with meats and flavorful sauces.

Its small size and unique shape allow it to work very well in many recipes where ditalini would typically be used. It is a smaller version of the relatively common conchiglie pasta.


This is a miniature version of conchiglie, which can be used in flavorful soups, salads, and sauces, making it an outstanding alternative for ditalini.


What is ditalini used for?

Ditalini is generally used in thin hearty soups and salads. It is known for its bite, small size, and tubular shape.

What is the difference between orzo and acini de pepe?

Orzo is a variety of pasta shaped like large grains of rice, whereas acini de pepe are slightly smaller, rounder, and firmer.

How is fregola different from acini de pepe?

Fregola pasta is made by hand using semolina. It is also roasted beforehand. Acini de pepe, on the other hand, is made using white flour and is not pre-roasted.

Bottom Line

Ditalini is a great pasta in soups and hearty cold and warm salads, but one needn’t worry if it isn’t available.

Ditalini can be easily replaced with several versions of small pasta. Hopefully, this list gives you a concise view of the many options you have to use as a substitute.

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.