Fusilli vs. Rotini – What’s The Difference?

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Pasta is considered one of the most delicious and versatile food that fixes in every cuisines. The processing of pasta is quite simple as you have to boil it in hot water for fewer seconds and mix it in sauces to enhance the taste.  The best thing about pasta is the addition of extra ingredients such as cream, cheese, chicken, veggies, anything that you like.

There exist more than fifty types of pasta out there, which account for differences based on their sizes, shape and taste. Once you get the knowledge about pasta and its type, it is not difficult to pinpoint which kind of pasta is present in front of you and which sauce is good to utilize it with.

In this article, we have mentioned the two major forms of pasta called fusilli and rotini. These kinds of pasta are often interpreted as one type because of the similarity in appearance, but it is not. They look similar, but they are quite different.

Moving towards the difference the two of the pasta includes is the shape as fusilli is spiral-shaped and rotini is corkscrew-shaped. Secondly, the rotini pasta can hold in more sauce as it contains fewer gaps between its spirals. Lastly, the size of the fusilli is larger than the rotini.

Getting into further details, we have mentioned below some of the facts and important information related to rotini and fusilli, which will help you guide furthermore.


Fusilli comes from the word Fuso which means spindle, and this is because the pasta is shaped like a little rod around the spun and much more. Fusilli is a short-cut type of pasta served with thickened sauce and creams; this is because more sauce gets trapped in fusilli pasta.

The appearance of fusilli is also not particular, but it comes in various colors. These colors are obtained from mixing different ingredients in the dough, such as beetroot, tomato, spinach etc. A famous variant of fusilli is Fusilli Bucati, a twisted hollow tubes kind of pasta.

Fusilli can be obtained in two forms: dry and fresh. The fresh fusilli, which is wet form, is cooked in boiling water for three to four minutes until softened, with the addition of salt and a little oil drop in case they don’t stick together. Moving on towards the dried fusilli, which needs to be cooked for a longer time, about seven to ten minutes.

Fusilli is one of the best pasta dishes made from creamy, rich sauce and salad dressing. The fusilli pasta holds more pasta sauce and makes every bite enriched and delicious. You can also add layers of meat, chicken and cheese to enhance the taste further.

As we have learned about fusilli, not let’s, move towards rotini.


The word rotini is an Italian word that means small wheels, and due to the rotini corkscrew shape, it is named in such a way. Fusilli and rotini are similar except for the tightened gaps as they are more spiral. Rotini is prepared from wheat and water, and some other ingredients such as whole wheat, flour, rice and grains are added in.

There are two varieties of rotini; one is a two-edged degree spiral, and another is a three-edged degree spiral. The cooking method is also similar to the rest of pasta making, including boiling the rotini in warm water for some minutes and adding salt to it. Once the pasta is boiled, add tomato sauce to enhance the taste.

Can Rotini and Fusilli Be Used as A Substitute for Each Other?

As some of the clear difference they both includes is their names, shape and slight variations in other things, the rest is pretty the same. Yes, rotini and fusilli can substitute each other, and mostly it is. It is not a big deal as it doesn’t make much of a difference as both can hold the extra sauce.

They both have some kind of shape and length and are equally good to trap in sauce, cream and any other ingredient you serve along with. So, it wouldn’t be a problem to interchange and use them. In fact, in some parts of the world, these two are often misnamed as each other.

How To Store Rotini and Fusilli?

If these kinds of pasta are uncooked, the storage is quite convenient, and you can store them in any dry and cool place such as a pantry. The uncooked pasta has a longer shelf life and can make up to one year without losing its nutritional value. It is important to use an air-tight container to maintain its freshness so that no air or moisture gets in.

On the other hand, you require some processing if you want to store cooked pasta or boiled pasta. The best way to store cooked pasta is to freeze it; this is because mostly the bacteria can carry out their activity at freezing point, which increases the pasta’s shelf life.  Pack the cooked pasta in an air-tight container as soon as possible and freeze it, and your cooked pasta can be utilized only for three to five days, not after that.

Lastly, if you want to store cooked pasta with a sauce, you can either store them both separately in sealed boxes in the refrigerator. But if you want to store mixed pasta with the sauce, you can freeze it but make sure to utilize it within one to two days. The flavor will disappear after one to two days, and bacterial activity can start.

So, What’s The Difference Between Fusilli and Rotini?

Moving on towards the differences between them both so that you can be clear from your end that these two-look similar, but they are not. The key point is mentioned as:

  1. Fusilli consists of twisted pasta strands, while rotini has corkscrew-like tightened strands.
  2. The major difference the both contain is the ga between the strands, and rotini has a much tighter gap than fusilli.
  3. The rotini holds more sauce than fusilli.
  4. The size of both kinds of pasta is also different as rotini is shorter than fusilli.