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The 5 Best Kinds of Pasta for Pastalaya

Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dish?

Then pastalaya is the perfect choice!

This Louisiana Creole dish combines pasta, vegetables, spices, and sometimes meat or seafood.

It’s an incredibly tasty meal that can be served as a main course or side dish.

The key to making a great pastalaya is choosing the right kind of pasta.

Different shapes and sizes of noodles will affect the texture of your dish in different ways.

In this article, I’ll share five types of pasta that are ideal for creating delicious pastalayas.

Whether you’re using fresh or dry noodles, these options will help you make mouthwatering meals every time!

What is Pastalaya?


Pastalaya is a Cajun-Creole dish that combines the flavors of jambalaya and pasta.

It originated in Louisiana, where it is still popular today.

The dish typically consists of cooked pasta (such as penne or rotini) mixed with vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, celery, and garlic; proteins like chicken or shrimp; and seasonings like cayenne pepper and paprika.

The mixture is then simmered in a tomato-based sauce until all the ingredients are cooked through.

Pastalaya can be served hot or cold as an entrée or side dish. It’s often topped with cheese for added flavor and texture.

This dish is great for using up leftovers since you can add whatever ingredients you have on hand to create your own unique version of pastalaya!

The 5 Best Kinds of Pasta for Pastalaya

Pastalaya is a delicious cajun dish with lots of flavor.

To make it, you need the right kind of pasta.

Here are five types of pasta that will give your pastalaya the perfect texture and taste:

1. Penne


Penne is a type of pasta that is shaped like a tube with ridges on the outside.

It comes in two varieties, penne lisce (smooth) and penne rigate (ridged).

The ridged variety has grooves that help it hold sauces better than its smooth counterpart.

Penne can be made from wheat or gluten-free ingredients such as rice flour, quinoa flour, and cornstarch.

  • Varieties: There are many different types of penne available today, including whole wheat, spinach, tomato basil, garlic herb, and even vegan options. You can also find flavored versions such as pesto or sun-dried tomato.
  • Other Common Uses: Penne is an incredibly versatile pasta shape that works well in many dishes beyond pastalaya. It’s great for baked casseroles like macaroni and cheese or lasagna; tossed with vegetables for a light summer salad; cooked in soups; used to make cold salads; or simply boiled and served with your favorite sauce.

2. Fusilli


Fusilli is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew or spiral.

It can be made from durum wheat, semolina, or other grains and comes in various sizes.

The most common variety is the fusilli bucati which has a hollow center and ridges on the outside.

  • Varieties: There are several varieties of fusilli available including whole wheat, gluten-free, spinach, and even colored versions such as red pepper or squid ink. You can also find different shapes such as rotini (spirals) and farfalle (bow ties).
  • Other Common Uses: Fusilli is often used in salads because its shape helps to hold onto dressings and sauces better than other types of pasta. It’s also great for baked dishes like macaroni and cheese because it holds onto cheese sauce well due to its shape. Additionally, it’s perfect for soups since it won’t break apart easily when cooked in liquid. Finally, you can use fusilli to make pastalaya—a Creole dish similar to jambalaya but with pasta instead of rice—which makes for an interesting twist on this classic dish!

3. Elbow macaroni

Elbow Macaroni Pasta

Elbow macaroni is a type of pasta that is shaped like an elbow and is one of the most popular types of pasta.

It’s made from durum wheat semolina, which gives it its signature yellow color, and can be found in many shapes and sizes.

  • Varieties: There are several varieties of elbow macaroni available on the market today, including whole-wheat elbows, gluten-free elbows, enriched elbows (which have added vitamins and minerals), and even colored elbows (such as spinach or tomato).
  • Other Common Uses: Elbow macaroni is often used in casseroles, soups, salads, baked dishes such as macaroni and cheese or tuna noodle casserole. It can also be served with sauces such as marinara or Alfredo sauce. In addition to being a great side dish for any meal, elbow macaroni can also be used to make pastalaya—a Creole dish that combines rice with vegetables and sausage.

4. Rotini


Rotini is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew or spiral.

It has ridges on the outside, which helps it to hold sauces and other ingredients better than other types of pasta.

The name comes from the Italian word for “twisted,” and it is often used in salads, soups, casseroles, and baked dishes.

  • Varieties: There are many varieties of rotini available in stores today. Whole wheat rotini is made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour and offers more fiber and nutrients than regular rotini. Gluten-free rotini can be found as well; this version is made with rice flour or cornstarch instead of wheat flour.
  • Other Common Uses: Rotini can be used in place of any other type of short cut pasta such as penne or macaroni in recipes like macaroni salad or baked ziti. It also works well in cold salads since its shape makes it easy to mix with vegetables, cheese, meats, and dressings without breaking apart too easily. Additionally, because the ridges help sauces cling to the pasta better than smooth noodles do, it’s great for dishes like pastalaya where you want all the flavors to meld together nicely.

5. Linguine


Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti but with a flat, ribbon-like shape.

It originates from the Italian region of Liguria and is made from durum wheat flour, water, and sometimes eggs.

The name linguine comes from the word “lingua” which means tongue in Italian.

  • Varieties: There are many varieties of linguine available on the market today including whole wheat, spinach, garlic & herb, tomato basil, and even gluten-free options. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile that can be used to enhance any dish you make with it.
  • Other Common Uses: In addition to being used in pastalaya dishes like jambalaya or gumbo, linguine can also be used as an alternative for other types of pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccini in recipes like carbonara or alfredo sauce. It’s also great for cold salads or tossed with vegetables and herbs for a light summer meal.


In conclusion, when it comes to making Pastalaya, there are a variety of different types of pasta that can be used to create a delicious meal.

The five best kinds of pasta for Pastalaya are penne, fusilli, elbow macaroni, rotini, and linguini. Each of these types of pasta has its own unique texture and flavor that can enhance the flavor of the dish.

No matter which type of pasta you choose, you can be confident that it will be delicious and will give you a great base for your Pastalaya.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for something new, give Pastalaya a try with one of these pasta options.


The 5 Best Kinds of Pasta for Pastalaya

As an avid pasta lover, I understand the importance of choosing the right kind of pasta for a dish. In this article, I'm sharing my favorite kinds of pasta for making the delicious Cajun dish Pastalaya. I'll give a brief overview of each type of pasta, discuss which flavors and textures go well with Pastalaya, and even provide some tips on how to cook each variety perfectly.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 362 kcal


  • Penne
  • Fusilli
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Rotini
  • Linguine


  • Pick your favorite type of pasta from this list to use in your Pastalaya recipe.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal, and enjoy!
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.