How To Cook Fusilli (Rotini)

Fusilli is one of the best known and most popular types of Italian pasta. Sometimes called Rotini in the U.S., fusilli are a variety of pasta that are twisted into corkscrew shape. But do you know how to cook Rotini or fusilli pasta?

Follow these 7 easy steps below and your fusilli pasta will turn out delicious and perfect every time. I’ll also share with you some pro tips so that you never fail again making a yummy Rotini dish. If you want to read about the difference between Rotini and Fusilli, follow the link.

Fusilli (Rotini)
Fusilli or Rotini

What You Need

  • Large pot
  • Tongue or wooden spoon or spatula
  • Colander
  • Fusilli (Rotini)
  • Water
  • Salt

7 Steps To Cook Fusilli

  1. Boil water in a large pot. Use a very large pot for cooking fusilli and bring the water up to a complete boil over high heat.
  2. Add a large amount of salt. Italians say that you should cook fusilli, any type of pasta for that matter, in water as salty as the sea. In practice, you should add 1-2% salt to your water. That means about 1/2-1 tbsp (10-20 g) of salt for each quart (liter) of water.
  3. Add fusilli and set your timer. Add fusilli to the salty water and set your timer to the cooking time indicated in the packaging. You can set your heat to medium-low at this point.
  4. Stir in the first minute. Stir fusilli occasionally in the first minute of cooking. You don’t need to stir it after that.
  5. Cook for 11-13 minutes. Fusilli cooking time is indicated in the packaging, but by cooking it for 12 minutes you couldn’t go wrong. See below for more tips.
  6. Drain the fusilli. Once cooked, drain fusilli in a colander.
  7. Add sauce. If you want to avoid your fusilli sticking together, transfer them into the sauce right after draining it and mix them.

Fusilli Cooking Time

Dry fusilli or Rotini pasta cooking time is 11-13 minutes. For best results follow the time indicated in the packaging, but cooking dry fusilli pasta for 12 minutes will always work.

One pro tip is to taste fusilli 1-2 minutes before the indicated cooking time, and then every minute. This way you can adjust the chewiness to your personal preferences.

Italian Tricks For Cooking Perfect Fusilli

The very first tip for cooking perfect fusilli is to mix them with the sauce right after draining. This is the best way to stop them from sticking together, and this way your freshly cooked fusilli will absorb the juices and liquids from the sauce. “The” tip to make finger-licking fusilli dishes all the time.

Cook fusilli in very salty water. Italians say the water should be as salty as the sea. This is about 3.8% in the Mediterranean, which I find pretty salty for cooking noodles. But you should still add 1-2% of salt to your water. This means about 1/2-1 tbsp (10-20 g) of salt for each quart (liter) of water.

Use a large quantity of water. A general rule of thumb is 1 liter per 100 g of fusilli. This means 4 1/2 quarts of water for a 16 oz pack of fusilli. But if you use a gallon of water (4 quarts or 4 liters) per pack of 16 ounces (500 g) fusilli, you can’t go wrong.

Can You Reheat Fusilli?

You can easily reheat fusilli if they have not yet been mixed with the sauce. In fact this is the way Italian restaurants are able to serve fresh pasta in no time.

The process is simple. You pre-cook your fusilli and store them in a dry place. Right before serving it, you put your noodles back in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. You’ll get perfect fresh cooked fusilli this way.

Fusilli pasta in colander

How To Cook Fusilli (Rotini)

Balazs Szilagyi
Make perfect fusilli or Rotini every time
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • Large pot
  • Tongue or wooden spoon or spatula
  • Colander


  • 1 pack dry fusilli (Rotini) 16 oz or 500 g
  • 4 quarts water 4 liters
  • 3 tbsp salt 60 g


  • Bring water up to a boil in a large pot.
  • Add salt to the water.
  • Add dry fusilli (Rotini) pasta and set your timer to 11 minutes.
  • Stir during the first minute.
  • Cook for 11 minutes. No need to stir after the first minute.
  • Drain cooked fusilli pasta in a colander.
  • Mix with sauce and serve.
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