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Trendy pasta dishes on the menu

Chef Scott Brown


How can you enhance your pasta offering to meet the needs of your customers while maintaining your menu’s appeal? Discover Chef Brown’s advice and take advantage of the data collected by our Consumer Market Insights team.


6 tips for popular pasta dishes

  1. Appetizers and small portions: Consumers like small portions, plus they’re easy to integrate to the menu.1 It’s no wonder that mac n’ cheese currently ranks among the most popular appetizers.2

  2. Cheese and pasta combination: When it comes to pasta dishes, cheese is the most important ingredient for consumers, preceded only by sauces and tomatoes.3 Making use of trendy cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano allows you to satisfy as many clients as possible.4

  3. Varieties of trendy pasta: Swap traditional spaghetti or penne for pasta that are currently enjoying a strong rise in popularity, like gnocchi, tagliatelle, cavatelli, linguine and ravioli.5

  4. Sought-after proteins: Opt for a safe choice like chicken or innovate using proteins that are gaining in popularity, such as salmon, short ribs, veal, pancetta, prosciutto and seafood.6

  5. Trendy vegetables: Add character to your pasta dishes with popular vegetables, including peas, olives, arugula, red onions, cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms.7

  6. Plant-based options: Over 40% of consumers wish to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.8 Get inspired by these ooey gooey vegan mac n’ cheese and classic vegan lasagna inspirations made with our Plant-Based Mozzarella Flavoured Shred to adapt your pasta dishes and meet the demands of a vegan clientele.

5 types of sauces made better with cheese

  • Cream-based sauce: To enhance this type of sauce that is gaining popularity9, Chef Brown suggests taking advantage of cheeses with unique and pronounced tastes, like blue cheese and old Cheddar.

  • Butter sauce: Since butter sauces are heat sensitive, opt for cheeses that can be quickly incorporated into your mix at low or medium temperatures. Cheeses with a rich texture like Brie, Gorgonzola and Bleubry are a perfect fit for that application. Since Gorgonzola is particularly popular with gnocchi,10 this inspiration is perfect to highlight this cheese on the menu!

  • Meat sauce: Chef Brown recommends adding Pecorino Romano, as its flavour pairs well with meat. As it happens, this cheese has been the fastest growing ingredient in pasta during the past year.11

  • Spicy sauce: Opt for fresh Mozzarella-type cheeses like Bocconcini and Fior di Latte to add contrasting freshness to a spicy sauce.

  • Oil-based sauce: Add texture and Mediterranean flavours with Feta cheese. Since it’s offered in a pre-crumbled format, it can be added quickly during preparation.

There are one thousand and one ways to create pasta dishes that stand out: dare to follow the trends to surprise your clients! 

Want more innovative ideas? Take a look at our pasta inspirations. For more expert tips and insight, subscribe to our newsletter, À LA CARTE!

1 Technomic, Ignite menu, Q1 2022
2-3 Technomic, Ignite menu, Q1 2021-Q1 2022
4-5 Technomic, Ignite menu, Q4 2020 - 2021
6-7 Technomic, Ignite menu, Q1 2022
The National Research Council, Agri-Food Innovation Council, Plant-Based Protein Market: Global and Canadian Market Analysis, 2019
Technomic, Ignite menu, Q1 2022
10-11 Technomic, Ignite menu, Q1 2021-Q1 2022

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get inspired

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola

Classic Vegan Lasagna

Classic Vegan Lasagna

Brie Cheese Mac n' Cheese with Italian Sausage

Brie Cheese Mac n' Cheese with Italian Sausage

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