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16 Unique Substitutes For Prosciutto To Enhance Your Taste Buds

One of the most popular cured meats to come from within the Italian borders is of course that delicate treat known as prosciutto.

The Best Alternatives To Prosciutto

This is a highly versatile cured meat that is thinly sliced pieces of dry cured ham. Prosciutto can be eaten raw as well as used in a variety of cooked dishes.

Prosciutto comes with a famous reputation for its wide versatility. It can be used in pasta, salads, used as a garnish, or even eaten as an appetizer. Prosciutto can give your dish the salty kick it needs without being too overwhelming.

But what if you have run out of your last stash of prosciutto and can’t find any left in your local grocery store?

Today, we’re going to cover the best alternatives to prosciutto so that you can keep cooking without altering the flavor of your dish too much.

The best alternatives to prosciutto are sliced ham, fried bacon, diced pancetta, Italian, German, or Spanish salami, coppa, cured guanciale, or cured culatello.

If you want a vegetarian substitute for prosciutto, the best alternatives are a bold, grated cheese, nuts, chickpeas, or mushrooms.

Quick Table: Prosciutto Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 Grams)
Sliced Ham163
Fried Bacon541
Diced Pancetta359
Italian, German Or Spanish Salami250
Cured Guanciala560
Cured Culatello224
Serrano Ham200
Deli Ham353
Grated Cheese529
Nuts And Chickpeas180
Diced Mushrooms22

Let’s take a look at these alternatives in more detail below!

The Best Alternatives For Prosciutto

Looking for the best alternative to prosciutto without it altering the flavor of your dish? We’ve selected the best substitutions for your favorite Italian cured meat down below. These alternatives are very similar in timers of texture and flavor.

Sliced Ham

One of the best alternatives to prosciutto is of course sliced ham. Prosciutto does come from ham after all, so it only makes sense that this should be your go-to if you haven’t got any cured meats in your refrigerator.

You should be able to find a wide variety of ham types in your local grocery store.

However, it will always be best to opt for a variety that best fits with your recipe. You will also notice that ham is a lot less saltier than prosciutto.

Ham will make the ideal substitute for prosciutto in sandwiches, wraps, pasta dishes, and salads. You will note that ham has a similar texture to prosciutto, so you can opt for thinner slices.

Ham can be used in equal amounts in place of prosciutto. You may also wish to opt for other varieties of ham such as serrano ham, black forest ham, sandwich ham, or smoked ham, depending on the recipe you need it for.

How To Substitute

Sliced Ham is a great way to cook a delicious meal. The ham can be served with eggs and toast for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The ham is a great way to spice up a plain sandwich or to add some flavor to an otherwise bland meal.

Fried Bacon

Another fantastic pork product that you can use as an alternative to prosciutto is fried bacon. This will give your dish the saltiness it needs without being too overpowering. You can also opt for unsalted bacon if you would prefer this.

The great thing about using bacon as a substitute for prosciutto is that you can use it in equal parts.

You should opt for thinly sliced bacon to get the best effect. Make sure that you always thoroughly cook your bacon before consuming it and NEVER eat it raw. This is because pork can harbor dangerous parasites if it hasn’t been cooked properly.

Cured meats are different because of the curing process, but items such as bacon will always need to be cooked properly before you eat them.

How To Substitute

The substitute of prosciutto is fried bacon similar to the texture of prosciutto. While there are different types of bacon, thinly sliced smoked bacon is the best substitute for prosciutto in several dishes.

Diced Pancetta

Diced Pancetta

Also known as Italian bacon, diced pancetta is a fantastic substitute for prosciutto. This is a meat that has a very similar flavor profile to prosciutto because of the fact it has been cured in salt and spices.

Remember to properly cook your pancetta before you use it. This is to kill off any unpleasant bacteria, and to ensure that the cooked meat will blend well with your other ingredients.

You can use pancetta in cold dishes or salad once it has been cooked first. You can use equal parts pancetta in place of prosciutto.

How To Substitute

The taste of Pancetta is similar to bacon which makes an excellent substitute for recipes to add a touch of salty and bold flavor. Pancetta cannot be eaten raw as it is only cured.

RELATED: Andouille Sausage Substitutes | Spicy & Subtle Flavors

Italian, German, Or Spanish Salami

Another cured meat that has a similar flavor profile to prosciutto is of course salami. This is a meat that comes in many varieties, most notably Italian, German, and Spanish.

This is a product where the cured sausage has then been fermented and air dried before being sold in your local grocery store.

In terms of the amount that you should use as a substitute, you will need to use your own taste test to decide this.

You will notice that the flavor of your salami won’t be exactly the same as prosciutto, especially depending on the variety that you opt for.

You may wish to use slightly less or slightly more salami depending on your taste buds and preferences.

How To Substitute

With sweet, salty and spicy types of Salami, it is an Italian air-dried cured meat that gives bold and delicious flavor with sausages. It is the best substitute for Prosciutto and helps enhance the flavor to your dishes.


One of the best alternatives to prosciutto is of course another Italian cured meat. Coppa is sometimes called capicola or capocollo. This meat has been made using dry cured pork shoulder or neck.

This is a cured meat that will be super easy to find in your local grocery store so makes an easy replacement for prosciutto.

You’ll notice that coppa is very similar to prosciutto in appearance, and is usually sliced fairly thinly, too.

Make sure to select the right type of coppa, as there is also a sweet cured version that will completely alter the taste of your dish if you were to use this.

You can use equal parts coppa for prosciutto in your dish, or adapt it to suit your preferences.

How To Substitute

Prosciutto substitute coppa is a delectable and low-carb replacement for the popular Italian deli meat. Made with meat, cheese, and spices, this meat substitute is a perfect addition to any recipe that calls for prosciutto.

Cured Guanciale

Cured guanciale is yet another popular cured Italian meat that you can use in place of prosciutto in your dishes. This particular cut of meat has been made using pork cheek.

It has a similar flavor profile to prosciutto and is prepared using similar methods.

The only thing to note is that cured guanciale has a higher fat content than prosciutto. So you might not want to use too much of this in your dish, and use slightly less than the recipe calls for.

This substitute will pair best with pasta dishes such as carbonara, salads, or eaten as a selection of cold meats.

How To Substitute

Guanciale is a great substitute for Prosciutto. It is a semi-dried pork cheek meat that has been rolled in salt, air-dried, and aged. This type of ham is more moist and less salty than prosciutto and is traditionally used in the Italian cooking of southern Italy.

Cured Culatello

Perhaps one of the most similar cured meats to prosciutto is cured culatello. This is a versatile cured meat that can be used in a variety of recipes. Cured culatello is made using the fillet or loin of the leg.

This meat is cured using salt, so will be ideal for recipes that need a salty meat to be used. Make sure not to use too much of it if you don’t want an overload of salt.

How To Substitute

Culatello is a dry-cured Italian ham made from the pig’s legs, but it’s more tender than prosciutto. This product is also more expensive than prosciutto but is an excellent substitute to use.

Serrano Ham 

Serrano Ham

Serrano ham is a Spanish cured meat made from pork shoulder, and it is made from the finest and most delicate cuts of meat.

The delicacy of the meat requires that it be cured for six months in salt and red wine, and then the ham is left to dry for a year. The cured ham is then soaked in white wine for about 24 hours before it is air-dried for about three days.

It has a unique and distinct flavor, which is a blend of fruity, smoky, and salty. It has a brown, red, and yellow coloration, with the red being the most prominent.

Serrano ham is a cured Spanish dry-cured ham that is slightly sweet and mild in flavor. It has a very thin rind and is salty. The ham is usually eaten as a tapas dish, which can be sliced thin and eaten on bread or toast.

How To Substitute

Serrano Ham is a cured ham that is very similar to prosciutto, but much less expensive. Serrano Ham is perfect for a variety of recipes, but especially for recipes where prosciutto is called for.


Sopressata is a salami made from the meat of the pork’s back leg, which is cured in wine and then smoked over oak wood. 

It is a well-known Italian salami that is often served as a sandwich or on its own. It has a flavor that is rich and salty, with a little sweetness from the wine.

Sopressata is a spicy, hard salami made of beef, pork, and other ingredients. It is a staple of Italian cuisine, often used in antipasti and salads.

The intense flavor of the soppressata has a rich and salty meat taste that is the perfect complement to many Italian dishes. It is often used in sandwiches and salads.

How To Substitute

Soppressata is a type of Italian salami that is similar to prosciutto. It is a type of Italian sausage that is made from coarsely pork, salt, pepper, garlic, and red wine. It is usually served in slices that give a strong, salty and sweet flavor. It is perfect to use in wraps, sandwiches, and condiments in pizza.


Capeicola is a type of cured meat from southern Italy. It is a semi-hard salami with a firm texture, made from pork meat, fat, and spices. It is often compared to prosciutto.

Capicola is a dry-cured, salted, air-dried, natural-cured pork that is heavily seasoned with garlic, oregano, and spices. It is then sliced thin and packaged in thin sheets of paper-thin slices. Capicola is a type of cured meat which originated in Naples, Italy.

 It is a popular meat in many Italian dishes, such as pizza and lasagna. It is cured and then smoked, then sliced and fried to give it a unique flavor. It is also a type of cold cut meat.

How To Substitute

Capicola is one of the best substitutes for prosciutto. Capicola is a leaner and more flavorful ham, and it has a more delicate, airy texture than prosciutto. Capicola can be substituted for prosciutto in any recipe, as well as any dish that would traditionally call for prosciutto.


Mortadella is a salami made from pork and beef that has been smoked and flavored with garlic, herbs, and spices. 

It is very popular and is made up of pure pork meat, salt and spices that can be sliced or crumbled. It’s a mix of pork and beef, has a smooth consistency, and a slightly sweet flavor.

It is often eaten as a sandwich with a hard roll, but it can also be eaten on its own or in a salad. The most common way to eat it is to cut off a small slice, place it on a piece of bread, and then top it with olive oil and mustard.

How To Substitute

Prosciutto is made from air-dried pork and is often used in dishes like salads and sandwiches. Mortadella is a smoked meat made from finely ground beef, pork, and veal, with the addition of spices. The meat is then pressed into a rectangular shape and dried.

Deli Ham

Deli Ham

Deli ham is a sandwich made with a thin layer of ham and a layer of cream cheese. The sandwich is usually served on rye bread.

It is a high-quality, authentic cured ham with a nice salty taste. It is perfect for sandwiches, soups, and stews.

It can also be served hot, or as a cold cut. It is a very popular food in many countries around the world.

How To Substitute

The best substitution for prosciutto is deli ham. Deli ham is a less expensive meat. Deli ham is not cured like prosciutto, but rather it is cured with sugar, vinegar, and salt. The sugar, vinegar, and salt are what give the meat its sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

Vegetarian Friendly Alternatives To Prosciutto

Looking for a vegetarian alternative to prosciutto? We’ve got you covered. Below are some of the best alternatives to meat products if you want to use a vegetarian alternative to prosciutto.

Grated Cheese

One of the most obvious vegetarian substitutes for prosciutto is of course cheese. This dairy product is highly versatile and can be used to substitute prosciutto in a variety of recipes.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing the right cheese for your needs. You can opt for cheeses such as Swiss or even a classic cheddar.

You can use harder cheeses such as parmesan or grana padano, however, you should bear in mind that calf rennet is used to make these, so these can’t be classed as vegetarian cheeses.

How To Substitute

Cheese can be served as an alternative to Prosciutto. Grated cheese is an easy and convenient way to make a substitute and is perfect for vegan and vegetarian dishes. It works for casseroles and other dishes that call for a cheese-like ingredient.

Nuts And Chickpeas

Nuts And Chickpeas

To imitate the flavor profile of prosciutto in your dish, you can opt for roasted chickpeas. Simply place drained chickpeas on a baking sheet in the oven for around 10 minutes, making sure to sprinkle paprika over them to give them a boost of flavor.

Tree nuts can be another great alternative to prosciutto, as well as an excellent source of protein. Try using almonds or walnuts in place of prosciutto in your dishes.

Both of these alternatives can be used in a wide variety of recipes such as pizza, pasta dishes, and risotto.

How To Substitute

Prosciutto substitute chickpeas are a low-fat and gluten-free protein that can be used as a sandwich meat, on salads, in casseroles, and more. It is a great addition to sandwiches, pasta dishes and salads.

Diced Mushrooms

Another classic vegetarian substitution for prosciutto is of course mushrooms. You can use any variety of mushrooms that takes your fancy, but chestnut mushrooms are a fantastic choice.

Mushrooms can add a savory twist to your dish, especially if you opt for a variety that has a bolder flavor.

Shiitake and portobello mushrooms are other great choices. These can be used in a variety of dishes as a replacement for prosciutto, including pasta dishes and salads.

How To Substitute

The taste of the prosciutto can be replicated with mushrooms. These are a great way to use up any leftover bacon or ham that is going to go bad soon. Mushrooms make an amazing addition to a pasta dish, or they can be sliced and fried to create a new breakfast treat.


Tofu is a bean curd made from soy milk that is processed into a white, firm, solid block. Tofu is often used in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Tofu is made from soybeans and water, and it is traditionally a food that is served cold. Tofu can be found in different shapes and sizes. It can be made firm or soft and comes in many different flavors and textures. 

Tofu is versatile and often added to salads, soups, stir-fries, or served with a dipping sauce.

How To Substitute

Tofu can be substituted for prosciutto, but it does not have the same salty, fatty, and savory flavors as the prosciutto do. To recreate these flavors, you must use soy sauce, olive oil, and crushed red pepper.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know the best substitutes that you can use in place of prosciutto in your favorite dishes. No matter whether that’s because you’ve run out of prosciutto, whether you can’t eat prosciutto, or don’t like the flavor of this cured meat.

There are also a few vegetarian alternatives that we’ve mentioned above, too.

So you will now know which is the best alternative to prosciutto for your chosen dish!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Non-Pork Alternatives To Prosciutto?

Not a fan of pork products or can’t eat them for religious or dietary reasons? Then you should opt for turkey or chicken bacon.

To imitate the flavor of prosciutto, you may wish to add lots of seasoning to the meat while you’re mixing it in with the rest of your ingredients.

Which Meats Closely Resemble Prosciutto?

Several cured meats closely resemble prosciutto. Some of the best alternatives to prosciutto are of course salami, serrano ham, mortadella, coppa, culatello, and many more.

It will all be dependent on which part of the pig the meat has been taken from, as well as how they have been prepared beforehand.

What Is A Good Replacement For Prosciutto?

There are several good replacements for prosciutto that you can use in your cooking. Why not try using serrano ham, sliced ham, coppa, fried bacon, diced pancetta, Italian, German, or Spanish salami, cured guanciale, or cured culatello.

If you wanted to opt for a vegetarian substitute, you should opt for a bold cheese or mushrooms.

Can I Substitute Serrano Ham For Prosciutto?

Yes, you can substitute serrano ham in place of prosciutto. The two cured meats have a very similar appearance and flavor profile. The only difference between the two meats is that serrano ham comes from a different breed of pig: the landrace.

You can substitute serrano ham in equal parts in place of prosciutto.

What Ham Is Similar To Prosciutto?

One of the most similar ham products to prosciutto is culatello. This cured meat is highly similar to prosciutto, but is manufactured using the loin or filet of the pig’s hind leg. Similar to other cured Italian meats, culatello originates from Parma in Italy.

The Best Alternatives To Prosciutto

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Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham that’s often served as an appetizer or in a salad. Learn about the best alternatives to prosciutto, and how to use them in your cooking


  • Sliced Ham

  • Fried Bacon

  • Diced Pancetta

  • Italian, German, Or Spanish Salami

  • Coppa

  • Cured Guanciale

  • Cured Culatello

  • Serrano Ham

  • Soppressata

  • Capicola

  • Mortadella

  • Deli Ham

  • Grated Cheese

  • Nuts And Chickpeas

  • Diced Mushrooms

  • Tofu


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith