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