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13 Best Substitutes For Pancetta To Boost Your Taste Buds

Pancetta is extremely popular when it comes to having a feast, but what if you don’t have it or you are a vegetarian and want a change in your daily meals. 

Is there a substitute where your taste buds don’t have to compromise?

In this article, you’ll get to know some of the most elite substitutes for pancetta, and I can assure you that they will work wonders.

So, let’s get on to it and check how you can use these substitute for pancetta in your recipe and get the gist of pancetta without having it.

Here is the list of some elite substitutes for pancetta.

13 Best Substitutes For Pancetta

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Canadian Bacon157
Salted Pork748
Vegan Salami154
Smoked Ham157
Smoked Turkey229
Smoked Sausage248
Porcini Mushrooms39
Full-Flavored Olives117
Turkey Bacon382

1. Canadian Bacon Or American Bacon

American Bacon substitute for pancetta

Bacon is considered an amazing substitute for pancetta due to its cured meat.

There is a difference between the nutritional properties, the flavouring of the meat, and the facility of curing.

A strip of bacon is a popular breakfast item in the United States, and it may be used in a variety of other cuisines. 

Ideal for soup, bread, pasta (particularly carbonara), and salad toppings. Furthermore, it is one of the most affordable options available. 

It’s also fairly common and widely available, regardless of the season. You can select from a variety of brands, as well as taste variations.

One key difference between Pancetta and Bacon is that pancetta is unsmoked and dry, whereas bacon is prepared with the salted-smoking pig belly.

You can keep boiling the bacon for 3-4 minutes to have that dryness, and since bacon is less greasy compared to pancetta, you can add oil while cooking.

Unlike pancetta which sometimes is hard to spot in the local markets.

How To Substitute

1 gram of uncooked Canadian/American bacon contains slightly more than 1 gram of fresh, excellent pancetta. Based on the quantity of the meal, you can compare the required fresh, flavorful pancetta with the ideal portion of uncooked Canadian/American Bacon.

2. Salted Pork

Salted Pork substitute for pancetta

Another proper substitute for pancetta is salted pork.

A lot like bacon but saltier; that’s how you preserve pork. You have to soak or boil it before you can use it in your dishes to get the excess salt out of the meat.

It offers the cured and crisp taste of meat like pancetta. Pork shoulder is great for mild cooking, whereas pork flank is the finest broiled, and the pork ribs are usually ideally seasoned and smoked or barbecued.

It also has a thin and oily aspect. It is usually prepared as pancetta by applying a rub and smoking it.

Pork is more difficult to chop yet tastes delicious.

How To Substitute

One thing that you have to keep in mind is that salted pork is not ideally the same in taste as natural pancetta. Hence, it’s not right to expect the exact same taste even after including 2-3 extra pieces. If you are fine with it, then add one salted pork roast for each piece of fresh pancetta.

3. Prosciutto


Because of its flavour and easiness, prosciutto is also another Italian favorite. This dry-cured meat made from hog or ham is thinly sliced and can be consumed raw. 

It goes well with your favorite charcuterie spread, as well as a drink of red or white wine.

Apart from that, it’s great for sandwiches when you’re usually on the move because it doesn’t require much prep time. 

This is great for flavoring pasta, pizzas, risottos, and even other foods. 

If you don’t have pancetta, look for a specialized store near you and use prosciutto instead.

How To Substitute

1 gram of fresh, delicious pancetta equals 1 gram of clean prosciutto, 1⁄2 gram of ham (smoked), and just a tiny piece of bacon. Remove any debris and unnecessary parts before using the crisp, clean, and delicious prosciutto.

4. Salami


In the European region, salami is a renowned pig sausage that has historically helped people endure the cold winter months

Since salami is mainly made of pork, depending on where you go, you can also discover it with beef or veal ingredients.

Salami is so efficient that it can be kept for 40 days at a normal room temperature which makes it one of the easiest foods to store. 

For preserving, it requires air-drying, which helps in fermenting the pork and extends its shelf-life.

It can be used with cheese and for an even more sublime taste, wash it with authentic wine.

How To Substitute

Add an equivalent quantity of raw salami to the quantity of fresh, excellent pancetta called for in the recipe, but slowly. You may ensure that the flavor of fresh salami doesn’t really overshadow your finished meal by adding extra raw salami and evaluating it as you go.

5. Vegan Salami

Vegan Salami

“Don’t I deserve a delicious richness of a great meal? Just because I choose to be a vegetarian.” Don’t worry because there is an elite vegan alternative to pancetta–it’s vegan salami.

Owing to our industrious and imaginative food companies. Vegan salamis and vegan processed items are increasingly available to be your pancetta’s substitute.

Iconic pasta, as well as pizzas, can now be enjoyed without foregoing the cured, savory flavor

If one can’t find vegan sausages or salamis, veggies such as chile and tomato will suffice as a great alternative.

It will have a smoky and umami flavor, although it will be less substantial than other meat replacements. 

Still, this is an excellent option if you want to make your recipe vegetarian or vegan.

How To Substitute

Use a substantial amount to compensate for more than 2 plates of clean and excellent pancetta. Vegetarian salami is highly nutritious; therefore, adding too much won’t harm you.

6. Smoked Ham

Smoked Ham substitute for pancetta

Why not acquire your big personal slab of smoked ham because pancetta is simply smoked ham? If you’re a fine slicer at the house, you can cut it similarly to pancetta. 

There are numerous variations, and it is rather prevalent, notably during the Christmas season.

It’s also a less expensive option because, apart from prosciutto and pancetta because it’s not sliced. Hams, like pancetta, can be consumed raw and have a lengthy shelf life. 

One can produce their handmade ham, allowing them to flavor it as per their needs.

How To Substitute

To use in the dishes, put the smoked ham in the cooking utensil and taste it until it achieves your desired level. In many circumstances, a gram of delectable and nutritious smoked ham can be substituted with one gram of uncooked and delicious pancetta. You can shred the Smoked ham or enhance it in another way, removing any unpleasant parts before preparing the dish.

7. Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey

Hating pork? Well, pork is amazing but not for everyone, and that’s why I’ll tell you about the most appropriate substitute so that you won’t have to touch the pork–without compromising much on taste.

The smoked turkey is favorable for Italian dishes because of its aroma, taste, and good-natured nutrients.

Now, the availability of the ideal smoke turkey is subjective, but you can always go for other birds–one such example would be chicken.

In case you get the fresh turkey, ask the butcher to cut it properly, or else you can always do it yourself.

How To Substitute

Sub one and a half cups thinly sliced smoked turkey for about the same quantity of the crisp, delicious pancetta. If you’re planning on preparing a large quantity, experiment with the material and taste it before putting loads of it. Make sure to proceed at the normal rate and not in a hurry.

8. Smoked Sausage

Smoked Sausage

Smoked sausage is yet another meat alternative for pancetta, and it’s just great!

A type of salami is referred to as smoked sausage–the perk you will have in picking smoked sausage is the vast options you’ll get to pick while preparing your dish. 

They will help you in enhancing taste and increasing the quality of the meal.

What makes it even more relevant is that the process of curing, marination, and fermentation is identical in all types of meat mentioned above. 

That smoky flavor comes easy and at convenience.

How To Substitute

A gram of pancetta can be replaced by a gram of crisp smoked sausage, to enhance the dish even further you can add a gram of smoked sausage along with a gram of bacon to replace 2 grams of pancetta. This makes brings your dish even closer to what you would have got–using pancetta.

9. Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini Mushrooms substitute for pancetta

To have that meaty and hearty touch to your dish, use Porcini mushrooms–one of the best substitutes for pancetta. This ingredient is for vegetarian people.

Apart from being highly nutritious– multiple vitamins and fats, they’re also low in fat.

Porcini mushrooms add a great texture and flavor to your meals and are trusted by many Italian chefs as their first pick for great dishes.

How To Substitute

Stick to a 1:1 ratio while using porcini mushrooms because of their density. This ratio will help you to get the beginning right while cooking, and rest assured, it will be easier to add more as per your convenience.

10. Tofu

Tofu substitute for pancetta

This is a little exhausting but definitely works– you can get the nutrition of tofu in the pancetta dish with great taste and rich flavor. 

The hard part is removing moisture and marinating the ingredient properly.

Tofu can be a great addition to your dish and another fine meatless substitute for pancetta.

How To Substitute

Chop tofu into smaller pieces to get the crispness in your dish. Go for a freezer bag to avoid the untidy process of mixing. After mixing, toss small bits of tofu and give them a proper squeeze to avoid moisture.

11. Tempeh

The traditional Italian dish, pancetta, is a meat product that can be difficult to find. Tempeh is a meat substitute made from soybeans and is a perfect replacement for pancetta.

It is very similar to bacon and can be used in many dishes that call for pancetta. It has a mild, nutty flavor. Tempeh is typically used in Asian dishes like stir-fries, soups, and stews. It is a good substitute for pancetta in any dish that calls for pancetta.

How To Substitute

Combine four parts of tempeh with one part of pancetta to make an easy substitution and get a delicious flavor.

12. Full-Flavored Olives

There are many ways to substitute for pancetta, but the most effective is using a mixture of canned green olives and garlic. You may find it in any grocery store, which can be a great addition to any dish.

The process of substituting pancetta with full-flavored olives is simple and easy. Olives are green, have a hard outer shell and a soft inside, and are made from the fruit of the olive tree, and you may use it similarly to pancetta.

How To Substitute

Use fully flavored olives to replace pancetta in an equal ratio.

13. Turkey Bacon

If you want a lower-fat alternative to check your cholesterol, turkey bacon should be your go-to choice. However, it has a milder flavor than pancetta, so you would have to add extra flavoring to balance the taste.

Although you may use it similarly as your recipe requires for pancetta while using it, you should keep in mind that it has high sodium, so you would have to adjust the quantity of other ingredients.

How To Substitute

Use turkey bacon for pancetta in a 1:1 substitution ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Vegetarian Substitutes For Pancetta?

This vegan pancetta dish calls for marinated pieces of tofu, which really is high in plant-based protein. 

To effectively recreate the original taste and texture, the marinade contains tamari/soy sauce, pureed tomatoes, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

Is Prosciutto And Pancetta The Same?

Unlike pancetta and pork, prosciutto is sourced from a pig’s hind leg rather than the belly. Also, it is salt-cured. 

However, the curing process is substantially longer, making it safe to eat raw. It is commonly consumed raw in salads, sandwiches, and antipasti platters.

Can You Use Salami Instead Of Pancetta?

As mentioned above, yes, you can go for salami as a substitute for pancetta and specifically for vegan salami if you’re a vegan.

The 13 Best Substitutes For Pancetta

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Cooking time


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Get to know some good options to substitute for pancetta


  • Canadian Bacon Or American Bacon

  • Salted Pork

  • Prosciutto

  • Salami

  • Vegan Salami

  • Smoked Ham

  • Smoked Turkey

  • Smoked Sausage

  • Porcini Mushrooms

  • Tofu

  • Tempeh

  • Full-Flavored Olives

  • Turkey Bacon


  • 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