9 Best Prosciutto Substitutes

Prosciutto is one of the most popular forms of cured meat in Italy. It’s made from the hind leg of a pig, salt-cured for weeks, then hung to age.

Prosciutto is a very versatile ingredient that can be added to anything ranging from appetizers, main dishes, or even desserts.

It’s also one of the most expensive meats in the grocery store, which means it could be difficult for some people to find ways around using it when cooking.

The nine best Prosciutto substitutes are Bacon, Ham, Salami, Pancetta, Capicola, Guanciale, Culatello, Cheese, and Mushroom.

If you’re looking to cut some costs when cooking or just want to try something new, these nine Prosciutto substitutes that are both budget-friendly and super delicious will come in handy!

What Is Prosciutto? 

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that has been seasoned with salt, garlic, and spices before being air-dried.

There are two types of Prosciutto available: “Prosciutto crudo” and “Prosciutto cotto.” 

Prosciutto Crudo is a dry-cured ham that has been seasoned with salt, while Prosciutto Cotto (Italian for “cooked prosciutto”) refers to meat that has been boiled or otherwise cooked before it is cured.

Prosciutto is technically classified as a type of salumi; however, unlike other meat products which are typically consumed as cold cuts, prosciutto has a shelf life of approximately one year.

Pork leg is rubbed with salt, sugar, and spices, such as black pepper, garlic powder, or ground cumin before being hung to dry.

Prosciutto is made by curing the raw ham in a mixture of salt, sugar, spices, such as black pepper, garlic powder, or ground cumin, which gives it a unique flavor.

The ham is then hung to dry in a controlled environment for nine months to one year, depending on the type of prosciutto being made.

9 Best Prosciutto Substitutes

1. Bacon

Bacon

If you like the taste of bacon and want to add that nice smoky flavor to your dish, then bacon is a good substitute for meats like prosciutto.

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Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It can be used to give that nice crunchy texture to your dish or flavored with the same spices used in cooking prosciutto.

Prosciutto typically has a sweeter taste compared to its bacon counterpart, which makes it ideal for recipes that call for the sweet and smoky flavor.

Bacon might be a good option if you want something salty and crunchy as an alternative to prosciutto.

2. Ham

Ham is another alternative for people who want to substitute the expensive prosciutto.

It is a good substitute for prosciutto and lets you be creative about how it can be used. It can be made into pasta, sandwiches, or even salads and appetizers.

You can also use the same spices that are sometimes used in cooking prosciutto to give your dish added flavors.

3. Pancetta

Pancetta is another type of Italian ham that can be used as a substitute for prosciutto.

It is made from pork belly meat which is seasoned with salt, spices, and sugar before being rolled up in the abdominal cavity of the pig. It’s typically cured like prosciutto, which means it’s air-dried for weeks or months before eating.

Pancetta is less expensive compared to prosciutto; however, it has a similar flavor and can be used in the same types of recipes that use either one of them.

It’s another alternative for people who are not willing to spend much money on their dishes.

4. Capicola

Capicola is another type of Italian ham that has the same taste and texture as prosciutto but comes at a cheaper price.

It can be added to salads or served with fruit or cheese platters during parties or other get-togethers. You can also use it as an ingredient for pasta, sandwiches, or other dishes.

5. Salami

Salami

Salami is another type of Italian dry-cured sausage that can be used as a substitute for prosciutto.

The meat used in salami is typically ground or minced, but it’s seasoned with spices similar to what you’d find in cooking prosciutto.

One of the main differences between salami and prosciutto is that the former does not have a soft consistency.

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Salami may be used as an alternative to make your dish more flavorful or give it a nice crunchy texture. You can also use it as an ingredient for pasta, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and other dishes.

6. Guanciale

Guanciale refers to the cured pork jowls of Italian pigs that are seasoned with salt, spices, and sugar just like prosciutto before being air-dried for weeks to months.

It’s a good substitute for the more expensive prosciutto. It can be used as a substitute in dishes that call for prosciutto or pancetta, especially those that have a smoky flavor to them.

Another nice thing about guanciale is that you can use the fat from this meat to add more flavor and richness to dishes.

7. Culatello

Culatello is a type of prosciutto made only in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. It has a similar taste and texture as prosciutto, but it is more expensive because of the region where it came from.

It can be eaten raw or with cheese platters during parties or other get-togethers.

8. Cheese

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If you are looking for a substitute that has a similar taste as prosciutto but will not affect your dish’s consistency, cheese can be a good alternative.

Both Manchego and Parmesan are ideal substitutes for prosciutto because of their salty flavors, which is why they work well in pasta, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and other dishes.

Cheese toast is another popular dish that can be used as an alternative to prosciutto. In this dish, bread slices are topped with cheese and then toasted or baked until it gets browned.

Prosciutto toast is also a good alternative for people who cannot afford the latter.

9. Mushroom

Mushrooms can be another alternative for people who are looking for something that has a similar taste and texture as the more expensive prosciutto.

You can use it in pasta, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, or other dishes. The texture of mushroom is different from prosciutto but you also have to remember that adding this will not change the dish’s consistency.

Having a prosciutto substitute can make cooking easier and more pleasant for people who are on a tight budget or those who want to try new dishes.

Not only is it affordable, but you can also make use of all the ingredients mentioned above in different types of dishes.

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What Does Prosciutto Taste Like? 

Prosciutto is a form of Italian dry-cured ham that has a sweet and salty flavor to it, making it a popular ingredient in appetizers, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and other dishes.

Prosciutto has a slightly sweet and salty flavor to it. It’s usually served as an appetizer or counterpoint to fresh fruit, nuts, or cheese.

Prosciutto can also be used to add a nice crunchy texture to salads, sandwiches, pasta, and other dishes.

What Is a Non-Pork Substitute for Prosciutto?

If you’re looking for something that is not made from pork, i.e., a substitute for prosciutto, turkey breast can be used in dishes where you’d traditionally use the latter.

You can also use other types of ham or even deli slices but make sure they are thinly sliced before using them as an ingredient in your dishes.

There are different types of mushrooms that can be used instead of prosciutto to give your dishes a crispy texture.

Portobello, crimini, shitake, and oyster mushrooms are some of the best substitutes that you can use to make your dish stand out.

What Ham Is Similar to Prosciutto?

Pancetta and Serrano ham are some of the best substitutes that you can use to replace prosciutto. They have a similar texture as the latter so they will blend easily in your dish’s consistency.

They don’t taste exactly like prosciutto, but you can still make use of their saltiness to give your food a more flavorful taste.

What Are Some Dishes You Can Make With Prosciutto?

There are many dishes that can be prepared using prosciutto as the main ingredient, i.e., Prosciutto di Parma, Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp, Prosciutto-Stuffed Chicken, Prosciutto & Mushroom Flatbread, and more.

Prosciutto is one of the main ingredients in Romaine Wedge with Egg and Prosciutto Salad.

You can also add this to pasta like Carbonara or Alfredo, sandwiches like Prosciutto Panini with Arugula & Balsamic Glaze, and other dishes like Prosciutto & Mushroom Flatbread or Prosciutto-Wrapped Mashed Potatoes.

Is There a Vegetarian Substitute for Prosciutto? 

Mushroom, cheese, chickpeas, and nuts are some of the best vegetarian substitutes for people who cannot eat Prosciutto.

You can also replace prosciutto with a cheese toast to give your dish a salty flavor.

Final Words

There are many Prosciutto substitutes that will help you save money and keep your family happy.

Whatever the occasion, we hope this list helps you find the perfect substitute for Prosciutto!

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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