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Substitute for Prosciutto

This article is on the topic of a substitute for prosciutto. It’s an exciting discussion for those who use prosciutto in recipes. However, why do we need an alternative in the first place?

We need substitutes when we want a change in taste or don’t have the item. Whatever the reason is, we’ll talk about the best prosciutto alternatives today.

Before we move on with the substitutes, what exactly is prosciutto? First, however, the origin of the food item in Italy. It’s a type of ham and is usually served when cured. The meat cuts can come from different sources. 

Best Substitute for Prosciutto

Substitute for Prosciutto

So, there’re many alternatives that you can use instead of prosciutto. Among them, pancetta, ham, bacon, etc., are some of the common names. First, however, we’ll share with you twelve different substitutes for prosciutto.

Three of the twelve options are perfect for replacing prosciutto as a vegetarian option.

1- Ham

If we consider flavor similarity, ham is the closest that you can get to prosciutto. So when you’re making a recipe that includes cheese, veggies, and other likewise items, the ham will be perfect.

However, ham is usually called prosciutto in Italy. But, hams have got a unique taste. They can differ in type. For example, there’s honey, blueberry, smoky ham, etc.

Ham served with salad and sandwiches is one of the easy recipes that can replace prosciutto. Next, we’ll talk about bacon.

2- Bacon

The back part of the pork, when cured with salt, is what we know as bacon. The texture and shape of bacon make them an excellent option to replace prosciutto.

A good thing about bacon is that you can serve the item individually or with any recipe. That means bacon itself can act as a food item to savor.

Note that thinly sliced bacon cuts are perfect to use instead of prosciutto. If we consider the slices of prosciutto, they’re also thin like bacon.

3- Pancetta

It’s widely known as Italian bacon. The meat of the food item comes from the pork belly, and they’re cured before serving.

Apart from the smoky aroma, the taste of pancetta is almost similar to prosciutto. Therefore, salad, pizzas, and other food items that call for prosciutto are also compatible with pancetta.

Compared to prosciutto, one of the shortcomings is that pancetta needs to be cooked and cured before eating. As a result, they’re not compatible with eating raw.

However, the taste and texture similarity (when thinly sliced) make pancetta an excellent replacement for prosciutto.

4- Salami

Salami is another option that comes from pork meat. However, you can now get beef or chicken salami if you’re looking for a non-pork flavor.

Salami is also Italian meat (cured) that’s similar to prosciutto. Accordingly, it has a robust and savory flavor.

Salami is a terrific complement to any recipe because of the flavor of the fermented sausages. Also, using exquisite spices when cured makes them a perfect option to replace prosciutto. 

Next, we’ll talk about Capicola, which is another good option.

5- Capicola

When we process the pork meat from the shoulder or neck cuts, we get Capicola. Similar to the previous items, Capicola is also an Italian dish.

The Capicola is a perfect replacement for prosciutto as we can slice the pork meat cuts in thin proportions. Also, we can dry-cure the meat slices to make the texture and taste just like prosciutto.

Overall, the availability and the similarity in meat texture make Capicola an excellent option to replace prosciutto.

6- Guanciale

Guanciale is yet another famous pork meat cut that can replace prosciutto. Pork cheeks are used to make this meat. In terms of preparation and flavor, it’s similar to prosciutto.

Guanciale includes a lot of fat, so be careful not to add too much of it when substituting. Apart from that, you can maintain salt and other ingredients in the usual amounts.

Note that Guanciale can also be eaten raw. So, you can use it in salads or other cold dishes.

Next, we’ll talk about culatello, a less famous option to replace prosciutto. 

7- Culatello

It’s an Italian cured meat cooked the same way as prosciutto, making it an excellent replacement.

However, contrary to prosciutto, having a small fat, culatello is sliced straight from the pork thigh muscle meat.

Because culatello is so flavorful, only a tiny bit is necessary to make an excellent dish.

It has a characteristic winey flavor if you can cure it properly with spices, herbs, and other ingredients.

Culatello can be served as an appetizer with fruits such as apples and watermelon.

8- Beef Bresaola

You may use beef bresaola in place of prosciutto in any dish that asks for it. If you don’t prefer pork taste or can’t eat it for health reasons, beef bresaola is the answer.  

Note that it takes around two months to age beef bresaola.

As the meat matures, it turns a deep red and develops a flavor that is at once sweet, musty, and nutty. 

Bresaola has a crisper cut and a milder flavor than prosciutto. It’s usually served cold with cheese, crackers, and veggies. 

Olive oil is generally used to drizzle it over the food. However, putting it on pizzas or making sauce can also be an excellent way to use it.

9 – Duck Prosciutto

Duck meat can be an excellent option for those who don’t prefer beef or pork meats. When the meat is cured with salt, it tastes fantastic and thus perfect for prosciutto replacement.

The distinct flavor and taste can confuse some to think that duck prosciutto is like pork prosciutto.

Hence, if you’re looking for a flavor that works nicely with other sweet components like cherry preserves and pickled raisins, this is the one.

Vegetarian Substitutes for Prosciutto

Some of the vegetable recipes can act as replacement options for prosciutto. So, we’ll take a look at three such examples.

1- Cheese

If you want to replace prosciutto with cheese, it’s best to do it in an appetizer. You can add a piece of your preferred cheese to a cracker and eat it.

It’s also possible to add cheese to salads, melons, and pasta. 

2- Chickpeas and Nuts

Toasted almonds, walnuts, and many other nut kinds are perfect options to replace prosciutto. You can also use chickpeas instead of prosciutto.

3- Mushrooms

One of the best vegetarian substitutes for prosciutto is the mushroom. It’s mainly due to their rich umami flavor.

If you want to use mushrooms, it’s necessary to cook them properly and add them accordingly to the dish you want.

Vegan Prosciutto: Faux-sciutto is the best easy, delicious homemade meat substitute

Final Words

As we can see, we can substitute prosciutto with many options. So whether you want another type of meat or a vegetable-based option, it’s all there in our article.

So, please choose from the list of the twelve options we’ve given. Your choice should reflect your recipe suitability and other preferences. For example, those who love an option based on vegetables, mushrooms, chickpeas, and nuts can be great.

However, we’re not done yet as we’ve got some questions and answers on the topic. So we’ll talk about them in the following sections and end our discussion for the day.

Substitute for Prosciutto

Best Substitute for Prosciutto

This article is on the topic of a substitute for prosciutto. It’s an exciting discussion for those who use prosciutto in recipes. However, why do we need an alternative in the first place?


  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Pancetta
  • Salami
  • Capicola
  • Guanciale
  • Culatello
  • Beef Bresaola
  • Duck Prosciutto

Vegetarian Substitutes for Prosciutto

  • Cheese
  • Chickpeas and Nuts
  • Mushrooms


  • Choose your preferred replacement from the list
  • Add substitute to your recipe
  • Make your own delicious recipe

Maybe you’d like to read:

FAQs | Substitute for Prosciutto

We’ll answer five different questions that talk about prosciutto and its substitutes. So, go through the answers and clear off any additional doubts.

What meat is similar to prosciutto?

The meat that’s similar to prosciutto is bacon or beef bresaola. If we consider the similarity in taste, beef can be a great option.

In terms of flavor, pancetta and Guanciale are two more great items to consider.

Can you use bacon in place of prosciutto?

Yes, you can use bacon in place of prosciutto. Bacon is the back part of pork. When you cure them with salt, the taste will almost be similar to prosciutto.

As discussed earlier, bacon can be served as a side dish and an individual dish.

Note that thinly sliced bacon is the best to use in place of prosciutto.

What is a non-pork substitute for prosciutto?

Non-pork substitutes are known as vegetarian substitutes. We’ve given three such options in our article if you look back. Chickpeas and nuts, mushrooms, and cheese are three such options.

Any of the three is compatible as a non-pork substitute. Cheese is for those who want to use it as an appetizer.

However, mushrooms are the best non-pork replacement to consider. It’s mainly because of their rich and delicate flavor.

What meat is similar to prosciutto?

We’ve already discussed this before. Salami, bacon, ham, beef, etc., are some meat types similar to prosciutto.

Is there a vegetarian substitute for prosciutto?

Yes, there’re few vegetarian substitutes for prosciutto. Among them, mushroom seems to be the best option. However, it’s possible to consider chickpeas, nuts, and chees to replace prosciutto.

So, as we’ve answered the last question, we now end our topic on “substitute for prosciutto.” If you got any additional questions, let us know in the comments.

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