10 Amazing Substitute For Prosciutto (+ PHOTOS)

10 Amazing Prosciutto Substitutes
11 min reading time

Prosciutto is a very flavorful, delicately sweet, and salty form of dry-cured ham which is cut into thin pieces and can be consumed raw. This is a well-known Italian product made from high-quality pork legs.

Prosciutto can be used as the main ingredient in many recipes. You can use it as an appetizer as well. It can be used for garnishing in salads, pasta, wraps, and lots of other dishes. The prosciutto adds extra deliciousness to the meal.

Here we have a list of meats as well as vegetarian and vegan products that can be substitute for prosciutto.

Prosciutto Substitutes

1. Jamón Serrano

10 Substitute For Prosciutto

Jamón serrano is a kind of rich and dark cured meat which is also known as Serrano ham or Spanish ham. This meat has an amazing nutty aroma with deep flavor and you can use it as an excellent substitute for prosciutto in many dishes.

Jamón serrano is a non-salty option, unlike prosciutto which is cured with a little salt. It is very effective to use in dishes which need to be less salty.

A very long curing process and all the added spices in it give an amazing flavor and distinctive taste which is very unlike prosciutto. But, it will give the intensive flavor that the dishes need.

Jamón serrano is the best pick if you want to replace prosciutto with a less salty option. It will make the food less salty and also without losing any flavor. You can add it to any recipes like fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, fish, and bread.

2. Capicola

Amazing Substitute For Prosciutto

Capicola is an Italian meat type that tastes similar to prosciutto and can be sliced the same thin size. It is also easily accessible and can be used as a prosciutto substitute in a lot of recipes.

You need to carefully select the type of capicola as sweet-cured capicola will not provide the same taste and flavor that you are looking for. Substitute proportional amounts of capicola or alter according to your taste and the recipe will become pleasing and flavorsome.

3. Ham

Substitute For Prosciutto

Ham and prosciutto have very similar tastes. ham is the closest to prosciutto substitute as it has a similar flavor. Ham denotes prosciutto in Italy and it has a tangy, unique taste that can be enhanced by combining with other elements like sautéd veggies and with cheese.

Various types of ham are available in the market such as sandwich ham, serrano ham, smoked ham, black forest ham which is flavored with blueberries and garlic, and honey ham, which has a sweet taste. Ham is similar to prosciutto texture-wise too, all you need to do is just slice it thinly and add it to salads, pasta, or veggie wraps.

4. Bacon

10 Amazing Substitute For Prosciutto

Bacon is mainly pork meat with a slightly smoky flavor. It is an amazing prosciutto substitute and can be consumed raw or cooked.

A variety of bacon is available with different meat cuts, but sliced and smoked bacon is the best option to use in place of prosciutto.

It is like a fattier form of prosciutto when consumed raw. it can be served on its own, or you can add it to a savory recipe and also wrap it around a piece of fruit or vegetable.

5. Pancetta

Substitute For Prosciutto

Pancetta is also called Italian bacon. It is a type of pork belly meat that provides you a very similar flavor to prosciutto because it is seasoned with spices and salt. It has a similar savory taste to prosciutto, making it a great substitute for recipes where you want to add a bit of tanginess. Pancetta can not be eaten raw, it needs to be cooked first.

Make sure that the pancetta is cooled sufficiently if you are preparing any cold dishes or salads. You can add balanced amounts to the recipe or adjust by your choice. Thinly sliced Pancetta is added to pizza as a topping, or in stuffings to enrich the flavor.

6. Salami

Great Substitute For Prosciutto

Salami is Italian meat-like prosciutto that is air-dried and cured. It gives a bolder zing as it’s readied with fermented sausages.

Traditionally, salami is prepared with pork meat, but other types of salami made with beef or poultry are also available which can be used as a non-pork substitute for prosciutto.

What makes salami a great addition to any recipe, is the tanginess obtained from fermented sausages and enhances the spicy taste from the curing process.

A huge variety of salami can be found such as savory, sweet, as well as spicy salami. When using salami as a prosciutto substitute, keep in mind the flavor that you are looking for so that you can choose the right salami.

7. Beef Bresaola

Amazing Substitute For Prosciutto

Beef bresaola is a delicious non-pork alternative for prosciutto, it can be used in any recipe that requires prosciutto. It is a kind of Italian air-dried meat that is aged for at least two months and has a mild flavor compared to prosciutto.

The aging process makes the meat dark red and gives it a sweet, slightly nutty flavor. You can chill the Bresaola and add a splash of olive oil and serve it along with cheese, crackers, or any other greens. You can also utilize it for preparing sauce or add it to your pizza as a topping.

Vegetarian Substitutes for Prosciutto

If meat is not a part of your diet and you’re seeking for prosciutto substitute in recipes, we offer the following products that can help.

8. Cheese

10 Substitute For Prosciutto

Cheese is also a delightful prosciutto substitute for appetizers and it can be served with bread and crackers. Cheese is an incredible option for vegetarians. to replace prosciutto you require Romano, asiago, or swiss cheese.

These are aged to obtain a strong flavor that blends in with other components in your recipe. These smokey flavored aged cheeses will mimic the prosciutto aroma nicely. Cheese is considered a versatile element that can be added to pasta, salad, or any other dishes to provide a creamy texture.

9. Chickpeas and Nuts

Amazing Substitute For Prosciutto

You can use toasted almonds or walnuts as a vegan or vegetarian alternative to prosciutto. You can effortlessly add a unique flavor to dishes like risotto, pasta, and salads by just toasting and adding salt to these nuts. You can also add paprika to spice up the taste. You can add toasted nuts on top of your pizza to give it a crunchy texture.

Also, you can utilize chickpeas as another non-meat substitute to prosciutto. Drain the chickpeas in salt and put them in the oven for a few minutes with chili powder and this will easily imitate the taste of prosciutto in your dishes.

10. Mushrooms

Some  great Substitute For Prosciutto

Mushrooms are perfect to use as a vegan or vegetarian substitute for prosciutto as they have abundant umami flavor. You can either sauté or caramelize the mushrooms and add it to any baked dish where prosciutto is called for, to make the recipe delicious.

Mostly, shiitake and portobello mushrooms are used in baked recipes as they have a meaty texture. Adding mushrooms to your sandwiches, pasta, pizza, or salad rather than prosciutto will bring together the flavors of the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is prosciutto?

Prosciutto is the most popular type of Italian cured meat. This is made of salted and stored hind legs of a pig which is stored in a cool and dry place for weeks. Along with the delicate texture, it is worldwide known for its sweet and salty flavor. Prosciutto is the food itself. But, it can be added to many dishes to add a salty flavor.

2. Is it safe to eat prosciutto raw?

As prosciutto is available uncooked in the store, you might be worried to know whether it is safe or not to eat raw. Though most pork meats are recommended to eat after cooking, prosciutto is an exception here.

This meat is processed with salt for several weeks and the salt absorbs the moisture of the meat. So, you can freely eat the prosciutto meat uncooked. It is 100% safe to eat raw prosciutto.

3. Are there different types of prosciutto?

Prosciutto is available in two types- prosciutto cotto and prosciutto crudo.

Prosciutto Crudo is the one that you will easily find in grocery stores and even restaurant plates. With the intense flavor and a unique texture, the prosciutto Crudo is uncooked and cured with salt.

Prosciutto Cotto is a variation for cooking. It is cured with salt. But, it is a must to cook it before eating it. It contains more moisture than the prosciutto Crudo one. It comes in a sliced or rolled shape and is a great substitute if you love less salty food.

4. Can mushrooms be substituted for prosciutto?

There are different kinds of mushrooms that can be a non-meat substitute for prosciutto. They are portobello, shiitake, strong mushroom, etc. If you cook these mushrooms until caramelized, it will give the savory traces in the dish just like prosciutto.

5. What is salami, and can it be used instead of prosciutto?

Salami is a kind of fermented, air-dried sausage which is made of animal meat, especially pork. You can eat it uncooked. Salami has the same taste as prosciutto and it is from Italy as well. So, Salami is a great substitute for prosciutto.

6. What is a non-pork substitute for prosciutto?

If you don’t want to eat prosciutto, you have the non-pork options as well. You can have chicken or turkey bacon. Just make all the seasoning to your own taste and mix that with the meat. This will give a taste of your preferences. It will also help to imitate the taste of prosciutto.

7. What meat is similar to prosciutto?

There are different types of meat that are similar to prosciutto and the taste is almost the same including pancetta, salami, mortadella, capicola, etc. All these meats are cured and you can use them as a substitute for prosciutto.

8. Does prosciutto smell bad?

Not at all. Prosciutto doesn’t smell bad. In fact, it has a little sweet odor along with the porky and salty flavor which is great.

9. What ham is similar to prosciutto?

Culatello is the type of ham that is similar to prosciutto. This ham originated in Parma, Italy and is also made with the filet or loin of the hind leg.

10. Can Canadian bacon be substituted for prosciutto?

Not really. Canadian bacon can be a great substitute for pancetta. But, you can’t use it as a substitute for prosciutto.

11. What can I use instead of prosciutto in beef Wellington?

To replace the prosciutto in beef Wellington, “Turkey Ham” is a great option.

12. Can I substitute pancetta for prosciutto?

Yes, you can. Pancetta can be the substitute for Prosciutto if you use similar parts. Salt pork or unsmoked lean bacon are also great options that you can use as a substitute for prosciutto.

13. Is Serrano ham like prosciutto?

Yea. Serrano is a similar type of ham just like the Italian prosciutto. Serrano ham is made from a landrace breed of white pig and that is the only difference between Serrano ham and prosciutto.

14. What is the difference between culatello and Prosciutto?

Culatello and Prosciutto are made in north-central Italy. The only difference between these two is the type of meat. In culatello, the thigh muscles are used. On the other hand, small portions of rind and fat with the bone are used in the prosciutto.


Prosciutto brings an amazing flavor to any dish and you would love that, I’m sure. But, you must have a substitute for Prosciutto if you don’t have it available. There are so many substitutes for prosciutto that you can easily find around you.

Among all the substitutes, jamón serrano is the closest one that can replace prosciutto in any dish. In the case of some other substitutes, you may find a lack of saltiness than prosciutto. So, you might need to add some extra seasoning to get the desired saltiness. But, ultimately, you will get the same savory flavor in your dish that you would get from the prosciutto.

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