12 Best Substitutes For Prosciutto

Apart from meats being a great ingredient that completes many meals, you can mince, slice, cut, grind, shred and use meats for so many recipes.

If you are creative enough, it could make up a good main dish. It’s even more relishing having it with a side dish. However, it could be tough having to use the exact ingredient that calls for the recipe.

Prosciutto is one healthy dish that is made from meats. Although prosciutto is mainly pork-based, it can take many forms.

And many possible reasons you seek substitutes for prosciutto. However, whatever the case might be you can have great replacements for prosciutto.

We shall find out about this in this guide.


What is prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a form of sliced cured meat, majorly pork-based. Prosciutto undergoes an aging process otherwise known as the curing process that makes it consumable.

Although prosciutto is majorly pork-based, portions of beef or even goat meat can make up this wonderful meal. You would only have to leave it to undergo the aging process too!

The main ingredient that many people use is salt. Salt is the best ingredient to use as it dries out water while adjusting the length at which the meat would still stay safe for consumption.

How does prosciutto taste? The taste of prosciutto would depend on the ingredients you used in making the prosciutto.

So the taste would range from mild to tasty and sometimes almost spicy. And because the salt adds some sweetness to the meat it is quite tasty.

Adding other ingredients is a plus too! So, your prosciutto could be mild, tasty, or spicy depending on the ingredients that speak loud in the recipe.

Indeed prosciutto would taste great having pork as the main dish, but many reasons could warrant looking for alternatives. Let’s see these possible reasons.

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Why many people would want substitutes for prosciutto?

1. Availability

The number one reason that would make people search for substitutes for prosciutto would be availability. Inability to find the exact pork that you need for prosciutto could come in the way.

2. Faith

Many people would look for substitutes for prosciutto because they want to avoid pork-based prosciutto.

3. Allergy

Others would need substitutes if they are allergic to pork. Many people do not find pork as great meat to settle for.

4. Meat-free alternative

Vegetarians would in most cases want to have the same satisfaction that most people that enjoy prosciutto.

5. And for some people, they might want to get creative, you know try out other forms of prosciutto.

However, whatever the reason there are great substitutes for prosciutto. How about we find out about these substitutes?

Substitutes for prosciutto

So, since reasons for finding substitutes varies completely we would first see substitutes for pork-based prosciutto. Are you ready?

Substitutes for pork-based prosciutto

1. Ham


Ham is filled with nutrition and a good source of protein and such would make a healthy replacement for prosciutto.

Ham is a slice of pork-based meat that is cut out from the leg of a pig; you can preserve ham by wet or dry curing. And yes, you can prepare ham in many ways, so you can get creative with it.

So, if you must use ham, you can use sandwich ham when it’s time to replace prosciutto. This is so because sandwich ham has virtually the same thin texture as prosciutto.

And also recipes that call prosciutto hams can easily fit within without you adjusting the ingredients.

2. Bacon


Here’s another pork-based prosciutto that can replace prosciutto for recipes that calls for it. Bacon is known for its salty nature, bacon is cut from the back of pigs, the belly of a pig, or the sides of a pig.

You can cut bacon into thin slices and properly cooked can be an excellent substitute for prosciutto. To get the same consistency as prosciutto, put the bacon in boiling water for some time. When it is clear, remove it from the boiling water and rinse it.

You can use bacon in recipes that call for prosciutto. Ensure that you slice prosciutto, and meat to become thin almost like a paper-thin texture.

3. Salami


Salami originates from Italy; it is a cured sausage that is originally pork-based, it comprises fermented and air-dried meat.

You can have your prosciutto without having to waste all day on it. Another great substitute for prosciutto is salami.

Originally, most people prepare salami with pork meat; however, over the years salami has grown deeply and can now be prepared with other types of meat like beef. You can add natural spices to make up a flavorful meal for yourself.

4. Pancetta


Pancetta is also known as Italian bacon, so if you are yet to settle for the best substitute, this might be the best pick for you. This is because pancetta is closely related to prosciutto.

It goes through a long process with enough spices and salt. So, you can call it a wonderful and suitable replacement for your prosciutto.

However, you would need to cook pancetta so it is fit for human consumption. Many people serve pancetta alongside cold dishes. If this tickles your fancy, then you should allow it to cool before serving the pancetta and the dish.

5. Capicola


Here’s another great option for pork-based prosciutto. Capicola is also a type of pork meat from the pig’s shoulder or neck. And like bacon, ham, and even prosciutto itself, it goes through curing processes, adding salt and dried for half a year.

Note: Regular capicola is more similar to prosciutto than the sweet cured capicola.

6. Guanciale


Guanciale is one of the sweetest meats. It is cut from the cheek of the pigs. And like every other meat, it is cured and then seasoned with pepper and other natural ingredients.

All this makes it safe for consumption. Sometimes it is left for some time so the flavor is maximized.

However, it is important to note that Guanciale has more fats than prosciutto but this also does not hamper the similar taste it has to prosciutto.

7. Mortadella


This is like salami; mortadella is a type of cured Italian sausage. Sometimes mortadella might seem unsuitable for prosciutto substitute. However, it contains spices and other ingredients like pistachios that make it better as a substitute.

It is milder than prosciutto.

Now let’s move over to the non-pork substitute option for prosciutto.

Non-pork substitutes

1. Duck prosciutto

duck prosciutto

If you think you cannot deal with a pork-based substitute, then this is a good catch for you. Duck is an excellent substitute if you wish to have prosciutto.

Duck meat has a very sweet taste and would be great if you used it to make sandwich meat.

You can slice the meat to your desired size, to get the best out of it. Spice it up if you want as well.

2. Beef bresaola

beef bresaola

Beef is a pleasant alternative to pork if you must use it for prosciutto. This type of beef, beef bresaola undergoes an aging process just like other pork-based substitutes.

So, if you are looking forward to having a delightful time with prosciutto, use beef that is properly shielded and seasoned.

Start from here if you are skeptical about other non-pork-based substitutes. We all know how versatile beef meat is. Now, depending on the spice you add to the meat. The taste can range from mild to sweet taste.

vegetarian substitutes for prosciutto

If you cannot eat meat at all, then you will need a vegan or vegetarian substitute for prosciutto.

1. Cheese


Cheese is a substantial meal that can be made from cow’s milk, buffalo’s milk, or goat’s milk. With many spices, you will have a delightful moment with it.

So, if you are looking forward to having prosciutto without pork, then cheese is an excellent option for you. You can use hard-aged cheese like Swiss, or Asiago to achieve this.

Sometimes, parmesan cheese is particularly the best option for your recipe. So, cheese is an excellent vegetarian substitute for prosciutto.

2. Mushrooms


Mushrooms have enough nutrients to make up for a great meal. And it would provide excellent vegetarian options due to its deliciously rich and umami flavor.

To get the best out of it, you can caramelize mushrooms to easily enhance flavor. This is a great alternative for prosciutto when the need arises.

3. Toasted nuts

toasted nuts

Nuts do not seem like the best substitutes for vegetarian options for prosciutto, but it is actually.

Almonds and walnuts can make wonderful vegetarian substitutes for meals. You can make the best out of it if you toast them. This brings out the nutty flavor; you can also toast them with paprika to add some flavor to it.

These are all the great substitutes for prosciutto whether you want the pork-based option, non-pork-based option, or vegetarian option. There’s always something for you!

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It is not tasky replacing some ingredients in a meal, whether main dish or side dish, although you would miss the exact flavor of the main meal, but not entirely.

Prosciutto is one great dish that is typically made from pork, spiced up, and enjoyed by many. If you are looking for substitutes, then chances are you want to have another ingredient do your bidding.

And here in this guide, we have provided all there is to know about the healthy substitute for prosciutto.

So, make your choice!