6 Best Substitutes for Prosciutto


Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham made from the hindquarters of a pig. It is usually thinly sliced with a sweet and salty meaty flavor and a buttery texture.

It may be eaten uncooked over juicy melon, as an accompaniment to vegetables, in stuffings, and in pasta sauce.

There are few options to replace prosciutto if you cannot find it. This article will suggest few ingredients that may be used as a replacement for prosciutto. Keep on reading for more information.

6 Best Substitutes for Prosciutto

The best substitutes for Prosciutto are – Ham, Pancetta, Capicola, Lean Bacon, Cheese, and Culatello. If you are looking for a substitute for prosciutto, this subsection will list several replacements that may mimic the taste, flavor, and texture of prosciutto.

Also, care should be taken that these substitutes are thinly sliced to resemble the prosciutto texture closely.


Ham is the rear leg of a hog prepared fresh or preserved through a curing process that involves salting, smoking, or drying.

It is a source of thiamine, iron, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, and calcium.

Ham is a good substitute for prosciutto as it tastes similar to prosciutto. It may be thinly sliced and used in a sandwich.

It may be added to salads, pasta, and wrapping vegetables. However, it is not salty as prosciutto.

It is preferable to use smoked ham, sandwich ham, Serrano ham, or black forest ham in equal amounts to replace prosciutto.

How to substitute

Equal proportions of black forest ham, serrano ham, or smoked ham may substitute for prosciutto. It may work due to similarity in appearance and texture.


Pancetta is an Italian type of bacon from pork belly that is salt-cured. It is added to soups and pasta. It may be sliced thin and eaten raw due to its nutty flavor.

It may work as a substitute for prosciutto due to similarity in taste as it is cured with salt and spices. It has to be cooked first though it is cured.

If preparing cold dishes, it is preferable to sauté the pancetta and cool it before adding the other ingredients so that its fragrance blends with other ingredients.

How to substitute

Pancetta may be used in the same amount as prosciutto due to similarity in taste. The only difference is pancetta has to be cooked before mixing with other ingredients.


Capicola is another Italian cured meat from the pork neck or shoulder, usually served in thin slices. It may have different seasonings and flavor options apart from salt.

It is flavourful with a tender texture.

Both capicola and prosciutto have Italian roots, but capicola takes a shorter time to cure.

Capicola may replace prosciutto alongside cheese and crackers on a charcuterie board as it has a very similar taste. Also, it may be sliced into thin pieces like prosciutto.

It is recommended not to use sweet-cured capicola as it won’t provide the same taste and flavor.

How to substitute

The thin slices of capicola may be used in the same way as prosciutto as it has a similar appearance and flavor.

Lean Bacon

Bacon is cured meat from the side of the pig after removing the spare ribs. It has an extremely high-fat content with a unique smoke flavor.

It is also obtained from the loin portion of the pork that is leaner. It is used with eggs and in preparation or garnishment of a wide variety of dishes.

Bacon may be used to replace prosciutto due to similar taste. Like prosciutto, it may be eaten raw and also used in cooking, adding a delicate flavor.

It is preferable to use smoked thin sliced bacon for a similar taste.

How to substitute

Equal amounts of thinly sliced smoked bacon may be used to substitute prosciutto. It may be had raw and cooked in a variety of dishes like prosciutto.


Cheese is a popular nutrient-dense ingredient known for its richness, creaminess, flavor, and satiating qualities.

It is a rich source of protein, fats, and minerals, and salty cheeses are usually complemented by sweet dried and fresh fruits.

Aged cheeses, including Romano cheese or Asiago, may be used to replace prosciutto. These cheeses are naturally salty and have a similar flavor to prosciutto.

Swiss cheese adds a soft texture and may be wrapped around a stick of bread like prosciutto. It may work for individuals who are looking for a meatless substitute for prosciutto.

How to substitute

Aged salty cheese may work as a savory salty substitute for prosciutto when used with fresh fruits. Swiss cheese may be wrapped around bread in place of prosciutto for a soft texture.


Culatello is an Italian dry-cured ham made from loin or fillet of the hind leg that will be cured for at least 12 months.

It is much more delicate and perishable meat than any other ham. Once opened, it has to be kept in a cool place protected by dampened cloth.

Culatello may be substituted for prosciutto as it has the same Italian roots and saltier taste as prosciutto.

It may be used in recipes that call for saltier meat but don’t overuse it as it may make the dish very salty.

How to substitute

Equal amounts of culatello may be substituted for prosciutto in the dishes that require saltier meat.


Can mushrooms be substituted for prosciutto?

Mushrooms, including portobello, shiitake, or strong mushroom, may be a nonmeat substitute for prosciutto. If these mushrooms are cooked until caramelized, they may add savory traces to the dish like prosciutto.

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

Salami is cured, fermented, and air-dried sausages made from different animals, mainly pork. It may be consumed uncooked. Like prosciutto, it is from Italy and has a similar taste. Therefore, it may be used to substitute prosciutto.

Bottom Line

Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced and often eaten raw.

As prosciutto is difficult to find in local markets, people look for some prosciutto substitutes.

We hope this article helps you find a suitable alternative to prosciutto. You may have to adjust the salt and flavoring spices according to your taste preferences while using these substitutes.

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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