What Are The Substitutes for Prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a sweet, salty ham that can be eaten raw. There are two types of prosciuttos, the one that is salted and the one that is cooked and eaten raw.

Prosciutto can be used for many different dishes and cuisines. If you crave prosciutto but can’t find it, what are you doing?

Thankfully, there are some excellent alternatives that you can use to enjoy the intense taste and deep flavor of prosciutto.

Jamon Serrano, ham, Culatello, Pancetta, bacon, Beef Bresaola, Salami, Cheese, etc., are some of the best alternatives to prosciutto. 

Some of these options are great for those who don’t eat pork, but still want a good substitute for prosciutto that delivers the same texture.

What Is Prosciutto?

Prosciutto (pro-SHOO-to) is an Italian salty, sweet, and dry-cured ham often eaten thinly sliced and eaten raw.

The style of ham known as prosciutto Cotto is distinctly different from the style of ham known as prosciutto crudo.

It is worth mentioning that prosciutto is high in fat.

An ounce of prosciutto contains about 3.5 grams of fat and 1 gram of saturated fat. Saturated fat is harmful to the human heart and increases the level of bad cholesterol.

This is one of the reasons why people are always looking for the best substitute for prosciutto. Let’s take a quick look at the most popular alternatives.

Substitutes For Prosciutto

Jamón Serrano

Serrano ham, also known as Jamon Serrano, or Spanish ham, is a rich, dark cured meat that has a deep and nutty flavor and is an excellent substitute for prosciutto in many dishes.

Jamon serrano does not have a salty taste, as it does not use a lot of salt during the curing process, which lasts for over a year.

If you want the dish to be less salty without losing flavor, Jamon serrano can be added to any recipe. Combining it with fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, fish, and bread is possible.

serrano-ham (1)


This is an Italian cured meat that is similar to prosciutto, making it a great substitute.

Culatello is a lean cut, unlike prosciutto, which contains a small amount of fat, and it is rich in flavor, so you only need a small amount of culatello to enjoy.

It has a distinctive winey taste because it is cured with salt, pepper, garlic, and dry white wine.

Cantaloupe and watermelon are some of the fruits that can be eaten along with Culatello.

It can be combined with cream and hard cheese on a charcuterie board, added to pasta and sprinkled on top of your pizza or any other dish, and you will get to enjoy a rich, savory flavor.


The flavor of ham is very close to the flavor of prosciutto. In the rest of the world, ham can indicate different products, even though ham just means prosciutto in Italy.

When combined with other ingredients such as honey-glazed veggies and cheese, ham has a distinctive taste that can be intensified.

There are different types of ham, such as black forest ham seasoned with blueberries and garlic, honey ham, and prosciutto smoky ham, which can all be replaced with another type of ham.

If you want to add ham to a salad or a sandwich, make sure to add extra saltiness.



Another substitute for prosciutto is bacon, which can be eaten raw or cooked. A type of salt-cured pork meat with a slightly smoky taste is called bacon.

While there are different types of bacon, thinly sliced smoked bacon is the best substitute for prosciutto in several dishes.

When served raw, bacon tastes like a fattier version of prosciutto, and it can be added to a recipe, wrapped around a piece of fruit, or used to prepare a dessert.

The texture of bacon is very similar to the texture of prosciutto.



A salt-cured pork belly meat called Pancetta is also known as Italian bacon.

The taste of Pancetta is similar to bacon but without a smoky flavor.

It has a similar taste to prosciutto, which makes it an excellent substitute for recipes where you want to add a touch of bold and salty flavor.

Pancetta can be added to a salad, pizza, or stuffing to make it taste better.

Unlike prosciutto, which is air-dried and salt-cured, Pancetta cannot be eaten raw as it is only cured.

If you want to add pancetta to a salad or a sandwich, you need to cook it first and then allow it to cool down.


A non-pork substitute for prosciutto can be found in other types of meat, such as beef or poultry, which can be used as a substitute for pork.

Salami is an Italian air-dried cured meat that has a bold and delicious flavor as it is made of fermented sausages.

The flavor of the sausages, as well as the spices used in the curing process, make them a great addition to a recipe.

There are different types of salami; they can be sweet, salty, or spicy.

Ensure that you use a suitable alternative, which will enhance the flavors in your dish when you use salami as a substitute.

sliced salami

Beef Bresaola

If you don’t like pork or can’t eat it for any reason, beef bresaola can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for it.

A type of Italian air-dried meat that is allowed to age for two months is called beef bresaola.

The meat becomes dark red and has a sweet, musty, and slightly nutty flavor after being aged.

The cut of Bresaola has a milder flavor than the one of prosciutto.

Bresaola is usually served chilled and accompanied by cheese, crackers, and greens. You can make a sauce out of it or use it as a pizza topping.

Duck Prosciutto

Just like pork, duck prosciutto has been salt-cured and is a lump of duck meat. Even though no pork is used in the preparation of duck prosciutto, it can still feel a little porky.

When thinly sliced, cured duck breast can be used in a sandwich or served with crackers.

It has an intense flavor that pairs well with other sweet ingredients like cherry preserves and figs.

Adding a small amount of duck prosciutto to a dish is all it takes to enhance its flavor.

Duck prosciutto can be chopped into small pieces and sprinkled on top of a salad or incorporated into a casserole to add extra flavor and richness.


With bread and crackers, cheese can be served as an alternative to prosciutto.

To achieve an intense flavor that is great with other ingredients in your recipe, you need a hard-aged cheese such as Romano, swiss, or asiago.

If you want to make an appetizer, substitute cheese for prosciutto.

If you want to serve it with a piece of melon, you can add a slice of your favorite cheese on a cracker.

It is possible to add cheese to salads and pasta dishes for a richer flavor.

Toasted Nuts

Almonds and walnuts can be used as a vegan or vegetarian substitute for prosciutto.

These nuts provide a unique flavor to dishes like risotto, pasta, and salads, when they are salted and roasted.

Adding a little bit of paprika to your nuts will give you even more flavor. Toasted nuts can be sprinkled on top of your pizza or served with cheese on a platter.


There are various alternatives to choose from that deliver the same flavor or a slightly different flavor with a similar texture as prosciutto if you’re looking for the best substitute for prosciutto.

Jamon serrano is the closest substitute to prosciutto and can be used in almost any recipe.

It’s important to keep in mind that some of these alternatives may lack the saltiness of the prosciutto, so you may need to add a little bit of extra seasoning to the dish, but you can still achieve the same Savory flavor as you would using prosciutto.

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