Substitute For Prosciutto: Easy To Find And Diet-Friendly




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I am a huge fan of prosciutto. I love the way it tastes and I also love how versatile it is in cooking. But, what if you can’t find any? Or, what if you are on a diet and want a substitute for prosciutto

Are you a home cook looking for a delicious, easy-to-find, and diet-friendly substitute for prosciutto? This may be the blog post for you! 

For some of us on keto or low carb diets, it can be difficult to find any type of cured meat. I’ve found some substitutes that are great in salads, wraps, sandwiches, and more.

The best part is they are all easy to find at your local grocery store. From deli meats like salami or ham to meatless options like chickpeas or mushrooms, there are lots of choices out there.

Keep reading below for my favorite substitutions plus helpful tips on how to use them! 

Types Of Prosciutto

Prosciutto is usually made from either pork or beef. Other meats like venison and poultry are also occasionally used.

It is a type of ham that is dry-cured and seasoned with spices such as black pepper, coriander, or garlic for added flavor. Prosciutto can be eaten by itself but it is also often used in cooking as a flavoring agent or ingredient.

Prosciutto Cotto

Prosciutto Cotto is a cured ham that is similar to prosciutto, but it’s not as salty. Prosciutto Cotto has more moisture than prosciutto because the meat is cooked before curing. When you purchase it, you can typically find prosciutto Cotto sliced or rolled into a cylinder.

Prosciutto Crudo

Prosciutto Crudo is the most common type of prosciutto. It is cured using salt, but not cooked before curing. The meat may be dry-cured for months or years to ensure that it doesn’t spoil.

Like prosciutto Cotto, the final product has an intense flavor because it is not cooked beforehand. The texture is also a bit more dry and brittle than prosciutto Cotto.

Best Substitute To Prosciutto

Prosciutto can be expensive or difficult to find at some grocery stores; however, there are many substitutes that we can use if we’re looking for something similar but cheaper and easier to get our hands on:


slices of ham on a chopping board
  • Ham is a great substitute for prosciutto. It has a similar texture and flavor and can be used in many of the same ways.
  • Ham is typically sold pre-sliced so it’s easy to use in recipes and should be used in equal amounts to prosciutto.
  • It is a great substitute in place of prosciutto for salads, pasta, and even to wrap vegetables.


  • Bacon is another great substitute for prosciutto. It has a smoky and salty flavor that pairs well with many dishes.
  • For a similar taste and texture, bacon should be cooked and smoked like prosciutto.
  • You can also crumble bacon into smaller pieces to use as a topping or mixed into foods like salad, pasta, and meatballs.


  • Pancetta is a type of Italian bacon that is cured but not smoked. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that works great in dishes like pasta or risotto.
  • You need to cook pancetta first before you can use it in your recipe. You’ll be able to blend the pancetta with the other ingredients easily, giving it a similar flavor to prosciutto.
  • You can use equal quantities (to prosciutto) or adjust to suit your taste if you wish. If you like a saltier taste, add more pancetta than you would prosciutto.


salami with herbs on a table
  • The main difference between salami and prosciutto is that salami typically contains more fat than prosciutto does. If you’re looking for a substitute to add flavor and saltiness to salads and other dishes, then look for salami that suits your taste.
  • Although they look different, salami is also great as a substitute in recipes. It can be used to wrap vegetables or meats, added to pasta dishes, or even mixed into dips.
  • Use equal quantities to prosciutto, 1:1 ratio


  • Capicola is a type of cured Italian ham that is very similar to prosciutto. It has a sweet flavor, so it works great if you’re looking for something delicate.
  • It is readily available so it’s easy to find at grocery stores.
  • You can use it in your favorite recipes just like you would with prosciutto, but be aware that capicola is typically sweet so adjust accordingly.
  • Use equal quantities to prosciutto, 1:1 ratio


  • Guanciale is a type of bacon that is made from pork jowl or cheek. It has a strong flavor and can be used to add depth to your dishes.
  • Since it is not as common as the other substitutes, guanciale may be harder to find at some stores.
  • If you can get your hands on it, guanciale is a great substitute for prosciutto in recipes like pasta, carbonara, and salad.
  • It is quite high in fat compared to prosciutto, so be careful not to add too much.


  • Culatello is a type of Prosciutto from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is made from the meat around the pig’s loin and is very expensive due to its rarity.
  • If you’re looking for an authentic substitute for prosciutto, then culatello is your best option.
  • It works very well in dishes that require saltier meat but don’t overdo it.

Non-meat Substitute For Prosciutto

A meat replacement is not your only option. If you’re looking for an alternative to prosciutto that doesn’t contain meat, then there are some great substitutes available too.


  • Cheese can be a delicious substitute for prosciutto in many recipes.
  • Romano, Asiago, and Swiss cheeses are all great options. These aged, smokey cheeses can easily replace prosciutto’s taste and go very well in pasta dishes.
  • The texture of the cheese is very versatile so it can be crumbled, sliced, or cubed to fit your recipe.


  • Chickpeas are another meat-free way you can use to replace prosciutto. They have a similar texture to the meat and a nutty flavor.
  • Chickpeas, when roasted with paprika, give them a similar taste to prosciutto.
  • You can easily substitute them in dishes like salads, pasta, and even pizza.


  • For something a little different, you can also use nuts like almonds or walnuts to replace prosciutto.
  • They are also high in fat, so be careful not to add too much.
  • Toast the nuts until they’re golden brown and mix with your favorite ingredients to create a quick pate that acts as a tasty alternative to prosciutto.


mushrooms with cauliflower and spices
  • Mushrooms are a great meat substitute in recipes. They have a strong flavor and can be used in place of prosciutto when creating pasta dishes and salads.
  • Any bold mushroom works best, with the most popular and easy to find being the portobello mushroom.
  • They blend very well with herbs and veggies so be careful not to overpower the natural flavors.
  • Mushrooms are also diet-friendly, so they’re a healthier option if you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative to prosciutto.

People Also Ask

What Can I Use In Place Of Prosciutto?

There are many substitutes for prosciutto depending on what you are looking for. For a meat replacement, try ham, bacon, or chorizo. If you are looking for a non-meat alternative, cheese, chickpeas, and nuts are all great options.

What Meat Is Similar To Prosciutto?

Capicola, guanciale, and culatello are all similar meats to prosciutto. They can be used in place of the meat when creating dishes like pasta, carbonara, salad, etc. Other meat options include salami and mortadella.

What Ham Is Similar To Prosciutto?

Culatello and prosciutto are both Italian hams, so they share a lot of similarities. If you’re looking for an American ham that is similar to prosciutto, try Bayonne or Virginia ham. They are both salt-cured and have a smoky flavor.

Is There A Beef Substitute For Prosciutto?

There is no direct beef replacement for prosciutto, but you can use bacon or chorizo as a substitute. They share a lot of similarities in terms of texture and flavor. You could also try using pastrami. It is smoked and has a strong flavor that will work well in recipes that call for prosciutto.


As you can see, there are many substitutes for prosciutto depending on what you are looking for. You can use a meat replacement, a non-meat alternative, or a different type of meat altogether.

Be creative and experiment with different flavors to find the perfect substitute for your dish.

Prosciutto can be expensive and difficult to find, so these options will help you save some money and experiment with new flavors.

Which is my favorite? My number one substitute for prosciutto is ham. For texture and flavor, they are so similar in so many ways!

Runner up would have to be cheese. As a non-meat substitute, it is a versatile ingredient that can easily replace the salty flavor of prosciutto and works well in so many dishes.

What are your favorite substitutes for prosciutto? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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