Also known as prosciutto crudo, prosciutto is an Italian version of ham that is uncooked, unsmoked, and dry-cured meat. It is made from high-quality pork legs and is usually served thinly sliced.
This Italian cured meat is usually eaten raw and has a sweet and salty flavor. Aside from the prosciutto crudo, there is also prosciutto cotto that is served cooked. Overall, prosciutto is a very savory product that has various uses on different cuisines and dishes.
Now, what will you do if you can’t find prosciutto in your kitchen or at your local market? It is better to find a substitute for prosciutto in case you don’t have one.
Substitute For Prosciutto
What Is The Best Substitute For Prosciutto
There are different prosciutto substitutes that you can find in your local market or grocery stores in your area. But let me tell you what a good substitute for prosciutto is. Read further to get more information.
This is a Spanish dry-cured ham that is very similar to Italian prosciutto. That is why Jamon serrano (or serrano ham) would be a perfect substitute for prosciutto as it can be used in different dishes where prosciutto is present.
Unlike the Italian bacon prosciutto, serrano ham is made from a specific breed of pig – the Landrace breed of white pig. This Spanish ham is a rich, dark cured meat with a deep nutty flavor (toasted nuts) and aroma.
Jamon serrano is a delicious prosciutto alternative but with less salty flavor as the curing process of making serrano ham doesn’t use a lot of salt. Though it has less salt, this ham that could replace prosciutto will last up to a year.
The long curing process and added spices give it a distinctive savory flavor. Jamon serrano also has that bold and intense flavor to bring out the best of your dishes. Any recipe that calls for prosciutto can definitely use Jamon serrano as a replacement.
Served on its own through thin slices or added on fruits, vegetables, breads, nuts, cheese or fish, this ham can substitute prosciutto perfectly.
What could go wrong if you will use a regular ham to replace prosciutto? Definitely, this is one of the great options to substitute for prosciutto. In terms of flavor and texture, ham has the closest resemblance of prosciutto.
In Italy, ham is also generally referred to as prosciutto but it can be a different product in other parts of the world. The tangy, rich umami flavor of the cured ham can be elevated if combined with other ingredients such as honey-glazed veggies and cheese.
Ham also has different types, such as black forest ham, smoked ham, and honey ham. They can be seasoned with blueberries and garlic. Honey can be used as well to give it a sweet intense flavor which can replace the prosciutto well.
Since cooked ham has a stronger flavor than prosciutto, you can use it on salads, sandwiches or on a cheese platter.
One of Italy’s best known and most prized salumi, culatello is a cured meat that comes from the province of Parma and is made by curing only the rear muscle of the haunch. It is obtained from the biggest muscular part of the hindlimb of pork, without rind of bone.
Since its preparation is comparable to prosciutto, this is a substitute that can replace it well. Culatello has a rich flavor that can create a delicious dish even if you will only use a little portion of it. Since it is also made from the lean cut of the thigh muscle, culatello has a small amount of fat.
The distinctive winey taste of culatello comes from the curing process that uses salt, pepper, garlic, and dry white wine. If you are considering this to substitute for prosciutto, you can’t go wrong with culatello.
There are few differences between pancetta and prosciutto. First is that pancetta comes from the belly of the pig, while prosciutto comes from the hind leg. Prosciutto can be eaten raw safely as it is salt-cured and air-dried for months, while pancetta needs to be cooked as it is only cured. But both cured meats can be served like thinly sliced smoked bacon.
But nonetheless, pancetta can still be a good substitute for prosciutto. It has a bacon-like taste without the smoky flavor. It also has the same taste as prosciutto, which is rich and savory. The tangy and bold flavor of pancetta can also elevate your dish.
It’s bacon tastes best used in a salad, pizza, or stuffing as it can improve the texture of the flavor. Before adding pancetta in a salad or a cold sandwich, cook it first and let it cool.
Bacon is a very popular type of salt-cured pork made from various cuts, typically the belly or less fatty parts of the back. It is usually eaten as a side dish, but it can also be served as a main breakfast dish.
If you can eat prosciutto raw, bacon is also the same. It has a savory and slightly smoky taste that can compliment a savory recipe. Bacon is also fatty and quite salty, making it a great prosciutto substitute.
If you want to use smoked bacon as a prosciutto substitute, make sure to use thinly sliced parts and add it on several dishes. It can be wrapped around a piece of fruit, or used to prepare a dessert. You can also add it as a topping on some baked recipes.
Since bacon has a very similar taste to prosciutto and it is also versatile, this is one of the best substitutes of prosciutto to have.
Salami is a cured sausage that is made of fermented and air-dried meat, typically pork meat. There are also other meat variations, such as beef or poultry, that can be used as a non-pork substitute for prosciutto. This cured and fermented sausage can be stored at room temperature for up to 40 days once cut.
Though it is similar to prosciutto, which is an Italian air-dried cured meat, salami has a bold and tasty flavor due to the curing and fermenting procedure. The spices used in the curing process also boosts its taste, making salami a great addition to different recipes, including a baked dish.
Salami can also be classified into different varieties, such as sweet, savory, or spicy. If you would use salami as a substitute for prosciutto on your dishes, make sure to use the right alternative.
Just like the pork prosciutto, duck prosciutto is a duck meat that has been salt-cured. Though it is not made of pork, the duck prosciutto can taste like a bit of pork and is a fully-flavored kind of meat.
Cured duck breast can be used in a sandwich or served with crackers as long as it is thinly sliced. You can also pair it with other sweet ingredients like cherry preserves, pickled raisins, and fig chutney since the duck prosciutto has an intense flavor.
A small portion of the duck prosciutto can bring a dish to the next level. It can be chopped into small pieces and sprinkled on top of a salad. You can also put it into a casserole to bring extra flavor and richness.
Beef bresaola is made with meat from the eye of the round cut of the cow, which is a very lean and tender cut. If you are looking for a tasty non-pork substitute for prosciutto and can be used in any recipe that calls for prosciutto, then this one’s for you.
This Italian air-dried meat is allowed to age for about two months and once it is aged, you’ll get a dark red meat that has musty, slightly nutty and sweet flavor. When compared to prosciutto, bresaola has a cleaner cut and milder flavor.
Its slightly nutty flavor could work well with cheese, crackers, and arugula, or other greens. It can also be served chilled and drizzled with olive oil. Bresaola can also be added to a sauce or used as a pizza topping.
Cheese would be the perfect vegetarian substitute for prosciutto. This delicious substitute is great to be paired with bread and crackers. If you are going to use cheese as a substitute for prosciutto, you will need hard types of cheese such as Romano, swiss, or asiago to get that same flavor.
If you are looking for a prosciutto substitute as an appetizer, then cheese will do the job very well. This versatile alternative can be added to salads and pasta dishes for that intensified flavor.
What’s The Best Prosciutto Substitutes
There are still many prosciutto substitutes to choose from. You have toasted nuts, mushroom, capicola, guanciale and a lot more.
Depending on your taste buds, they would go perfectly well on any dishes that might need prosciutto in it. In case you can’t find a prosciutto, then look for these alternatives at your local market or grocery stores.