Substitute for prosciutto

Substitute for prosciutto
Substitute for prosciutto

Prosciutto is a delicate sweet ham usually thinly sliced and intended to be eaten raw. The word prosciutto is the name used to describe Italian ham. However, it is also used to describe cured air-dried ham that has been seasoned. Although true prosciutto is made in Italy, other places also make their versions. Prosciutto Crudo is raw and safe to eat because it undergoes the curing process. Prosciutto Cotto, on the other hand, is cooked. In Italy, the prosciuttos are named according to the provinces or cities where they are produced. If your recipe calls for prosciutto and you don’t have access to it, then you can try the following substitutes.

1. Ham

Ham is a good alternative for prosciutto because of the similarities in taste. Besides, it can be sliced thinly and used in sandwiches. The only setback about ham is that it is not as salty as prosciutto. But this is something that you can easily solve by adding more salt. Besides, Ham is the best option for salads, pasta, or even when you want to wrap vegetables. Use ham in equal proportions to Prosciutto. Both smoked ham and black forest ham can be used.


When it comes to taste, ham makes the best alternative for prosciutto.

2. Lean Bacon

You can substitute prosciutto by the use of thinly sliced bacon. Just like prosciutto, this bacon should be raw but cured and smoked. Blanch the bacon into boiling water for a few minutes instead of frying. Wait until your bacon becomes tender and translucent. The next step is rinsing your bacon, making it ready to serve your recipe.

The best thing about smoked bacon is that it comes in different varieties, such as apple and maple. This will allow you to choose your best option.


Thinly sliced bacon can be cured and smoked hence giving you a similar taste to prosciutto.

3. Pancetta

The pancetta will also provide you with a similar taste to prosciutto. This is mainly because it is cured using spices and salt. The only difference is that you have to cook your Pancetta first even though it is cured. Also, if you are going to use the pancetta on a cold dish, then I recommend waiting for it to cool first. This important because it helps the flavor to blend in well with the other ingredients.


Pancetta makes a good substitute because of the ease in preparation. The flavor does not differ that much either.

4. Capicola

Just like prosciutto Capicola also has its roots from Italy. It is obtained from a dry-cured pork neck or shoulder. Besides, you can find this substitute in a nearby grocery store deli. Since Capicola is mostly cut fresh at the counter, then you can specify that you want thin slices. Doing so will get you something closer to prosciutto in terms of appearance.

You should not use sweet cure Capicola because it has a different taste.

Summary Table

Item Calories (per 100g) Total Fats (g) Carbohydrates (g) Proteins (g) Source Works Best In
Ham 145 8.5 0.5 16.5 Cured pork leg Sandwiches, salads, cooked dishes
Lean Bacon 42 3 0.1 3.5 Cured pork belly Sandwiches, salads, cooked dishes
Pancetta 319 30 0.1 14.2 Cured pork belly Pasta, sauces, flavoring
Capicola 120 8 0 11 Cured pork shoulder Sandwiches, pizzas, antipasto


What is a cheaper substitute for prosciutto?

A cheaper substitute for prosciutto could be ham or Canadian bacon. While they might not have the exact same flavor and texture as prosciutto, they can provide a similar salty and savory element to your dishes.

Can bacon be used in place of prosciutto?

Yes, bacon can be used as a substitute for prosciutto in some recipes. However, keep in mind that bacon has a smoky and more intense flavor compared to prosciutto so it might alter the overall taste of the dish.

What meat is similar to prosciutto?

If you’re looking for a meat similar to prosciutto, serrano ham and jamón ibérico are two options. They are both dry-cured hams with a similar texture and flavor profile to prosciutto.

What can I use instead of pork prosciutto?

If you’re looking for a non-pork substitute, you can use turkey or chicken prosciutto or even smoked turkey or chicken slices. These alternatives might have a milder flavor but still provide a similar texture and salty taste.


Capicola and prosciutto have many things in common. For example, they both have roots from Italy and they can be sliced into the same size and shape.


Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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