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The 5 Best Substitutes for Mortadella

What is Mortadella? Max Falkowitz at Serious Eats defines it as “a rich, compact pork sausage studded with cubes of fat and bits of black peppercorn”.

It’s a staple in Italian cuisine prized for its delicate balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors.

While it’s often used for Cold Cut Meats, it can also be cooked and used in various dishes.

There are many different types of Mortadella, but the most common is the Bologna variety, which we’ll be focusing on in this article.

So, how do you cook with Mortadella? And what are the best substitutes if you can’t find them? Here’s everything you need to know about this delicious sausage.

What is Mortadella?

what is mortadella

Mortadella is a delicious Italian sausage typically made from pork and spiced with pepper, myrtle, and cloves.

It is often served as part of an antipasto platter or sliced thin and enjoy on its own.

Mortadella originated in Bologna, Italy, and is still made in accordance with traditional methods.

The pork is ground and then seasoned with salt, black pepper, and other spices.

Next, it is placed into a natural casing and Slow cooked over low heat until fully cooked through.

The resulting sausage is tender and flavorful, with a distinctive spicy aroma.

Mortadella is a beloved delicacy in Italy and can be enjoyed in many different ways.

While Mortadella is traditionally made from pork, but many modern versions use beef or chicken.

These alternative meats can be used to create a lighter-tasting sausage that is lower in fat and calories.

There are also vegetarian and vegan versions of Mortadella, made with plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh.

No matter what type of Mortadella you choose, it will surely be a delicious addition to your next meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Mortadella

If you can’t find Mortadella or are looking for a cheaper alternative, there are plenty of substitutes.

Here are five of the best substitutes for Mortadella.

1 – Bologna


If you’re a fan of Mortadella, the Italian cured meat, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a tasty substitute from the same region: Bologna.

Mortadella and Bologna are made from ground pork, but the similarities end there.

Mortadella is seasoned with salt, pepper, and spices like cloves and nutmeg, while Bologna is simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

The two types of meat also differ in texture: Bologna is finely ground, while Mortadella has a coarser grind.

As a result, Bologna has a more robust flavor than Mortadella.

If you’re looking for a Mortadella substitute that packs a flavor punch, reach for Bologna next time you’re at the deli counter.

2 – Thüringer


Few types of meat are as iconic as Mortadella, the Italian cold cut made from finely ground pork.

But for all its popularity, Mortadella can be hard to come by outside of Italy.

That’s where Thüringer comes in.

This delicious German sausage is made from a blend of pork and beef and provides a satisfying substitute for Mortadella in any dish.

The key to Thüringer’s success is its secret spice blend, which includes cloves, coriander, and nutmeg.

These spices give Thüringer a unique flavor that sets it apart from other sausages.

So if you’re looking for a delicious way to add some international flavor to your next meal, look no further than Thüringer.

3 – Galantine


Galantine is a dish that originates from France.

It is typically made by stuffing a deboned chicken or fish with forcemeat before wrapping it in bacon and simmering it in stock.

The finished dish is often covered with a sauce or glaze and served chilled or at room temperature.

Galantine is traditionally made with pork, veal, or poultry, although modern versions may also include salmon or lobster.

The dish can be elaborate and time-consuming, making it ideal for special occasions.

Whether you’re serving it as a main course or as part of a buffet, galantine is sure to impress your guests.

4 – Landjager


Landjager is a type of German cured sausage that is similar to Mortadella.

It is made from lean cuts of pork, beef, or venison that are seasoned with salt, garlic, pepper, and other spices.

The sausage is then hung to dry for several weeks.

Landjager has a firm texture and a slightly sweet flavor.

It can be sliced and eaten as is or used as an ingredient in recipes.

While Mortadella is more commonly known and used in the United States, Landjager makes an excellent substitute.

It is less expensive than Mortadella and has a more intense flavor.

So if you’re looking for a delicious and economical alternative to Mortadella, give Landjager a try.

5 – Fleischkäse


Fleischkäse, also known as Lyoner or Leberkäse, is a type of cooked sausage made from ground meat, typically pork.

It is popular in Germany and other parts of Europe and can be found in many delis and grocery stores.

Mortadella is a similar sausage, made from coarsely ground pork and often containing cubes of fat.

It is a traditional Italian sausage that is also popular in other parts of Europe.

While Mortadella can be eaten raw, it is most commonly cooked.

Fleischkäse makes an excellent substitute for Mortadella in recipes.

It has a similar flavor and texture but is not as fatty.

Fleischkäse is also less expensive than Mortadella, making it a great option for budget-conscious shoppers.


In conclusion, Mortadella is a delicious and versatile Italian cold cut.

It can be used in various dishes, from sandwiches to pasta salads.

If you’re looking for a delicious way to add flavor to your meal, consider using one of these five substitutes for Mortadella.

Each of these substitutes has its unique flavor that can add something special to your dish.

So, whether you’re looking for a spicy kick or a milder flavor, there’s sure to be a mortadella substitute that’s perfect for you.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Mortadella

The 5 Best Substitutes for Mortadella
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Bologna
  • Thüringer
  • Galantine
  • Landjager
  • Fleischkäse


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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