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The 5 Best Substitutes for Pecorino Romano Cheese

Have you wanted to find out more about Pecorino Romano Cheese?

It’s a hard cheese that originates from Italy and is made primarily out of sheep’s milk.

Among the many different ways to use it, chefs love it for its salty flavor that helps enhance the taste of their dishes.

If the recipe calls for this type of cheese, know there are some great substitutes like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Manchego, Aged Asiago, and Cojita.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

What’s Pecorino Romano Cheese?

Pecorino Romano cheese is a type of hard Italian cheese originating from the area around Rome.

It is usually made from sheep’s milk and has been produced for centuries in the same areas.

This aged cheese typically has an intense flavor and semi-hard texture, making it ideal for grating on pasta dishes or salads as a flavorful topping.

Alternatively, it can be melted into sauces and soups for an extra depth of flavor or simply enjoyed on its own with some crusty bread or pitted olives.

Despite its robust character, the saltiness of Pecorino Romano can be surprisingly subtle, which means it goes well with a variety of dishes without overwhelming them with flavor.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pecorino Romano Cheese

If you’re looking for a substitute for Pecorino Romano cheese, you have many options.

Here are the five best substitutes:

1 – Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a classic Italian cheese and undoubtedly one of the world’s best-known and loved ones.

It has a distinctively sharp and nutty flavor with a crumbly texture that melts away in your mouth.

The slightly salty taste makes it perfect for grating over pasta or pizzas.

In place of Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano can be used as an excellent substitution — equally strong but more versatile in its uses.

Whether you are using this cheese to make homemade carbonara or enjoy it atop your favorite salad, Parmigiano-Reggiano will add delicious richness to any dish.

2 – Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano cheese is a hard, ripened cheese originating in the northern regions of Italy.

It has a complex and nutty flavor with notes of crystallized honey and a hint of sharpness that complement sweet dishes exceptionally well.

Grana Padano has an unctuous texture which makes it ideal for grating and adding to recipes.

It’s an excellent cheese to substitute in place of Pecorino Romano, providing a milder flavor that can serve as an interesting variation in dishes such as pasta or vegetable sautés.

Furthermore, Grana Padano offers the same level of intense nutty richness without being too salty, which adds complexity without overpowering other flavors.

3 – Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese is perhaps one of the most distinctively flavored cheeses in Spanish cuisine, crafted from sheep’s milk and exhibiting a creamy, mild taste with hints of butter and nuts.

Its texture is firm and slightly granular in character, making it an ideal addition to salads or tapas for added crunch.

For those seeking to substitute Manchego for Pecorino Romano, a good option would be dry Jack cheese, an American variant that shares many similar characteristics; alternatively, Parmigiano-Reggiano would also serve as a suitable counterpart due to its strong umami flavor.

4 – Cotija Cheese

Cotija Cheese is a hard Mexican cheese with a salty, nutty flavor.

In terms of texture, it’s crumbly and dry, much like feta cheese.

It has the sharpness of Parmesan cheese, making it an excellent substitute for Pecorino Romano in places where it might be harder to come by.

While Cotija Cheese lacks the pungent flavor of Pecorino Romano, its taste is still distinct and can enhance any Italian recipes you care to try.

Experiment with it alongside other favorite Mexican dishes to create a truly unique flavor.

5 – Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese has a distinctive nutty and slightly sweet flavor that is unique among cheeses.

It has an aged, granular texture reminiscent of Parmesan cheese.

Though it may be used as a topping in salads or served with crackers or bread, Asiago cheese excels when it is melted over food such as pasta, pizzas, and toasted sandwiches.

It can also be cubed and added to soups for additional flavor.

For those looking for a potential alternative to Pecorino Romano cheese, Asiago works well; its taste is similar but milder and saltier, and it melts nicely into sauces.


In conclusion, there are many suitable substitutes for Pecorino Romano cheese, depending on what kind of flavor and texture you’re looking for.

Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, Manchego, Cotija, and Asiago all provide a unique flavor and texture that can be used in many Italian dishes.

Whether you are seeking a less pungent flavor or looking for something to melt nicely into sauces, there is an alternative cheese out there for any occasion.

Go ahead and experiment with these five kinds of cheese to find the perfect match for your recipes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pecorino Romano Cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pecorino Romano Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • Grana Padano Cheese
  • Manchego Cheese
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese


  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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