Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious cheese to put on your next pizza or sandwich?
Then provolone, creamy and salty cheese with a bit of tang to it, is the perfect choice for you.
This cheese is made in a soft, cylindrical shape and can be eaten both sliced or shredded.
Like most other cheeses that are aged for some time, provolone is generally cured with salt water or brine, which helps it keep its original flavor.
It may be the ideal option, but what if you’re out of provolone or don’t have time to go to the shop?
No worries – we’ve got you covered.
Here are five great substitutes for provolone that will make your dish taste just as good (if not better).
What is Provolone?
Provolone is made from cow’s milk and adds lots of flavor to spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, quiche filling, pizza topping, and sandwiches.
It is often used in Italian foods like lasagna, manicotti, and spaghetti.
The flavor of Provolone cheese can vary depending on the age of the cheese.
The younger the cheese, the sweeter its taste.
Because it gets saltier as it matures, most people prefer to use older varieties in cooking.
Young provolone tastes great with fruit, such as grapes and apples.
It is also common for Provolone cheese to be dyed orange or red so that its appearance matches the color of other cheeses in a dish.
It has a mild flavor and smooth texture.
Some people find it “stretchy” and enjoy eating it that way, while others slice it.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Provolone
Provolone cheese is a versatile Italian cheese known for its mild and slightly sharp flavor.
However, if you’re looking for alternatives or want to explore different options, there are several substitutes that can provide a similar taste and texture.
|Substitute||Key Characteristics||Proper Ratio|
|Pepper Jack Cheese||Creamy with a hint of spice||Use an equal amount of Pepper Jack cheese as a substitute|
|Mozzarella||Mild and stretchy||Use an equal amount of Mozzarella cheese as a substitute|
|Feta Cheese||Tangy and crumbly||Use half the amount of Feta cheese as a substitute for Provolone|
|Paneer Cheese||Mild and firm||Use an equal amount of Paneer cheese as a substitute|
|Havarti Cheese||Creamy and buttery||Use an equal amount of Havarti cheese as a substitute|
Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:
1 – Pepper Jack Cheese
This cheese is typically mild in flavor. It has a soft texture and melts nicely when added to meals.
This is your best option if you are looking for something with the same flavor profile, though not the same texture.
It must be noted that Pepper Jack comes from Monterey County, California.
Those who enjoy spicy cheese will find this a wonderful alternative to provolone because it can add a spicy kick to your meal.
It is important to note that spiciness varies from one brand to another.
In addition, there are many different flavors of pepper jack cheese available.
Some brands add jalapeno, while others add garlic or black pepper.
- Key Characteristics: Pepper Jack cheese is creamy with a hint of spice due to the addition of jalapeno or other hot peppers. It provides a mild heat and melts well, making it a suitable substitute for Provolone cheese in sandwiches, burgers, or quesadillas.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Pepper Jack cheese as a substitute for Provolone cheese in your recipes.
2 – Mozzarella
If you are looking for something that melts nicely, mozzarella is your best option.
This cheese has a stringy texture and can be added to sandwiches without making them soggy or floppy.
It’s crucial to note that several varieties of mozzarella are available in the market today.
The flavors range from mild to sharp and salty.
You can also find smoked mozzarella, bocconcini, and pasta filata.
It’s important to check the label before buying a block of mozzarella because some producers add food coloring, vinegar, and powdered milk.
- Key Characteristics: Mozzarella cheese is known for its mild flavor and stretchy texture when melted. While it may not have the same sharpness as Provolone cheese, it can be used as a substitute in dishes like pizzas, lasagnas, or grilled sandwiches.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Mozzarella cheese as a substitute for Provolone cheese in your recipes.
3 – Feta Cheese
Feta is a brined cheese that originated in Greece.
It has a tangy taste and is often enjoyed with salads, omelets, or pasta dishes.
Though this cheese isn’t very common, it can be found in most stores.
It’s important to note that some people find feta cheese too salty for their tastes.
However, once you get used to the saltiness, this cheese is great for adding texture and zest to many meals.
It has a mildly sour taste that provides an amazing burst of flavor when added to salads and omelets.
- Key Characteristics: Feta cheese offers a tangy and crumbly texture. While it has a distinct taste compared to Provolone cheese, it can be used sparingly as a substitute, adding a salty and tangy flavor to salads, pasta dishes, or as a topping for pizzas.
- Proper Ratio: Use half the amount of Feta cheese as a substitute for Provolone cheese in your recipes.
4 – Paneer Cheese
Paneer cheese is also known as Farmer’s Cheese, not confused with processed American cheese.
This is because it’s a fresh, unaged cheese that can be used for cooking purposes.
It may not melt well but has the same texture as provolone.
It’s crucial to note that paneer cheese has a mild taste and is soft.
It can be used in sandwiches, pasta, and paninis.
It can even be used as a filling for omelets and crepes.
- Key Characteristics: Paneer cheese is a mild and firm Indian cheese commonly used in curries and Indian dishes. While it may not melt like Provolone cheese, it can be cubed or grated and used as a substitute in recipes that require a mild and creamy texture.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Paneer cheese as a substitute for Provolone cheese in your recipes.
5 – Havarti Cheese
Havarti qualifies as a good substitute for provolone because it’s typically made with cow’s milk and has a bit of tanginess to it.
It melts beautifully. It’s important to note that Havarti cheese is made from whole milk.
You can also find low-fat versions, but they don’t usually melt, and the regular version of Havarti.
This means it has a bit of tanginess which goes great with marinara sauce or lasagna dishes.
It must be noted that you can find flavored Havarti cheese in the market.
For example, some brands add jalapenos while others add garlic or black pepper.
The flavor can vary widely depending on which brand you buy, so it’s important to check the label before buying a block of Havarti cheese.
- Key Characteristics: Havarti cheese is creamy and buttery, with a mild and slightly nutty flavor. While it may have a different taste profile than Provolone cheese, it can be used in dishes that call for a smooth and meltable cheese, such as sandwiches, quiches, or gratins.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Havarti cheese as a substitute for Provolone cheese in your recipes.
So, as you can see, there are several great substitutes for provolone cheese.
It’s important to note that many of these substitutes aren’t significantly different from provolone in terms of flavor and texture.
However, they have a few distinct features that make them worth considering.
Depending on your preferences, you can choose any of the above substitutes.
Some are mild, while others have a strong flavor.
Some melt easily, while others have a stringy texture that may not work well with sandwiches.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What cheese is most similar to provolone?
Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the best substitutes for provolone cheese.
This hard cheese from Italy has a strong, nutty flavor and it can be grated over dishes or used to make sauces. It also melts well, making it great for salads and pizzas.
Mozzarella is another option that is similar to provolone in terms of texture and taste, though it is milder.
Are Parmesan and provolone similar?
While Parmesan and provolone are both Italian-style cheeses, they have quite different tastes.
Provolone is a milder cheese, with a slightly sweet taste, while Parmigiano Reggiano (also known as Parmesan) is much more strongly flavored with a distinct nutty and salty taste.
Is provolone similar to Gruyere?
Provolone and Gruyere are both semi-hard cheeses, but they are quite different in terms of flavor.
Gruyere is a Swiss cheese with a more pungent aroma and a sweet nutty taste, while provolone is milder tasting and less aromatic.
Is provolone a strong cheese?
Provolone is a mild cheese and not as strongly flavored as many of its Italian cousins, like Parmigiano Reggiano and Asiago.
However, it does have a slight nutty taste that can add depth to dishes. It also melts well, making it great for use in grilled cheese sandwiches and other recipes.