Say Cheese: 13 Provolone Substitutes For Any Dish!

Provolone Substitutes

Well, well, well, look who’s back again for some cheesy goodness! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a cheese fanatic just like me.

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of melted cheese oozing on a sandwich or the satisfying crunch of a cheese and charcuterie board. But what do you do when you can’t find your go-to cheese?

Fear not, my fellow cheese lover, for I have scoured the dairy aisle and found the best nine substitutes for provolone cheese!

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You’re in the grocery store, ready to make your favorite sandwich or add some pizzazz to your dinner, and the provolone cheese is nowhere to be found. It’s a heart-wrenching feeling, I know.

But don’t you worry, because I’ve got you covered with these provolone cheese substitutes that will leave your taste buds singing praises. From low moisture mozzarella to Gouda, each cheese brings its own unique flavor profile to the table, making it the perfect substitute for any dish.

So, sit back, relax, and get ready to say cheese with these nine provolone cheese substitutes!

Key Takeaways

  • Low-moisture mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, emmental, edam, Monterey jack, provola, gouda, and muenster, cheese are the best substitutes for provolone cheese.
  • Fontina cheese is a great gluten-free alternative to provolone cheese.
  • Muenster cheese should be mixed with low-moisture mozzarella to mimic the texture and flavor of provolone cheese.
  • Parmesan cheese is not the best substitute for provolone cheese, but gruyere cheese can be used as a substitute for both provolone and gruyere cheese.
  • Provolone cheese is a versatile Italian cheese made from cow’s milk that can be mild or sharp depending on age.
  • Each substitute has its own unique characteristics in terms of flavor, texture, and ideal uses.
  • Provolone cheese can be used in a variety of dishes and makes a great addition to sandwiches or cheese boards.
  • Provolone cheese comes in two varieties: dolce and piccante, with the former being younger, milder, and softer.
  • When looking for provolone substitutes, it’s important to consider flavor, texture, and consistency. Recommended substitutes include fontina, gouda, low-moisture mozzarella, muenster, emmental, edam, and gruyere.
  • Cheese blends can add depth and complexity to dishes, and can be tailored to your liking.
  • Provolone substitutes can be used in a variety of dishes, from classic Italian recipes to grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza.

What is Provolone Cheese?

I always thought provolone cheese was the reliable best friend to my sandwiches, but now that I know it’s a stretched curd cheese, like mozzarella, and comes in two types–dolce and piccante–I feel like I’ve just discovered there are two sides to my best friend’s personality.

Provolone cheese has a rich history and origin that dates back to the southern regions of Italy, specifically the Po River Valley. It is believed that the cheese was first produced in the 19th century by Neapolitan cheese makers who introduced it to the Po River Valley.

Provolone cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of culinary ways. It is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine, where it’s used in sandwiches, pizza, and pasta dishes. Provolone cheese is also great for fondue and macaroni cheese dishes because of its mild and creamy flavor. Its high-fat content makes it perfect for melting, adding a creamy texture to dishes.

I love using provolone cheese on my sandwiches and casseroles because of its versatility and complex flavor profile. Did you know that this Italian cheese is made from cow’s milk and originated in the Campania region of Italy near Mt. Vesuvius?

Provolone cheese is a pasta filata or stretched curd cheese that comes in two varieties: provolone piccante, aged for a minimum of four months, and provolone dolce, which is sweet and mild, similar to fresh mozzarella. It’s made by adding fresh calf’s rennet to warm cow’s milk, causing it to curdle. The curds are then separated from the whey and kneaded into a stringy and stretchy texture.

The cheese is left in brine, then dipped in wax and aged. When aged, it becomes dry, crumbly, and salty, making it ideal for a cheese or charcuterie board. Provolone cheese also has a protected denomination of origin (PDO) when produced in Italy, ensuring its quality and authenticity.

Types and Characteristics

Fontina cheese, with its gluten-free option and semi-soft texture, can be a great choice as a provolone alternative. Unlike provolone, fontina is not an aged cheese but a fresh one. It is made from cow’s milk and has a pale yellow color and a mild, nutty flavor. Its texture is creamy and semi-soft, making it a perfect substitute for provolone in dishes such as pizza, sandwiches, and grilled cheese.

When looking for a provolone alternative, it’s essential to consider the texture variations between aged and fresh provolone. While aged provolone has a crumbly texture and a spicy flavor, fresh provolone has a smooth texture and a mild taste. Fontina cheese falls under the fresh provolone category, making it a great option for those who prefer a milder taste. The table below shows a comparison between fontina cheese and provolone cheese, highlighting their differences and similarities.

Fontina cheeseSemi-soft and creamyMild and nutty
Provolone cheeseAged and crumblySpicy and bold

Overall, fontina cheese is an excellent option for those who are looking for a gluten-free substitute for provolone. Its creamy and semi-soft texture, combined with its mild and nutty flavor, make it a versatile cheese that can be used in various dishes. However, it’s essential to consider the texture variations between aged and fresh provolone when choosing a substitute, as it can greatly affect the taste and texture of the final dish.

Why Substitute?

When searching for a cheese alternative, it’s important to understand why you might need to substitute one type of cheese for another. There are many benefits to finding a suitable substitute for provolone cheese.

For one, it can be difficult to find provolone cheese in certain parts of the world, or it may be out of stock at your local grocery store. In these situations, having knowledge of the best provolone substitutes can save your dish from being ruined.

Another reason why you might need to substitute provolone cheese is due to dietary restrictions or preferences. For example, if you’re lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet, you’ll need to find a suitable non-dairy alternative.

In other cases, you may simply prefer the taste of a different cheese and want to experiment with new flavors in your dishes. Whatever the situation may be, having a list of the best provolone substitutes can ensure that your dishes remain delicious and satisfying.

Criteria for Substitutes

When searching for alternatives to provolone cheese, it’s crucial to consider a few qualities to ensure that the substitute is a good fit for your dish.

The first quality to consider is flavor, as provolone cheese has a distinct taste that can be difficult to replicate. Look for a cheese with a similar flavor profile, such as Fontina or Gouda.

Another factor to consider is texture, as provolone cheese has a smooth and elastic texture that is essential for some recipes. Low-moisture mozzarella or Parmesan can be a good substitute for this quality.

Consistency is also an important quality to consider when searching for provolone substitutes. Provolone cheese has a melting quality that is essential for dishes like pizza and sandwiches. Look for a cheese that has a similar melting quality, such as Muenster or scamorza cheese.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with cheese blends to create a unique flavor and texture that suits your dish. With these qualities in mind, you’ll be able to find a provolone cheese substitute that works for you.

Uses for Provolone Cheese

One can elevate the flavor profile of their sandwich by adding a slice of melted provolone cheese. However, provolone cheese isn’t just limited to sandwiches.

There are many creative ways to incorporate this versatile Italian cheese into meals. Here are some provolone cheese pairing suggestions and ideas:

  1. Pair provolone with cured meats, such as prosciutto or salami, for a savory and satisfying charcuterie board.
  2. Use provolone in place of mozzarella on a homemade pizza for a unique and flavorful twist.
  3. Melt provolone over a chicken or eggplant parmesan dish for added richness and depth of flavor.
  4. Add shredded provolone to a cheesy pasta dish, like mac and cheese or lasagna, for an extra layer of creaminess.

Provolone cheese can truly enhance the taste of any dish. With these creative pairing ideas, you can take your meals to the next level and impress your taste buds.

ey there, cheese lovers! Are you looking for a new flavor to experiment with in your cooking? Perhaps you’re lactose intolerant, or maybe you just want to mix things up in your kitchen. Either way, you’ve come to the right place!

Today, I’m excited to share with you 10 delicious substitutes for provolone cheese that will take your dishes to the next level. Provolone is a type of cheese that originates from southern Italy and is known for its mild, tangy flavor and smooth, stretchy texture. But whether you’re looking for a more intense flavor or a different consistency, there are plenty of options available.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between dolce and piccante provolone and provide recommendations for substitutes that will complement any dish. So, let’s dive in and discover some delicious new cheeses to add to your culinary repertoire!

Provolone Cheese Basics

I already know that provolone cheese is a semi-soft cheese from Italy that comes in two types and has a nutty, buttery, and smoky flavor, but now I want to learn more about its basics.

Provolone cheese is made using the pasta filata method, which involves stretching the curd during the cheese-making process. This creates a unique, elastic texture that is perfect for melting on sandwiches or pizzas.

Provolone cheese also gets sharper as it ages, due to the natural process of fermentation. The longer the cheese is aged, the stronger and more complex its flavor becomes.

Some provolone cheese can be aged for up to 12 months, resulting in a sharp and tangy flavor that is perfect for pairing with bold meats and spicy condiments.

Overall, provolone cheese is a versatile and delicious cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes, from classic Italian sandwiches to modern fusion cuisine.

13 Great Provolone Substitutes

If you’re looking for a cheese that melts like a dream and adds a nutty and earthy flavor to your dishes, then Monterey jack cheese can be your go-to provolone substitute. This versatile cheese is perfect for making quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and macaroni cheese. It has a strong but slightly sweet flavor with a smooth and semi-soft texture, making it an excellent substitute for provolone cheese.

When cooking with Monterey jack cheese, it’s essential to pair it with the right ingredients to bring out its full flavor potential. Top pairings include tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, and cilantro. For a creamy and indulgent macaroni cheese recipe, mix Monterey jack cheese with low-moisture mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese.

Cooking tips for using Monterey jack cheese include grating it coarsely to help it melt quickly and evenly and using it as a topping for soups, salads, and pizzas.


Mozzarella is an Italian cheese, like provolone, and it also belongs to the pasta filata family of cheeses. This means that during its production, the cheese curds are heated and stretched to give them a stringy, elastic texture. Fresh mozzarella has a mild, milky flavor and a soft, moist texture, while low-moisture mozzarella has a firmer texture and a slightly stronger flavor. The low-moisture variety, in particular, melts very well, making it a suitable substitute for provolone in pizza, lasagna, or other baked dishes.

Here are some of the best varieties to use and how to incorporate it into Italian dishes:

  • Fresh Mozzarella: This type of mozzarella is soft and creamy, and it’s often used in dishes like caprese salad, pizza, and lasagna. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a delicate texture.
  • Low-Moisture Mozzarella: This type of mozzarella is denser and has a firmer texture than fresh mozzarella. It’s often used on pizza and in baked pasta dishes because it melts well and has a mild flavor.
  • Buffalo Mozzarella: This type of mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffalo and has a richer, creamier flavor than cow’s milk mozzarella. It’s often used in dishes like caprese salad and pizza.

To incorporate mozzarella into Italian dishes, try using it as a topping for pizza, in lasagna or baked ziti, or as a filling for stuffed shells or manicotti. It can also be sliced and served with fresh tomatoes and basil as a caprese salad.

With its mild, creamy flavor and versatile texture, mozzarella is a great substitute for provolone cheese in many Italian dishes.


Fontina is another Italian cheese that has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a semi-soft texture. Italian Fontina, in particular, is known for its excellent melting properties, so it can be a good substitute for provolone in dishes that require melted cheese. However, there are also varieties of Fontina made in other countries, like Denmark and the United States, and these can vary in flavor and texture, so they might not be as suitable as a substitute.


his is a Dutch cheese that is known for its rich, slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Young gouda has a semi-soft texture that’s similar to provolone and it melts well, so it can work as a substitute in sandwiches, burgers, or melted cheese dishes. As gouda ages, its flavor becomes more complex and its texture becomes firmer and more crumbly. With a similar smooth texture, Gouda can be aged to provide different flavors. Try using it in a cheesy pasta dish or on a charcuterie board.

Monterey Jack

his is an American cheese that is known for its mild flavor and good melting properties. It’s creamy and slightly tangy, with a semi-soft texture that’s somewhat similar to provolone. Monterey Jack can be used as a substitute for provolone in a wide range of dishes, from sandwiches to casseroles to quesadillas.

Emmental (Swiss cheese)

Emmental, also known as Swiss cheese, is a medium-hard cheese that has a distinctive, slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It also melts well, so it can work as a substitute for provolone in gratins, casseroles, or other baked dishes. However, it’s important to note that Emmental has a distinct flavor that’s quite different from provolone, so it will change the flavor profile of the dish. This cheese has a sweet aroma and melts well, making it a great substitute for provolone in grilled cheese sandwiches or on burgers.


Muenster is a semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor that becomes more pronounced with age. It has good melting properties, so it can be used as a substitute for provolone in many different dishes. However, Muenster has a more buttery flavor and a softer texture than provolone, so it might not be the best substitute in all situations.

In conclusion, while there are many cheeses that have similar characteristics to provolone, each one has its own unique flavor and texture profile, so the best substitute will depend on the specific recipe and your personal taste preferences. Always remember that substituting one cheese for another will change the flavor of the dish, and experimentation is a key part of finding the best substitute.


Edam is semi-hard and has a very mild, nutty, and slightly salty flavor. This cheese also melts well, which makes it a suitable substitute in recipes where the cheese needs to blend smoothly into the dish, similar to Provolone.


Havarti is creamy with a slightly acidic taste. Its smooth, buttery texture and mild flavor make it a versatile cheese in the kitchen. It also melts beautifully, which is a characteristic you often want when substituting for Provolone.


Cheddar’s texture varies from smooth to slightly crumbly based on its age, but it generally melts well, which is a crucial quality in many recipes calling for Provolone. Mild Cheddar is less sharp and more mellow than aged versions, making it a closer match to Provolone’s flavor profile.


Like Cheddar, Colby is a good melter and has a fairly mild flavor, especially when young. Its creamy texture and mild to medium flavor can stand in for Provolone in most dishes.

Brick Cheese

Brick cheese has a slightly sweet and mild flavor when it’s young, becoming more pungent with age. This cheese is also an excellent melter, making it a suitable replacement for Provolone in hot dishes.


Gruyère has a creamy, nutty flavor that intensifies with age. It’s well-known for its melting properties and is a staple in dishes like fondue and gratins. Its ability to melt and blend into dishes makes it a good candidate for replacing Provolone.

In each of these cases, the cheese shares certain key characteristics with Provolone: they all have a flavor profile that isn’t overwhelmingly strong, they all have a texture that’s semi-hard to hard, and most importantly, they all melt well. These characteristics mean that they can stand in for Provolone in many dishes and provide a similar mouthfeel and function in the recipe. However, it’s important to note that every cheese has a unique flavor, so while these alternatives can substitute Provolone, they will still introduce their own unique taste to the dish.

Plant-based Substitutes

When looking for plant-based options to replace provolone cheese in recipes, there are several alternatives to consider. Vegan cheese alternatives are widely available and can be used in most recipes calling for provolone.

Tofu-based provolone cheese is a popular option that can be used in sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles. It has a similar texture to provolone and can be flavored with herbs and spices to mimic its taste.

Nut-based provolone cheese, such as cashew or almond cheese, is another delicious option that can be used in a variety of recipes. These cheese substitutes can be made at home or purchased from specialty stores.

When using plant-based provolone cheese substitutes, it’s important to consider their nutritional value and cooking techniques. Some substitutes may be high in fat and sodium, so it’s important to read labels and use them in moderation.

Cooking techniques, such as baking, grilling, or broiling, can help improve the texture and flavor of these substitutes. Experimenting with different substitutes and cooking techniques can help you find the best alternative to provolone cheese for your next recipe.

Ar ther eany good substitutes for smoked provolone?

Are you looking for a substitute for smoked provolone?

Are you looking for a substitute for smoked provolone? Well, you’ve come to the right place! There are actually plenty of great alternatives to this flavorful cheese. If you’re a fan of the smoky taste, you might want to try smoked gouda or smoked cheddar as a replacement. Both of these cheeses have a similar smoky flavor that can add depth to your dishes.

  1. Smoked Mozzarella: As both Provolone and Mozzarella are Italian, semi-soft cheeses, they share some similarities in texture and meltability. The smoked version of Mozzarella can work as a substitute for Smoked Provolone in many recipes.
  2. Smoked Gouda: Smoked Gouda has a creamy texture and a rich, smoky, slightly sweet flavor. It can work well in sandwiches, burgers, or any recipe that requires a good melting cheese with a pronounced smoky flavor.
  3. Smoked Cheddar: It offers a good meltability and a robust smoky flavor. However, it’s important to note that Cheddar is sharper than Provolone, so it might make the dish taste slightly different.
  4. Scamorza Affumicata: This is an Italian cheese similar to Mozzarella, and it is often smoked. It has a somewhat similar texture to Provolone, and its smoky flavor can make it a suitable substitute.

Remember, when choosing a substitute, you should consider not only the flavor but also the texture and how the cheese melts. All these factors can affect the final outcome of the dish. Furthermore, individual preferences can vary, so the best substitute might differ from person to person.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is provolone cheese lactose-free?

Unfortunately, provolone cheese is not lactose-free. However, there are lactose-free alternatives like aged cheddar, gouda, or parmesan. Provolone cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, with 45% fat content.

Can provolone cheese be used for pizza toppings?

Looking for the perfect cheese for your pizza? Provolone is a great option, but if you’re looking for alternatives, try top melting cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, or even fontina for a unique twist.

How should provolone cheese be stored?

To ensure proper storage, I keep provolone cheese wrapped tightly in plastic in the refrigerator. It has a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks when stored correctly. It’s important to keep an eye on the expiration date and use it before it goes bad.

What is the nutritional content of provolone cheese?

I recently discovered the nutritional benefits of provolone cheese. A 1 oz serving contains 98 calories, 7.7g of fat, and 7.2g of protein. It’s also a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Plus, it’s delicious and versatile in many dishes!

Can provolone cheese be used as a standalone snack or is it primarily used for cooking?

Provolone cheese can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone snack with its mild and salty flavor. However, its versatility in cooking makes it a popular choice for sandwiches, casseroles and cheese boards.

How does the taste and texture of provolone cheese compare to other cheeses commonly used in Italian cuisine?

When comparing Provolone cheese alternatives to other Italian cheeses, I find that Provolone is mild when young and sharp when aged, with a versatile and complex flavor profile. Its substitutes, such as Fontina and low moisture Mozzarella, offer nutty and savory flavors, great for melting on pizza or using in dishes.

Can I substitute provolone cheese with cheddar cheese?

While cheddar has a distinct flavor, it can be used as a substitute for provolone cheese in certain dishes. However, be aware of the flavor differences and adjust accordingly. Personally, I prefer other substitutes for provolone.

Is there a lactose-free substitute for provolone cheese?

I understand the struggle of finding good cheese substitutes. Luckily, there are lactose-free alternatives that can be just as tasty as provolone cheese, such as Daiya and Violife. Give them a try as the tastiest non-dairy options.

What are some common dishes that use provolone cheese as an ingredient?

Popular dishes that use provolone cheese are Philly cheesesteak, pizza, and Italian sandwiches. Its nutty, buttery, smoky flavor profile pairs well with red wines. It melts well for gooey goodness.

Are there any health benefits to consuming provolone cheese or its substitutes?

There are health benefits to consuming provolone cheese substitutes, such as vegan alternatives and dairy-free options. Although taste and texture may differ from provolone, there are various recipe ideas and cheese pairings to explore. Melting properties and aging processes also vary.

What are some tips for choosing the best provolone cheese substitute for a specific recipe?

Factors to consider when choosing a provolone cheese substitute for a recipe include the desired texture, flavor pairing, and dietary restrictions. Mozzarella or Gouda cheese are good options, but for a plant-based alternative, tofu or nut-based cheeses may work best.

Can you recommend any substitutes that have a similar melting point to provolone cheese?

For a similar melting point to provolone cheese, I recommend Fontina, Gouda, or low-moisture mozzarella. Other options include Muenster cheese or a blend of cheeses like Parmesan and Emmental. Non-cheese alternatives could include creamy sauces or plant-based cheese substitutes.

Is it possible to find provolone cheese substitutes that are lactose-free or vegan?

For those seeking lactose-free options or vegan alternatives to provolone, flavor comparisons and texture differences are important factors to consider. Some substitutes to explore include vegan cheese, almond cheese, and soy cheese.

Are there any cultural or regional dishes that specifically call for provolone cheese, and what substitutes would work best in those dishes?

When preparing regional provolone dishes, this cheese is a must-have. However, for those seeking vegan provolone alternatives, consider using cashew or soy-based cheeses for a similar texture and flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment and blend!

Stay Connected

You May Also Like


error: Content is protected !!