12 Best Provolone Cheese Substitutes You Can Try

Sometimes it can be difficult to get your hands on provolone cheese as it is mostly sold in Italian delis. But don’t let that spoil your mood and recipes. There are many substitutes for provolone that can still help maintain the authenticity and taste of your recipes.

Provolone cheese slices

Some of the best provolone cheese substitutes are low-moisture mozzarella, fontina, Scamorza and Monterey Jack cheese. You can also use semi-hard cheddar, gouda, parmesan and provola can also be used instead of provolone.

Actually, there are two types of provolone cheese: dolce and piccante and each differ in flavor and texture. So, choosing the substitute for the cheese also depends upon the type of provolone cheese you are going to use.

But don’t worry, I am going to make the difference more clear and you will definitely get to know what type of cheese is best for you. 

Quick Peek: Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese

Provolone cheese is a soft and delicious cheese that has variety of culinary uses. Before we learn about its substitutes, let’s learn a little bit thoroughly about provolone cheese.

What Is Provolone Cheese?

Provolone is a semi-hard cheese that comes from Southern Italy. Provolone is made from cow’s milk, pasteurized or unpasteurized. The cheese’s taste ranger from sweet and mild to sharp and tangy.

Provolone cheese is also made with the pasta filata method which includes stretching the cheese curds for a stretchy and smooth cheese. Provolone usually comes in pear, conical, or cylindrical shapes.

Describing Provolone Cheese: Flavor And Texture

Provolone cheese, being a stretchy cheese, has a smooth texture. As I said, it’s a semi-hard cheese. If we talk about its taste, it can be anywhere from mild to sharp depending on the type of provolone you are using.

The taste differs because the different types of cheese are aged for different periods of time. Provolone Dolce, is aged for a shorter period of time and is sweet, and mild.

On the other hand, Provolone Piccante is aged for a longer time and has buttery and sharp and can also be called somewhat spicy.

Types Of Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese is mainly of two types and both of differ just in their aging periods which also influences their taste. Let’s have a look.

  1. Provolone Dolce – Provolone Dolce is aged for a period of 2-3 months. It has a white to slight yellow color. It has a pleasant aroma with sweet, milky, and mild taste.
  2. Provolone Piccante – Provolone Piccante is aged for 4 months and sometimes more than that. It has a creamy yellow appearance and has a sharp and strong taste that you we can define as buttery and spicy.

Uses Of Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese is a very versatile cheese with many uses. Even though you can find brand new and creative ways to add provolone cheese to your dishes, here are few of the more common ones.

Provolone cheese is a great cheese to grace your charcuterie boards. It goes great with meats and also in cooked as well as grilled dishes. You can also use it in casseroles, salads, and also sprinkle it over dishes after grating.

Provolone also melts beautifully and thus can be used in pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, and lasagna. Many people add provolone slices to burgers to add a touch of gooey and tangy taste.

Provolone Cheese On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Now that we have discussed the types and uses of provolone cheese, it’s only natural to look at it’s health benefits.

Being a dairy product, provolone cheese is rich in calcium, protein, and phosphorus. This helps to maintain good bone health. It also has vitamins A and B12 that are good for eye health and the nervous system respectively.

Provolone is also low in sodium and thus is also good for heart health. That being said, provolone cheese is also rich in fats and carbohydrates. So you should try to eat it moderation and not excessively.

Why Use A Substitute For Provolone Cheese?

There may be times you won’t find provolone cheese in stores. At times like these, you need to be equipped for cheese emergency and know what other kinds of cheese you can use instead.

As provolone cheese’s taste ranges from sweet to sharp, you need to know all the cheeses that you can use in recipes. It is always better to stay a step ahead.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

12 Best Provolone Cheese Substitutes

As you know, it can be difficult to find provolone cheese, so here is a list of 12 kinds of cheese that you can use for making appetizing cuisines.

  1. Mozzarella Cheese
  2. Fontina Cheese
  3. Scamorza Cheese
  4. Monterey Jack Cheese
  5. Cheddar Cheese
  6. Muenster Cheese
  7. Parmesan Cheese
  8. Gouda Cheese
  9. Edam Cheese
  10. Emmental Cheese
  11. Gruyere Cheese
  12. Provola Cheese

Provolone cheese is semi-soft and made from cow’s milk. Dolce provolone is aged for 2-3 months and made with veal rennet. It has got a creamy and delicate flavor and texture.

Whereas, piccante provolone is aged for 6-12 months and made with goat’s or lamb’s rennet. It has got a stronger and sharper texture.

Below is a table comparing all the substitutes with provolone cheese that will help you to make a quick decision to choose the best type of cheese for the cuisines. 

Cheese NameMade WithTextureFlavor
Mozzarella CheeseCow’s or buffalo milkSoft & moistDelicate & slightly sour
Fontina CheeseUnpasteurized cow’s milkSemi-soft to hardButtery & nutty flavor
Scamorza CheesePasteurized cow’s milkElastic, stringy & less moistureMilky & creamy
Monterey Jack CheesePasteurized cow’s milkSmooth and semi-softMild & little sweet
Cheddar CheeseCow’s milkSemi-hardSharp & pungent
Muenster CheesePasteurized cow’s milkSmooth & softMild & strong
Parmesan CheeseCow’s milkHard & grittyFruity & nutty
Gouda CheeseCow’s milkSmoothAromatic & sweet
Edam CheesePasteurized cow’s milkElastic & suppleMild, salty & nutty
Emmental CheeseUnpasteurized cow’s milkMedium-hardAromatic & sweet
Gruyere CheeseWhole cow’s milkCreamy Depends upon age
Young: creaminess & nuttinessOlder: earthiness
Provola CheeseWhole buffalo milk combined with cow’s milkSoft Savory 

1. Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella cheese is considered to be the best substitute for provolone. Mozzarella cheese is very famous and widely used worldwide. But try to use low-moisture and aged mozzarella as it has similar characteristics to provolone.

Both the cheeses are made by the same method, that is, by stretching the curds. Provolone is stronger than mozzarella, so you can add muenster to the mozzarella so that it tastes exactly like provolone. 

2. Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese

Fontina cheese is another best choice for substituting with provolone cheese. It is an Italian-style and semi-soft cow cheese. The nutty, creamy and buttery flavors that it incorporates are similar to provolone. 

If you are using it for melting and grating purposes, then you’re all set. The best thing about the cheese is that most manufacturers don’t add any preservatives and it is gluten-free. But still, check before you buy it. 

3. Scamorza Cheese

scamorza cheese

Scamorza cheese has its origins in Southern Italy and can be considered a good alternative to provolone cheese. The cheese has got smoky and sweet flavors and is exactly like the provolone. 

Like mozzarella, it is also prepared by stretching curds and melts readily. But the cheese has got a major drawback that it can be hard to find in the market. 

4. Monterey Jack Cheese

Monterey Jack Cheese

Another cheese that can substitute for provolone is the Monterey Jack cheese. It has got a strong and slightly sweet flavor. 

Many people don’t use this cheese as a substitute but it works perfectly fine for me. The smooth and semi-hard texture of the cheese makes it a perfect alternative for provolone.

5. Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese can also be used as an alternative for provolone cheese. But the main problem is the hardness of the cheddar cheese. If you can get your hands on a softer and semi-solid version of the cheese, then it would work perfectly fine for substituting provolone.

You can use cheddar cheese instead of picante provolone. 

6. Muenster Cheese

Muenster Cheese

You can also muenster cheese if you don’t have provolone cheese at your place. But the cheese can’t be used alone, mozzarella has to be added to the cheese.

Muenster is an American version of the French cheese ‘Munster’. The American version is perfect as it has got a semi-hard texture, just like provolone.

It is necessary to add low moisture mozzarella to the muenster as a balance is created between the flavors and the texture. Mozzarella has got the right flavor and fats, whereas muenster has got the perfect texture.

7. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese isn’t the perfect substitute for provolone cheese. The cheese has got a hard texture and salty and nutty flavor which makes it different from the provolone. 

But if you still want to use the parmesan, you can mix it with more mild cheese and you’re good to go. You can also try pecorino cheese which is made from sheep milk and is aged for a shorter time.

This cheese is a little sweeter and milder and this reason makes it favorable to use as an alternative for provolone. The cheese is mostly grated and used for topping purposes.

8. Gouda Cheese


The traces of the gouda cheese can be traced back to the Netherlands. It is widely popular and used throughout the world. Like provolone, gouda cheese has also got a semi-soft and creamy texture. 

Generally, more aged gouda cheese means more sweetness in the cheese. It can be used by melting, slicing or whatever you like. 

9. Edam Cheese

Edam cheese

Edam cheese is prominent in the Netherlands. The cheese has got a round cylindrical shape and usually sealed in a red wax coating. Its shape resembles a small fruit.

Similar to the provolone, edam cheese is semi-soft and has a mild flavor. In the Netherlands, there is a tradition in which they eat the cheese at the end of the meal. The cheese is best for slicing and melting purposes.

10. Emmental Cheese

Emmental Cheese

Emmental cheese is also known as the Swiss cheese. The cheese can be identified by small holes formed during the fermentation or maturing process. It has got a mild and appetizing taste. 

The cheese is really good for melting and slicing purposes. You can also use it as a grilled cheese by mixing it with gruyere cheese. 

11. Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is also a Swiss cheese. The cheese is perfect for substituting provolone cheese as it is aged for more than 6 months and hasn’t got a crumbly texture. The cheese was first made in the town of Gruyeres.

The cheese has a nutty flavor and creamy texture. The most famous recipe that is made with the gruyere is the classic French sandwich croque monsieur. You can even use it in fondue by mixing it with emmental cheese.

12. Provola Cheese

Provola Cheese

Lastly, provola cheese is also known as little provolone. It is made by the same process as that of mozzarella, the only difference is the aging process. Provola is aged for a longer time whereas, mozzarella is sold fresh. 

The cheese is mild and less strong than the provolone but works fine when cooked perfectly. 


Now, it’s time you make some delicious recipes by using substitutes of provolone cheese. It totally depends upon your preferences as to which cheese you want to use depending upon taste and flavor. If you need any extra information, I would be happy to assist you in the below comment section.

How To Substitute The Above Mentioned Ingredients For Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese slices

Provolone Cheese Substitutes

Here is how you can substitute the above mentioned ingredients for provolone cheese.
5 from 1 vote


  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Fontina Cheese
  • Scamorza Cheese
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Muenster Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Edam Cheese
  • Emmental Cheese
  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Provola Cheese


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What cheese is the most similar to provolone cheese?

The most similar cheese to provolone cheese is the low-moisture mozzarella cheese. You should always use that when you are out of provolone.

What are some other cheeses I can use instead of provolone cheese?

Some other cheeses that I prefer to use are semi-solid cheddar, fontina, Scamorza, gouda and Monterey Jack cheese.

How can I use Parmesan cheese as a provolone cheese substitute?

If you want to use the parmesan as a provolone cheese substitute, you can mix it with a milder cheese and you’re good to go.

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