12 Best Provolone Cheese Substitutes You Can Try

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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 recipes. There are many substitutes for the cheese that can still help maintain the authenticity and taste of your recipes.

different types of cheese

According to Italian chefs, the best substitutes for provolone cheese are low-moisture mozzarella, fontina, scamorza and Monterey jack cheese. But, they also suggest that other cheeses like semi-hard cheddar, gouda, parmesan and provola can also be used instead of provolone for making recipes.

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. 

12 Types of Cheese That You Can Use Instead Of Provolone Cheese

diffent kinds of cheese

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 is considered to be the best substitute for provolone. Cheese is very famous and widely used in the whole world. 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 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

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 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

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 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 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 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 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

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. 

But What Cheese Is The Most Similar To Provolone Cheese?

provolene and mozzarella

The most similar cheese to provolone cheese is the low-moisture mozzarella cheese. You should always use that when you are out of provolone. Some other cheeses that I prefer to use are semi-solid cheddar, fontina, scamorza, gouda and monterey jack cheese.

You can use the table I mentioned above to know about the flavors and texture of the different kinds of cheese. Then, use them according to the requirements of the recipe.

What Dishes Can You Make With Provolone Cheese? 

Provolone cheese can be used in a wide variety of recipes. You can use it for cooking, topping and in desserts. It is a main ingredient for many sandwiches, baked pasta and pizzas. Below is a list of dishes where you can use it:

  • Chicken Provolone
  • Corned Beef Hash Rustic Pie
  • Stuffed Jalapeno Grilled Cheese
  • Provolone Beef Pastry Pockets
  • Philly Cheesesteak Won Ton Cups
  • Turkey and Provolone Sandwiches
  • Broccoli and Provolone Quiche
  • Quick Chicken with Asparagus and Provolone
  • Rich and Simple French Onion Soup
  • Antipasto Braid
  • Turkey-Cranberry Bagels
  • Mediterranean Pastry Pinwheels
  • Slow-Cooker Meatball Sandwiches
  • Grilled Pesto, Ham and Provolone Sandwiches
  • Provolone Ziti Bake

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.

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