Parmesan cheese substitute – best alternatives

Parmesan cheese substitute – best alternatives
Czas czytania: 3 minuty

The cheese discussed in this article is made in Italy and has been produced since almost the Middle Ages. Over the years, it has gained the reputation of a regional specialty known worldwide. All connoisseurs appreciate its taste and how it can enhance the flavor of many dishes. It’s about Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese! Real Italian Parmesan is never cheap and might not be easy to find in your local store. Many people wonder what cheese is similar to Parmesan. In this article, we will propose several alternatives to Parmesan that are equally delicious.

What is Parmesan and its properties?

Parmesan is a hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk in a strict process of production and quality control. Produced in provinces such as Parma, Bologna, Modena, and Mantua. In these areas, farms producing Razza Reggiana and Vacca Rossa cows, fed exclusively with grass and hay, provide milk for this Italian rennet cheese.

Compared to other cheeses, Parmesan has a fresh, fruity, but strong taste and a compact, white and creamy pulp. The main advantages of Parmesan are its firm, brittle texture, and a unique taste and aroma. This Italian delicacy turned out to be quite expensive. Its high price is due to the long maturation period of the cheese, which can last up to three years.

Health Benefits of Parmesan

Thanks to a large dose of amino acids, which do not require digestion, it is recommended for children and people with digestive problems. Parmesan during pregnancy is not only allowed but even recommended. Dry and hard cheeses, on which few bacteria develop, are considered the safest types of cheese for pregnant women. Rennet cheese is a rich source of absorbable calcium and protein. Additionally, it contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and B group vitamins.

Apart from being healthy, Parmesan is also delicious, so it is often used in the kitchen. Parmigiano Reggiano is great as a snack served with other cheeses or cold cuts and is an ideal addition to dishes such as salads, soups, pasta, pizza, or lasagna. It also works as an addition to various kinds of dishes.

Which Cheese to Replace Parmesan with?


Mature Asiago has a mild, nutty flavor similar to Parmesan. The aging process affects the cheese, giving it a sharp taste and flaking consistency. When cooking with Asiago cheese, you should add a little more because it is not as distinctive as Parmigiano Reggiano.

Romano Cheese

This is another example of an excellent cheap alternative to Parmesan. Slightly harder and more salty than Asiago, it is ideal for spicy dishes such as risotto and spaghetti.


Often referred to as “Parmesan’s cousin.” A hard cheese produced in Belluno, Italy. Younger types of this cheese have a white color and a slightly sweeter taste, while older cheeses have a slightly yellowish color and a strong taste, similar to Parmesan.

Grana Padano

Grana Padano is one of the most popular substitutes for Parmesan in Italy. Given that it is made from sheep’s milk, it contains a lot of fat. After nine months, Grana Padano develops a creamy, nutty flavor similar to Parmesan. In addition, it has a firm and stretchy consistency. Melting well, it goes well with tomato cream and salads.

Pecorino Romano

It is the most popular substitute for Parmesan among Italians, but it is made from a different type of milk. Pecorino Romano is made from sheep’s milk, which means it has more fat than the discussed Parmesan. After a year of maturation, this cheese finally makes it to the table. It has a very salty, spicy taste, and also a firm, flaking consistency, which makes it an excellent substitute for Parmesan.

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