5 BEST Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes in Recipes

Have you ever wanted to add a bit of Italian flair to your dishes?

Pecorino Romano cheese is the perfect item for chefs looking to bring the creamy deliciousness of Italy into their cooking.

With its sharp, nutty taste and versatility in both cooked and raw dishes, Pecorino Romano cheese is perfect for spicing up any dish.

But what exactly is this unique cheese, and how can you substitute it when it’s not readily available?

Let’s explore the ins and outs of cooking with Pecorino Romano cheese as well as some great substitutions when you’re out of luck.

What is Pecorino Romano Cheese?

Pecorino Romano cheese is a hard, ancient cheese originating in Rome.

Crafted from sheep’s milk, this sharp and salty cheese conveys an intense flavor that packs a sharp punch.

Aging the cheese for at least five months gives it its distinctive layer of pungent saltiness.

Texture-wise, its white or yellowish hue creates a gritty, crumbly finish with bold flavors.

When eaten in small doses, such as grated over pasta or meat dishes, it adds just the right amount of cozy comfort while still being robust enough to stand up to robust wines or spicy dishes.

For those looking to go beyond salads or pasta and explore cooking with Pecorino Romano cheese, it can be used to craft creative and flavorful dishes – everything from pesto to frittatas – often combined with vegetables or other cheeses for texture variations.

5 BEST Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes in Recipes

While it’s quite difficult to find a substitute that can give you the same flavor and texture as Pecorino Romano, there are some alternatives that can definitely do the job.

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Here are the 5 BEST Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes in recipes:

1 – Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is a cheese that can be found in most grocery stores and food establishments.

It is an Italian cow’s milk cheese with a hard, slightly granular texture and unique nutty flavor.

Parmesan is made by combining several processes, including pressing, cheesemaking, seasoning, ripening, and aging.

Its complex flavor profile makes it a key ingredient for many classic dishes from Italian cuisine.

The sharpness of Parmesan pairs particularly well with pasta recipes such as carbonara and risotto dishes, where the creamy texture perfectly blends into its cheesy surroundings for a truly heavenly culinary experience.

The hard, grainy consistency also makes it great for shaving over salads as a topping or grating over pizzas as an added flavourful touch.

As it is quite salty in comparison to other cheese varieties, Parmesan is often used as a substitute for Pecorino Romano, which has a similar taste but lesser saltiness – just add a little extra when substituting the two.

2 – Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano cheese is a hard Italian cheese made from raw cow’s milk and traditionally used for grating.

It has a relative density similar to Parmigiano Reggiano but with a sharp, slightly salty taste and granular texture.

This makes it well-suited to be used in desserts, salads, and omelets as a topping or condiment.

Grana Padano also makes an excellent substitute for Pecorino Romano cheese, which has become increasingly expensive due to rising demand over the past few years.

When subbing Grana Padano for the more expensive Pecorino Romano, remember that the former can often have a pleasantly sweet taste while the latter is more harsh and potent in flavor.

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3 – Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese is a hard, aged cow’s milk cheese that originated in the northeastern region of Italy.

This cheese has been made since the Middle Ages and comes in two varieties; young Asiago (Pressato), which is aged for two to four months, and mature Asiago (Vecchio), which is aged over a year.

It has a unique flavor profile with a creamy texture, a slightly nutty taste, and a hint of sweetness.

Asiago pairs beautifully with sun-dried tomatoes and olives when served at room temperature on an antipasto platter.

Its mild nature also makes it perfect for grating over pasta or bread dishes or melting into sauces.

Alternatively, if Pecorino Romano is called for in a recipe, Asiago is an excellent substitute, as it adds a bit more complexity to the flavor profile.

4 – Piave Cheese

Piave cheese is an Italian cow’s milk cheese renowned for its robust flavor, velvety texture, and numerous uses in cuisine.

It’s sourced from Italy’s Northern highlands and named after the nearby river Piave.

What makes Piave unique is its versatility due to its mellow yet rich flavor when eaten as a table cheese or its pungency when semi-matured.

It has a slightly grainy texture and hint of sweetness, with nutty overtones that enhance the taste of this full-bodied cheese.

This mild yet flavorful cheese can be served at room temperature for maximum enjoyment – either on its own or paired with sweet and savory recipes.

Adding it to your plate gives dishes such as salads and pasta dishes a delicious twist.

Also, it can substitute some hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano in recipes that require grating.

So why not take your cooking to the next level and try some too-say-no-to Piave Cheese?

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5 – Spanish Manchego Cheese

Spanish Manchego cheese is an honored staple in the world of gourmet cheeses.

Made exclusively in La Mancha, Spain, traditional Manchego is made from whole sheep’s milk, giving it an intense flavor with a hint of sweetness.

This semi-hard cheese has a dry texture, distinguished by its brittle texture and crumbly texture that reveals a mild aroma.

Although there are several variations of this classic Spanish cheese, the minimum aging period to make traditionally aged manchego cheese is 60 days.

A well-aged Manchego will have notable nutty and umami qualities with a gentle bite.

For those looking to substitute traditional Pecorino Romano, this Spanish Manchego offers an interesting alternative without sacrificing taste or texture.

With its delightful flavors and semi-soft body, Spanish Manchego Cheese is perfect for melting into sauces or gratins, as well as grating over salads and pasta dishes.

Serve with wine or fruit preserves for an unforgettable experience.


In conclusion, Pecorino Romano cheese is a firm favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts.

But due to its rising prices, it can be difficult to include it in recipes without breaking the bank.

Fear not, though. There are several excellent alternatives that pack the same punch of flavor as Pecorino Romano.

From milder Grana Padano to robust Manchego cheese, there’s an affordable alternative for everyone.

So don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and textures when looking for a Pecorino Romano substitute.

5 BEST Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 – Grana Padano Cheese
  • 3 – Asiago Cheese
  • 4 – Piave Cheese
  • 5 – Spanish Manchego Cheese


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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