A Romano cheese substitute is easy to find because so many fabulous cheeses can give your meal a similar flavor! You could try other Italian cheeses or branch out to Spanish cheese or vegan cheese alternatives! No matter which of these substitutes you choose, your dish will still be full of incredible cheesy flavor!
Best Substitutes for Romano Cheese
When it comes to substitutions in cooking, there are some ingredients that you can get away with and some that you must find a substitute for. Like Romano cheese.
Leaving the cheese out of any dish will just result in a lack of flavor, and with so many wonderful substitutes for Romano cheese, there is no need to do so! Keep reading to discover the best types of cheese to use in place of Romano.
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To choose the best substitute for Romano cheese, it is helpful to understand what Romano cheese is. Romano cheese has a rich history that is said to go back to times before Christ.
What Is Romano Cheese
This ancient cheese is named after the city where it originated – Rome, Italy. To this day, Romano cheese continues to be one of the most beloved types of Italian cheese.
This beloved cheese has a sharp, tangy flavor that is slightly salty. While it has a bit of a grainy texture, its flavor is rich and creamy. Like parmesan cheese, Romano is also commonly grated.
The wonderful flavor of Romano cheese can be used in a variety of dishes. It is commonly grated over the top of soups, pasta, and salads. In addition, it can be enjoyed on its own, and it is wonderful to pair with fruity and bubbly wines.
While Romano cheese has its own unique qualities, there are several wonderful kinds of cheese you can use as a substitute. To choose the best alternative, look for the qualities you want from Romano cheese in the options below.
1. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino is a type of Romano cheese which makes it the best substitute. While most Romano cheese found in the United States is made from cow milk, Pecorino is made with unpasteurized sheep milk.
In addition to the difference in milk, Pecorino traditionally must be made in Italy according to European standards. Like Romano, Pecorino must also be aged for a minimum of 5 months.
With a similar pale-yellow color, this hard cheese has a similar flavor and texture to Romano. With so many similarities, you can use Pecorino in a 1:1 ratio for Romano in any recipe.
Parmesan cheese is another popular Italian cheese. Like Romano, parmesan is a hard cheese that is made from cow milk.
While parmesan is also aged, it has a slightly milder flavor than Romano. It also has a nuttier flavor than Romano cheese's pungent earthier flavor.
Despite some differences in flavor, Parmesan is an excellent substitute for Romano. The hard crumbly texture is perfect for grating as a topping and it will melt into a creamy texture when you eat it.
Another thing that makes Parmesan a great choice is its availability. Parmesan is easy to find in most grocery stores and tends to be more affordable than Romano.
Parmesan cheese can be used in a 1:1 ratio for Romano cheese in any recipe.
Notes on Parmesan Cheese
When using Parmesan, look for the block of cheese that has not been grated. While pre-grated cheese is also suitable, freshly grating it from the block will provide the best flavor.
In addition, avoid using the processed Parmesan that comes in a green canister. This is okay for a simple topping in a pinch but will not provide the rich flavor and texture of real Parmesan.
3. Asiago Cheese
You may be familiar with Asiago cheese from enjoying it melted on top of bagels. This is another Italian cheese that has found its way around the world.
Asiago cheese is made from cow’s milk. Its flavor and texture can vary slightly depending on how long it has been aged.
Young asiago is softer than Romano and will not grate as easily. However, it melts beautifully. Its flavor is also a bit milder than Romano.
Aged asiago will have a richer flavor that is nuttier than Romano and a bit closer to the flavor of parmesan. It is also a bit harder than young asiago and will grate easier.
Whether you use a young or aged asiago cheese, it can be used in a 1:1 ratio for Romano cheese in any recipe.
4. Grana Padano
If you are a cheese connoisseur or live in Europe, you may be familiar with Grana Padano. However, this Italian cheese is not as popular in the United States.
While it may not be one you are currently familiar with it is a good one to look for if you need a substitute for Romano. Grana Padano is another hard cheese that is also made from cow’s milk.
Although it is a good substitute, there are some differences. It is less crumbly than Romano but will still grate easily. It is also a tad sweeter than Romano cheese.
Even though it may not be one you have in your refrigerator, you can look for it at the store to use as a 1:1 substitute for Romano in any recipe.
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Piave is an Italian cheese that can only be considered Piave if it is made in the Dolomite region of Italy. Therefore, it is not as common to find in mainstream grocery stores in the states.
However, if you do have Piave or want to try a new substitute for Romano, then this is a wonderful option. Especially if you want a bolder flavor.
Piave is a white cheese that develops a stronger flavor the more it ages. In addition, it has a sweeter flavor profile than Romano.
While it can be used in any recipe that calls for Romano cheese, you may want to add a touch of salt if your recipe leans towards a more savory flavor.
Use Piave in a simple 1:1 ratio in any recipe.
At the end of the Italian cheese options is Mozzarella. While the other Italian cheese substitutes have a bolder flavor that resembles Romano, Mozzarella is much milder.
Mozzarella is not only milder in flavor but also distinctly different in texture. This soft cheese does not grate as easily as Romano but melts beautifully.
If you want a substitute that will provide an ooey gooey melted texture that is salty but not bold in flavor, then this is a good substitute. However, it may not be well suited for every recipe.
Since it is mild in flavor, it can be used in a 1:1 ratio for Romano. You may even choose to add more depending on flavor needs.
Heading away from Italian cheeses, Manchego is a Spanish cheese with a flavor similar to Romano.
While it has a similarly sharp flavor that reflects the same elements of Romano cheese, Manchego is a bit tangier. The tangy flavor of this cheese comes from the sheep’s milk that it is made from.
Another difference is that Manchego is a semi-soft cheese rather than a hard cheese. While this provides a less grainy texture than Romano it is still hard enough to grate and provides a lovely flaky texture.
Manchego can be used as a 1:1 substitute for any recipe.
8. Aged Cheddar
One of the easiest substitutes to find is aged cheddar cheese. Unlike the bright orange cheddar that you normally think of when you think of cheddar cheese, aged cheddar is a hard cheese with a pale-yellow color.
This type of cheddar has been aged, resulting in a more complex, nutty, and pungent flavor than mild cheddar cheese. In addition, it has a hard crumbly texture.
Due to its crumbly texture, it may not be as easy to grate but can be crumbled on top of any dish that calls for Romano. It also melts easily.
Use aged cheddar in a 1:1 ratio for Romano cheese in any recipe.
9. Nutritional Yeast
Even though you may love the taste of Romano cheese, you may find that you can no longer eat it. Whether for health reasons or personal preference, you may need a vegan substitute for Romano cheese.
One vegan option that will offer a similar salty and nutty taste is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a powdered type of yeast that is full of minerals, vitamins, and even protein.
Sold as flakes or granules, this unique food can be used to mimic the flavor of cheeses. It can be used like Romano cheese to sprinkle on top of salads, soups, or pasta.
Nutritional yeast is quite pungent and a little goes a long way. Therefore, begin by using half the amount your recipe calls for. If desired, you can add more as needed.
10. Vegan Parmesan
In addition to nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan is another vegan alternative to Romano cheese. Depending on if you buy vegan parmesan or make it at home, it may vary in ingredients. However, there are a few common ingredients.
Vegan parmesan is typically made with ground cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. The result is a topping that is similar in flavor to regular parmesan with a nice nutty texture.
If you are not allergic to nuts, this substitute for Romano adds a bit more complex flavor than nutritional yeast on its own. Since the cashews help balance the nutritional yeast, it can be used in a 1:1 ratio for Romano cheese.
Somewhere on this list, a perfect Romano cheese substitute is waiting! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions regarding Romano cheese or its substitutes!
Best Romano Cheese Substitute: Parmesan (+More Easy Alternatives!)
- 1 oz Pecorino Romano
- 1 oz Parmesan
- 1 oz Asiago
- You can use Pecorino in a 1:1 ratio for Romano in any recipe.1 oz Pecorino Romano
- Use Parmesan cheese as a 1:1 substitute for Romano in any recipe.1 oz Parmesan
- Asiago cheese can be used as a 1:1 substitution for Romano cheese in any recipe.1 oz Asiago
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Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
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