Are you a big fan of Italian cuisine but can’t consume Parmesan cheese due to dietary restrictions or simply don’t have it on hand? Fear not, as there are several substitutes that can be used instead of Parmesan cheese. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best alternatives to Parmesan cheese that you can use in your recipes.

Why Substituting Parmesan Cheese is Necessary?

Parmesan cheese is a hard, aged cheese that originated in Italy and has a distinct nutty, salty flavor. It is commonly used in Italian dishes like pasta, risotto, and pizza. However, if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products, you may need to find a substitute for Parmesan cheese.

Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese

1. Pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano is an Italian sheep’s milk cheese that is similar in texture and taste to Parmesan cheese. It has a slightly saltier flavor than Parmesan and can be grated over pasta or used in salads.

2. Asiago: Asiago is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that comes in two varieties: Asiago Pressato and Asiago d’Allevo. Asiago Pressato is a soft and mild cheese that can be used as a substitute for fresh Parmesan, while Asiago d’Allevo is aged and has a stronger flavor.

3. Grana Padano: Grana Padano is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano (the original version of Parmesan). It has a slightly milder flavor than Parmigiano Reggiano but can still be used as a substitute.

4. Vegan Alternatives: If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, there are several plant-based alternatives to Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional yeast is a popular vegan alternative that has a cheesy flavor and can be sprinkled over pasta or popcorn. You can also try vegan Parmesan cheese made from cashews or almonds.

How to Substitute Parmesan Cheese in Recipes?

  • If a recipe calls for grated Parmesan cheese, you can use any of the above substitutes in equal amounts.
  • If the recipe requires melting Parmesan cheese, you may need to experiment with different substitutes to find the one that works best.
  • For salads and other cold dishes, you can use shaved or crumbled substitutes instead of grated Parmesan cheese.


In conclusion, there are several substitutes for Parmesan cheese that you can use in your recipes. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy products, or simply don’t have Parmesan cheese on hand, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy delicious Italian cuisine. Try out these substitutes and see which one works best for your taste buds!