Are you a fan of Carbonara but struggle to find a suitable alternative for Parmesan cheese? Whether you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply don’t have Parmesan cheese in your pantry, there are several options that can be used instead. In this article, we will explore some of the best substitutes for Parmesan cheese in Carbonara.

Why Substitute Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese is a traditional ingredient in Carbonara and adds a distinct flavor to the dish. However, it is not a suitable option for everyone. Some people avoid dairy products due to lactose intolerance or dietary restrictions, while others may not have access to Parmesan cheese.

Top Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese in Carbonara

Here are some of the best alternatives to Parmesan cheese that you can use in your Carbonara:

1. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano is an Italian hard cheese made from sheep’s milk and has a similar taste profile to Parmesan cheese. It is often used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese and works well in Carbonara. Grate it finely and sprinkle it on top of your pasta dish before serving.

2. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly option that closely resembles the taste of Parmesan cheese. It is made from deactivated yeast and often comes in flake form. Sprinkle it on top of your pasta dish or mix it into your sauce for added flavor.

3. Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese is an Italian cow’s milk cheese with a mild and nutty flavor that works well as a substitute for Parmesan cheese. Grate it finely and use it as you would use Parmesan cheese in your Carbonara.

4. Vegan Cheese

There are several vegan cheese options available that can be used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese. Look for vegan Parmesan or “Parm” style cheeses in your local grocery store. These cheeses are often made from nuts, seeds, or soy and provide a similar flavor to Parmesan cheese.

Tips for Using Substitutes

When using substitutes for Parmesan cheese in Carbonara, keep these tips in mind:

  • Grate the cheese finely so that it blends well with the pasta and sauce.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of your pasta dish just before serving to prevent it from melting and becoming too gooey.
  • Experiment with different types of substitutes to find the one that best suits your taste preferences.


In conclusion, there are several substitutes that you can use instead of Parmesan cheese in Carbonara. Pecorino Romano, nutritional yeast, Asiago cheese, and vegan cheese are all great options that will add flavor and texture to your dish.

Experiment with different substitutes and find the one that works best for you. Enjoy your delicious Carbonara without compromising on taste or dietary restrictions!