Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics: what cheese goes with prosciutto.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect cheese to serve with prosciutto for your antipasto platter, for your charcuterie board, for making the best paninis and sandwiches or for wrapping fruits and cheese in prosciutto, you’ll find all the answers here.
The main cheeses to eat with prosciutto for one of the best meals you’ll ever have are:
- parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- Grana Padano
- goat cheese
- gouda/smoked gouda
- Roquefort (the king of cheeses)
- Danish Blue
- cheddar/aged cheddar
I can’t describe how much I love two types of ham: prosciutto and jamón.
It’s not surprising that two of the best cuisines on the planet, Italian and Spanish, have also given us two of the absolute best hams on the planet. And some of the most delicious coffee in the world but that’s another subject.
Plus, they belong to the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the most loved and recommended around the globe.
However, these two hams are completely different both in taste and in texture. Even with all their differences, they’re two of the best, as long as you buy some good-quality thin slices.
Today, I will just focus on the Italian one because it goes well with so many things.
For our maximum enjoyment, we should talk about what cheese goes with prosciutto. And what other ingredients we can throw on a platter for the perfect starter (antipasto).
But we should also mention another mouthwatering combination: prosciutto and melon (prosciutto e melone). If you don’t like any cheese or are lactose intolerant, melon is the perfect substitute to serve with this scrumptious Italian ham.
What Cheese Goes with Prosciutto: The 10 Best to Try
I’m not the biggest fan of strong cheeses, by which I mean cheeses with a very strong flavor, those made with fungi/bacterial culture. Blue cheeses are an example of strong cheeses. I can like them just fine when they’re combined with other delicious ingredients and they’re incorporated in recipes in smaller quantities.
That’s why my favorite cheeses to serve with prosciutto will always be parmesan and mozzarella. I’ve loved these two Italian cheeses from my very first bite.
However, I’m also aware that there are people who love all types of cheese. Thus, I won’t cover just my favorites when we’re talking about what cheese goes with prosciutto. I’ll try to cover as many as I can.
Prosciutto is the perfect ham for a simple but delicious antipasto. That’s because this Italian uncooked and dry-cured ham represents the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
It’s not smoked and it has a delicate flavor that can pair well with a wide variety of cheeses.
1. Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) – Favorite Cheese to Serve with Prosciutto
It’s hard to describe what parmesan tastes like and why it’s such a magical ingredient.
This is a complex cheese that will convert even those who haven’t liked any cheese in their entire lifetimes. That can drastically change when you taste parmesan.
I’m not the biggest fan of all cheeses but parmesan is in a category of its own. It’s just the best.
Parmigiano Reggiano is the perfect cheese for prosciutto.
The taste of parmesan can be described as: nutty, fruity, rich, bold, complex, tangy, rich and salty.
Nutty, fruity and salty are the three flavors that stand out.
It transforms even the most simple pasta dish to something that was made by the best chefs on the planet.
Parmesan is a hard aged cheese with a gritty texture.
When we serve it with prosciutto, I recommend cutting thin slices of parmesan. Use a sharp knife and it will be very simple. Those pale yellow, straw-colored, almost translucent slices of parmesan will look wonderful served on a beautiful plate or a cutting board.
For pasta and many other dishes, we grate it.
This mild, sweet, milky, rich goodness is certainly the best cheese that goes with prosciutto for those who don’t like cheese at all.
You’re going to love mozzarella because it doesn’t have a strong flavor at all. My boyfriend is not the biggest fan, unless we’re making pizza, because he says that mozzarella doesn’t have any flavor.
I disagree. Mozzarella is sweet and allows other more powerful flavors shine, like it does when it’s paired with strongly-flavored hams.
However, if you want to capitalize on the fresh flavors that mozzarella brings to a recipe, you need to pair it with salty pork goodness and some fresh ingredients, like tomatoes, and something crunchy like leafy greens, herbs and olives.
I recommend this article if you want to know everything about mozzarella.
Slices of pecorino cheese are served with deli meats in Tuscany and other parts of central Italy. It’s good to know that this pairing is a traditional Italian antipasto.
If you want pecorino + prosciutto to be your lunch or dinner, you could also add a green salad or some steamed vegetables. Add some freshly baked bread on the side and you’ll be full for a few hours.
If you are faced with pecorino, parmesan and Grana Padano but there are no labels to tell you which is which, you probably won’t be able to tell them apart just by looking.
The thing that sets pecorino apart is that it’s made from sheep’s milk.
Since parmesan is made from cow’s milk, pecorino and parmesan have distinct flavors, especially for those who are not accustomed to cheese made from sheep’s milk.
Pecorino and parmesan have the same texture, they’re similarly aged but they have different flavors.
This hard Italian sheep’s milk with a gritty texture has a slightly tangy, almost spicy taste. Pecorino Romano has a greasy and earthy flavor, you can tell that it’s made from sheep’s milk. The flavors intensify the more it’s aged.
4. Grana Padano
Grana Padano is highly similar to Parmigiano Reggiano. The main difference is that there are less restrictions governing the production of Grana Padano than there are for Parmigiano Reggiano.
Grana Padano is usually used in cooking, while parmesan is used more often grated on top of a dish or in antipasto platters.
Since they are so similar, these two work as perfect substitutes for one another, which means that Grana Padano is a great answer to the question what cheese goes with prosciutto.
Another very popular cheese that goes with prosciutto is feta cheese.
I’m not the biggest fan of feta + prosciutto but it can work. Especially if you don’t have many cheeses to choose from where you live.
I talked about feta as one of the best substitutes for paneer cheese. That tells us that even paneer, which is an Indian cheese, can be paired with this Italian ham.
Feta can be made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk.
Depending on which milk was used for making it, feta will have a different flavor profile. I prefer the one made from sheep’s milk in this case.
Feta is tangy, rich and slightly salty. Plus, it’s cheaper than parmesan and easier to find around the world.
If this is within your budget, I would say that feta goes with prosciutto, it’s an option to consider.
6. Goat cheese
For so many people, goat cheese is the absolute best answer to the question what cheese goes with prosciutto.
Goat cheese is usually creamy, which means that one of the most popular recipes for this combination is prosciutto goat cheese crostini. You can check out the full recipe here.
Crostini are toasted small slices of bread. Baguettes are the most popular choice but you can also thinly slice a ciabatta.
Once you add some olive oil to the slices of bread and bake them in the oven for a few minutes, you’re ready to add the rest of the ingredients on each slice.
The first layer is the goat cheese, next comes the marmalade or honey, then prosciutto, arugula and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Another recipe is prosciutto crostini with goat cheese, balsamic caramelized onions and spinach.
There are many types of goat cheese to choose from, each region of the world will have its own version. I would say that you should buy the ones that are made in your area.
Feta can also be a goat cheese when goat’s milk is used to make it.
Other popular cheeses made from goat’s milk are Bonne Bouche and chevre. A dill Havarti can be another interesting option.
Soft goat cheese can be used as a spread for sandwiches, panini or spread on crackers or bread slices. It’s very versatile.
Gouda is a semisoft cow’s milk that originated in the Netherlands. It’s also one of the most popular cheeses around the globe so there’s a high chance that you’ll find it quite easily.
Gouda is perfect for everyday eating.
Young gouda is very mild and sweet, it’s a perfect option for those who don’t like strong flavors. It has a high moisture content and a smooth texture so it’s nice for sandwiches and panini.
If it’s aged, it’s similar to parmesan in texture. Aged gouda is nutty and rich with a caramel flavor reminiscent of butterscotch.
Smoked gouda is another popular option, especially when we’re looking for what cheese goes with prosciutto for panini and sandwiches.
Smoked gouda is nutty, creamy and smooth with sweet and salty notes. At room temperature, smoked gouda can melt on our tongue so now you see why it works so well in sandwiches.
If you’re looking to make delicious sandwich and panini recipes, there are plenty to choose from, you’ll easily find them online.
Smoked gouda, apricot preserves, prosciutto, Dijon mustard, Roma tomatoes, arugula, mayonnaise is one of those sandwich recipes.
For your sandwiches you can use ciabatta, focaccia, baguettes, sourdough bread, multigrain loaves, French rolls, etc.
8. Roquefort (and other blue cheeses)
If we’re talking about cheeses with strong flavors that go with prosciutto, then we have to mention Roquefort.
I mean, this is known as the kind of cheese or the cheese of kings and popes. That’s an incentive to want to try it at least once. Whether you end up liking it or not, that’s another different matter.
It’s one of the most famous blue cheeses, although there are definitely others to try.
Some of the most popular blue cheeses are: Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Danish Blue, Cabrales.
Roquefort is made from sheep’s cheese.
What Roquefort is famous for is its pungent smell and the blue veins of mold.
This is a white, crumbly and slightly moist cheese.
It has a bold, sharp, tangy flavor.
A simple but very popular recipe is pears wrapped with blue cheese and prosciutto.
As blue cheese you can choose whatever variety you find where you live or choose from these most famous blue cheeses that I’ve mentioned.
Another recipe to try is warm dates with blue cheese and prosciutto.
A grilled blue cheese and prosciutto sandwich is another combination to experiment with.
If this is the most popular cheese where you live, you should definitely know that brie goes with prosciutto.
You can make prosciutto and brie crostini.
Or prosciutto wrapped brie for eating melted cheese in the most delicious way.
Sandwiches with these two ingredients are wonderful.
If you want to try something different, I recommend trying baked brie with sage and prosciutto or baked brie and prosciutto rolls.
Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese from France. This cheese almost melts at room temperature so it can be awesome when it’s baked, it will transform into a fountain of gold cheese.
It’s easy to recognize brie by its bloomy rind of white mold and its soft texture.
Brie tastes rich, buttery, fruity. The runny, creamy texture and strong earthy aroma are two of its most important characteristics.
We absolutely can use cheddar for more than making some of the best burgers.
We can make some of the best sandwiches with cheddar and prosciutto.
Considering that cheddar is one of the cheeses that many people grew up with, it’s a perfect answer to what cheese goes with prosciutto.
Plus, since cheddar has become more and more popular around the globe, it’s easy to find. The prices can be good, too.
Prosciutto cheddar apple wraps are another recipe to try when you feel like eating something more than sandwiches.
A cheddar basil prosciutto melon appetizer is another option to serve at your parties or when you want to treat your family to something special.
Mull of Kintyre Scottish Cheddar is a special cheddar to try. It exudes a honey sweetness that will work so well with prosciutto, especially when we consider that prosciutto pairs well with sweet fruits like melon or marmalade or apricot preserves.
The Alternative to Cheese: Prosciutto and Melon
Is there a more sweeter, salty and tongue melting combination than prosciutto and melon?
It’s the simplest thing you can make because the basic recipe will only require these two ingredients. But it will be one of the most unforgettable combinations.
The cantaloupe is sweet, moist due to its 90% water content and a bit crunchy. The prosciutto is salty pork goodness with just the right amount of fat to melt in our mouths. These two together? Perfection.
If you buy a small cantaloupe, you can wrap prosciutto slices around each whole slice of cantaloupe.
If you’re using a big melon, cut nicely-sized cubes and then wrap each cub in Italian ham.
Just as we pair prosciutto and cantaloupe, we can also pair salami with fresh figs.
Simple recipe: Prosciutto + Italian bread + Oil dip
We can also serve thin slices of prosciutto with just good Italian bread (focaccia, ciabatta) and an oil dip.
Perfect antipasto: Prosciutto + Cheese + Tomatoes + Arugula
This combination is also very popular for making sandwiches, not only for antipasto.
You can pair prosciutto with Italian bread, San Marzano tomatoes and arugula.
Add a bit of cheese on the platter and you won’t taste anything better. I love adding thinly cut parmesan slices and mozzarella. These two cheeses balance each other perfectly. Strong flavor vs mild flavor, salty vs sweet. That’s why I love them on my antipasto platters.
You can use any type of cheese that we’ve mentioned above when talking about what cheese goes with prosciutto.
This antipasto is at peak deliciousness when tomatoes are in season. The fresh, intense flavor of the tomatoes paired with the peppery, crunchy arugula will take it to another level.
I love San Marzano but you can use other plum tomato varieties, like Roma tomatoes. Or cherry tomatoes. Anything goes as long as it tastes good.
Check out my article on arugula substitutes if you don’t like this leafy green. A simple substitute that everyone loves and works for this antipasto is basil. Or add baby spinach for a more neutral flavor.
Obviously, you can also add some Kalamata olives to this antipasto. You can personalize it anyway you’d like.
All in all, what I tried to demonstrate with this article about what cheese goes with prosciutto is that we have plenty of options to choose from, our main focus should first be on cheeses that suit our tastes, maybe cheeses that are made in our region and those we can afford, especially when we’re feeding large crowds of people.