Can I Use Swiss Cheese Instead of Provolone? (Solved!)

I am sure this has probably crossed your mind before, can I use Swiss cheese instead of provolone?

After all, provolone is pretty expensive and perhaps best reserved for a treat rather than everyday use.

Both kinds of cheese look and taste pretty similar.

Do Swiss cheese and provolone melt in the same way?

Does it matter if it’s for a hot or cold dish?

Let’s check out the differences between Swiss and provolone!

Swiss cheese can be used instead of provolone for most dishes. Both kinds of cheese have a similar color, texture, and melting quality. There is a slight difference in taste, as provolone is milder and sweeter. Swiss cheese is known for its nutty flavor, and bigger holes in the cheese mean that it will have a more intense taste. Provolone is more expensive, making Swiss cheese a better option for those on a budget. If required for a cold dish, such as a sandwich, then provolone will be harder to slice than Swiss cheese. But provolone does fold if necessary, whereas Swiss cheese will break in half.  

Is Swiss Cheese a Good Substitute for Provolone?

If you don’t have any provolone to hand, perhaps you have wondered if you can use Swiss cheese instead.

Or maybe provolone is too expensive, and you are looking for a cheaper alternative.

Well, you will be pleased to know that Swiss cheese works equally well in both hot and cold dishes.

However, there are bound to be some specific differences, so let’s have a look.

They are both pretty much the same color, yellow, light orange, or pale brown, so your recipes are certainly going to look the same as usual. 

Most importantly, does Swiss cheese taste the same as provolone?

The flavor of either cheese will depend on how long it has been aged.

However, provolone typically has a mild, sweet taste, almost buttery, with a hint of sharpness.

Swiss cheese has a nutty flavor and is stronger than provolone.

Just how intense the taste is will be determined by the size of the holes in the Swiss cheese.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but the holes are caused by bacteria.

So, the longer the bacteria work on the cheese, causing a stronger taste, the bigger the hole!

In general, the flavor of your recipe will be similar, whether you use Swiss cheese or provolone, providing you use a relatively young version of either one.

And, of course, both varieties have a smoked version if that is your preference.  

What is the Difference in Texture Between Swiss Cheese and Provolone?

There is actually quite a difference in texture between Swiss cheese and provolone, and this could affect which one you choose for your recipe. 

Swiss cheese is described as semi-hard, whereas provolone falls in the category of semi-soft.

Provolone has a high moisture content, and this is what makes it softer and harder to slice.

So, if you were planning on using provolone for sandwiches or a cheese board, you will need to chill it first before slicing.

Whereas Swiss cheese, having a harder texture, slices easily, even at room temperature. 

However, if you wanted to fold your cheese to create an attractive look to your dish, then provolone is the better choice; it is quite pliable.

If you try and fold Swiss cheese, it will undoubtedly break in half.

They both melt easily but with a stringy texture, similar to mozzarella, as opposed to becoming creamy.

Neither Swiss cheese nor provolone is ideal for sauces, they will not melt evenly to the point where they could be stirred.

Provolone Taste Test

Final Thoughts

Swiss cheese and provolone possess similar qualities that make them interchangeable in recipes.

Provolone has a somewhat sweeter, milder taste, and Swiss cheese is nuttier in flavor.

They both melt easily but are not suitable for making creamy sauces.

Swiss cheese is harder in texture and can be sliced easily, whereas provolone is softer but can be folded if necessary.

Whichever you choose, I am sure you will enjoy it!

If you are interested in how other recipes can be adapted, have a look at my article on using provolone in Chicken Parmesan instead of mozzarella.

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