Top 5 Excellent Serrano Ham Substitutes

Serrano ham, often known as Jamon, is a popular Spanish delicacy. It’s salted dry-cured pig back leg sliced into thin slices like prosciutto.

Jamon is made from a rare breed of pig known as a white pig, and as a result, it is significantly more expensive than regular ham or prosciutto.

If you are unable to locate this product on the shelves of your local supermarket, there are two options to consider.

Serrano ham substitutes include

  1. Prosciutto
  2. Speck
  3. Ham from Westphalia
  4. Ham from the Ardennes
  5. Ham from Smithfield

In the article below, you can learn more about this Spanish dry-cured ham and its alternatives.

Substitutes For Serrano Ham


Prosciutto is an air-cured ham that, like serrano ham, is served uncooked in thin slices. It’s created with pig legs that have been seasoned with salt and allowed for a few weeks to soak up the taste.

The meat is then cleaned and dried for almost a year. I’m sure you’ve had this salty delicacy at least once before, so I’ll keep this quick.

Prosciutto has a salty, nutty, and sweet taste that complements almost everything.

Types Of Prosciutto

  • Prosciutto Cotto, also known as cooked ham, is lighter in color than standard prosciutto and is cooked at a regulated temperature until it is precisely cooked and pink. This is not your typical prosciutto; this ham has a much lighter and meatier flavor. Before baking, the meat is sometimes covered with various herbs and spices.
  • Crudo Prosciutto-This is the sort of Italian prosciutto we desire on our charcuterie boards, combined with bread and wine. Prosciutto Crudo is prepared from the rear leg of pigs that has been salted, air-dried, and allowed to age. This dry-cured ham complements everything! Cheese, crackers, pizza, flatbreads, mushrooms, asparagus, and other foodstuffs Prosciutto tastes well with white wine or any alcohol with a strong flavor.


Speck is a cured and smoked ham from Italy. While it tastes similar to serrano ham and prosciutto, speck has a distinct smoky flavor and a firmer texture.

To accentuate the smokiness of the meat, season it with salt, pepper, herb, maple syrup, or virgin olive oil. Speck may also be used in place of prosciutto.

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What Can You Use Speck For

If you’re making anything using speck, you don’t need much of a recipe. Just combine this delectable paper-thin meat with some cheese, breadsticks, and dried fruits to make a tasty snack platter for yourself or your guests. Speck has a stronger taste than serrano ham and has its smokey characteristic flavor.

If you’re too sluggish to chop it and arrange it on a board or platter, serve it on thinly sliced bread with tomato and olive oil.

Since this is a pig product, and pork meat may be a bit heavy on the stomach, I recommend eating it softly and with some bread.

What Is Serrano Ham

Serrano ham, also known as jamn, is made from the rear legs of white pigs, a rare type of pig. Dry-curing the pig leg is used to make this ham.

4 weeks to dry the meat as much as possible. The meat is then cleansed to remove all of the salt before being hanged on a rope to air dry for 11 months. After the slaughter, the leg is cured in a large bucket of salt for around 3 days.

This is the meat that you must sample if you visit Spain. And you can find it anywhere in Spain, pubs, restaurants, you name it. They are extremely happy to have created such a delicacy that has permanently revolutionized the antipasto game, as it should be.

Tasting serrano ham at a restaurant or pub with some other antipasto components should be a middling price, but it really is pricey when you purchase it at a grocery shop and make sure you get the actual kind.

Types Of Serrano Ham

The most common forms of serrano ham are jamn serrano (mountain ham) and jamn iberico (Iberian ham). The only variation in flavor is where the pig was bred, whether it was on a mountain or in a farm. Each of these varieties feature a pleasant ham taste.

What Can Serrano Ham Be Used For 

  • Serrano Ham Crostini-Make handmade crispy crostini from baguette bread, then top with a small piece of salty serrano ham and some wonderful parmesan or romano cheese.
  • Serrano Pizza-Once you’ve had it, you’ll never put anything else on your pizza except this ham and maybe some arugula. Whether you make your own dough or not, this pizza will taste pricey.
  • Antipasto board-A great idea for when you have some wine visitors around. Antipasto is an Italian supper that consists of several kinds of cured meats, bread, olives, mushrooms, various cheeses, and a range of other items that match well with wine and cheese. This board is simple to create on your own. It doesn’t take long to make; all you need is a creative imagination and some of the supplies listed above.
  • Creamy Bechamel Sauce-For your next pasta dish, consider adding some fried and crispy serrano ham to your bechamel sauce instead of salt. Top your sauce with a pinch of nutmeg and pepper to bring out the nutty flavor of the ham. You may try it with a variety of sauces such as garlic sauce, tomato sauce, cheese sauce, and so on.
  • Croquetas de Jamon-Another Spanish tapa delicacy that may be found in any bar or restaurant in Spain. Croquetas are stringy breaded bechamel sauce fritters stuffed with cheese, jalapeño, serrano ham, mushrooms, and a sprinkling of salt. Croquettes prepared with mashed potatoes are a popular variation of these delectable bechamel sauce fritters. You may cook this as part of a fantastic supper or eat it on its own with just a few ingredients.
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Other Lesser Known Substitutes For Serrano Ham

Westphalian Ham

This ham is traditionally created in Germany’s Westphalia woodland from the back legs of einkorn-fed pigs.

Since it is finely sliced and cured for a few months, Westphalian ham is similar to prosciutto. The sole distinction is that this ham has been smoked.

Ardennes Ham

It is a salt-cured, air-dried ham from Belgium.

This ham is smoked and air-cured, with some delectable spices added to make it even more delicious.

Smithfield Ham

Is a dry-cured ham originating in the Virginia town of Smithfield.

This product may be eaten raw if sliced into tiny slices, but I recommend not taking any chances and just pan-frying it for at least two minutes.

Related Questions

Is Serrano Ham Similar To Prosciutto

Absolutely, the flavor and texture of serrano ham and prosciutto are extremely similar. The sole distinction is that Serrano ham is derived from a particular breed of pig known as a white pig.

Is Serrano Ham Saltier Than Prosciutto

Serrano ham is somewhat saltier than prosciutto, although the difference isn’t that significant. Serrano ham is deeper in color and has a more nutty flavor than prosciutto.

Where Is Serrano Ham Made

Spain produces Serrano ham. In every area of Spain, it is regarded the most popular meat and a delicacy. This ham is offered as a tapas meal in every Spanish tavern, along with other cured meats and cheese.

What Is The Difference Between Serrano and Iberico Ham

There isn’t much of a difference. Iberico ham is somewhat juicier than serrano ham, but the key distinction is where it comes from.

Is Serrano Ham Raw

Serrano ham is an air-cured meat that does not need cooking and may be eaten raw. Bacteria are killed during the curing and drying processes of the meat, making it safe for raw consumption.

What Type Of Meat Is Serrano Ham

Serrano ham is derived from the rear legs of a white pig. The meat has been cured, dried, and is ready for safe raw consumption.


What can I substitute for jamón ham?

Prosciutto or any form of cured ham may be used as a replacement for jamon serrano. Serrano ham was created by the Spaniards from the flesh of white pigs. To acquire optimal taste, the ham should be seasoned, salted, and dried for at least a year.

Which is better Parma ham or Serrano ham?

Parma prosciutto is sweeter and more humid in the mouth than serrano or Gran Reserva. Gran Reserva has a more mature and powerful flavor.

Which is better Iberico and Serrano ham?

We may claim that Iberico ham is the greatest grade Serrano ham since it is cured basically the same way, but with a few key differences. The first of these distinctions is the pigs’ race. It must be derived from pure Duroc or Iberian pig breeds.

Which is better Serrano ham or prosciutto?

Both prosciutto and jamon Serrano are made from white pigs of comparable breeds, but they have distinct flavors and textures. Italian prosciutto is sweeter and more delicate in flavor than Spanish jamon serrano. This results in a richer crimson color and a more powerful flavor.

What is Serrano ham similar to?

Serrano ham (or Jamon Serrano) is a dry-cured Spanish ham. It tastes a lot like Italian prosciutto (and the French jambon de Bayonne). The distinction is that serrano ham is often manufactured from a certain type of pig, the Landrace breed of white pig.

What is the tastiest cut of ham?

The butt or sirloin end is derived from the upper leg. The femur and pelvic bone are located at this end, which might be difficult to cut around. It is a more soft and tasty cut of meat, but it is sometimes more costly.

Why is Serrano ham so special?

Jamón Serrano is a tasty, natural ham that has been aged in the countryside. This prolonged curing process changes the ham, providing a rich taste and fragrance. Serve it paper-thin with cheese and olives, or use it to season your favorite Spanish dishes. There is no need to cook.

What is the worlds best Spanish ham?

Which ham is the greatest in the world? Without a doubt, the greatest class of cured hams in the world are Spanish “Jamones ibéricos” and the synonymously titled “pata negra,” or “black leg.”

Why is Serrano ham so cheap?

Serrano is professionally produced and manufactured from a species of pigs with white or light brown hooves, such as Duroc, Landrace, Big White, or Pietrain. Since the pigs are often maintained in close quarters and fed feed, it is substantially less costly than pata negra ham.

What is the American version of Iberico ham?

Country ham is the closest American product to jamón ibérico.

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