Home Substitutes 7 Romano Cheese Substitutes (+ Best Alternatives)

7 Romano Cheese Substitutes (+ Best Alternatives)

The best Romano cheese substitutes range from Parmesan to Mozzarella to Asiago. Grana Padano and Manchego work well, too!

Dishes like baked pasta, pizza, or cacio e pepe aren’t the same without the cheese. And any dish calling for Romano needs a sharp substitute.

Organic Pecorino Romano Cheese with Tomatoes
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With its salty and nutty undertones, Romano is a distinct hard cheese. So what’s a cheese lover to do?

Simple, just reach for one of these seven suitable options. All of these alternatives work well in a pinch!

What Is Romano Cheese?

Romano is a type of hard Italian cheese. Named after Rome, the Romans created this ancient cheese in the countryside.

You can find it made with either cow, sheep, or goat milk. You can tell which type it is by the added word in the name.

Vaccino Romano uses cow’s milk, whereas Caprino Romano uses goat’s milk. Pecorino Romano uses sheep’s milk.

Many confuse it with Parmesan. But Romano is much bolder and saltier.

What Does Romano Cheese Taste Like?

If you need a strong hard cheese, look no further.

Romano has a salty, tangy, and slightly nutty flavor. The texture is crumbly and slightly grainy.

The longer Romano ages, the saltier and sharper it gets. However, the flavor nuances vary by type.

Here’s the difference between the three types:

  • Vaccino Romano: Made with cow’s milk, this is the mildest type.
  • Pecorino Romano: Made with sheep’s milk, this one is noticeably sharp and more acidic.
  • Caprino Romano: Made with goat’s milk, this variety has the strongest flavor.

Out of all three, Pecorino is the most popular. Cheesemakers still use traditional practices to make it today.

But where they make it is a secret. Pecorino Romano is a protected designation of origin (P.D.O.) cheese.

One thing that’s not safeguarded is the aging time. No matter the milk type, all Romano cheese ages for at least 5 months.

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Best Romano Cheese Substitutes

Parmesan Cheese on a block

1. Parmesan

Parmesan is a versatile hard cheese made with cow’s milk. And it’s a top choice for replacing Romano.

It’s a little sweeter and nuttier than Romano. Also, it’s less salty and not as tangy. But like Romano, this sharp hard cheese is excellent for grating.

Use it to garnish pasta, garlic bread, or roasted potatoes. It melts really well so it becomes nice and creamy.

I recommend using a block instead of the pre-shredded stuff. The flavor is much fresher. Plus, you can choose whether to grate, shave, or slice it.

Substitute 1:1 Parmesan to Romano

Grana Padano Cheese on a Wooden Board

2. Grana Padano

Grana Padano may not be as widely available as Parmesan. But it’s a fine substitution for Romano.

It’s a hard Italian cow’s milk cheese. The flavor is a little sweeter, and the texture is less crumbly than Romano.

Unlike Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano, it’s not a P.D.O. cheese. So you may find it at a cheaper price.

The rich flavor works well as an alternative. Use the same amount you would Romano. If your dish isn’t salty enough, you can add extra salt.

Substitute 1:1 Grana Padano to Romano

3. Piave

Another Italian cheese you can use is Piave. Made in Belluno, Italy, Piave gets its name from a river.

The flavor varies depending on how long cheesemakers age it. It comes in five different stages, all of which are tasty!

Young Piave is a little sweeter. Aged Piave has a stronger, full-bodied flavor. So, for replacing Romano, the latter is better.

No matter the age, you can use the same amount of Piave as Romano.

Like Grana Padano, though, it lacks the same saltiness. So you can add a pinch.

Substitute 1:1 Piave to Romano

Asiago Cheese with Nuts

4. Asiago

Asiago cheese is widely available, making it an easy-to-find substitute. Made with cow’s milk, it’s one of many classified as a hard Alpine cheese.

The flavor and texture will vary depending on how long it has aged. Fresh Asiago is mild, smooth, milky, and melts beautifully.

Aged Asiago is much stronger and richer. It can age anywhere from 4 months to over 15 months.

Unlike fresh, it’s also much easier to grate. So for a more comparable option, go with aged.

Substitute 1:1 Asiago to Romano

Spanish Cheese Manchego with Biscuits

5. Spanish Manchego

Not all replacements have to be a type of Italian cheese. Take Spanish Manchego, for instance.

Made in the La Mancha region, this Spanish cheese comes from sheep’s milk. It’s a semi-hard variety that ages from 2 weeks to 2 years.

Younger Spanish Manchego is mild and slightly sweet.

Aged Spanish Manchego is a more suitable replacement for Romano. It’s sharper, tangier, and flaky.

Look for Spanish Manchego aged for at least one year. It’s sweet and less salty than Romano, but it’s still a fine replacement.

Substitute 1:1 Spanish Manchego to Romano


6. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a soft Italian cheese. The flavor is mild, fresh, milky, and slightly salty.

Compared to Romano, mozzarella is much softer. So it doesn’t grate as readily. But it sure is meltable!

Mozzarella is a great replacement for many dishes needing gooey cheese. However, it’s not the best for everything. So consider what you’re making.

If a bolder cheese is in order, go with one of the other Romano alternatives.

Substitute 1:1 Mozzarella to Romano

Nutritional Yeast

7. Nutritional Yeast

Need a dairy-free option? It’s all about the nooch!

Short for nutritional yeast, nooch is very popular among the vegan and lactose-free crowd. It’s a non-dairy cheese alternative with a salty, nutty, and cheesy flavor.

And, it’s packed with nutrients! So it’s a healthier option, too.

A type of powdered yeast, nutritional yeast comes in flakes and granules. You can use it as a garnish or cook with it.

Despite the lack of dairy, it’s a great replacement for Romano.

Unlike other substitutes, though, start with less. Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor. But you can always add more to make your dish extra cheesy.

Substitute 1:2 Nutritional Yeast to Romano

7 Romano Cheese Substitutes (+ Best Alternatives)

Try Grana Padano, Parmesan, Asiago, or Mozzarella as good Romano cheese substitutes! All bring a similar flavor and texture to your meals.


  • Parmesan

  • Granda Padano

  • Piave

  • Asiago

  • Spanish Manchego

  • Mozzarella

  • Nutritional Yeast


  • Select your favorite Romano cheese substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Romano Cheese Substitutes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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