7 Substitutes For Capicola Ham You Should Try!

If you typically tend to stick to the regular types of ham that you can buy at any grocery store, then now might be the time to introduce some new hams into your meals.

When people begin to seek out new hams, Capicola Ham is one of the first suggestions mentioned.

Capicola Ham is a cured Italian pork shoulder, with high amounts of sodium, and it can also be somewhat spicy too.

7 Substitutes For Capicola Ham You Should Try!

This distinct flavor means that it certainly leaves its mark on each dish you find it in. 

Finding Capicola Ham can be somewhat complex though, and it might not suit everyone’s budget either, which means that there’s a good chance that you’ll be trying to find a suitable substitute ham to fill the gap left by Capicola Ham.

So, if you want to try out some of the best substitutes for Capicola Ham, then read through our guide and we’ll explore some of the best replacements for Capicola Ham!

What Is Capicola Ham?

Before we begin to look at some of the other hams you can replace Capicola Ham, we think it’s best to understand exactly what Capicola Ham is, which should allow us to get a better understanding of what sort of flavors we’re looking for!

Capicola Ham comes from the shoulder of a pig and originates in Italy. In fact, the name “Capicola”, comes from the Italian word “Capperi”, which is the word referring to this cut of meat. 

Typically you can purchase Capicola Ham raw or cooked, and when cooked, it can either be unsmoked or smoked, so there are plenty of ways of finding this delicious ham.

Sometimes Capicola is dry-cured, and overall it provides a mild but rich flavor.

When it comes to cooking your Capicola Ham, there are many different ways to go about it, smoking it is one of them, as well as simmering it in its own juices!

Capicola Ham can also be sliced up and eaten raw too, and in Italy, you will usually find it amongst cheeses or in sandwiches. 

Substitutes For Capicola Ham

If you can’t find any Capicola Ham to use in your cooking, or you’ve run out as you’re mid-way through cooking, then don’t worry, as we’ve found some of the best replacements you can use instead of Capicola Ham! 

Pancetta Ham

1. Pancetta Ham

Another popular Italian meat, this bacon is delicious and has a similar texture and flavor to Capicola Ham, which is why so many people opt to replace Capicola Ham with Panchetta Ham if they can’t get their hands on any! 

It’s made in an incredibly similar method to the method that is used to make Capicola Ham, as it is cured with salt and dried with air before it is then cooked. 

It tastes very different from standard American bacon, which is why it’s a much better substitute for Capicola Ham!

Prosciutto Ham

2. Prosciutto Ham

Similar to Capicola Ham, Prosciutto Ham is also dry-cured, which is the key to a great substitute for it!

Prosciutto has a much stronger and more present flavor than Pancetta does, so if you’re looking for a substitute for Capicola Ham that is going to really stand out in the dish, then Prosciutto is certainly the way to go. 

It has an incredibly dry texture and is traditionally used in sandwiches, and if you’re looking for Prosciutto ham in the grocery store, then you’ll usually find it packaged in thin slices. 

Serrano Ham

3. Serrano Ham

Arguably one of the most popular hams in the entire world, this ham is known for its versatility thanks to its amazing sweet and salty flavor, so there’s no recipe that won’t benefit from the addition of this delicious ham!

In addition to this amazing taste, it also contains a lot less sodium than hams like Capicola ham, which is great for those who are trying to lower their sodium intake. 

Serrano ham has such a wide variety of uses, it’s a popular addition to salads, appetizers, and sandwiches, but it also works really well when shredded and added on top of pizzas or into pasta!

Turkey Ham

4. Turkey Ham

For a ham that boasts a much higher nutritional value than Capicola ham, as well as a lot less fat, then Turkey ham is certainly the substitue to go for!

Turkey ham is usually cooked or smoked before it is packaged and makes its way to the grocery store, and is lower in both sodium and fat when you compare it to Capicola ham, but that does mean that you lose some of the amazing fatty flavor that you get when eating Capicola Ham. 

It’s also much lower in fat than Serrano ham is too, but Serrano ham contains more protein, so which substitute you decide on is entirely based on what sort of taste and nutrition you’re looking for!

So for a salty flavor without the calories that come with pork ham, try out Turkey ham instead!

Black Forest Ham

5. Black Forest Ham

Made during a wet-curing process, this ham is also sometimes known as “Black Forest Smoked Ham”, and is another great substitute when it comes to replacing the Capicola ham in your dishes. 

It contains a lot less fat than either Serrano or Pancetta ham does, and also has added Nitrates and Nitrites to help increase the salty flavor of the meat, and they also act as a preservative too. 

Traditionally this ham is served cold, or at room temperature, and would usually appear in appetizer dishes. 

It doesn’t quite have the same texture as the other hams as it’s thinly sliced once it has been cooked, but it does have similar flavors, so if you don’t mind sacrificing the texture but keeping the flavor, this ham is a good option. 

Lonza Ham

6. Lonza Ham

This ham is considered by many to be something of a sister to Prosciutto ham, which of course means that it will make for a wonderful substitute for Capicola ham as well! 

Made from pork loin before being cured and air dried, both Lonza and Capicola ham have a similar air drying period of around 3 to 4 months. 

And although the flavor is slightly different to Capicola, especially because most Lonza ham is seasoned with things such as fennel, or black pepper, it can still make a good replacement for pizza toppings or on a cheeseboard! 

Mortadella Sausage

7. Mortadella Sausage

A slightly unconventional substitute for Capicola Ham is Mortadella! Which is an Italian sausage that consists of pork fat and cured pork, alongside some other ingredients too. 

Mortadella can also be made with other types of meat too, such as chicken or beef, which makes for a great choice if you’re not a fan of pork at all. 

When thinly sliced, it makes for a great substitute for Capicola Ham’s place in sandwiches or pasta dishes!


So, although Capicola ham is one of the best hams you can find, don’t worry if you can’t use it, as these 7 substitutes will help to provide all the flavor you need!

7 Substitutes For Capicola Ham You Should Try!

7 Substitutes For Capicola Ham You Should Try!

Recipe by Jenna

Capicola is a delicious cured Italian pork that is a bit sweet and spicy. It’s not as easy to find as it once was, but it’s well worth the search.

Course: Substitutes
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  • Pancetta Ham

  • Prosciutto Ham

  • Serrano Ham

  • Turkey Ham

  • Black Forest Ham

  • Lonza Ham

  • Mortadella Sausage


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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