8 of the Best Romano Cheese Substitutes

When cooking, there are many different types of cheese that you can use. Some popular cheeses that are used in cooking include Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Romano. Romano cheese is often added to pasta and baked dishes to incorporate more flavor into the dish, but Romano cheese has a very strong flavor that many of us do not enjoy. If you do not enjoy the taste of Romano cheese, there are some substitutes that you can use instead.

There are many substitutes for Romano cheese that incorporate similar flavors to the dish without having the strong taste of the Romano cheese. Some common substitutes for Romano include Parmesan, Cheddar, and Mozzarella, which are all often used in cooking. There are other cheeses that you can also use as a substitute like Piave and Asiago, and there are substitutes that are dairy-free like nutritional yeast.

Continue reading to learn more about Romano cheese. Also, continue reading to learn about eight substitutes you can use to replace Romano cheese in the dish you are cooking.

What Type of Cheese is Romano?

Romano is a type of hard cheese that is often grated to be incorporated into certain dishes. It is often aged and is known to have a flavor that is pleasant and nutty. Romano cheese has its origins in Italy from the Pecorino Romano cheese which can only be produced in Italy and is protected under European law.

While Romano cheese can be made using cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or sheep’s milk, the cheese is made using cow’s milk primarily in the United States. The typical length of time that Romano cheese is aged is five months, but the length of time in which the cheese is aged can affect the flavor. Cheese that has been aged for a longer period of time tends to have a stronger and sharper flavor.

What Does Romano Cheese Taste Like?

Romano cheese is known to have a pleasant, nutty flavor. Depending on how long the cheese has aged, the flavor can be much sharper and stronger. Compared to other cheeses, Romano tends to have a saltier flavoring. 

Can I Replace Romano Cheese with Parmesan?

You can replace Romano cheese with Parmesan cheese. Parmesan is one of the most common alternatives to Romano cheese. The flavor of Parmesan is not as strong, so those who tend to not enjoy the strong taste of Romano cheese tend to enjoy using Parmesan as a substitute. It is also much easier to find Parmesan cheese in stores.

What Alternatives are Similar to Romano

If you do not like the strong taste of Romano cheese, you are in luck. There are many different alternatives that you can use to replace Romano cheese that works well and do not have a strong flavor. Most of these substitutes are common cheeses that you most likely already use in certain dishes.

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While Parmesan cheese is the most common alternative to Romano cheese, there are other substitutes that you can choose from if you find that you do not like Parmesan cheese either.

Below you will find eight substitutes/alternatives that you can use to replace Romano cheese that will not change your dish too much.


Parmesan is the most common substitute for Romano cheese. Similar to Romano cheese, Parmesan has a flavor that is described as tangy and nutty. This hard, dried cheese is made using cow’s milk, just like Romano cheese in the United States.

Aged Parmesan cheese is known to have a stronger flavor and a crumbly texture. It is this form of Parmesan cheese that works well for grating. If you choose to use Parmesan cheese as your alternative to Romano cheese, it requires a 1:1 substitute, so you will use the same amount of Parmesan cheese as you would have used for Romano cheese.


Asiago is another Italian cheese that you can use to replace Romano cheese. When fresh, Asiago has a mild flavoring and a smooth texture. Much like Romano and Parmesan cheese, Asiago can be aged, which will result in the flavor of the cheese becoming much stronger and sharper.

When aged, the pungent flavor of the Asiago cheese becomes more noticeable. Asiago is made using cow’s milk that is unpasteurized. It is also known to have a flavor that is sharper and nuttier than the flavors of Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese.


Cheddar cheese can also be used as an alternative to Romano cheese. Cheddar can be used to replace Romano in almost any recipe that requires Romano cheese.

Like Romano cheese made in the United States, Cheddar is made using cow’s milk and has a taste that is pungent and sharp. While the most common uses for Cheddar cheese are for macaroni and sandwiches, you can also use grated Cheddar in recipes that require Romano cheese.

Grana Padano

Grana Padano is a hard cheese that has its origins in Italy. While Grana Padano has a rich flavoring similar to Romano cheese, it is much sweeter than Romano. Grana Padano also has a texture that is crumbly like Romano.

Grana Padano tends to be less expensive than Romano because it can be produced in a larger area of Italy. You want to use an equal 1:1 ratio when substituting Grana Padano for Romano, but you may find that you want to add salt to your dish if you choose to use Grana Padano.

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Piave is a cheese that has its origins in Italy. Piave is named after the Piave river which flows near Belluno, Italy where the cheese is produced.

Before it is aged for a long period of time, Piave has a white coloring and has a taste that is slightly sweet. As it ages, the cheese becomes straw-colored and has a strong flavoring. You can often find that Piave cheese is sold at five different points of its aging process, so you can purchase it with a more subtle flavor or with a strong flavoring depending on which you prefer to use.


Mozzarella is an Italian cheese that is known to be soft and has a creamy texture. This is the type of cheese that many of us choose to put on pasta as well as on pizza and salads.

When using Mozzarella cheese as a substitute for Romano cheese, it is possible that you will need to use more Mozzarella than you would use Romano. This is because the taste of Mozzarella is not as sharp as Romano cheese, so you need more to achieve an equal flavoring. Mozzarella is often used as a substitute for many kinds of cheese. Other than Romano, Mozzarella can also make a great substitute for Gruyere cheese.

Soy, Gluten, or Tree Nuts

There are also non-dairy alternatives that you can use to replace Romano cheese in recipes that will not drastically impact the flavor of the dish. By using soy, gluten, or tree nuts, you can get a similar flavor to adding Romano cheese to your dish, but the dish will be better for those who are vegan and those who cannot eat dairy.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is another substitute that you can use for Romano cheese that is non-dairy. The yeast has a flavor that is savory and cheesy. This allows for the taste of your dish to not be compromised by using nutritional yeast rather than Romano cheese. You will also find that this yeast has many vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial to you.


Romano cheese is used as a topping for pasta and as a dip. Many do not like the strong taste of Romano cheese, so it is important to know what different substitutes you can use to replace Romano cheese. The most common replacement for Romano cheese is Parmesan, but there are many others that you can choose from.