Provolone vs Mozzarella: What Is the Difference? (Explained)

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Two of the most well-known cheeses to come from Italy are provolone and mozzarella. Italy is home to a wide variety of cheeses. Both of these varieties of Italian cheese are made by a procedure known as pasta filata, which is the same method used.

Due to the fact that each of these cheeses may be made from either cow’s milk or buffalo’s milk, a lot of people mistakenly believe that they are the same thing. In certain recipes, the two terms are even explicitly interchanged with one another. Yet provolone and mozzarella are not the same item in any way, shape, or form.

So what is the difference between provolone and mozzarella? The most significant difference between provolone and mozzarella is that provolone is an aged kind of cheese, while mozzarella is not. And that gives provolone a stronger and richer flavor.

But, this was only a very, very simplified explanation, and there are a lot more distinctions to be made between provolone and mozzarella. Do you find yourself curious about what they are? That is exactly what we are going to learn about in this post, so let’s get started on it now!

Nevertheless, less aged provolone, such as provolone dolce, has a softer flavor that is more similar to mozzarella.

Mozzarella is a kind of Italian cheese that is on the softer side and is traditionally prepared from the milk of buffaloes, however in recent years it has become more usual to see mozzarella manufactured from cow’s milk. There are instances in which it is aged for a period of two to even four weeks; nonetheless, the majority of the time, it is served fresh.

In contrast to mozzarella, which is a soft cheese, provolone is a semi-firm kind of cheese that originates in Italy. Provolone must be aged for a minimum of four months, although this period may sometimes reach as long as three years. The primary reason for this is the length of time it takes to age.

Taste differences between provolone and mozzarella

The huge difference in the amount of time they spend ripening results in provolone having a firmer texture and a richer, more nuanced flavor with nutty overtones, which are characteristics of aged cheese.

This is particularly true of the most potent kind of provolone, known as provolone piccante, which has a flavor that is very pungent. On the other hand, there are provolone cheeses that are not as heavy, such as provolone dolce.

The flavor of this particular kind of provolone is quite subdued, which places it more closely in line with mozzarella than with provolone piccante. Mozzarella has a flavor that is not overpowering and has a very clean taste. Milky is another common descriptor that comes up while discussing it.

Melting provolone versus. mozzarella

The melting qualities of mozzarella, which is a kind of cheese that is recognized for being on the softer side, are well-known. On the other hand, provolone is a semi-hard sort of cheese, therefore melting it is a little bit more difficult than melting other types of cheese.

In spite of this, it is important to note that provolone melts more evenly than the vast majority of types of cheese that fall into the semi-hard and hard categories.

Fat content in provolone compared. mozzarella

Many people consider the amount of fat in cheese to be one of the most important characteristics of the product. How do provolone and mozzarella stack up in terms of their respective fat contents? To begin, neither provolone nor mozzarella has an exceptionally high percentage of fat content.

To be more exact, the amount of fat that can be found in provolone may range from anywhere around twenty-five to thirty-five percent. In most cases, mozzarella doesn’t even come close to toeing the line denoting twenty percent milk fat.

Price differences between provolone and mozzarella

Provolone and mozzarella are two varieties of cheese that are often regarded as being among the more affordable options; purchasing either one will not need you to spend an exorbitant amount of money. Despite this, mozzarella continues to be a more affordable option than provolone.

Uses of provolone against mozzarella

Since mozzarella is made from fresh milk, many individuals like using it in their salads. Yet, due to the fact that it melts, mozzarella is most often employed in the preparation of foods like as pizza and lasagna.

In addition, provolone cheese may in fact be used in the exact same manner. In spite of this, many people like using provolone as a table cheese because of its more robust flavor and its more aesthetically pleasing packaging.

Nutritional differences between provolone and mozzarella

And how does the nutritional profile of provolone and mozzarella stack up? Let’s compare the two using this easy-to-understand table:

Provolone Mozarella
Calories 351 300
Total fat 27g 22g
Carbohydrates 2.1g 2.2g
Protein 26g 22g
Cholesterol 69mg 79mg
Sodium 876mg 627mg

Which cheese is superior, mozzarella or provolone?

It is impossible to determine whether cheese, mozzarella or provolone, is superior. Why? Because it is entirely dependent on your sense of taste as well as any other preferences you may have.

To assist you in making your decision, it is possible to say that mozzarella is a better option for those who want cheeses with a flavor that is more milky and fresh. On the other hand, if you are more interested in the deep cheesiness and aged nuttiness of provolone, then you should go with it. That is without a question the superior option.

Can provolone be substituted for mozzarella, and vice versa?

There is no problem with substituting provolone for mozzarella or mozzarella for provolone. Yet, despite the fact that it is feasible, it is not suggested due to the fact that provolone has a more robust and cheesy taste than the milky and subdued flavor of mozzarella.

Because of this, the finished dish will most likely have a flavor that is not quite the same as what was planned. If you are, however, prepared for that possibility, then you do not need to be concerned about switching mozzarella for provolone or provolone for mozzarella in your recipe.

Which is better for you, provolone or mozzarella?

As you may be aware, mozzarella is often regarded as being among the healthiest types of cheese, if not the healthiest kind of cheese that is now available.

Even if it’s not entirely accurate to say that provolone cheese is particularly harmful, mozzarella is without a doubt the healthier option. In addition to having a lower calorie and fat level, mozzarella cheese also has a lower salt concentration than provolone.

Is it possible to combine provolone with mozzarella?

Absolutely, you can blend provolone and mozzarella! It may surprise you to learn that this is really a rather frequent practice. Fantastic outcomes may be achieved by combining provolone and mozzarella cheeses.

This is because the combination has both fantastic cheesiness, owing to the more powerful taste of the provolone, and superb melting qualities, owing to the softness of the mozzarella. Since mozzarella has a milder flavor, it makes it easier for provolone to mix in with the other tastes of the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

On pizza, do you prefer provolone or mozzarella?

When it comes to pizza, mozzarella is without a doubt the best choice of cheese to utilize. On the other hand, provolone may also be utilized, so the decision really comes down to personal preference.

If, on the other hand, you just cannot decide between provolone and mozzarella as a topping for your pizza, another option is to build the pizza with a mixture of the two cheeses. This combination delivers powerful tastes as well as stretch, and as a result, it is used by a great deal of pizza restaurants.

On a meatball sub, provolone or mozzarella?

When it comes to topping your meatball sandwich, you have a number of cheese options from which to choose. You may go with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, or Swiss cheese.

Nevertheless, they are not the most popular options; in fact, provolone and mozzarella are the two varieties of cheese that are most often used when cooking meatball subs, which explains why these are not the most popular choices. But which one is the superior option?

While a good meatball sub may easily accommodate any option, the answer to this question is solely dependant on your tastes and preferences.

For a Philadelphia cheesesteak, should you use provolone or mozzarella?

These days, the name “cheesesteak” may apply to a wide variety of long-rolled sandwiches, each of which can be made with a unique combination of fillings. As a result, the possibility of encountering a “cheesesteak” that contains mozzarella exists.

However the term “cheesesteak,” and more precisely “Philly cheesesteak,” originally referred to a particular sandwich that was prepared in accordance with a specific recipe. Provolone is the one and only acceptable choice for the cheese component of this classic recipe for Philadelphia cheesesteaks.

On chicken parm, provolone or mozzarella?

A popular meal in the United States is known as “chicken parm,” which is an abbreviation for “chicken parmesan.” In addition, as the name says, the primary ingredients are chicken and parmesan cheese. Nevertheless, despite the name, the second portion of this dish is a little bit confusing since parmesan is not the only kind of cheese that is used to prepare it.

It’s normal practice to use provolone and mozzarella while making chicken parmesan, but there are other other varieties of cheese that may be used. Well, we’re talking about those two. As a result, it is not unreasonable to consider using any of those two options.

Nevertheless, if you want to wow your guests, we strongly suggest that you use a combination of all parmesan, provolone, and mozzarella cheeses; trust us when we say that it is simply the greatest!

For lasagna, should you use provolone or mozzarella?

When it comes to creating lasagna, mozzarella is without a doubt the kind of cheese that is used the most. As a result, the use of mozzarella rather than provolone in your lasagna seems to be the more prudent choice.

But, there are many who think provolone lasagna is the best; ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. If, on the other hand, you can’t make up your mind, our advice is that you combine these two ingredients since the ultimate result will be so much better.


The famed Italian cheeses provolone and mozzarella are both made in a manner that is very similar to one another, which lends them a certain degree of similarity. Yet, despite this fact, they are not the same kind of cheese.

This is mostly owing to the fact that mozzarella, in general, does not age at all, but provolone may mature for as long as three years!

Because of this, provolone has a firmer consistency, and its flavor is likewise bolder and more robust than that of mozzarella. Nuttiness is also heightened. This is particularly true for the provolone varieties that are the most robust and have been cured for the longest, such as provolone piccante.

On the other hand, younger varieties of provolone, such as provolone dolce, have a flavor that is softer and more muted, and it is somewhat more similar to the flavor of mozzarella.

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Can you substitute mozzarella cheese for provolone?

Because to the fact that low moisture mozzarella has a texture and taste that are very similar to provolone, it is an excellent alternative for provolone. Although though buffalo milk is sometimes used in the process, fresh mozzarella with a low moisture content is most often prepared using cow’s milk. Shredding and melting mozzarella cheese is best accomplished with cheese that has a low moisture content.

Which is better on pizza provolone or mozzarella?

If the aforementioned strands of melting cheese can make or break your pizza experience, then it is in your best interest to stick to mozzarella as your primary cheese squeeze, with provolone being a strong runner-up cheese. Both taste and stretch may be achieved with a combination of mozzarella and provolone; in fact, many pizza restaurants utilize just this combination.

What makes provolone cheese different?

The Italian cheese known as provolone has a texture that is smooth and a taste that is somewhat smokey. It is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. There are two unique types of Provolone cheese, and they are known as Provolone Dolce and Provolone Piccante respectively. Provolone Dolce is produced with the help of calf’s rennet, matured for about two to three months, and has a taste profile that is somewhat creamy and milky.

Can you use provolone instead of mozzarella on pizza?

Cooking with provolone is a pleasure, as is eating it on its own without any accompaniment. Recipes calling for mozzarella, such as those for lasagna and pizza, may include its usage. Moreover, Provolone goes nicely with a variety of meats and cheeses.

Does provolone and mozzarella taste the same?

While both provolone and mozzarella are white Italian cheeses, they are quite different from one another in terms of flavor, consistency, and applications. Get an understanding of the proper ways to serve, prepare, and preserve mozzarella and provolone cheese.

What is provolone cheese best used for?

This cheese may be used in a variety of different ways. It may be grated and sprinkled over salads, and it can even be used as an ingredient in sweets. It can be used in cooking. Since it melts so easily, you should try using it in baked pasta dishes, casseroles, or grilled sandwiches. You may also enjoy it on pizza, either as an alternative to mozzarella or as a delicious addition to the topping combination.

Does provolone cheese melt easily?

Provolone. This Italian cheese has a taste that is creamy and well-rounded all at the same time. When it comes to melting, slices are the way to go.

Can I use provolone instead of mozzarella for lasagna?

Provolone may sometimes be smoked, which confers additional levels of taste and complexity on the cheese. Since provolone must be matured for at least two months before cheese can be consumed, it is an excellent alternative to mozzarella while it is still in its younger stages. Provolone is a great alternative to mozzarella for use in hot foods like pizza and lasagna, and it works especially well in such recipes.

What cheese do pizzerias use?

Mozzarella is the cheese that is most often used on pizza because it melts wonderfully and does not get greasy or lumpy when it does so. Toppings made with cheeses like of feta, haloumi, and aged gouda are delicious, but they are too sophisticated for most families, and they melt less evenly than mozzarella does.

What cheese is closest to provolone?

Mozzarella is a fresh cheese with a taste that is not as strong as its near sibling, Provolone. This cheese has characteristics that are comparable to those of young Provolone and has a texture that is reminiscent of stretched curd. It may be used in salads as well as heated foods.