HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


My substitution for pancetta, bacon, etc.

  • r

I wonder if there is anyone else that can't abide the taste of pancetta, bacon, ham, and all the other ingredients that create a dish such as

I have tried just about every pork product that I can think of for recipes, but my aversion to pork overrides all the other ingredients.

Growing up pork was a part of everyday meals. Sometimes I can eat a bite (only) of a ham, but that's about it.

For a recipe such as Ina Garten's ribollita, I always substitute an oil, usually olive oil.

Am I alone out there?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You can always add smoked paprika (which I think would work in a robollita) for cured meats.
    Also, smoked turkey legs can add flavor in lieu of bacon etc.
    Cumin is quite smokey too.

    1. as stated above other smoked ingredients, vegetable or meat, work fine as a sub for bacon, ham or hocks but for unsmoked products Pancetta, salt pork and the like it is near impossible. When there is a reason that I can not use pork in a dish that call for one of these I just skip it.

      1. I'll occasionally use smoked duck in place of bacon.

        1. Oilive or peanut oil and smoked sea salt goes pretty far as a substitution for bacon (I adore pig fat, though).

          1 Reply
          1. re: MGZ

            First hand, I know some people adore pig fat.
            Won't tell you which grandmother or great-grandmother - to this day I see her with the pig fat running down the side of her arms. We small kids at the table always had a big laugh when this happened, along with some other elders' table manners. Somehow we knew better.

            Some form of pig was served every meal.

          2. You are not alone! Other than one particular deep smoked thick cut bacon and proscuitto I don't like pork at all.

            Smoked turkey and chicken thighs work for substitutes for me. I do like bacon fat as a seasoning and frequently use it without any actual pork meat in dishes. I just render the bacon and save the fat pretty frequently.

            1. Try smoked tofu! It's an idea I got from Stone Soup (http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2010/05/...) and is so good lightly fried in pasta dishes. I haven't tried it in ribollita-like recipes, but I think that olive oil + smoked paprika is basically better than bacon :) Then again, I'm vegetarian.

              1. Smoked mozzarella works in many dishes. I use that when making food for vegetarians.

                1. Why do you have to find a substitute for the pork in this dish? Just omit it. The fact that the author calls for either pancetta or bacon means that the smokiness of bacon is not important. There is already olive oil, so the fat from the pork is not essential either. Nor is the salt essential, since any cook worth his salt will taste and adjust salt as needed. There are even other sources of umami, such as the tomatoes and the finishing cheese.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paulj

                    To clarify my question post:

                    Actually my question probably wasn't phrased properly, or the example recipe I gave probably wasn't the best, as I wanted to address that I cared not for pork; thusly wanting to know when people ignored pork in whatever form; i.e., pancetta, proscuitto, etc. if they substituted a product, or left it out as a general rule.

                    I was not addressing the specific recipe I gave as an example, Lots of excellent replies for which I'm appreciative, but smokey type bacon was not what I was looking for, but it is useful to know what others do substitute specifically for bacon of a smokey type.

                  2. you are not alone. turkey is a less fatty substitute. sometimes.