10 Best Substitutes for Mortadella & When to Use Them

10 Substitutes for Mortadella & When to Use Them
Share on:

Mortadella is undoubtedly delicious, but that shouldn’t stop you from diving into the world of salami. If you got bored with the same old taste of mortadella or simply don’t eat pork – here is a whole list of good substitutes. Whether you like it plain or spicy, raw or crisped – I found something for anyone’s taste buds! Read on for 10 best substitutes for mortadella and when to use them!

Chicken Mortadella

If you don’t or can’t eat pork, that’s not the reason to never taste mortadella. Yes, the tradition says pork only, but the chicken one is not bad at all. It doesn’t have those fat cubes, but traditional spices, pistachios, and olives blend impeccably.

My favorite among all is extra spicy sausage, with pieces of chili pepper among perfectly blended meat. There are also regular pepper and sun-dried tomato varieties that are to die for!

They are an inevitable part of my sandwiches and panini, as they are unbelievably tasty when toasted. Chicken mortadella pairs with any melty cheese, so it’s my perfect choice for pizzas and toasties.


Baloney and Cheese Sandwich

Bologna, boloney, baloney, or even jumbo is an American salami inspired by traditional Italian mortadella. With some alternations, it soon became USA’s favorite sandwich meat! The first difference you see when comparing these two deli types of meat is the lack of signature mortadella fat cubes. 

Bologna is 100% compact, smooth, and perfectly pale pink. There is a difference in the ingredients, as well. Original mortadella contains pork only, but American Bologna usually consists of several different meat combinations.

You can make it with only one meat variety, though. The top four options are beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Regarding preparation, meat for bologna is grounded in paste-like texture, but unlike mortadella, fat parts, as well.

It’s important to note that seasonings aren’t as similar, but the two main ones – black pepper and myrtle berries, are the same! That’s the reason they substitute each other so well in any recipe. Coriander, allspice, nutmeg, and celery seeds are new additions to this American-style salami.

Vegan Mortadella

Being vegan doesn’t mean you can never eat mortadella; just the opposite! Vegan mortadella may be free of meat, but the spices and veggies make it similar to the traditional one. For the meat part, you can substitute it with cashews, peanuts, or beans.

The signature pink color comes from beetroot here, so it’s very hard to notice that it’s actually the vegan option. Olives and pistachios blend excellently here, side by side with lemon juice and thyme. Sometimes, if homemade, vegan mortadella is hard to cut into paper-thin pieces, but it stays delicious, undoubtedly.

My favorite is serving it on a whole grain bread slice, with a bit of cream cheese spread on top. I also love combining it with fresh veggies, like tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. 


Prasky is a Czech sausage born in Prague. It contains a combination of beef and pork, drowned in spices. It is fully cooked and smoked, giving it a special smoky relish.

Likewise, it is spiced up with garlic, paprika, black and cayenne pepper, caraway, and marjoram. When compared with classic mortadella, it is much thinner in diameter and almost burgundy in color. But, just like mortadella, prasky has signature little fat cubes, which give it a marbled texture.

It is especially tasty when tossed on the hot pan to sizzle as heat brings out all the flavor and crisps it up. I would advise you not to add any fat, though; it has just enough. You can also beat some eggs and pour them over for the best breakfast you’ll ever have!

When I’m having a beer, I like to slice some prasky and eat it dipped in mustard – as tradition has it. 

Thüringer Sausage

This German sausage is so special that it is protected by European Union law! Yes, you’ve read it right! It’s pork, beef, or veal meat stuffed into pig intestines and seasoned with salt, pepper, marjoram, garlic, and caraway.

The meat is smooth in texture, and it can’t be eaten raw! It’s tastiest when roasted over charcoal, which gives it signature burns. When it comes to serving, beer is a must, mustard is optional, and nothing else is allowed! Germans are obviously serious with their wurst culture. ☺

Olive Loaf

Olive Loaf on a Slice of Bread

Olive loaf is just what it sounds like – a loaf made of meat and packed with olives. This is actually European-style bologna, made of beef and pork cuts grounded into a fine paste. What’s interesting, olives aren’t the chief flavor at all, but pimentos.

Pimentos or cherry peppers are pretty sweet and slightly hot, and olives are stuffed with them. So, the overall taste is exactly like that, rich with a bit of spiciness among tender meat, plus the colors look amazing: pink, red, and green, making it a perfect bite.

I absolutely adore snacking on it alone, on a sandwich, or along with cheeses and cured vegetables.


Leberkäse looks like bread, but tastes nothing like it! It is a German-originated meatloaf made from pickled beef or pork-bacon-onions variety. The meat is minced until smooth in texture, so the consistency is similar to mortadella. 

You need to actually bake it in the loaf pan until crusty and golden on top! Traditionally, Germans cut it into thick slices and serve it in semmel – bread rolls with mustard as the main condiment. They also eat it with fried eggs and cubed in potato salad.

Salsiz and Landjäger

Landjager Bite With Mozarella

Salsiz comes from Switzerland, and it’s an air-dried sausage made of beef, pork, horse, or sheep meat. But there are varieties with wild animals, as well, like deer or chamois. Moreover, it’s made with red wine mixed with pepper, garlic, mint, and mustard seeds.

I picked it from the sea of sausages because of its square shape – something you rarely see! The same stands for another Swiss sausage – landjäger. It has pretty much the same ingredients and look, but it’s dried over smoke. There are some additional spices, as well, like caraway and coriander seeds.

They are both popular as snack meat, with or without bread. On the other side, salsiz are part of the traditional meals – Capuns and Maluns, while Landjager pairs flawlessly with potatoes and greens. Delicious!


Beskada is an Austrian specialty, originally made in Vienna by the Wiesbauer family. It is everything: cooked, smoked over aromatic woods, and air-dried salami. It is 100% pork, just like mortadella, with interesting spices to lift things up.

Besides staples – salt and pepper, there are also ginger, cardamom, coriander, garlic powder, and surprisingly, fresh shallots. As for mortadella, pork needs to be grounded into a paste, but here, instead of fat cubes, there are meat cubes. 

Thin slices of Beskada are best served on boards with other delis and cheese, in sandwiches, or even baked in pizza dough twists. For breakfast, I particularly like to pair it with fresh bread, eggs, and salad – yum!


Menemen With Sucuk

Sucuk is a marbled Turkish sausage, but spicier and coarser than mortadella. It can be made with beef or chicken, but the beef variety is much more common. This is probably my favorite on this list, as it’s piquant, just as I like it! 

Of course, it abounds in different spices – a popular Turkish blend, which consists of black and cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, sumac, paprika, allspice, or even something more. Besides these flavors, it has also smoky touch as it’s quite dry. It goes from pink to burgundy in color – but always has mini fat dots when sliced.

It is edible raw, but it’s best when fried or baked. Furthermore, it doesn’t require additional fat at all, just heat it up and let the flavors bloom! It’s a star of Turkish dishes, from pides to omelets, over beans and chickpeas stews! I like it most in menemen – multicolor peppers, tomatoes, and eggs-based dish. Must try!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments