Who would have thought we would one day discover a diet where certain types of cheese are not just allowed but encouraged to consume? That is keto for you! And among all the other types of diets, I find it to be most effective in my weight loss journey.
I did quite a bit of research about the different cheese options out there. One of which was Provolone. Is Provolone Cheese keto? Yes, it is! This is because it has a high quantity of fat and a low amount of net carbs – a win-win in the world of keto.
Keep reading to learn more about this potential cheesy addition to your diet.
What is Provolone Cheese?
Unsure about which one is provolone cheese? I don’t blame you! After all, there are so many cheeses out there! Before we delve further into whether or not is provolone cheese keto, let’s quickly have a fresher on it is.
Provolone cheese is a cow’s milk cheese that has a semi-hard consistency. You might remember it as being a ball shape as it is made in a rounded tube. The Italian cheese comes in three varieties, including Dolce, Piccante, and American Deli Provolone.
While Dolce is a cheese that has been aged for a maximum of three months, Piccante is aged for over four months. American Deli differs from the others because of its comparatively milder flavor. Piccante is much more buttery and spicy.
Usually, Provolone Dolce is best used as a creamy and sweet addition to casseroles, pizza, and sandwiches.
The Cheese-Making Process
You can think of Provolone as being similar to Mozzarella. Both are stretched-curd cheeses that belong to the filata family.
Provolone is made by warming up cow’s milk to initiate the curdling process. Then, the curdled milk is broken into small pieces and separated from the rest of the milk by submerging them in hot water. This way, the solidified curds come out on top while the liquid settles at the bottom.
After removing the curds from the water, they are mixed together and kneaded until they form the stringy, stretchy consistency that Provolone is known for. Later, the cheese is added to the brine and then wrapped in a wax rind and left to age as required.
The Cheesy Nutrients
I will discuss the detailed nutritional breakdown of Provolone Cheese later on. But, for a quick snapshot, the important thing to know here is that Provolone Cheese merely has 1 gram of net carbs per ounce of the product. However, it has a lot of fat in it.
Additionally, because of its high calcium, phosphorous, and protein content, along with the included vitamins and minerals, eating provolone cheese allows you to enjoy various health benefits like improved bone and eye health, a boost in the development of red blood cells, and a balanced metabolism rate.
Is Provolone Cheese Keto Friendly?
Now that you have had a quick crash course on the food item, let’s revisit the question with a new lens, shall we? Is provolone cheese keto or not? Unlike some of the other cheeses, it definitely is. To understand why this is so, here is a quick recap of how keto works.
The How and Why of Keto
It’s hard to substantiate why something is (or isn’t) keto without understanding how the keto diet works. If you have already begun your diet, you know that it encourages people to eat low-carb and high-fat food.
Why is this so? This is because a keto diet relies on your body’s reaction to these dietary changes. While usually, the body breaks down carbs for energy, since a keto diet limits the consumption of carbs, it forces the body to break down fat instead, leading to weight loss.
So, by definition, any food item that has a lot of carbs in it would render ketosis ineffective. This is why you need to be very careful about the number of net carbs you eat. It is recommended that your daily calories should be 70 percent from fat, 20 percent from protein, and only 10 percent from carbs.
Why is Provolone Cheese Keto?
This brings us back to square one. Why is provolone cheese acceptable in a keto diet? It is because it has very low net carbs. Hence, there is no chance that it would be the reason you are kicked out of ketosis. Additionally, it is also rich in fats and protein – and hence is a balanced food item to have in your keto diet.
While in some of the other cases, a food item is either rich in fat or low in net carbs, meaning that they take up calories without offering holistic benefits, this is not the case with provolone cheese. This is what makes it an excellent food choice.
Provolone Cheese Nutritional Profile
Don’t like believing in things until it is backed by hard data? This section is for you! Decide for yourself whether or not is provolone cheese keto by looking at its nutritional profile. According to USDA, one ounce (28 grams) of sliced provolone cheese has:
- 80.1 kCal of Energy
- 7 grams of protein
- 5.99 grams of fat
- 1 gram of net carbs
- 0 grams of fiber or sugar
- 200 milligrams of calcium
- 210 milligrams of sodium
- 200 IU of vitamin A
- 15.1 milligrams of cholesterol
- 3.5 grams of fatty acids.
The included calcium in the cheese meets 20 percent, and the sodium meets 9 percent of the daily requirement, making it a nutritionally rich item.
Keto-Friendly Provolone Cheese Recipes
Now that you know that provolone cheese is keto, the next step is knowing how to introduce it safely and deliciously to your diet. After all, the last thing you would wish to do is mix the cheese with things that make it not so keto friendly.
Here are some of my favorite keto-friendly recipes that include provolone cheese.
1. Keto Ravioli
The good thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t need pasta! All you will require are 24 slices of provolone cheese, one pound of cooked ground sausage, two tablespoons each of cream cheese and sour cream, half a cup of Marinara, and a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (don’t worry, it’s keto-friendly too).
After gathering all your ingredients, begin by first preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Simultaneously, on a baking sheet (that has been lined with parchment paper), add the slices of provolone cheese. Make sure that you leave space between the different pieces. Set it aside for a while.
On the side, in a small ball, mix the sausage, sour cream, cream cheese, and shredded Mozzarella. Once the oven has been preheated, put your baking sheet in the oven for at most three minutes. You will see the provolone cheese bubbling or turning slightly golden brown on the edges. When this happens, take it out and let it cool for five minutes.
Once it is cool, add the sausage mixture in the middle of each of the 12 cheese slices while placing the other 12 on top of the other filled cheese slice. Be careful here, as the cheese is melted! Lift and place it gently, and press it down over the edges to seal it.
Then, turn the oven on the “broil” setting and place the sheet back in it for thirty seconds – the only thing we are trying to do here is heating up the top slice enough to seal it firmly. Remove once done and serve with the marinara sauce!
2. Ham and Provolone Sandwich
I’ll be honest with you; I only make the above-mentioned recipe when I want to treat myself. For a quick snack, I prefer a ham and provolone sandwich.
For this recipe, you will need a large egg, a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, an ounce of cream cheese, a quarter cup of provolone cheese that has been shredded, and three ounces of sliced ham.
Begin by preheating the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the baking sheet with parchment to toast the bread. On the side, beat the separated egg whites along with salt and tartar until you get smooth, soft peaks. Whisk the cream cheese and the yolk until you get a pale and smooth consistency, and fold them into the egg whites.
Place the batter on the baking sheet in two even portions. Then, make it for up to 25 minutes or until you can see the bread becoming firm and light-colored. Once done, spread butter on one side each and toast it in a skillet.
Add cheese, sliced ham, and the other side of the bread on top, and cook it all for a minute. Your sandwich is ready.
Wrapping Up: Say (and Eat) Cheese!
To sum it up, is provolone cheese keto? Yes, it is. Why is this so? It is because it is rich in fat while being low in carbs. There are various ways you can include it in your diet, ranging from sandwiches to steaks.
There aren’t a lot of diets out there that allow for such cheesy goodness to be devoured. Savor this opportunity.
If you are looking for other food items to eat with provolone cheese, head on over to some of my other guides that spell out keto-friendly (and un-friendly) options.
For the rest of you, enjoy your cheese!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: