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Authentic Argentinian Provoleta Recipe

Authentic Argentinian Provoleta Recipe

Provoleta is an Argentinian dish of melted provoleta cheese, heated up until it is slightly browned and melting, then served hot. This dish is a staple at traditional barbecues, known as asados, and is served hot in a small cast-iron skillet before the main barbecue event.

Provoleta has a mild cheese flavour, with a smokiness that comes from the grill. This dish is also commonly topped with a chimichurri salsa, adding a slight tang to the dish.

Argentinians tend to cook this dish with a ‘provoletera‘ which is a cast iron skillet that can be placed on a grill or in the oven. Traditionally, the provoleta cheese was placed directly on the grill, giving it a smokier flavor than if it were heated up in a provoletera.

It is served as the appetizer in a multi course barbequed meal served with bread and almost always, chimichurri sauce. The provoleta course is usually followed by barbequed meats.

One method for preparing the cheese before grilling is to dust it with flour which is said to help it develop a crust while cooking. Another method is letting the cheese sit in the fridge unwrapped, causing the cheese’s surface to become discolored and develop a thin, firm rind.

Origin & Cultural Significance

A major ingredient in Provoleta is Provolone cheese, which was brought to Argentina by Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. Provoleta is said to have been invented by Don Natalio Alba, an Italian immigrant who settled in the Province of Córdoba and worked in the dairy industry.

Don Natalio Alba, a dairy worker, created a cheese with a sturdier exterior that would be able to withstand high temperatures without completely turning to liquid. His goal was to create a good quality cheese similar to those made in Italy and to merge Italian cheese culture with the Argentinian’s love for grilled food.

Branded as El Queso Provolone Hilado Argentino, it is strictly an Argentinian cheese. When provoleta cannot be used, provolone is the next best substitute.

Argentinian Provoleta recipes remain fairly consistent, but regional variations may include toppings like oregano or red pepper flakes.

Provoleta is similar to dishes like Swiss Fondue and Raclette, or Mexican Queso Fundido.

Authentic Argentinian Provoleta Recipe

Authentic Argentinian Provoleta Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes



  • Provolone cheese, unsmoked, sliced 1 inch thick - 8 oz.
  • Dried oregano - 1 tsp
  • Crushed red pepper - ½ tsp
  • Flour - for coating

Chimichurri Topping

  • Flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped - 3 Tbsp
  • Dried oregano - 1/8 Tsp
  • Garlic clove, minced - 1
  • Olive oil - 3 Tbsp
  • Red wine vinegar, or lemon juice - 1 Tsp
  • Water - 2 Tsp
  • Crushed red chilli flakes - 1 pinch
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Chimichurri Salsa

  1. Add the parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, vinegar and water into a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Use a little extra water to thin the mixture if needed to achieve a pourable consistency. Set aside to let the flavors mix.
  3. Coat the provolone slice with flour and dust off any excess powder.

Cooking the Provoleta on the stovetop

  1. Place a small cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, put in the cheese and sprinkle with half the oregano and crushed red pepper.
  2. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes until the bottom starts to brown.
  3. Flip the cheese carefully with a spatula and cook on the other side for about 2 – 3 minutes until the second side is also browned and the cheese begins to ooze.

Cooking the Provoleta in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Pour a little bit of olive oil into the bottom of a cast-iron skillet.
  3. Sprinkle half the oregano and crushed red pepper over the cheese.
  4. Put the cheese in the skillet and cover with foil.
  5. Bake in the top rack of the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and switch the oven to the grill setting.
  7. Grill uncovered for 1 – 2 minutes or until the provolone begins to bubble on the surface.

Cooking the Provoleta on the grill

  1. Preheat the BBQ grill to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Sprinkle half the oregano and crushed red pepper over the cheese.
  3. Place the cheese on the grill and close the hood.
  4. Grill for a few minutes, then flip the cheese over with a spatula.
  5. Allow the cheese to grill for 1 – 2 minutes, then remove from the grill with the spatula.
  6. Transfer the cheese to a plate and top with the remaining oregano and crushed red pepper.
  7. Serve immediately, along with bread and chimichurri.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 712mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g

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