Argentinian Grilled Provolone Cheese (Provoleta)

provoleta with chimichurri and grilled bread

Pete Scherer 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Dry Cheese: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 3 to 5 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
763 Calories
37g Fat
77g Carbs
31g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 763
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 1463mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 740mg 57%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 312mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Provoleta is basically just browned and melted cheese. But though it seems simple, this Argentine dish can be a little tricky to make in its authentic form. Traditionally, a thick slice of provoleta—the name of the cheese as well as the dish—is placed on a hot grill over a charcoal fire until crisped and browned with a gooey just-melted center. Hot off the fire, it’s often served with grilled bread and chimichurri. Simple!

Yet for the novice provoletero, achieving the right balance of textures and flavors in the cheese can mean a bit of trial and error. The first problem is getting the right cheese. Recipes for provoleta generally call for provolone without mentioning that provoleta and provolone are not exactly the same product. In fact provoleta is the trademarked name of a cheese invented around 1940 specifically for grilling. It was created as a pre-game appetizer for the chargrilled meats for which Argentina is famous. It’s like provolone but not exactly the same. 

Since the real deal can’t be found in most grocery stores outside of South America, maybe it’s moot, but the point is that factors like the cheese’s age, protein and fat content can determine whether your slice will drip disastrously into the coals or brown beautifully in the smoky heat. Whether the provolone from your local grocer will perform as desired is something you must discover for yourself. 

The next hurdle, easier to clear by far, is getting thick slices. That means a trip to the deli counter, and then possibly some further effort convincing the person behind it that you really do want your cheese sliced that thickly. 

Finally, there’s dialing in the grill. The intensity of the fire, the distance to the grate, the timing—no recipe can spell these out. You’ve got to tackle the problem yourself. Maybe get a few extra slices just in case.


  • 12 ounces provolone, in a single block

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 loaf rustic bread, sliced

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the cheese out on your counter to dry in the open air for a few hours.

  3. In the meantime, make the chimichurri. Add garlic, parsley, oregano, oil, vinegar, salt and red pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the herbs and garlic reach a coarse to medium fine consistency. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

  4. When at least one side of the cheese has a bit of a dried skin, fire up the charcoal grill. Have a small cast-iron pan handy in case the cheese gets too melty. Grill the cheese on the dry side until crisp and lightly browned. Flip the cheese over into the cast-iron pan. Put the pan on the grill and melt the cheese to your desired level. Remove from heat.

  5. Drizzle your bread with oil and quickly grill it on both sides. Remove and serve with the provoleta and chimichurri.

The grilled provolone can be served with or, if desired, on the toasted bread. 

Wine Suggestions

This delicious, cheesy starter calls for wine. Which color, you might ask. With cheese, you can drink either red or white—just as long as it's dry.

Since this is an Argentinian appetizer, there's nothing better than an Argentinian malbec or malbec-syrah blend. These wines are relatively inexpensive but deliver bunches of complexity. This is Argentina's signature grape variety and a great bang for the buck. Other red choices are syrah, which has smoky tones; or Argentinian or Spanish tempranillo. 

If you prefer white, try torrontes for an Argentinian adventure. Spanish whites will reward you with a multitude of subtle, crisp flavors. Check out an albarino, a verdejo or a godello.