Here's What You Can Substitute For Prime Rib

Prime rib is the pièce de résistance of meat. It is one of the tenderest, juiciest, most flavorful, and more expensive jewels in the crown jewels of beef cuts. Prime rib, per My Chicago Steak, is a beautifully marbled piece of beef and also goes by the name of rib roast. It is a favorite for dinner parties and holiday meals, but it is not a cut of meat that is easy on the wallet. Per Cook's Illustrated, if you are planning your menu and want to serve the succulently delicious prime rib as your main course, then you should be ready to shell out at least $17 per pound. If the cha-ching just went off in your head, we're with you. That might be more bills than your grocery budget can handle, especially if you are following The Kitchn's suggested half a pound of meat per person rule.

So, what can you substitute for prime rib if you don't want to break the bank, but still want to serve a delicious and flavorful meal that riffs on this precious, tasty, and costly cut of meat? Luckily, we are not the first to lose sleep over this pressing question. In fact, after a little bit of research, there are several cuts of meat that can pinch hit for the beloved prime rib, and a couple of these cuts can even save you a few bucks.

Top loin, tri-tip, and eye of round can be great substitutes

In the search for prime rib substitutions, those who came upon this culinary conundrum before us found that there are several options. The first is top loin roast which also goes by the name New York strip roast. Top loin roast has been called "the cheaper prime rib" by Cook's Illustrated, but when you do a quick internet search, you may find that it still isn't as cheap as you are looking for. In fact, Recipe Tips, calls it quite expensive. However, if price is not the concern, then per the Spruce Eats, top loin roast can be a "tender" and "flavorful" option.

If you are looking for a more budget-conscious cut, and let's face it, most of us are, our friends at Reddit have a couple of recommendations. One Redditor wrote, "Tri-Tip is my stand-in for prime rib." And the Spruce Eats agrees that Tri-Tip is "far less expensive than other equally flavorful steaks." Still, several others shared that roasted eye of round can be a "fantastic" alternative to prime rib. And it seems to also get a hat tip from Budget 101 who also used eye of round to make what they called "Faux Prime Rib," noting it is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but can still produce that tender, flavorful taste that is synonymous with prime rib.