Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is such a tasty and elegant appetizer. The combination of the tender-crisp asparagus and the warm, salty prosciutto is wonderful. And even the leftovers taste great!
I'm always on the lookout for interesting appetizers, and this is a great new find. Well, not so new actually, as I've already made it a few times - I'm completely enamored with the flavor combination.
Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is an impressive dish for sure. And it tastes so good! The combination of asparagus and prosciutto is a classic one. The saltiness and creaminess of the prosciutto work beautifully with the crisp, fresh flavor of the asparagus.
What is prosciutto?
Prosciutto (pronounced proh-shoo-toh) is an Italian dry-cured ham. It's very different than American ham. It's drier, much more flavorful, and saltier. Because it's so potent, it's sliced extremely thinly - so thinly that the slices tear quite easily when you remove them from the packaging.
The ingredients you’ll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh asparagus: You'll need about 20 thick spears. I wouldn't go with thin spears when making this recipe.
Olive oil spray: Or you can brush the asparagus with olive oil. I use a spray because I find it convenient. If you're unsure about using olive oil in high-heat cooking, you can use avocado oil instead.
Sliced prosciutto: You’ll need 10 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto. But because these slices tear so easily, I sometimes buy two packages, just to have extras if I need them.
Freshly ground black pepper: There’s no need for salt, as the prosciutto is very salty.
Red pepper flakes: Not mandatory, but I enjoy the extra kick, and it’s also pretty.
Grated parmesan: Use finely grated cheese, not coarsely shredded. You can grate it by yourself, or be lazy like me and buy it pre-grated.
How to make prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Prepare the asparagus. Start by cutting the tough ends off the asparagus. Then spray the asparagus with olive oil.
Prepare the prosciutto. Cut each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise. Yup, easier said than done, but if I manage, you’ll manage too!
Wrap the asparagus. Now tightly wrap each half prosciutto slice around the middle of each asparagus spear. It’s best to look at the video to see how I do it (I mostly wing it, but hey, it works).
Place on a baking sheet. Arrange the wrapped asparagus spears in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Lightly spray them with more oil.
Bake. Bake in a 425°F oven until the asparagus is tender-crisp, 8-10 minutes.
Season and serve. Season with freshly ground black pepper and with red pepper flakes, then sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.
The challenge when making this appetizer
Most of my recipes are very easy. While prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is not exactly difficult, prosciutto is very thinly sliced and it tears easily. So while the final dish is quite elegant, there’s nothing elegant about making it, as you can see in the video below. 😬
I always struggle a little with properly wrapping the asparagus. However, experience has taught me that I can always use smaller pieces of prosciutto to patch any problem areas (as you can see me doing in the video). I have also learned that once baked, the dish emerges beautiful, even if I struggled when preparing it.
Use thick asparagus spears
It's best to use relatively thick asparagus spears in this recipe. Thin ones are fragile and flimsy and you'll have a hard time wrapping the prosciutto around them. If you do end up using thin spears, you should probably bake them for just 5 minutes.
How to serve prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
This dish is a classic appetizer, and it’s served warm, though it’s also good at room temperature. But you can also serve it as a side dish if you wish.
Sometimes I make it for brunch and serve it with poached eggs for a complete meal. We love dipping the asparagus in the runny yolks!
What to do with leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
More tasty appetizers
I have quite a few appetizer recipes on this website. A few of my favorite warm appetizers include:
And a couple of cold appetizers that I make often (they're easier because you don't need to serve them warm) are:
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- 1 lb. fresh asparagus (about 20 thick spears)
- Olive oil spray
- 1 (4 oz) package sliced prosciutto
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the tough ends off the asparagus. Spray the asparagus with olive oil.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise. Tightly wrap each half prosciutto slice around the middle of each asparagus spear, as shown in the video.
- Arrange the wrapped asparagus spears in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray them with more oil.
- Bake until the asparagus is tender-crisp, 8-10 minutes.
- Remove to a serving platter. Season with freshly ground black pepper and with red pepper flakes, then sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.