Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is such a tasty and elegant appetizer, and it's ready in under 30 minutes.
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 is a classic one. The saltiness and creaminess of the prosciutto work beautifully with the crisp, fresh flavor of the asparagus.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty appetizer. 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: Alternatively, 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.
The detailed instructions for making prosciutto-wrapped asparagus 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 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.
Most of my recipes are very easy. While this one 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.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
You can grill it, pan-fry it, or bake it. Personally, I like to use the oven. But the other methods work too.
- Instead of topping the finished dish with dry-grated parmesan, you can top it with goat cheese crumbles. Do it immediately when the dish emerges from the oven.
- Instead of wrapping single asparagus spears, you can make bundles. It's easier to make, and it makes for a pretty presentation. To make these bundles, gather 6 spears into a bundle and wrap a slice of prosciutto around the middle.
This dish is a classic appetizer, and it’s served warm, although 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!
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.
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- 1 lb. fresh asparagus (about 20 thick spears)
- Olive oil spray
- 4 oz 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 high-heat-resistant 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.