Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is an easy appetizer or side dish ready in just 30 minutes! These savory bundles roast in the oven for crispy bites.
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Asparagus is a versatile elongated vegetable that becomes exceptionally tender and even sweet when cooked. To balance the earthy flavor of the fibrous stems, try wrapping them in salty prosciutto. The thinly sliced pieces of cured ham create a bundle for perfectly portioned servings.
Once the asparagus is seasoned and wrapped in the pork, it’s ready to roast. The elevated temperatures of the oven create a crisp texture on the meat, which nicely contrasts with the delicate spears. The cooking process only takes 15 minutes.
I use paper-thin prosciutto to wrap the asparagus. When the pork leg is salt-cured and dried, it’s called prosciutto crudo, which has a rich, salty taste but without being fatty. You can enjoy it uncooked since the salt curing time helps preserve the meat. I also use it in the summer to wrap around slices of melon.
You can find this fiber-rich vegetable year-round in most markets. However, the peak season is in the spring for the sweetest stalks. Select bright green, firm, dry tips, and about ½-inch thick.
Skinny stalks will cook too quickly and turn mushy before the meat gets crisp. I add 4 to 6 stalks to each bundle as a side dish, depending on its size.
Trim the asparagus
The tips and stems are very tender. However, when harvested, where the stem is cut, it turns woody in texture to help the plant heal itself. Although edible, it can become too fibrous to chew. Luckily there is a natural break in the stalk, where you can easily snap the hard bottom portion off.
Then I use that as a guide to cut the remaining stalks. It’s usually about a 7 to 8-inch long piece after trimming. I season them with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and garlic powder to make the vegetable even more flavorful as it roasts.
Wrap the asparagus
Evenly divide the asparagus into bundles, about 5 per serving. Carefully wrap them tightly with the slice of prosciutto. I prefer to place the vegetables on the prosciutto laid on a cutting board, then slowly roll it up around the center. The prosciutto is sticky, so it should adhere to itself. You’ll have about 8 servings.
You can make smaller portions using 1 to 3 stalks, but I recommend cutting the prosciutto crosswise in half, so the texture doesn’t get too chewy and salty. Brush some olive oil over the meat to help it crisp up faster in the oven.
Roast the ham and asparagus bundles on a wire rack set in a baking pan. This process elevates the pieces, allowing the hot air to circulate under, evenly cooking without the need to flip. I use this method when I make bacon-wrapped asparagus, especially when there are more fat drippings.
Roast at 400ºF (204°C) for about 13 to 15 minutes. This temperature tenderizes the asparagus without it becoming mushy and can create a slightly crisp surface on the ham. Top with grated parmesan cheese for extra savory notes.
Serve this with
- Top with Soft Boiled Eggs
- Reverse Seared Steak
- Grandmas Famous Meatballs
- Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken Parmesan
Yes, you can individually wrap the asparagus with half of a piece of prosciutto. Cut in half crosswise and twist it along the length of the stem.
Roast the bundles at 400ºF (204°C) for about 13 to 15 minutes. The cooking time is dependent on how thick the asparagus stalks are. I find that 15 minutes is perfect for ½-inch thin spears to yield a tender texture.
Yes, you can place the wrapped asparagus on the grill. Make sure to put them perpendicular to the grill grates so they don’t fall through. Flip halfway through cooking. You should get a nice char mark on the meat.
Do I have to cook the prosciutto?
If using the refrigerated prosciutto crudo, you don’t have to cook the ham in the oven. It can be eaten directly from the package since it has been salt cured for typically up to a year and dried to preserve the meat and make it safe to eat. You can roast the asparagus, then wrap the bundles with the chilled prosciutto if you prefer a softer texture.
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Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- Pre-heat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the center position and the temperature to 400°F (204°C).
- Prepare the Asparagus – Wash and thoroughly dry. Trim off the tough fibrous ends to give about 7-inch long spears. Evenly coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Wrap the Asparagus – Divide the seasoned asparagus into 8 even-sized bundles. Tightly wrap one slice of prosciutto around the center of each bundle. The ham should stick together, but you can secure it with a toothpick if needed.
- Brush and Season– Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Place the wrapped bundles on the wire rack. Brush the prosciutto with some of the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly season with black pepper.
- Roast – Cook until the prosciutto gets lightly brown and crisp, and the asparagus is tender, about 13 to 15 minutes.
- To Serve – Serve warm topped with some parmesan cheese.
- Make-Ahead: The prosciutto-wrapped asparagus can be assembled, covered, and stored in an airtight container up to two days before roasting.
- Storing: Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Loosely cover and reheat on the high setting in the microwave in 15 to 30-second intervals until hot. Alternatively, bake at 350ºF (177ºC) until hot.
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