Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus is a simple and classic appetizer that is suitable for many different eating preferences. It’s an easy recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes, but can also be made ahead of time!
When I worked at a restaurant in high school, prosciutto wrapped asparagus was one of the most popular appetizers on the menu.
I didn’t grow up eating it, but I quickly understood its appeal as an elegant appetizer once I tried some. Sometimes I even add them to an Antipasto Platter for a special occasion.
Ordinarily it’s just an asparagus spear wrapped in high quality prosciutto, but I like adding parmigiano reggiano to the mix, which makes it a pretty powerful trifecta of ingredients.
If you can find thick asparagus spears, those are best here, but this works just fine with thinner asparagus too.
Even pencil thin asparagus can be used, but in that case I’d recommend bundling 2-3 of them together at a time, just so the ratios aren’t too meat heavy.
Also make sure to specify at the grocery store that you want thin slices of prosciutto. That way it rolls easier and is less dominating.
Because we are using so few and such simple ingredients, the little details matter.
Step by Step Overview:
Start by trimming the asparagus spears.
Instead of snapping each one by hand, I look for where the fresh asparagus stalks turn from green to grayish purple, and cut a centimeter above where the color change happens.
The grayish purple part is where the asparagus spear gets more tough and stringy. Feel free to save them for a homemade vegetable stock!
Wash, then dry the asparagus well using a kitchen towel or paper towel. Any excess water will prevent the roasted asparagus from browning, so make sure the spears aren’t excessively wet.
Then place them on a sheet pan. There is no need to line it with parchment paper.
Add olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper:
Move it around with your hands to distribute the seasoning.
For wrapping the asparagus, lay prosciutto slices on a board, then slice each strip of prosciutto in half down the length of the piece.
Then grate or zest parmesan cheese all over the prosciutto. It’s fine if it looks like a mess, I promise it won’t once you’re done rolling.
Lay each asparagus spear on a diagonal, and roll it tightly with the slice of prosciutto:
Place the prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears in a single layer on the same sheet pan:
Roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes in a 425 F oven, keeping in mind the total cook time depends on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
The asparagus is done when it limps slightly when you pick it up. It should still be somewhat firm, but tender. Transfer to a serving platter, and enjoy!
How to Make Ahead
If you want to prep the asparagus ahead of time, you can roll the spears of asparagus in the prosciutto a day in advance, then bake them when you’re ready to serve.
Lemon – If you enjoy the acidity and flavor of lemon, it’s a great addition here. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over the top before serving, or, add lemon zest to the top while you’re sprinkling on the cheese.
Balsamic – Add a drizzle of balsamic glaze to the top, just before serving. This is my favorite way to serve it lately! Make sure it’s a thick and aged balsamic glaze for best consistency and flavor. Regular balsamic vinegar is too tangy and thin.
Bundles – If you can only find super thin asparagus, you can make asparagus bundles instead of individual spears. Wrap 3 at a time in the salty prosciutto, and proceed with the recipe as written.
Aioli – Serve with a homemade garlic aioli for dipping.
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- 1 lb thick asparagus spears
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto*
- 1 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Trim the tough and fibrous grayish purple ends off the asparagus.
- Place the asparagus spears on a sheet pan, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.
- Lay the prosciutto slices out onto a cutting board. Slice each in half down the length of the slice, then grate a thin layer of parmigiano reggiano on top of all the prosciutto.
- Roll each asparagus spear with the parmigiano prosciutto, then arrange in a single layer on the sheet pan.
- Bake for about 10 minutes (but check after 6-7 because thicknesses will vary), until the asparagus is still somewhat firm, but tender. It should limp slightly when picked up…or you can just taste it and see if it’s done to your liking.
- Grate more parmesan on top if you’d like, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated with new photos, writing, and tips in September 2018. Originally published August 2011.