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Create a beautiful Summer appetizer with an international flair — and with only five ingredients — in just minutes! 

Looking for a fresh, light, yet satisfying summer appetizer? This delicious Prosciutto and Melon or Prosciutto e Melone recipe captures the honeyed sweetness of cantaloupe beautifully complimented with savory prosciutto, nutty arugula, tangy raspberries, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

a serving of Prosciutto and Melon on a white plate.

As you can see, the final dish is picture-perfect with little effort. It has that Italian flavor that adds a unique touch to your next backyard bash, classy dinner party, or summer picnic.

This versatile melon appetizer truly pairs well with any occasion.

Isn’t it lovely when you prepare a stunning platter to serve those you love — and it is both quick and easy? That leaves you with more time to spend with friends and family!

ingredients for Prosciutto and Melon on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Prosciutto Wrapped Melon 

  • Cantaloupe — Head to your local farmers’ market, grocery store, or home garden and pick a medium-sized, well-ripened cantaloupe for a sugary-sweet addition to this well-balanced dish. Figs, apples, pairs, and other melons are also nice additions to this recipe.
  • Prosciutto — The rich, salty flavor of salty prosciutto is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the cantaloupe. Find your favorite brand of prosciutto, bold in flavor, or substitute for Serrano ham for a similar salty-sweet combo.
  • Baby Arugula — Green and peppery baby arugula gives the recipe the pinch of spice it needs. Look for a fresh bundle with a strong fragrance and dark leafy texture. A great alternative would be fresh basil leaves.
  • Balsamic Vinegar — Flavorful, sweet balsamic vinegar to top off the main ingredients is the perfect bridge between the savory and sweet flavors. Use a high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar to bring out the unique notes of the cantaloupe and prosciutto. Just a few drops will go a long way.
  • Raspberries — This additional ingredient is optional but highly recommended. Fresh, juicy raspberries add vibrant color to the final plated dish. When raspberries are hard to come by because of the season, try sprinkling on some blueberries instead.

How to make Cantaloupe and Prosciutto

With just a few weeks left of Summer, I’m savoring as many local fresh fruits and vegetables as I can. My Dad always grew melons in our garden — watermelon, cantaloupe, and even Crenshaw melons — and there was nothing better than one of those juicy, cold melon slices.

sliced of cantaloupe on a cutting board.

STEP 1 | Peel and slice your fresh cantaloupe

First, chop your perfectly ripe cantaloupe into two halves and thoroughly remove the seeds. Next, peel the skin from the sweet melon and slice it into eight wedges.

If you’d prefer, you can make your cantaloupe wedges thinner to have two per serving. Place the cantaloupe into the fridge to chill until you are ready for platting.

tip

  • How do you know if a cantaloupe is ripe enough for this unique recipe? When inspecting the melon selection at the market or grocery store, look for a cantaloupe with a pale tan outside rather than vibrant green. Next, feel the melon for any soft spots. Finally, smell the cantaloupe to ensure it is as ripe as it needs to be. You’ll receive a sweet, honey-like aroma if the cantaloupe is ripe and ready to serve.

wrapping a slice of cantaloupe with a slice of prosciutto.

STEP 2 | Plate and serve!

Once the melon is thinly sliced, building this scrumptious dish is simple. Lay a bed of baby arugula down the center of a serving platter and top with juicy, chilled melon slices.

Then, layer delicate, salty prosciutto over the cantaloupe. Another way to serve this scrumptious summer dish is to cut the prosciutto in half and gently wrap them around the cool cantaloupe slices before placing on the bed of leafy arugula.

placing a raspberry on a platter of melon with prosciutto.

Finally, sprinkle with refreshing raspberries and lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar all around the edges — it’s that easy! 

tips

  • The goal here is balance. If the prosciutto you purchase is particularly thin or thick, remember to use less or more when pairing with the sweet cantaloupe. That way, your dish creates a stunning contrast between the two very different flavors.
  • The higher quality of balsamic vinegar you use, the less of a drizzle you will need. Beautifully aged balsamic vinegar is rich and bold in flavor. So, remember to lightly top off the dish so it does not overpower the other tasty ingredients of this refreshing summer recipe.

Toppings

What makes this Prosciutto Wrapped Melon appetizer especially great is it makes for a perfect centerpiece to any cheese board or antipasti platter. The possibilities are practically endless, but here are a few of my favorite foods to serve with Cantaloupe and Prosciutto:

  • Parmigiano
  • Mozzarella
  • Asiago
  • Marinated olives
  • Marcona almonds

Frequently asked questions

Can you prepare Prosciutto and Melon ahead of time?

Perhaps you have your hands full with many other side dishes, main entrees, and desserts for an upcoming celebration. In that case, make this quick recipe even less of a hassle by partially completing it before diving into your several other delectable treats!

One day ahead, you can slice the wedges of cantaloupe and rinse and dry the arugula. The ingredients will store nicely in the refrigerator for about 24 hours in an airtight container. Leave the prosciutto and raspberries until the last minute, and assemble the platter just before serving.

Can you use a homemade balsamic reduction for this sweet and salty recipe?

You absolutely can. If you have a killer hand-made balsamic reduction you’ve wanted to create, go for it! If you don’t know how to make a balsamic reduction at home, you may be surprised at how easy it is. Just simmer and frequently stir your aged balsamic vinegar until it reduces to about half the original amount, creating a thicker glaze.

Are there other ways to serve Prosciutto and Melon?

This versatile dish can be served in various ways, using the same ingredients or adding one or two extras. Beyond simply wrapping the cantaloupe with prosciutto or layering the prosciutto on top, you can also cut the melon into cubes or create melon balls and pierce them with a small bamboo skewer for easy nibbling.

Furthermore, you can put together melon and prosciutto kabobs! Use cantaloupe cubes or balls and alternate with the arugula, some creamy mozzarella cheese, and prosciutto, all drizzled with sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar.

a platter of Prosciutto and Melon on a bed of arugula with raspberries as a garnish.

Serving suggestions

Bring this fresh and light appetizer to your next backyard cook-out with another Italian-inspired hit, Italian Garlic Butter Burgers topped with warm marinara and mozzarella cheese.

Even better for a cook-out might be my BBQ Chicken Tostadas prepared entirely on a sizzling grill.

Or serve your elegantly presented Prosciutto and Cantaloupe at a dinner party with an entree of delectable Chicken Dijon.

drizzling aged balsamic vinegar over a serving of Prosciutto and Melon on a white plate.

Behind the recipe: Prosciutto and Melon

This fascinating combination of dried meat and fruit has a rich history in Italian culture. Way back in Roman times, people were beginning to realize the connection between one’s diet and their health. It was believed that mixing certain elements would provide better health.

More specifically, the Romans categorized their food by the four elements- Fire, wind, water, and earth or hot, cold, wet, and dry. They would practice this principle by combining ingredients with opposing labels, like cold and wet cantaloupe wrapped with dry prosciutto. 

During the 1890s, this unique recipe shows up in the famous Pellegrino Artusi’s cookbook. However, it disappeared for some decades, then became an Italian staple in the 1960s– and has been ever since.

Now it is your turn to enjoy the savory sweetness!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

a serving of Prosciutto and Melon on a white plate.

Prosciutto and Melon (Prosciutto e Melone)

Create a beautiful Summer appetizer with an international flair — and with only five ingredients — in just minutes! 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 53 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium cantaloupe
  • 3 ounces prosciutto (thin slices)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cut cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel and slice the melon into 8 wedges (or slice thinner to make 2 wedges per serving). Chill until ready to assemble the antipasti platter.
  • Place arugula down the center of a serving platter. Arrange the cantaloupe slices on top.
  • Next, layer the prosciutto on top of cantaloupe (or instead cut prosciutto in half and wrap around cantaloupe slices).
  • Sprinkle raspberries along the arugula and drizzle all with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • How do you know if a cantaloupe is ripe enough? When inspecting the melon selection at the market or grocery store, look for a cantaloupe with a pale tan outside rather than vibrant green. Next, feel the melon for any soft spots. Finally, smell the cantaloupe to ensure it is as ripe as it needs to be. You’ll receive a sweet, honey-like aroma if the cantaloupe is ripe and ready to serve.
  • The goal here is balance. If the prosciutto you purchase is particularly thin or thick, remember to use less or more when pairing with the sweet cantaloupe. That way, your dish creates a stunning contrast between the two very different flavors.
  • The higher quality of balsamic vinegar you use, the less of a drizzle you will need. Beautifully aged balsamic vinegar is rich and bold in flavor. So, remember to lightly top off the dish so it does not overpower the other tasty ingredients of this refreshing summer recipe.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 4gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 300mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7g
Keyword antipasti, cantaloupe, proscuitto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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