Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto Recipe | Italian Cuisine

Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto

Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto Recipe | Italian Cuisine
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 6 minutes | Servings: 6


Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto
Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto

Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto is a delightful dish that combines the tender, earthy flavors of asparagus with the salty crispness of prosciutto and the creamy, melted goodness of cheese. This recipe is perfect for those looking to impress at dinner parties or simply elevate their weeknight meal routine. It's a dish that balances simplicity with sophistication, making it accessible to cooks of all levels.


The origins of gratin dishes date back to French cuisine, where the technique of topping a dish with breadcrumbs or cheese and then browning it under a broiler became popular. Asparagus, a beloved spring vegetable, found its way into these dishes, celebrated for its vibrant color and flavor. The addition of prosciutto, an Italian cured ham, adds a modern twist to the traditional gratin, creating a fusion of flavors that is both comforting and elegant.


How to prepare

  1. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a skillet, add the asparagus and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain the asparagus.
  3. Divide the asparagus into 6 bundles and wrap each bundle with a slice of prosciutto. Place the bundles in a shallow dish.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the bread crumbs and toss to coat them.
  5. Pour the buttered bread crumbs over the asparagus bundles. Top with cheese.
  6. Broil for 1 minute or until the cheese lightly browns.


  • For a vegetarian version, omit the prosciutto and add a sprinkle of smoked paprika for a similar smoky flavor. You can also experiment with different types of cheese, such as Gruyère or Parmesan, for a new flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, choose fresh, firm asparagus spears. Thinner spears are ideal for this recipe as they wrap easily with prosciutto and cook quickly. When boiling the asparagus, a pinch of salt can enhance its natural flavors. To achieve a golden, crispy topping without overcooking the cheese, broil the gratin on the middle rack of your oven and keep a close eye on it.

Serving Suggestions

This dish pairs beautifully with a light, crisp salad or a side of roasted potatoes. For a heartier meal, serve alongside grilled chicken or fish.

Cooking Techniques

Blanching the asparagus before broiling helps to maintain its vibrant green color and tender texture. Broiling the gratin at the end allows the cheese to melt perfectly while creating a crispy, golden topping.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal as a topping. If you're avoiding dairy, nutritional yeast can be a flavorful substitute for cheese.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the asparagus bundles and refrigerate them a day in advance. Just add the breadcrumbs and cheese before broiling to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve each asparagus bundle on individual plates, drizzled with a balsamic reduction or lemon zest for an added touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp Chardonnay complements the flavors of this dish beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the topping before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto contains approximately 200-300 calories, making it a moderate option for those monitoring their calorie intake.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the breadcrumbs and the asparagus itself. A serving contains approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those on a low-carb diet.


The fats in this recipe come from the unsalted butter and cheese. Depending on the type of cheese used, a serving can contain between 10-20 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Choosing a cheese that is lower in fat can reduce the overall fat content.


Prosciutto and cheese are the main protein sources in this dish, providing approximately 15-20 grams of protein per serving. Asparagus also contributes a small amount of protein, making this dish a good option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. The cheese and prosciutto also add calcium and phosphorus, making this dish beneficial for bone health.


This recipe contains dairy (butter and cheese) and gluten (breadcrumbs). Those with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients should consider suitable substitutions.


Overall, Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of proteins, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's relatively low in carbohydrates and calories, making it a healthy addition to any meal.


Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto is a versatile dish that combines the best of spring flavors with the comforting richness of cheese and prosciutto. Whether you're looking for a sophisticated side dish or a light main course, this recipe is sure to delight with its delicious flavors and elegant presentation.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately captivated. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her cozy little cottage nestled in the countryside. Maria had a knack for finding the most exquisite recipes from all over the world, and this one was no exception.

As I walked into her kitchen, the aroma of garlic and herbs filled the air. Maria greeted me with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye. "I have a special treat for you today, my dear friend," she said as she handed me a handwritten recipe card. "Asparagus Gratin with Cheese and Prosciutto."

I had never heard of such a dish before, but the combination of flavors sounded absolutely delightful. Maria explained that she had learned this recipe from her Italian grandmother, who had passed it down through generations. The secret, she said, was in the quality of the ingredients and the love and care put into each step of the cooking process.

I watched as Maria effortlessly prepared the dish, her hands moving with grace and precision. She carefully trimmed the asparagus spears, blanched them in boiling water, and wrapped each one in a thin slice of prosciutto. She then arranged the asparagus in a baking dish and sprinkled them with a generous amount of grated cheese.

As the dish baked in the oven, the cheese melted and bubbled, creating a golden crust that was simply irresistible. The savory aroma wafted through the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation.

Finally, Maria pulled the dish out of the oven and placed it on the table in front of me. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, tender yet still crisp, and the cheese had formed a delicious crust on top. I took a bite, and my taste buds exploded with flavor. The saltiness of the prosciutto paired perfectly with the creamy cheese and the earthy taste of the asparagus.

I savored each bite, savoring the memories of my time spent with Maria and the joy of discovering a new and delicious recipe. As we sat at the table, enjoying our meal and sharing stories, I knew that this recipe would become a cherished favorite in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I have made this dish countless times, each time with a sense of nostalgia for that summer day spent with Maria. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition of delicious homemade food and the joy of cooking with love.

As I sit here now, writing this story and reminiscing about that fateful day, I am filled with gratitude for the gift of friendship and the joy of discovering new recipes. The asparagus gratin with cheese and prosciutto will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the power of good food and the bonds we create through sharing meals with loved ones.

And so, I continue to cook and create, inspired by the memories of that summer day and the recipe that brought me closer to my dear friend Maria. In each dish I make, I strive to infuse it with the same love and care that she showed me that day, knowing that the true secret to a delicious meal lies not just in the ingredients, but in the heart and soul of the cook.


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