A small slice of Italian prosciutto with melon and mint makes a quick and easy appetizer. Wedges of fresh melon with salty prosciutto make ideal finger food for summer nights! This simple recipe includes easy instructions and tips for choosing the best melon to make this classic Italian party snack.
In Italy, prosciutto with melon (prosciutto e melone) is a popular food pairing. These two make a perfect match! Italians love the combination of sweet juicy melon and prosciutto, a salty dry-cured ham. And so do we!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Prosciutto-wrapped melon is an easy appetizer to make at home.
- Small slices of melon wrapped in prosciutto and skewered with a fresh mint leaf, make delectable appetizers with that sweet and salty contrast we love.
- These melon skewers make fun finger food and add a bright cheerful note to any appetizer platter.
- This prosciutto-wrapped melon appetizer is quick and easy to make, gluten-free and even keto-friendly!
All you'll need to make this traditional Italian appetizer are
- slices of sweet cantaloupe or other melon
- Italian Prosciutto (or Serrano or Iberico cured ham)
- fresh mint leaves
🔪 How to make prosciutto-wrapped melon appetizers
- Cut cantaloupe or other sweet melon into wedges ½ to ¾ inch thick and remove the rind. Slice the wedges in half to create two-bite appetizers.
- Slice long strips of prosciutto lengthwise.
- Wrap the prosciutto strips around the center of each melon piece, lay a fresh mint leaf on top, then secure with a toothpick.
- Serve right away, or within an hour.
No mint? This appetizer looks beautiful with a basil leaf or small sprig of fresh rosemary, too.
If you'd like, you can drizzle the skewers with a little balsamic glaze.
For a change, try these Persimmon Prosciutto Cheese Bites. They're sweet, smoky and salty, all in one bite!
We bought Charentais melons whenever we found them while we were traveling in France and Italy. They are smaller, sweeter than cantaloupe melons we find here in North America.
Look for Crenshaw or Tuscan melons to make this appetizer, as they're sweet and juicy too.
You can also wrap wedges of Honeydew melon with prosciutto. The contrast of green and pink is particularly pretty! Look for one that is at the peak of ripeness to guarantee a sweet melon.
Try a light sparkling wine like Prosecco, or a dry Rosé or a Riesling.
How to make prosciutto appetizers ahead of time
These appetizers are best made no longer than an hour or two before serving. If you prepare them too early, you'll end up with soggy prosciutto. The juicy cantaloupe draws out the salt from the ham, leaving it limp and wet!
However, you can easily have the melon wedges prepared and long strips of prosciutto cut well ahead of time. Keep them refrigerated, then assemble an hour or so before serving. Arrange them on a large serving platter and be prepared to have them disappear quickly!
How to choose a melon
Melons are best when they're picked ripe and sweet. I've described how to choose the best melon previously in this recipe for Mediterranean Cantaloupe Salad and I've included it here for you, too.
- Colour The rind should be cream or yellow-coloured and the webbed pattern should be slightly raised. If it’s green and the webbing is flat, it’s not ripe. A little green is just fine.
- Unlike other fruit, cantaloupe melons do not ripen after they have been picked from the vine. However, they will sweeten a little if you leave them on the counter at room temperature for a day or two.
- The Belly Button
The stem end should be smooth, round and flat. If it still has a piece of stem attached, it was probably picked too early and will not ripen properly.
- Smell Have a quick sniff of the stem end. It should be fragrant and smell like cantaloupe, but not be overpowering.
- Blemishes.Avoid those with bruises or mouldy spots.
- Feel It should feel firm but not too firm. Check the ends. It should have a little give, but not be mushy.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Create a Tuscan picnic right here at home!
You can find prosciutto everywhere in Italy!
It's on the breakfast buffets at hotels, it's in panini, it tops pizza, and it's stuffed in calzones. We had thin slices served to us with warm cubes of Italian bread as free bar snacks at happy hour time.
Just like Serrano ham in Spain, you'll find prosciutto hanging from the ceiling in small shops in every town.
We had a perfect Tuscan picnic in our agritourismo near Monterregiano after picking up some prosciutto, fresh melon, olives, Parmesan cheese, vine-ripened tomatoes and wine at a local market. Is there anywhere in the world more romantic as Tuscany?
It's easy to create a Tuscan picnic right here at home! Pick up a few of your favourite Italian deli items, make these prosciutto with melon and mint appetizers and enjoy!
This post has been updated with extra information to make it more helpful!
🗒 More appetizer recipes
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Prosciutto with Melon and Mint
- ½ medium melon cantaloupe, Crenshaw, Chanterais, or your favourite sweet melon
- 4-6 slices prosciutto or Serrano ham
- 16 leaves fresh mint
- Cut melon in half, remove seeds, turn so the cut side is facing down, slice into wedges about ¾ inch thick and peel. Cut the wedges in half.
- Slice prosciutto into thin strips (removing fat if desired.)
- Just before serving, wrap each melon slice with a thin slice of prosciutto and secure with a toothpick and a mint leaf.