Asparagus, prosciutto, melty cheese and a crispy breadcrumb topping combine for a side dish that's impressive and elegant enough for your finest dinner party! Best of all, Asparagus Cordon Bleu is easy and can be assembled in advance.
It's the perfect accompaniment to Braised Pork Loin Roast in Dijon Mustard Sauce or Turkey Scallopini in Sherry Cream Sauce with Mushrooms and Artichokes!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
Here's a recipe you'll want to keep in your repertoire for easy, elegant entertaining because it's:
- Can be assembled a day or two ahead of time.
Asparagus, prosciutto, melty cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping. Mmmwhaaaaah!!! But, you can also substitute broccoli, broccolini or green beans for the asparagus.
Honestly, I don't think there's any vegetable sexier or better to photograph than asparagus. Amiright with this photo?
What to look for when buying fresh asparagus:
- Make sure it’s bright green with no sign of shriveling.
- It should be difficult to bend.
- The tips should be closed and have no sign that the asparagus came into contact with water (the tips deteriorate and get mushy rapidly when in contact with moisture). This can be a little tricky if the market sprays its produce.
- Once home, use within 1-2 days. If you need to store it longer, cut approximately ½-inch from the bottom then place in a glass or jar of water and cover it loosely with a plastic bag.
How to Make Asparagus Cordon Bleu:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this asparagus recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Asparagus: You'll want to use asparagus that is a bit thicker than the "pencil-thin" asparagus that is so prized because if the asparagus is too thin, it will overcook quickly. If all you can find is thick asparagus, trim it and peel some of the tougher outer bottom part away with a vegetable peeler.
- Gruyere Cheese: Gruyere cheese is a lovely, nutty firm cheese from Switzerland that melts beautifully. It can be on the pricey side but Grand Cru or regular Swiss cheese may be used instead.
- Prosciutto: Also known as Parma ham, authentic prosciutto comes from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Look for it near the deli of most grocery stores and markets. Imported Italian will be costly but for this recipe, domestic is fine. Here's more information and everything you've ever wanted to know about prosciutto from Eataly.
- Panko: Panko is also referred to as "Japanese bread crumbs" often used to deep-frying. They're dry and coarse. Look for it in the baking aisle or near the seafood department.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients. Prepare a baking dish by oiling it or spraying with cooking spray.
- Prepare an ice bath, then get a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Throw in a generous amount of salt--like a good tablespoon or so. According to a personal chef mentor of mine, the water should taste like the ocean.
- Drop the asparagus in for about 10-15 seconds or so, just until it turns bright green.
- Quickly remove and drop it into the ice bath. There's a whole lot of chemistry going on in that process. This "shocking" process is going to set the color and keep it from turning any sort of funky green color later.
- Remove the asparagus from the ice bath and dab it dry on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Divide the asparagus into eight even bundles then wrap in prosciutto (also known as Parma ham).
- Place in a prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese but leave the tips visible for a nice presentation.
- MAKE AHEAD: Can be prepared 24 hours in advance. Assemble but leave topping off and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat the oven top with breadcrumbs and bake per directions.
- Top with a breadcrumb and butter combination...
- Bake, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and you have Asparagus Cordon Bleu, a wonderful show-stopping spring side dish you can make ahead! Sooo easy!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- To determine how much to trim asparagus, bend one of the stalks near the bottom until it breaks. Where it breaks is where you should cut the remainder as they’re all typically the same size in the bunch and were probably growing next to each other.
- Because prosciutto is so thin, it can be difficult to work with. Be sure it's good and cold so it's stiff. If the pieces stick together, try running a knife between them. If you're having slices cut at the deli, ask them to place paper between the slices.
Frequently Asked Questions:
This can be prepped and assembled 24 hours in advance. Top with the buttery breadcrumbs just before baking so they don't get soft and stale.
You don't need to use imported Italian prosciutto which can be pricey. Domestic will do! You can also use thinly sliced deli ham. Grand Cru or Swiss cheese are perfectly acceptable substitutes for Gruyere. No panko? No problem. Use fresh breadcrumbs instead.
Also great on the side with:
- Pesto and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Roma Tomatoes
- Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
- Slow Cooker Honey Ham with Pineapple Salsa
- Lighter Beef Stroganoff
- Baked Tilapia with Spinach Pecan Pesto
More asparagus recipes you'll love:
Get all my amazing vegetable side dish recipes at: Vegetable Side Dish Recipes - From A Chef's Kitchen
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Asparagus Cordon Bleu
- Olive oil - or cooking spray for baking dish
- 2 bunches asparagus - 1 ½ to 2 pounds, tough ends trimmed
- 8 thin slices prosciutto
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter - softened
- ⅓ cup panko
- Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking dish by brushing with olive oil or spraying with cooking spray.
- Prepare an ice bath.
- Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Drop the asparagus into the salted water, working in batches if necessary. Cook 10-15 seconds or until asparagus turns bright green. Remove and immediately drop into the ice bath.
- Let cool thoroughly then pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Divide the asparagus into eight even bundles.
- Wrap each in the prosciutto and place in the prepared baking dish.
- Season bundles with freshly ground black pepper.
- Top with grated cheese.
- Combine butter and panko in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are browned.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Great recipe. Easy to prepare. A nice way to dress up asparagus for a special dinner or a casual dinner. Will make it again!
Hi, Mary, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed this recipe! It's definitely great for spring special occasions! Thanks again!
Looks good!!! Wonder what main protein this would pair best with?
Hi, Kim, Thanks for your question. Almost anything! If there is something in particular you're wondering about, let me know. I'm pretty good at pairing entrees with sides as I do it all the time for clients.
Rosemary @anitalianinmykitchen.com says
What a beautiful dish Carol, looks amazing. I love asparagus, looking forward to trying it.
Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Know exactly which client I'm making this for. I'll call it Carol's Sexy Asparagus
You always make me laugh. Hope they enjoy!
Erin @ Platings and Pairings says
Stellar idea Carol - This looks absolutely amazing!
Kristen @A Mind Full MOm says
You just took an already sexy veg and amped it up! Stunning photos as always and great recipe!