Asparagus Cordon Bleu

5 from 2 votes
40 minutes
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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!

Photo of Asparagus Cordon Bleu in white rectangular baking dish on blue background.

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:

  • Impressive
  • Elegant
  • Can be assembled a day or two ahead of time.
  • Versatile

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?

Photo of a bunch of asparagus.

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 1/2-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:

Recipe Ingredients:

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.

Photo of ingredients for Asparagus Cordon Bleu in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • 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.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • 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.
Photo of asparagus in ice bath in glass bowl.
  • 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.
Photo of bundles of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
  • 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.
Photo of asparagus covered with Gruyere cheese.
  • Top with a breadcrumb and butter combination…
Photo of asparagus topped with cheese and breadcrumb topping.
  • 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!
Close-up photo of Asparagus Cordon Bleu in white baking dish.
Photo of Asparagus Cordon Bleu in white baking dish on light blue background with cheese scattered about.

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:

How far ahead can Asparagus Cordon Bleu be assembled?

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.

What substitutions can I make?

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.

Photo of Asparagus Cordon Bleu in white rectangular baking dish with uncooked asparagus on the side and cheese scattered about.

Also great on the side with:

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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Photo of Asparagus Cordon Bleu in white rectangular baking dish on blue background.

Asparagus Cordon Bleu

5 from 2 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Vegetables
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Olive oil - or cooking spray for baking dish
  • Salt
  • 2 bunches asparagus - 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, tough ends trimmed
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter - softened
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  Can also use broccoli, broccolini or green beans.  Thinly sliced deli ham may be used in place of prosciutto.
MAKE AHEAD: Can be prepared 24 hours in advance. Assemble but leave the breadcrumb topping off and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat oven, add breadcrumbs and bake per directions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1013IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 3mg

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.

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Easy to prepare. A nice way to dress up asparagus for a special dinner or a casual dinner. Will make it again!

    1. Hi, Mary, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed this recipe! It’s definitely great for spring special occasions! Thanks again!

    1. 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.

  2. What a beautiful dish Carol, looks amazing. I love asparagus, looking forward to trying it.