Breakfast/ Lunch/ Main Dish/ Summer

Melon and Prosciutto Salad

August 9, 2022
Melon and Prosciutto--the perfect summertime combo! Fresh, cool cantaloupe with the saltiness of prosciutto--a must try.

This Melon and Prosciutto salad combines two of the most delicious complimentary flavors on earth: cantaloupe and cured ham! The unique sweetness of the cantaloupe and salty umami of the prosciutto are the perfect duo. Seriously one of my absolute favorite flavor combos! This dish is perfect for a warm summer picnic or serving as an appetizer with friends and family. There’s no cooking involved so it’s a quick, delicious starter if you have other parts of a meal to prepare.

How to Make Melon and Prosciutto Salad

Melon and Prosciutto salad is very simple, much like most Italian preparations. It’s the simplicity that really allows the ingredients to shine – the sweet, unique taste of the cantaloup and salty umami of the prosciutto balance for an absolute flavor bomb! You can use any melon of your choice; however, I highly suggest using at least some cantaloupe. Honeydew is a close runner-up. There’s also something to say about the texture of those types of melons with the soft prosciutto versus watermelon, which by name is more juicy and grainy.

If you wanted to style this salad with a little more finesse, you could use a fruit scoop to get perfect cantaloupe spheres. Then shred the prosciutto into pieces and place on the greens with the cantaloupe, pecans, and feta cheese. Drizzle with a little Balsamic vinegar, or better yet, Balsamic glaze if you have some on hand.

The first time I had this wombo combo was when my grandma would serve cantaloup with bacon. That said, if all you have is cantaloup and bacon, you’re 90% there. The herbs and prosciutto elevate, but really it’s the cured salty pork and sweet melon that make it.

Melon and Prosciutto with candied pecans, mint, and feta cheese. Quick, simple, and surprisingly sooo delicious!

The History of Melon and Prosciutto

According to La Cucina Italia, this dish dates back to the 2nd century AD when a doctor by the name of Galeno assembled melon and cured meat based on his studies for healthy, complete meals. Galeno said a dish should have ingredients that are warm, cold, juicy, and dry representing the elements of fire, air, water, and earth. In this dish, the prosciutto contains warm flavor and dryness while the melon is cool and juicy. It’s an interesting discipline, much like the Ayurvedic teachings in India. Many of these preparations are now being backed by modern science, but not at a fast pace–there certainly isn’t as much money to be made in preventative care as pharmaceuticals. That said, I tend to lean on anecdotal evidence of centenarians in the Blue Zones, healthy elderly people, and trusted nutritionists.

More Simple Summer Recipes:

Melon and Prosciutto Salad

Appetizer, Picnic, Side Dish Mediterranean, Italian
By Katelyn Bailey Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 0 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Cool, fresh, salty, and slightly spicy--all the flavors you want in a summertime lunch or appetizer! I always use Cantaloupe, but feel free to combine different varieties of melon like Honeydew, Canary Melon, Watermelon, etc.


  • 1 cantaloupe, cut into 1 1/2 inch-2 inch slices
  • 1 package of prosciutto
  • 2-3 oz arugula, or two large handfuls
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, candied if you don't mind the extra sugar!
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled into large pieces
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar



Start by cutting the cantaloupe into 1-2 inch thick slices. You'll have some left over after this recipe, or you could purchase two packs of prosciutto.


Wrap the cantaloupe slices with the prosciutto and set aside.


Toss the arugula with a little olive oil and dust with a little salt. Place this evenly on a large plate.


Place the prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe onto the greens and garnish with the pecans/walnuts, feta cheese, and mint.


Drizzle with a little Balsamic vinegar or Balsamic glaze when you are ready to serve.


  • 240 Calories
  • 5.2g Carbohydrates
  • 42mg Cholesterol
  • 19.4g Fat
  • 2.2g Fiber
  • 14g Protein
  • 5.5g Saturated fat
  • 858mg Sodium
  • 3.1g Sugar


You can make this dish as simple or complex as you like. Sometimes we just have the prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe. However, I will say, the arugula brings a welcomed hint of spice as does the feta cheese. Experiment with different nuts and garnishes, there are no mistakes in making it your own!

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