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Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad

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An Italian bread salad filled with cantaloupe, prosciutto ham, fresh mozzarella, and arugula with a citrus honey dressing.

A simple Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad for summer! Fresh cantaloupe melon is mixed with prosciutto ham, mozzarella cheese, arugula, and bread.

White bowl filled with Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad with a copper spoon and ingredients around it

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If you are new to panzanella salads, think of them as a salad with less lettuce and extra, giant croutons! This classic Italian salad is versatile and a fun side dish for summer BBQs.

Close up of Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad with a spoon in it

A classic dish in Italy that you will find just about everywhere is prosciutto e melone. This is a very, very simple appetizer that is just wedges of cantaloupe melon wrapped with thin slices of prosciutto ham. That’s it. It is SO simple but the simpleness of Italian recipes is what makes them so great. And that means you want to use fresh and high quality ingredients.

Close view of the melon salad

A natural pairing with prosciutto ham and cantaloupe is mozzarella cheese which adds a great creamy texture to the Prosciutto Melon Salad. Plus, there are a lot of cheese lovers around here, so it is always welcomed.

Horizontal image of Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad in a white bowl

You can find prosciutto pre-sliced in packages near the deli counter at your local supermarket. A little goes a long way here, so approximately 3 ounces is enough (unless you want more!). Just tear the prosciutto slices into smaller pieces, about 4-5 pieces per slice, for the Panzanella Salad.

Cantaloupe, prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella, and bread salad in a white bowl

The bread salad was so pretty, part of me did not want to dive into it. Kind of like when you have a pretty cake or something. But it is meant to be eaten and tastes as great as it looks!

Spoon full of Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad

You can use any dressing you like or have on hand. The dressing included in this Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad recipe brings a great balance of citrus and tang with a touch of sweetness to the salad. It literally takes just a couple minutes to make. But you can also use a dressing that is citrus based or a vinaigrette. I would avoid anything too sweet unless you want a sweet salad.

Panzanella Salads

Pin image of Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad with the title at bottom

 

Prosciutto Melon Panzanella Salad

An Italian bread salad filled with cantaloupe, prosciutto ham, fresh mozzarella, and arugula with a citrus honey dressing.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bread, Lunch, Pork, Summer
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 458kcal

Ingredients

Panzanella Salad

  • 6 cups hearty bread, cubed (approx 1 pound total)(see note)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 cantaloupe cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups arugula lightly packed
  • 3 ounces prosciutto (more if desired)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls (or other fresh mozzarella cut in bite sized pieces)

Dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Cut the bread into approximately 1 inch cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and a little salt.
  • Bake the bread until the cubes are just crunchy but do not squish or bend. They should not be as hard as croutons. The time this takes will depend on how dry/dense your bread already is (for me it typically takes 20-30 minutes). When done, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • While the bread is baking, prepare the mix-ins. Either cut the cantaloupe into 1 inch pieces or use a melon baller to get balls of melon. Place in a large bowl. (If using a melon baller, see note).
  • Add the arugula to the bowl with the cantaloupe.
  • Tear the prosciutto slices into smaller pieces (4-5 pieces per slice) and add to the bowl. Cut the mozzarella if needed into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl.
  • In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients. Whisk together and salt or pepper to taste.
  • When the bread is done and cooled to room temperature, add the bread and toss to combine.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Let the dressing sit on the salad ideally for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving so that it starts to soak into the bread. It will not make the bread soggy.

Notes

Ideally you want to use a denser bread for this salad, something more rustic with less air. The weight of the bread will vary based on exactly which one you use, but you want to aim for 6 cups in volume regardless.
You can use any dressing that you like for this salad.  Anything citrus would be great!
I love using a melon baller to make the round balls of cantaloupe. You will need to use more than 1/2 of the cantaloupe to get enough pieces since not all of it will be used to get the shape. 
I love to use fresh mozzarella pearls because they are already in small pieces. But use any fresh mozzarella and cut as needed to be bite sized.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 636mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1969IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 288mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @threeolivesbranch or tag #threeolivesbranch!

 

By on July 1st, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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