Crispy Prosciutto is easy to make in the oven or air fryer. Perfectly crunchy and even better than bacon, enjoy it as a snack on its own or topping on salads, pasta, pizza, soups, veggies, and more.
Is there anything better than bacon?
Yes – crispy prosciutto! This salt-cured thinly sliced ham from Italy is naturally salty and sweet (it makes these Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Appetizers), but once it’s fried and crispy, all bets are off. It’s completely irresistible!
Making prosciutto crisps isn’t much work at all and can be done in the air fryer or oven. The heat draws out any remaining moisture in the meat and in less than 20 minutes, the once flexible, paper-thin slices become light as air and very crunchy.
I tend to have packages of prosciutto in my fridge at all times, and I encourage you to do the same. You never know when you might need a handful of crunchy prosciutto crisps to liven up a green salad, a bowl of gnocchi with blue cheese, this spring pea risotto, and more.
🥓 Prosciutto vs. bacon
Prosciutto and bacon are both sliced ham products but have a number of differences:
- Bacon is sliced from the pork belly. It’s cured with salt, nitrates, and other spices and seasonings, and must be cooked before eating.
- Prosciutto is a type of salt-cured dry-aged Italian ham made from pork leg. Over time, curing the pork in salt extracts the moisture and prevents bacterial growth, so it can be eaten raw. The salting process also enhances the pork’s naturally sweet and salty flavors.
This charcuterie is commonly served uncooked on grazing boards or wrapped around delicacies like Grana Padano cheese, asparagus, and fresh avocado. However, cooking prosciutto in the oven or air fryer transforms the slices into crispy chips and expands the serving possibilities.
🛒 Picking your prosciutto
There are two important things to pay attention to when choosing the best prosciutto:
- Where it was cured
- The standards met during the processing
Prosciutto di parma is my prosciutto of choice. It’s made in Parma, Italy, from special pigs bred under strict quality controls.
When shopping for sliced prosciutto, check the label for the gold crown. This symbol guarantees you’re buying Italian-bred pork cured 100% naturally, meaning there are no additives, hormones, gluten, or coloring agents. Look for it near the deli counter with the specialty meats and cheeses.
Of course, you can make crispy prosciutto with other types, but know the texture and tastes will vary. Jamón from Spain, American prosciutto, and prosciutto cured in different regions of Italy are also good options.
📋 Cooking methods
There are two ways to make crispy prosciutto at home: in the oven and in the air fryer. I’ve included both methods for you below:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer without overlapping.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake. You’ll know the meat is ready when the color is darker and the meat is firm and crisp.
Air fryer instructions
Preheat the air fryer to 360ºF. Spray the basket with cooking oil and arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer. Work in batches if you need to.
Air fry until the prosciutto looks firm and is beginning to crisp (the time may vary depending on the thickness of the meat).
✔️ Tips and tricks
- Do not overcrowd the baking sheet or the air fryer basket. Overcrowding = steaming, which will prevent the prosciutto from becoming crispy.
- Thin slices of prosciutto can burn quickly, so keep an eye on the oven or air fryer while they cook.
- The prosciutto will get crunchier as it cools, which is why removing it from the oven or air fryer slightly underdone is best.
- When serving the crisps, remember that a little bit of prosciutto will add a salty pork flavor to your dishes. Consider using less salt in the original recipe for this reason.
How long does cooked prosciutto last?
Crispy prosciutto is best eaten the day it’s cooked. Extras can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, but know that they may lose their crispy texture.
Can you reheat cooked prosciutto?
Yes, oven and air fryer prosciutto can be reheated by returning the pieces to the oven or air fryer. You can also wrap the pieces in a paper towel and reheat them in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds.
🍽 Serving suggestions
These are some of the best ways to serve crispy prosciutto:
- Salads – Try adding it to a simple arugula salad or roasted squash salad. Feel free to swap the bacon for chopped prosciutto crisps on a wedge or chicken cobb salad as well.
- Soups – Garnish your favorite creamy soups with crispy bits of prosciutto, like potato soup, butternut squash bisque, and even cold cucumber gazpacho.
- Pasta – Crumbling prosciutto pieces over pasta is never a bad idea. It adds the perfect finishing touch of flavor and texture to spaghetti Aglio e olio, cheesy gnocchi, and creamy tortellini.
- Other ideas – Chop up each piece and sprinkle the pork over pizza. You can also use it as an alternative to bacon in pea or butternut squash risotto, roasted cabbage steaks, and bacon fried rice.
Did you cook prosciutto in your oven or air fryer?
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How to Make Crispy Prosciutto
- 3 ounces prosciutto (thinly sliced)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the prosciutto slices on the parchment paper in a single layer.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness). Note: The prosciutto will continue to crisp up as it cools.
- Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
- Arrange the prosciutto in the air fryer basket in a single layer (you will need to work in batches).
- Air fry for 4-6 minutes (depending on thickness). Note: The prosciutto will continue to crisp up as it cools.