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Inspired by the flavors of Italy, this melon prosciutto salad is a perfect combination of sweet and salty, making it a hit at any summer gathering. With just a few simple ingredients, this Italian salad is not only stunning to look at but also a showstopper. Whether you’re enjoying it as a light lunch or serving it alongside your favorite Italian dishes, this summer salad is sure to become a staple in your summer menu rotation. This melon and prosciutto salad does not disappoint!

A plate of melon prosciutto salad featuring fresh arugula, cantaloupe melon balls, mozzarella balls, and prosciutto is accompanied by two wooden-handled gold forks on the side.

Melon prosciutto salad has fresh flavors and is a typical Italian combination. It looks super pretty on the table as part of a summer spread.

If you love the sound of this melon prosciutto salad, you’ve got to try this watermelon feta cucumber salad! For more Italian salads, check out panzanella salad (tomato and bread salad) and this Italian rice salad.

Two plates of melon prosciutto salad with cantaloupe balls, arugula, and mozzarella balls. A drink with a lemon slice is on the side. Fork, napkin, and wooden serving utensils are also visible.

Why You’ll Love It

Balance of textures and flavors: The crisp, sweet melon, together with the salty Italian ham and creamy mozzarella, is the perfect taste and texture combo.
15 minutes: Nothing is simpler!
Perfect for elegant summer entertaining: This salad is ultra refreshing and perfect to serve to guests when you want something a little nicer than a green salad.
A taste of Italy: This is a classic Italian dish – serve it as part of an Italian spread.

A plate of melon prosciutto salad with arugula, cantaloupe balls, and mozzarella balls. A glass of water with a lemon slice is in the background.

Melon Prosciutto Salad Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Arugula leaves: I love the peppery flavor of arugula in this salad. Swap it for fresh baby spinach leaves or mixed lettuce leaves.
Cantaloupe: I adore this nutrient-dense melon. Switch it with honeydew melon, watermelon, or a combination of melon varieties if you like. If you don’t have a melon baller, cut it into small cubes.
Prosciutto: Use thin slices for a wispy look and easy eating. Pancetta is great, too.
Baby mozzarella balls: The fresh mozzarella balls can be swapped for feta or any other variety of cheese.
Balsamic vinegar: The balsamic vinegar can be substituted with white or red wine vinegar. If you have, use an aged balsamic vinegar – this will take it to the next level.
Dijon mustard: This creamy mustard helps emulsify and thicken the dressing. You can leave it out if you prefer.

Ingredients for a delicious melon prosciutto salad are placed on a marble surface, including olive oil, soy sauce, honey, arugula, mozzarella balls, half a melon, salt and pepper shakers, basil leaves, and slices of prosciutto.

How to Make Melon Prosciutto Salad

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Build the salad: Arrange the arugula leaves on a salad plate or bowl. Top them with the balls of cantaloupe, torn prosciutto, and baby mozzarella balls. Finally, top the salad with the basil leaves if you’re using them.
Make the dressing: Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard to a small mixing bowl. Whisk and emulsify the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine and serve: Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

A fork holding a mozzarella ball and a cantaloupe ball over a plate of mixed green salad.

Substitutions and Variations

Grill the prosciutto: Next level! Crispy grilled prosciutto is a game-changer in this salad.
Vegan version: If you want to make a vegan version of this prosciutto salad – leave out the prosciutto, use avocado instead of the mozzarella, and switch the honey for maple syrup.
Goat’s cheese: If you like tart goat’s cheese, try it instead of mozzarella. It gives the recipe a more grown-up feel.
Balsamic glaze: Finish your melon salad with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a twinkle of flaky sea salt.
Fruit add-ins: If you like, add other fruits like grilled peaches, berries, or figs. These all go really well with the other ingredients. Don’t forget a good crack of black pepper.
Melon Options: Any of your favorite melons will work for this, or try a combination of melons. Honeydew melon or watermelon are great options.
Nuts and seeds: Sprinkle over toasted nuts or seeds for a crunchy topper!

A plate of melon prosciutto salad with mozzarella rests on a marble surface. Wooden salad servers and a glass of water with sliced lemon are beside it, while a small bowl of leafy greens is nearby.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizer: This salad is honestly the perfect Italian summer salad.
As a side to pasta: Browse these Italian vegetable dishes for inspiration. It’s also delicious with this easy shrimp linguine!
With vegetarian pasta: Serve this salad with a bowl of spaghetti and easy pink pasta sauce.
As a side to fish: I love it as a side to this orange BBQ salmon recipe.

Wooden spoon with thinly sliced prosciutto, a round melon ball, and a small mozzarella ball, atop green leaves; a perfect bite of melon and prosciutto salad.

How To Store Melon Prosciutto Salad

Store: Keep this salad undressed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day. Drizzle over the dressing just before serving. Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freeze: This salad is not a good recipe for freezing.

A fresh Italian canteloupe prosciutto salad with arugula, melon balls, mozzarella balls, and prosciutto is served on a white plate with a gold fork, accompanied by a glass of water with a lemon slice.

Top Tips

Choose ripe cantaloupe: Choose a ripe cantaloupe that feels heavy for its size, has a sweet smell, and yields slightly to gentle pressure at the stem end. This is my top tip – underripe melon just won’t cut it.
Chill ingredients: For a refreshing salad, chill the cantaloupe, prosciutto, and mozzarella balls in the refrigerator before assembling the salad.
Garnish with fresh basil: Whole basil leaves or chiffonade (thinly sliced) leaves add a pop of color and herbaceous freshness to the dish.
Emulsify the dressing: Whisk together the ingredients for the honey balsamic dressing until well combined and emulsified. This will ensure that the oil, vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard blend together seamlessly, resulting in a cohesive and flavorful dressing. You can also do this in a mason jar.
Dress the salad just before serving: To prevent the arugula from wilting, toss the salad with the honey balsamic dressing just before serving. This keeps everything crisp.

A hand pours a brown dressing over a fresh cantaloupe prosciutto salad.

Melon Prosciutto Salad FAQs

Is it necessary to use small mozzarella balls, or can I use a different type of cheese?

While baby mozzarella balls (bocconcini) add a creamy texture and mild flavor to the salad, you can substitute them with other types of cheese if you like.

Can I prepare the salad in advance for a gathering or party?

While some components of the salad can be prepared in advance (such as washing and drying the arugula and tearing the prosciutto), it’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to keep it fresh and looking good.

How long will the honey balsamic dressing keep in the refrigerator?

The honey balsamic dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Before using, give it a good shake or stir to recombine the ingredients, as they might separate over time.

A plate of melon prosciutto salad, topped with arugula, melon balls, and mozzarella balls. A fork is placed to the right of the plate.

Melon Prosciutto Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes

Melon Prosciutto Salad

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Melon prosciutto salad has fresh flavors and is a typical Italian combination. It looks super pretty on the table as part of a summer spread.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 4 Cups arugula
  • 1 cantaloupe, scooped with a melon baller
  • 8 Slices prosciutto, roughly torn
  • 1 1/2 Cups mozzarella balls, baby size
  • basil leaves, fresh, optional garnish

For the Honey Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Arrange the arugula leaves on a salad plate or in a salad bowl.
  • Top with the balls of cantaloupe, torn prosciutto and baby mozzarella balls. Garnish with the fresh basil leaves, if using.
  • To make the dressing, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard to a small mixing bowl.
  • Whisk until well combined and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Notes

Choose ripe cantaloupe: Choose a ripe cantaloupe that feels heavy for its size, has a sweet smell, and yields slightly to gentle pressure at the stem end. This is my top tip – underripe melon just won’t cut it.
Chill ingredients: For a refreshing salad, chill the cantaloupe, prosciutto, and mozzarella balls in the refrigerator before assembling the salad.
Garnish with fresh basil: Whole basil leaves or chiffonade (thinly sliced) leaves add a pop of color and herbaceous freshness to the dish.
Emulsify the dressing: Whisk together the ingredients for the honey balsamic dressing until well combined and emulsified. This will ensure that the oil, vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard blend together seamlessly, resulting in a cohesive and flavorful dressing. You can also do this in a mason jar.
Dress the salad just before serving: To prevent the arugula from wilting, toss the salad with the honey balsamic dressing just before serving. This keeps everything crisp.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 5149IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

If you’re looking for an easy summer salad with minimal prep time, try this one. I love it for its classic Italian flavors and perfect flavor balance. The balsamic vinaigrette quickly whips up and goes well with other salads.

More Melon Recipes To Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It was so good; I definitely want to make it again soon. I never knew melon and prosciutto could be so good together!