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prosciutto, parmesan, panko: NPR

Becky Ellis, who likes to put her own twist on recipes, added prosciutto to a classic dish of green beans.

Becky Ellis/Collage by NPR

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Becky Ellis/Collage by NPR

prosciutto, parmesan, panko: NPR

Becky Ellis, who likes to put her own twist on recipes, added prosciutto to a classic dish of green beans.

Becky Ellis/Collage by NPR

All Things We’re Cooking is a series showcasing family recipes from you, our readers and listeners, and the special stories behind them. We’ll continue to share more of your kitchen gems throughout the holidays.

In Becky Ellis’ house, a Thanksgiving table isn’t complete without a casserole of green beans — and most of the time there are actually two types of popular side dishes on Table.

Ellis lives in Roanoke, Virginia, where she grew up on her mother’s casserole of green beans. But as a food blogger and recipe maker, Ellis likes to put her own spin on things and decided to experiment with the classic dish by adding prosciutto.

“My husband loves prosciutto, but he likes it baked or fried. He likes it crispy,” Ellis said, while explaining his inspiration for the addition.

The prosciutto is fried until crisp in a pan before being set aside on paper towels which absorb some of the oil. Ellis then boils the fresh green beans until tender – adding ham hocks for flavor. The green beans are then tossed with a cup of shaved parmesan cheese and half a cup of panko breadcrumbs before the whole mixture is coated with lots of chunks of butter and finished with the crumbled prosciutto.

Unlike many traditional recipes, Ellis’ Prosciutto Green Bean Casserole doesn’t include cream of mushroom soup or fried onions, but that doesn’t mean people love it any less.

“I always bring the prosciutto green bean casserole to any holiday event — you know, Thanksgiving, Christmas,” she said. “And if I didn’t show up with it, then they [would] send me home to do it because they loved it so much.

If there was any doubt about the recipe that her husband, Lou, inspired, Ellis got what you could say is the ultimate stamp of approval. “My nieces and nephews when they were teenagers, you know, teenagers are picky eaters, and they loved it,” she said. “And so I knew it was a good recipe.”

The recipe comes together pretty quickly, but if you’re preparing for a big holiday like Thanksgiving and want to save time, Ellis suggests frying the prosciutto the night before.

Parmesan Prosciutto Green Beans

Recipe submitted by Becky Ellis
Roanoke, Va.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans
  • 1 pork knuckle
  • 3 ounces prosciutto (I use Boar’s Head packaged brand. Sliced ​​prosciutto in deli may not fry very well.)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese shavings
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 stick of butter, cut into small pieces


Wash the green beans and remove the stems. Put them in a large pot of boiling water with the pork knuckle (no need to add salt, as this recipe contains a lot of salty ingredients).

Cook beans until just tender. Drain the green beans and remove the pork knuckle, then set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add vegetable oil to a frying pan and place over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, place the prosciutto slices in the pan and fry, turning once, until the prosciutto is crispy.

Remove the slices from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towel.

In a bowl, combine the parmesan and panko breadcrumbs.

Place the green beans in a baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumb mixture. Mix to combine.

Sprinkle the green beans with the knobs of butter.

Crumble the prosciutto and sprinkle it over the green beans.

Put the green beans in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

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