Our Best Smoky, Sizzling Bacon Recipes
Bacon and Baked Potato Soup
Bacon is versatile and dependable, amping up most dishes. Our cheesy potato soup, for instance, just seems to call for salty-smoky crumbled bacon. So we stirred some in and sprinkled the rest on top.
Turn a classic BLT into a main dish salad. The favorite combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato are added to a mix of vegetables and toasted bread to make a delightful meal. Creamy mustard dressing makes the perfect topping.
Starker's Bacon and Cheese-Curd Burger
You can find the bacon and cheese inside these hamburgers instead of on top. Adults and kids love these flavorful burgers. Serve them at your next outdoor gathering. This recipe comes from Starker's Restaurant in Kansas City.
Green Beans with Bacon and Onion
Picky eaters in your family? Bacon-dressed beans will surely tempt them to eat their veggies.
Peach and Bacon Avocado Toast
You say tomato, we say peach--at least, we do for this fantastic BLT-avocado toast hybrid. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Bacon, Ham and Egg Hash
The Niman Ranch group turns to Iowa for much of its pork. This recipe, which calls for Niman Ranch Dry-Cured Applewood Smoked Ham or other cooked ham, comes from pork producers Monica and Randy Duffe of Wilton.
Bacon-Pear Macaroni and Cheese
Crispy bacon, extra-creamy cheese sauce, pears sauteed in brown sugar and butter. It took our Test Kitchen three tries to get all the pieces right. Oh man, was it worth it.
Radish, Green Beans and Bacon Saute
This simple side dish is a great recipe for spring and fall, when you can buy local radishes with gorgeous fresh greens attached (or pick your own!).
Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Orange juice concentrate brings out the sweet flavor while crumbled bacon adds a warm smokiness to this sweet potato side dish made in the slow cooker. Try with roasted pork loin or turkey breast.
This five-ingredient recipe comes from the bacon pros at Nueske's meats in Wisconsin.
Cajun Sweet Corn and Bacon Jumble
Salty bacon and Cajun seasoning liven up this veggie mixture for a hearty side.
Chicken, Bacon and Cheddar Submarines
This crowd-pleasing party sandwich works on your schedule. You can prepare and bake it all at once for a party, or assemble the sandwiches the night before, and then bake them when your family or guests are ready to eat.
This twist on your classic potato soup uses rutabaga, a humble root veggie that has a deliciously sweet-nutty flavor.
Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Balls
Freshly shredded cheese works better than packaged shredded cheese in a cheese ball. Prepare the cheese mixture the night before so flavors have a chance to blend. Shape and roll in the crumbled bacon or pistachio nuts a few hours before serving.
Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
These sweet and salty caramelized bites are so good, you may not even want to dip them. But be sure you do for a tangy, creamy finish.
Sassy Baked Beans
Mix and match different kinds of beans and meat to suit your preferences. Our smoky-sweet baked beans will beat canned beans every time!
Browned Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta
Give Brussels sprouts a fresh taste with this colorful side dish flavored with bacon and feta. The trick to preserving the sprouts' mild taste is to avoid overcooking.
Sunny Broccoli Salad
A Cleveland reader makes this salad a day ahead and refrigerates the dressing and vegetables separately. When it's time to serve it, she tosses everything together. Bacon, sunflower kernels and raisins make a crunchy and flavorful side dish.
Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Here's a delicious take on a classic side-dish salad.
Chipotle Smashed Potatoes
This is the ultimate feel-good dish: two kinds of mashed potatoes with bacon. Cream cheese adds richness; chipotle chile brings a subtle smoky flavor.
Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Filet
Cheese, bacon and mushrooms create a mouthwatering beef main dish from White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Willis Family Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Peel and devein 1 pound of large fresh shrimp in shells (about 16), leaving tails intact. Rinse; pat dry. Using 8 slices of Niman Ranch Bacon or other bacon (halved crosswise), wrap each shrimp in a piece of bacon, securing with a wood toothpick (neck to tail in a half-moon). To grill, place shrimp on lightly greased rack of uncovered grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and shrimp turn opaque, turning once. (For gas grill, cover and grill as directed.) If you like, serve with your favorite barbecue sauce. Makes 16.
Easy bacon sandwiches
Clockwise, from top left:
On a flour tortilla, combine scrambled eggs, pico de gallo or salsa, pepper Jack cheese and chopped bacon. Serve it rolled up or open face.
Rye bread gets topped with Dijon-style mustard, bacon slices, Granny Smith apple slices and Brie.
On sliced wheat bread, layer Canadian bacon, coleslaw, pickles and barbecue sauce.
Top a toasted English muffin with peanut butter, bacon, banana slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Party pumpernickel bread gets a topping of sliced pear (brushed with lemon juice), blue cheese crumbles, bacon and honey.
Toasted white bread meets sliced roasted turkey, bacon strips, avocado and fresh ground pepper.
Follow package directions for stove-top cooking, starting with an unheated pan over medium heat or:
In the oven: Place slices side by side on a rack in a shallow-sided baking pan. Bake in 400° oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp. Drippings fall below the rack in this no-watch method.
In microwave: Cut down on splattering by placing slices on a microwave-safe rack or a plate lined with microwave-safe paper towels. Microwave on high (2-3 minutes for 2 slices, 3-4 1/2 minutes for 4, and 4-5 minutes for 6 slices), rearranging bacon once.
Most bacon results from a mix of brining, wet- or dry-curing and some form of smoking. Different twists on this process alter the taste.
Pancetta This Italian bacon (pictured), used to flavor sauces and pasta dishes, is cured but not smoked.
Dry-cured bacon Because it contains less water, this type shrinks less during cooking and produces less popping grease in the skillet.
Flavored bacon Maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, pepper and more complement bacon's saltiness. Smoking with woods such as apple or hickory creates subtle distinctions, too. But take note of labels promising things such as "hickory flavor." This isn't true smoked bacon.
Canadian bacon A smoked meat more like ham than American bacon, it also produces less cooking shrinkage, resulting in more servings per pound.