Well, we should probably say that everything is better with bacon, in moderation. Most health officials won’t tell you to fry up bacon to accompany every meal, but they will concede that it won’t harm you too much every now and again. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, told WebMD that when you do choose pile on the bacon, make it an indulgence with small serving sizes or cut back on other processed meats to keep your diet in balance. In either case, the point was that you can still eat bacon — which we’ve already established makes everything taste better. Try not to make all of the following recipes in one day.
1. Maple Bacon Monkey Bread
Breakfast, of course, is the most important meal of the day, and if you want something other than your usual eggs, bacon, and toast, the maple bacon monkey bread from AllRecipes.com is an excellent choice. Sweet monkey bread, or pull-apart bread, meets salty bacon for a breakfast or snack that serves sixteen.
- cooking spray
- 1 (12 ounce) package bacon
- ½ cup margarine
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 (16.3 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and cut into quarters
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the inside of a 9-inch fluted tube/bundt pan with cooking spray. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels; crumble and remove extra fat. Melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil; cook and stir until mixture begins to foam, about 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a resealable plastic bag; add 6 to 8 biscuit pieces at a time and shake until well coated. Pour any remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture into brown sugar mixture. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle ¼ the bacon pieces in the bottom of the tube pan; pour in about ¼ the brown sugar mixture. Arrange one layer of biscuit pieces in the tube pan; sprinkle in ¼ the bacon pieces.
Drizzle about ¼ the brown sugar mixture over the biscuit pieces. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used, ending with a drizzle of brown sugar mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until biscuits are cooked through, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool in pan, 10 to 20 minutes; invert onto a serving plate.
2. Butterscotch Bacon Coffee Cake
The salty-sweet flavor combinations are endless with bacon, so we had to feature another breakfast with the pairing. This time, it is a coffee cake that pairs butterscotch with bacon from Betty Crocker and Annalise Sandberg. You can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for butterscotch or do a mixture of half-and-half.
- 5 slices bacon, diced
- 2 cups Original Bisquick mix
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
Streusel and Icing
- ⅓ cup Original Bisquick mix
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 9-inch cake pan, or springform pan with cooking spray. Cook bacon in skillet until browned and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, and place on paper towel to drain.
In large bowl, mix 2 cups Bisquick mix, the granulated sugar and baking soda. Add buttermilk and egg, and mix until just combined. Fold in the butterscotch chips and cooked bacon. To make Streusel, in small bowl, mix ⅓ cup Bisquick mix and the brown sugar. Cut in cubed butter until roughly the size of small peas.
Spread batter in cake pan. Sprinkle with streusel. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, 45 to 60 minutes. To make icing, mix powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Add additional milk if necessary. Drizzle over cooled coffee cake.
3. Basic Potato Skins
Make Chow‘s basic potato skins for game day, as an appetizer, or just because it is Tuesday and you feel like it. The recipe is easy to follow and will have you preparing a restaurant-worthy dish with sixteen servings in about an hour and a half.
- 8 (3-inch-long) russet potatoes (about 2¼ pounds), scrubbed and thoroughly dried
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ stick), melted
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 5 to 6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Directions: Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Pierce each potato several times with a fork or sharp knife. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until the skins are crisp and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Set the oven to broil.
Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch intact; reserve the flesh for another use. Brush the insides of the potatoes with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes over, brush the skin sides with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Evenly space the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes (keep a close watch so they don’t burn). Flip the potato halves over and broil until the top edges just start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Evenly fill each skin with cheese and crumbled bacon. Place in the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and top each with 1 teaspoon of the sour cream and a sprinkling of the chives. Serve immediately.
4. Bacon Quinoa
Bruce Sherman, who gave this recipe to Food & Wine, calls quinoa “a miracle food.” While it is unlikely that quinoa can undo any potential health risks posed by bacon, it is good to know that there is at least one healthy component of this dish which serves four.
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 sage sprig
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, 4 minutes; let cool. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring a few times, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the stock has been absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the sage and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the chives, parsley and toasted almonds. Season the quinoa with salt and pepper and serve.
5. Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Protein lovers will rejoice over this Taste of Home recipe. You’ll get six servings of chicken wrapped in bacon — but you should probably lay off protein when it comes to the rest of the meal. Try serving the dish with a side of grilled vegetables or salad.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 1 carton (8 ounces) spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste
- 6 bacon strips
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Flatten chicken to ½-inch thickness. Spread 3 tablespoons cream cheese over each. Dot with butter and sprinkle with salt; roll up. Wrap each with bacon strip. Place, seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
6. Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers
Protein lovers are getting another shoutout, but this one is a bit of a surprise. Instead of the bacon covering up the second meat component, in Tyler Florence’s burgers for Food Network, there is bacon waiting for you in the burger.
- ½ cup shredded Monterey jack
- 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 pound ground chuck
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large hamburger buns, split
- ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, for serving
- lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and avocado, for serving
Directions: Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Flatten ¼ of the meat mixture in the palm of your hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the refrigerator while preparing the grill.
Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. (Cook ground beef until it is no longer pink, and the internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit) Remove the burgers to a clean side plate while you toast the buns.
Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down, toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and/or avocado.
7. Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Bacon Pizza
In the original Cooking Light recipe, you’ll find the ingredients and instructions for making pizza dough — but in this instance, we prefer the simplicity of using a pre-made pizza crust. It cuts down on the prep time, meaning you get to enjoy a pizza with bacon more quickly. In the original, the dough is rolled out to form a 12-inch crust.
- 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
- 4 bacon slices, chopped
- 1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach
- 2 cups (¼-inch-thick) sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Directions: To prepare topping, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings. Set bacon aside. Add spinach to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes or until wilted. Place spinach in a colander, pressing until barely moist. Add onion and 2 teaspoons sugar to pan; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 3 tablespoons flour and pepper, stirring with a whisk; cook 30 seconds. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, or to the temperature directed for your pizza dough. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place dough on a 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Spread milk mixture evenly over dough; top with spinach and onion. Bake for 20 minutes (or per instructions). Sprinkle evenly with bacon and cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cut pizza into eight wedges.
8. Five-Treasure Fried Rice
Fine Cooking‘s fried rice not only brings home the bacon, but it also finds a use for any broccoli stalks you might have in the fridge. If you are fresh out of those, you can throw in just about any other vegetable you have lying around — like peas, bean sprouts, asparagus, or mushrooms — or even skip it entirely. The recipe serves four.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup peeled, finely diced broccoli stems (from about 1-1/4 pound broccoli)
- ¾ cup finely diced carrots
- ¾ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- ¾ cup frozen shelled edamame
- ¾ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 4 scallions (the white and green parts), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups very cold cooked brown rice
- ¾ cup finely diced Canadian bacon (4 ounces)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup lower-sodium soy sauce
Directions: Heat all but 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or stir-fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli stems, carrots, and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the edamame and corn and cook until the edamame is thawed, about 1 minute. Add the scallion, ginger, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the raw garlic aroma subsides, about 1 minute. Add the rice and Canadian bacon and cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.
Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, then the eggs, and cook, stirring, until the eggs are almost fully scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture. Stir in the soy sauce and serve.
9. Pig Candy
When you need to satisfy a bacon-craving sweet tooth, make pig candy from Patio Daddio BBQ. Highly addictive, pig candy is bacon that is coated in a brown sugar glaze that caramelizes as it bakes. Once you’ve had it, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try it.
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- ½ cup dark brown sugar (more as needed)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne
Directions: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the syrup and cayenne well in a small bowl and set aside. Coat both sides of each bacon slice generously with brown sugar. Arrange the bacon on a wire rack inside a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake in the center position until the sugar is starting to caramelize and the bacon just starts to crisp around the edges. This should take about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon. Brush each slice with the syrup and bake another five minutes. Flip the bacon over and brush the other side with the syrup.
Bake until the bacon reaches your desired doneness. Remove from the oven and let sit five minutes before eating.