Ina Garten’s Caramelized Bacon Is ‘the Most Outrageous’ Appetizer and ‘Maybe the Most Addictive,’ According to the Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten has a unique snack idea that she calls her “most outrageous” appetizer. The Barefoot Contessa star’s caramelized bacon recipe is so easy to make and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Ina Garten wears a bright blue shirt and cooks with Stephen Colbert who is seen drizzling oil
Ina Garten | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Ina Garten called 1 appetizer her ‘most outrageous’

Garten has written many cookbooks and demonstrated so many of her recipes on Barefoot Contessa, but there’s one appetizer she said is her “most outrageous.” She shakes up traditional appetizers with her caramelized bacon recipe, which requires just a handful of ingredients.

“This is the most outrageous hors d’oeuvre I’ve ever made and maybe the most addictive,” Garten wrote in her Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof cookbook. “The pieces of bacon are sweet and spicy and, believe it or not, they’re delicious with a cocktail.”

Her recipe also notes that the bacon “can be made early in the day and stored at room temperature.”

How to make Ina Garten’s unique caramelized bacon recipe

Garten’s caramelized bacon appetizer recipe is simple to pull together and delivers the sweetness of brown sugar and maple syrup, the spice of cayenne and black peppers, and a bonus nutty flavor from pecans. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Garten begins by lining a sheet pan with aluminum foil and placing a wire rack on top of the pan.

She combines brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and chops the nuts until they’re finely ground. Garten adds salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the food processor and pulses the ingredients together, then she adds the maple syrup and pulses everything again.

The Barefoot Contessa star cuts the bacon slices in half crosswise and lays them on the baking rack. Then she spoons the pecan mixture over each slice.

She cooks the bacon in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The topping will be “very browned but not burnt,” according to her recipe. She also notes, “If it’s underbaked, the bacon won’t crisp as it cools.”

Garten places the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to cool and serves the appetizer at room temperature.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star’s easy bacon recipe gets rave reviews

Garten’s recipe has received glowing reviews on the Food Network site. “Another fantastic and flavorful recipe by Ina!” one person commented. “I took these to a brunch party and they were a total hit! I had to keep some pieces in the oven for 50 minutes though, so be prepared if you have thick slices that you may need to adjust the time. Other than that, I highly, HIGHLY recommend this recipe!”

Another commenter raved, “To die for! Don’t hesitate. Make this! It is such a crowd pleaser!! And … it’s easy!”

“This was a total hit!” another person shared. “I made this for a family luncheon as an appetizer and not one morsel was left on the plate. I followed instructions and it turned out perfect. Would recommend making it a couple of hours earlier, so bacon will have time to be less ‘bendable.'”

Some of the reviews mentioned that the bacon can stick to paper towels and people recommended cooling it on parchment paper instead.

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