Flavor-packed and wonderfully savory, bacon makes a great complement to a wide range of sweet and savory starter dishes. As a popular addition to appetizer and finger food spreads, this meat seems to find its way onto guests’ plates at almost any event or gathering. And even though it’s suffered some strange marketing stunts in recent years — bacon toothpaste, anyone? — bacon is still a crowd favorite, with MarketWatch reporting that the industry boomed to $4 billion in 2013.
Whip up any of these 16 amazing bacon appetizers to indulge in with friends and family (or by yourself — we won’t tell anyone).
1. Friends and family will have a tough time controlling their appetites when these Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs from Damn Delicious hit the table. Just four simple ingredients bake together in this recipe to make one marvelously crisped potato treat.
2. You know you’re in for a (perhaps not-so-healthy) treat when a recipe calls for a full pound of bacon. Foodie With Family’s Slow-Cooker Spicy Bacon Corn Dip offers a blend of creamy Neufchatel and Monterey Jack cheeses along with crisp bacon pieces and jalapeño peppers for a bold kick at the finish. Just don’t invite any double-dippers!
3. Ruled.Me’s Bacon and Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip will blow all those store-bought spinach dips you’ve tried out of the water. Cream cheese and sour cream give the dip a creamy and mouthwatering base, while bacon, garlic, and Parmesan add a burst of flavor.
4. Bacon-Wrapped Scallops are a classic starter, and with good reason — the flavor of bacon offers a superb balance to mild and tasty fresh scallops. To top things off, the Food Network includes a divine spicy mayo accompaniment to the dish.
5. Here’s a finger food that’s sure to disappear quickly: Snixy Kitchen’s Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs With Bacon. Mild goat cheese plays beautifully off the powerful taste of bacon, while figs offer the the dish a delightfully subdued base. A drizzle of honey on top will lend them an irresistible dash of sweetness.
6. There’s a little something for everyone in these Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms from Supper for a Steal. The filling is a indulgently creamy, while crispy bacon and breadcrumbs afford the dish an irresistible texture. You won’t be able to eat just one!
7. These bacon-wrapped delights from the Pioneer Woman are a true crowd-pleaser — and easy, to boot! Her Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan Crackers require just three ingredients. For a sweet and salty take on the dish, try substituting brown sugar in for the cheese.
8. Bacon-Wrapped Avocado Fries will make an impressive addition to your next appetizer spread. These “fries” from Back to the Book Nutrition are actually baked to a crisp for about 15 minutes. Back to the Book Nutrition recommends purchasing avocados that are ripe but still firm to avoid an overly mushy consistency. Dip them in blue cheese for an added taste of heaven!
9. Maybe you’ve had crab rangoon in your Chinese takeout before, but we think you’ll love these Roasted Garlic, Spinach, and Bacon Rangoon bites from BS in the Kitchen even more. These dumplings are little bites of joy — perfect for any party or gathering!
10. Bacon fat and crumbled strips lend flavor to this cheesy cheddar and cream cheese-based dip from Dinner Dishes and Desserts. The Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip also incorporates amber ale (one of your choosing) for its distinct taste, plus dijon mustard for a bit of zing.
11. Impress your guests with this sophisticated dish from Saveur: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Apple Skewers With Mango Chutney. The apple and mango portions offer the dish just the right level of sweetness.
12. Creative Savings Blog’s Mini Ham and Bacon Cheddar Cups are a great last-minute treat for savory snack lovers. They’re also a great option for beginner-level bakers — just mix up the basic ingredients and toss them in the oven for 10 minutes to result in an utterly unbelievable appetizer!
13. Fearless Dining’s Bok Choy and Bacon Deviled Eggs are fiendishly fantastic — and a great way to use up some fresh bok choy in a new, exciting way. Bacon grease lends a bit of bacon-y flavor to the filling, while bacon crumbles on top add a dash of fusion fun.
14. Gooey, melty, and out-of-this-world are just three terms that could be used to describe Yellow Bliss Road’s Bacon, Cheddar, and Jalapeño Mini Rolls. Guests will go crazy for these bite-sized delights — especially if they’re served right out of the oven.
15. Yes To Yolks presents a twist on an old favorite with these Bacon and Apple Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers. In addition to the usual jalapeño and cream cheese components come apples — giving the dish a pleasantly tart balance — and tantalizing bacon crumbles.
16. Exercise your culinary creativity with these Strawberry Chipotle Compote Bacon Meatballs from Cooking on the Weekends. Adjust the recipe’s brown sugar levels according the sweetness of your strawberries. If you wish to transform the dish into an entrée, simply cook up burgers in place of meatballs, and enjoy!