Bacon is a force to be reckoned with. This cut of meat has always been an American favorite for breakfast but it’s now a common ingredient in lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack recipes. Bacon and Salted Caramel Crispy Rice Cereal Treats, anyone?
In the test kitchen, we've tasted both supermarket bacon and high-end bacon, and have found that the best bacon does more than fill your kitchen with its comforting, mouth-watering aroma. It should be meaty and smoky (without tasting like an ashtray), salty and sweet (without imitating a salt lick or tasting too cloying). There are always personal preferences, of course, but there is one thing we can all agree on: Bacon makes everything taste better. For proof, check out these ten bacon-loaded recipes.
Better With BaconIf you’re a bacon lover (or even a bacon liker), you need no convincing that a collection of foolproof test kitchen recipes starring bacon is a good idea.
1. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Roast with Peach Sauce
Bacon makes a tasty wrapper for many foods, but when it comes to pork loin, bacon's flavor is just part of its appeal. Pork loin is very lean, so when it overcooks, as it often does, you're left with dry, flavorless, ultimately useless meat. Wrapping the tenderloin in flavorful bacon shrouds this finicky cut in a layer of tasty fat that renders slowly during cooking, basting the roast and protecting it from drying out. [GET THE RECIPE]
Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons SetComfortable and accurate with long handles, this set nests nicely. The rim of each spoon is flush with the handle so it's easy to sweep all of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe accurately.
2. Corn and Bacon Pasta
All-Clad d3 Stainless Steel 12" Fry Pan with LidYou can cook almost anything in our winning 12-inch skillet; try sautéing, shallow-frying, pan-roasting, stir-frying, or making our Corn and Bacon Pasta recipe in this pan.
3. Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
To upgrade this classic appetizer to entree status, we had to figure out how to increase the number of scallops without increasing the slices of bacon. (An entire slice of bacon per scallop was too much, even for us.) To solve for this, we double up the scallops and wrap a single slice of bacon around two of them, creating the perfect dinner portion. [GET THE RECIPE]
Norpro 12-Inch Stainless Steel SkewersThese are the only set to ace every task. These thin, flat stainless steel spears support thick kebabs, thread delicate scallops without tearing them, and turn easily. Plus, their looped handles cool quickly.
4. Grilled Bacon Burgers with Caramelized Onion
Topping a burger with crispy strips of bacon is nothing new, but what about incorporating bacon into a burger? Now there’s a wacky idea. Changing the bacon from an add-on to an add-in promised savory, bacony bliss in every bite, no plan of attack required. [GET THE RECIPE]
Cuisinart Custom 14 Food ProcessorWe process raw bacon in our winning food processor and then cook it briefly in a skillet so it will incorporate easily into the ground beef and disperse more bacon flavor throughout the burgers while staying moist and juicy.
5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onion
While developing this recipe we discovered that the bacon and onion really need a jump start in the oven before adding the sprouts. To do this we arrange the bacon pieces on one half of the sheet before scattering the oil-coated onion over the other half. Let that cook for about eight minutes, until the bacon starts to brown, and then add the sprouts. These Brussels sprouts—coated in flavorful bacon fat—make for a perfect side dish. [GET THE RECIPE]
Nordic Ware Baker’s Half SheetEverything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooks appropriately and evenly.
6. Bacon and Salted Caramel Crispy Rice Cereal Treats
This no-bake treat is simple, sweet, and reliably fast and easy to make. This version of crispy rice cereal treats is one to love thanks to the contrasting bits of crumbled bacon found in each bite. [GET THE RECIPE]
Le Creuset 7¼ Quart Round Dutch OvenDutch ovens do it all. We use this large, heavy-duty pot for boiling, searing, frying, braising, baking food, sous vide cooking, and more.
7. Easy Mashed Potatoes with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Scallions
We all have our own way of making mashed potatoes. The more versions we ate, the more we noticed that many of them—despite all the different tricks and techniques people use—could be so much better. This variation is filled with crispy bacon, crumbled blue cheese, sliced scallions, and just the right amount of seasoning to make sure that you never settle for mediocre mash again. [GET THE RECIPE]
All-Clad Stainless 4-Qt Sauce PanMost of us use a large saucepan daily, so it’s important to own one that performs flawlessly and will last for years.
8. Bacony Peas
Boiled or steamed frozen peas are a staple vegetable in many households. They’re very easy to prep and cook. In fact, most recipes call for a pat of butter and some salt and pepper and nothing else.
To get a more rewarding side, we jazz up these plain old peas with chopped bacon. With this recipe, you’ll get even those that don’t normally enjoy vegetables to say, “Pass the peas, please.” [GET THE RECIPE]
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Slotted SpoonThis nearly perfect spoon has a long, hollow handle that feels like it is molded to fit our palms; its wide, shallow, thin bowl makes it a breeze to scoop up food.
9. Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Relatively gentle heat leads to the juiciest chicken, but the bacon needs high heat for at least a portion of the cooking time to crisp properly. To make sure we had juicy chicken and crisp bacon, we rendered the bacon on the bottoms of the breasts in the skillet on the stovetop, transferred the skillet to the oven to almost cook the chicken through, and then hit it with the broiler heat. [GET THE RECIPE]
Cuisinart 12-Inch MultiClad Pro SkilletFitting eight pieces of chicken in this spacious skillet isn’t a problem, and the helper handle eases moving this somewhat hefty pan in and out of the oven.
10. Bacon-Ranch Cheese Ball
The best cheese balls are ones that are smooth and creamy, boldly seasoned, and rolled in tasty, festive coatings. Since grated cheddar alone doesn’t make a cheese ball, we add cream cheese to our recipe, which contributes creaminess and tanginess, and helps hold the ball together. We also add mayonnaise for sticking power and Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic for “oomph.” Once the cheese ball has firmed up, unwrap it and roll it in—what else?—cooked, crumbled bacon. [GET THE RECIPE]