20 Important Recipes Starring Bacon

20 Important Recipes Starring Bacon

Kelli Foster
Sep 14, 2015
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Ah, bacon; its crispy snap and smoky flavor have a special way of making everything it touches even better. It's nearly perfect on its own, but it really shines when it's added to another dish — everything from breakfast bakes and salads to side dishes and soups.

Let these 20 recipes show you there's no shortage of ways to use bacon from breakfast to dinner. I'm talking breakfast polenta squares, bacon and cheddar biscuits, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, and the bacon-cheddar twice-baked potatoes you're going to be dreaming of this fall.

First, let's start with all the basics of cooking bacon. Whether you prefer the stovetop, oven, or microwave, there's no wrong way to cook this beloved meat.

1. Kale, Bacon & Egg Whole Wheat Breakfast Sandwich

(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

Ready to start your day off right? Look no further than this breakfast sandwich. It starts with good bacon — just enough to add flavor and crispness to the sandwich, as well as a thin film of fat on the pan, perfect for cooking the kale.

2. Breakfast Polenta Squares with Spinach & Bacon

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Meet the polenta breakfast bake — a no-stir, practically hands-off way to make a hearty breakfast that will last you all week.

3. Crispy Brown Sugar-Glazed Bacon

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

If you need a new party trick, or just a delicious way to jazz up breakfast, brown sugar-glazed bacon is it. Whether you are serving a casual brunch or just serving cocktails, it is guaranteed to wow.

4. Warm French Lentil Salad with Bacon & Herbs

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

These lentils are cooked in chicken broth for extra flavor, then tossed with cooked bacon, fresh herbs, and a mustard vinaigrette, and served warm — perfect for lunch or a simple side dish.

5. BLT Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

(Image credit: Liz Vidyarthi)

It's hard to improve on a classic BLT, but this may do the trick. Think of this salad as a BLT in a bowl — fresh summer tomatoes with a bright vinaigrette, toasted croutons, and crispy bacon.

6. Baked Bacon & Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Jalapeño poppers are definitely a decadent treat, but sometimes over-the-top comfort food is just what the doctor ordered. The bacon not only adds amazing flavor, but it also holds the cheese in place so it doesn't ooze all over the pan. Leave it to bacon to save the day!

7. Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

These potato bites are easy, delicious, and perfect for munching while you watch the game. Think of them like bite-sized, deconstructed potato skins, but way better.

8. Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Sometimes you just need a biscuit; one that's warm from the oven and pillow-soft in the middle ... and studded with smoky bits of bacon.

9. Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds

(Image credit: Kristin Teig)

Bacon-wrapped dates will never be the prettiest dish on the table, but they more than make up for it with their flavor. When you bite into one, it's salty at first, but then reveals an inner sweetness and — oh! — another salty crunch.

10. Bacon-Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

This easy weeknight dinner is pretty much pork on pork, which I think we can all agree is never a bad thing.

11. Chicken Ragù with Bacon

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Just an hour will give you a saucy dish of shredded chicken in a smoky bacon sauce. It's ultra-comforting and perfect served with pasta or gnocchi, or over cauliflower rice, baked potatoes, or roasted vegetables.

12. Baked Chicken with Bacon

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Each piece of chicken isn't just wrapped with it's own slice of bacon — the bacon infuses the whole dish, right down to the potatoes in the bottom of the casserole.

13. Rozanne Gold's Bucatini with French Breakfast Radishes, Bacon & Greens

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This is a fun play on Cacio e Pepe, the peppery, cheesy, comforting pasta dish. Bite-sized pieces of bacon add a nice saltiness, and also cut the bitter bite of the radishes.

14. Baked Beans with Pineapple and Bacon

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Baked beans are a classic; this hearty, comforting recipe takes it one step further with extra pieces of smoky, thick bacon and tender, sweet pieces of pineapple.

15. Roasted Cabbage with Bacon

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

The combination of tastes and textures in this dish is just fantastic. The bacon pieces are crispy and chewy, and the bacon fat seeps all through the folds of the cabbage, making it tender and juicy in the middle and crispy and browned on the outside.

16. White Bean & Maple Bacon Soup

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

As we move into fall, this is the soup you want to have in your back pocket. A white bean and bacon bowl, powered up by ham hock and red pepper, with a little bit of everything that makes a soup good: creamy, brothy, chunky, and rich with savory white beans and ham.

17. Skillet Cornbread with Bacon & Cheddar

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

Traditionally, skillet cornbread is cooked with lard, but this version turns things around by cooking up some bacon and then folding it into the cornbread. It makes the bottom of the cornbread extra crispy and delicious!

18. Sweet & Savory Bacon Jam

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Every single bite of this bacon jam is full of rich, savory, oh-so-sweet goodness. We're pretty sure you'll want to slather it on everything from breakfast sandwiches to cupcakes.

19. Bacon, Kale & Turkey Stew

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

This quick and simple stew draws even more rich flavor, thanks to the addition of bacon.

20. Bacon-Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Smoky, thick-cut bacon is perfect for this recipe. The thicker slices make for a bit of crisp and a bit of chew in every bite. And of course, the campfire flavor ends up permeating the entire potato.

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