Warm Bacon Dressing

published May 31, 2022
Warm Bacon Dressing

Swapping olive oil for bacon fat lends an extra layer of richness to this tangy, sweet dressing that is so good and will have everyone around the table gushing.

Makes1/2 cup

Prep5 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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someone pulling up some of the warm dressing on a spoon in front of the salad
Credit: Kelli Foster

Adding crispy bacon crumbles to a salad recipe is always a good idea, but here’s an idea that’s even better: warm bacon dressing. Swapping olive oil for rendered bacon fat lends an extra layer of richness to balance out the tangy and sweet flavors. Plus, the warm dressing wilts the greens just a little, giving the feel of an impressive restaurant-style salad. Everyone around the table will be gushing.

What Is Bacon Dressing Made Of?

You’ll need just a handful of basic ingredients to make warm bacon dressing.

  • Rendered bacon fat
  • Shallot
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Dijon mustard

The recipe starts by rendering the fat from six slices of thick-cut bacon, and while the crispy bacon isn’t included in the dressing, I do encourage you to toss it into the salad. Alternatively, you can add the cooked bacon to a frittata, mix it into chicken salad or mac and cheese, sprinkle it over a baked potato, layer it on a sandwich, crumble it on avocado toast, or simply eat it alongside a couple of eggs at breakfast.

How to Use Bacon Dressing

Spinach salad is a classic partner to warm bacon dressing. You can also use warm bacon dressing on just about any type of green salad, grain salad, or pasta salad. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

How to Store Bacon Dressing

You can store any leftover warm bacon dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When you’re ready to use it again, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, then stir before serving.

You can also get a head-start on the dressing by rendering the bacon fat in advance. Strain the fat to remove any solids, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The fat with solidify when chilled, which is totally fine. When you’re ready to make the dressing, just portion out 1/4 cup of rendered bacon fat, warm it in a small saucepan on the stovetop, and prepare the dressing according to the recipe instructions.

Warm Bacon Dressing

Swapping olive oil for bacon fat lends an extra layer of richness to this tangy, sweet dressing that is so good and will have everyone around the table gushing.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Makes 1/2 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 6 slices

    thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoons

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut 6 slices thick-cut bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large skillet in a single layer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, finely dice 1 small shallot (about 2 tablespoons).

  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. (Reserve the bacon for another use.) Pour the bacon fat through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl. Wipe the skillet clean and remove any bacon solids with a paper towel.

  3. Return 1/4 cup of the bacon fat to the skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally until just softened, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, whisking constantly, until emulsified and the sugar is dissolved, 20 to 30 seconds. Use immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The bacon fat can be rendered and strained a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, then stir before serving.