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Oh, bacon! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! No really, let’s count them. Just when you thought you couldn’t love bacon any more than you already do, here are 101 ways to enjoy this delicious meaty treat. HINT: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
Bacon is meat candy. Admit it, you think so too!
It’s one of the most versatile foods–used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even desserts. I mean, that really covers it. These days no one blinks if you mention bacon on a cake, in a cocktail or a fancy chocolate bar. You can serve bacon wrapped in bacon on top of bacon and people wouldn’t question it.
This stat puts it all into perspective (not really, but I think it’s funny) “In general, 62 percent of people prefer bacon over sausage on breakfast sandwiches. But among those who feel more confident in dressy clothes than in comfortable clothes, 74 percent prefer bacon on breakfast sandwiches.” From correlated.com.
In honor of this ever-popular, delicious food, I’ve collected 101 ways to cook it, use it, eat it and celebrate it. This was done purely out of love–for you, and for bacon. To help you navigate the list, it’s broken into categories. However, categories or not, I urge you to start from the top and enjoy all the way to the bottom!
How to Cook Bacon
The first rule of bacon is knowing how to cook it. You’re no longer limited to the ol’ frying pan when it comes to cooking bacon. My personal favorite method is to bake it in the oven, but you can’t go wrong with any of these options.
Ok, ok, I couldn’t help but include some breakfast recipes. But these aren’t your typical bacon and eggs dishes. These take bacon for breakfast to the next level.
Bacon, it’s what’s for dinner. These dishes are sure crowd pleasers, and offer some new ways to highlight the flavors of bacon in your main course.
20. Bacon Explosion
Side Dishes and snacks
If it’s a snack or side dish you’re looking for, then bacon is the answer. After all, what pairs better with a bacon main course than more bacon?
32. Bacon Granola
52. Bacon on a Stick
56. Campfire Bacon
HINT: These would be amazing using these tasty mozzarella sticks from Farm Rich Snacks
Bacon has a sweet and savory quality to it that makes it a perfect choice to use in desserts. These unusual pairings will have everyone asking for more.
71. Bacon Cannoli
72. Bacon Doughnuts
77. Bacon Toffee
78. Bacon Pralines
90. Bacon Crack
This just goes to show that bacon really does go with everything.
Whether you’re looking for home decor, fashion, or a gift for the bacon lover in your life, here are a few fun bacon finds.
95. Don’t Go Bacon My Heart Mug . . . I Couldn’t if I Fried.
97. Bacon Tape
98. J&D’s Bacon Salt
For any vegetarians out there, please accept my condolences, and this recipe for something akin to bacon.
100. Tofu Bacon
Even dogs love bacon, and now you can feel good about feeding it to them.
Also produced by Melanie Donahoo. This post may include affiliate and sponsor links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.
When it comes to your signature, juicy burgers, you may not think you can make a better burger. Think again!
Let’s talk mushrooms, blended with your meat, making them more delicious, nutritious and sustainable. It’s your new secret for grilling season, and I can say– really tasty–from first hand experience!
This week I attended the kickoff event for the second annual James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, a partnership with the Mushroom Council. Chefs from around the country participate in creating the most amazing blended burgers. The project is open to all chefs and last year nearly 250 restaurants joined in creating takes on this culinary concept.
If you think about it, mushrooms are a perfect addition to homemade burgers. They have a meaty texture themselves, add moisture and earthy flavor. Cooked mushrooms also have an umami quality, that fifth basic taste chefs often talk about described as a ‘pleasant savory taste.’
The addition of vegetables to ground beef is not new. Meatloaf is often loaded with savory blends of onions, celery and carrots. They add loads of flavor, moisture, and great texture that you’re familiar with in meatloaf. Many a smart mom has used this trick to sneak veggies onto their kids plates, hiding everything from zucchini to spinach in ground meat.
Mixing meat with vegetables is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar, since veggies are cheaper than quality meat. Mushrooms also add vitamin D to your diet and help boost your immune functions. Try a variety of mushrooms in your burgers, from meaty portabellos to shiitake and button mushrooms.
The competition opened this week at the James Beard Foundation in New York City. I was happy to be able to attend and taste chef Hugh Acheson’s take on a mushroom-blended burger. He mixed cremini mushrooms with ground lamb and topped it with Boursin cheese to make the most delicious meal.
I’ve included his recipe below. Try it out, and be inspired to try your own blended burger creations. You can be involved by helping your favorite chef win an opportunity to cook their blended burger and the historic James Beard House. Just go here to cast your vote.
Recipe courtesy of the James Beard Foundation and chef Hugh Acheson.
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, peeled and minced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 16 crinkle cut dill pickles
- 1 5-oz container Boursin cheese
- 4 potato buns
- Add 3 tbsp butter to a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat. When the butter bubbles add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, mushrooms and fresh thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer the mushroom mixture from pan to a large bowl and let cool.
- Clean the pan with paper towel and place over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the scallions to the pan and char them for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the scallions, chop into 1/2 inch pieces and add them to the mushroom mixture.
- Place the ground lamb in a large bowl and season with remaining salt. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and mix well to thoroughly incorporate all components. Divide the mixture into 4 equal balls and form into patties about 5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Spread the remaining 1 tbsp butter on each bun and toast in a pan over medium heat until each side is a nice buttery brown. Remove and cool while burgers cook.
- On a hot grill cook the burgers for 3 minutes per side. When they're done, rest the burgers off the heat for 3 minutes. Top each bun with a burger, some Boursin then a slice of tomato and pickles.
Recipe and photos courtesy of The Blended Burger Project.
Juicy grilled chicken and peppery arugula salad make for a tasty open-faced sandwich. As sandwiches go, I like mine with cheese, melted cheese. It just makes them better!
This sammy is a glorious combination of chicken, Gouda (there’s the cheese!) and a green salad. As much as I like cheese on a sandwich, I also like open-faced sanwiches. It feels very dinnery to eat (because you have the option of using a knife and fork), and you can get a heck-of-a-lot more piled on that one slice of bread.
You can buy grilled chicken in the prepared food section of your deli counter if you want a super fast dinner.
I actually used a panini maker, or countertop grill for the chicken. A grill pan like this one here, is also a great alternative to an outdoor grill during these winter months. I really like this grill pan because it doesn’t have a tall edge. I can use it for chicken, burgers and even kabobs because it doesn’t have the rim of a typical skillet. It’s cast iron, so follow directions for treating and cleaning it!
Also, if your bakery has a raisin walnut loaf–whooo-eeee that makes this sandwich good! I get in trouble when I buy this bread. I could eat the entire thing. Thus I create breakfast, lunch and dinner options using it! I love the crunch of nuts and savory-sweet burst from the raisins. A cranberry pecan loaf works too. Any type of fruit and nut combo your bakery might have will work.
Save prep time and buy grilled chicken at the supermarket. Just warm it in the oven before you make the sandwiches.
- 4 small (4 to 5 oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 4 slices crusty whole-grain bread or raisin-nut bread
- 6 oz gouda, sliced
- 4 cups (3 oz) arugula
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- Season chicken with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil; grill on grill pan or grill press until completely cooked, 5 to 6 min.
- Heat oven to 375°F. For the dressing stir together mustard, vinegar and preserves; season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside. Toast bread in toaster or oven. On a baking sheet, arrange cheese on toast and place one piece of chicken on top. Cook in oven until cheese begins to melt, about 4 min.
- Combine arugula and onion and toss with some of the dressing. Place sandwiches on plates, top with salad and drizzle generously with remaining dressing.
This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure statement.
Recipe Tara Bench and Vanessa Seder
Photography Rita Maas
Prop Styling Tiziana Agnello
Food Styling Anne Disrude
Frozen spinach is an underutilized ingredient in my opinion. It is awesome in pastas, smoothies and soups for sure. To use it in egg dishes or here with melted cheese however, you need to squeeze all of the excess water out of it. Yes it’s a bit waterlogged from being cooked then flash frozen, but when the water is removed it claims even more places on the menu!
I buy it and put it right in the fridge to thaw for a day or so. It’s ready for me to squeeze, with love of course, and use.
Make this family style on a loaf of French bread split in half. Great served alongside homemade soup!
1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach
1 ½ cups grated Comte or Fontina Cheese
Thaw spinach and squeeze out water until spinach is quite dry. Crumble into a bowl and mix with cheese. Split half a French baguette and toast under a broiler. Pile spinach mixture evenly over toasted halves and broil until melted. Cut in half.
A slightly spicy and sweet pepper jelly is the secret to this ultimate chicken sandwich. Well…and the bacon!
Pounding the chicken thin before grilling makes it the perfect thickness for stacking…with bacon. No slicing and mess required.
Make sure you assemble these quickly, as cooked bacon laying around doesn’t last long. (wink)
These easy sandwiches mix a little salty bacon with sweet and spicy pepper jelly for the perfect combination.
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half horizontally
- Garlic salt and ground black pepper
- 4 slices Havarti cheese
- 8 slices country white bread, toasted
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 tbsp pepper jelly
- 8 slices cooked bacon
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Heat grill, or grill pan to medium high. Pound chicken to create thin cutlets about ¼ inch thick. Season with garlic salt and pepper and grill until cooked through, 4 to 6 min. Place one cheese slice on top of each cutlet to melt.
- To make each sandwich, spread one piece of toast with mayonnaise and one piece with a generous layer of pepper jelly. Fill with chicken, bacon and arugula.