RECIPES

Have extra bacon? Try 6 of Southern Kitchen's best bacon-studded recipes

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

Bacon is one of the most delicious treats the world of food has to offer. If somehow you've gotten sick of just eating strips of it, we've got the recipes for you. We've also included a basic recipe for grilled bacon, so if it's fistfuls of bacon you'd like, it's fistfuls of bacon you'll get.

Bucatini with Bacon and Peas

Bucatini with Peas and Bacon

Bacon, pasta and peas are a classic combo. This recipe takes only 30 minutes at most to come together, making it an easy weeknight dinner.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 ounces thick-cut pepper bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 to 4 tablespoons white wine

1 pound dried bucatini

2 cups frozen peas

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Spread the bacon slices out in an even layer in a large skillet. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes and cook until they begin to sizzle, about 30 seconds, then dump in the white wine. Simmer the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook until almost al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat.

Use tongs and a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta and peas to the skillet with the bacon. Return the skillet to the heat and crank it up to high. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil, stirring the pasta rapidly with tongs to form a sauce. Add additional pasta water, as needed, if the sauce is too tight. Remove from the heat and stir in about half of the cheese. Serve topped with the remaining cheese.

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Grilled bacon

Any steakhouse enthusiast can tell you that grilled bacon is a thing of beauty. Cooking bacon over the indirect heat of the grill gently crisps it while accenting its smoky flavor. If you have a gas grill, only turn on one side to achieve "indirect heat." For a charcoal or Kamado grill, "bank" or move the coals to one side of the grill. Place the bacon on the opposite side.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

12 strips thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon

Steak sauce, for serving

Instructions

Heat a grill to medium heat (300 to 350 degrees). Place the bacon on the grates over indirect heat. Turning frequently, cook until the bacon is lightly charred and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with steak sauce.

Baked Brie with Bacon and Apples

Baked brie with bacon

Melty baked brie, apples and bacon go together beautifully. Since hot cheese burns are not a thing of beauty, prepare this brie on parchment paper and keep it there. Move it still on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. When it’s done, just take the whole baked brie, parchment paper and all, and move it to a serving dish.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

3 strips bacon, diced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 apple, such as Granny Smith, diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie cheese

Toasted and sliced baguette, crackers and/or apple slices, for serving

Instructions

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour the rendered bacon fat into a bowl and save for another use.

Melt the butter in the now-empty skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, add the apples and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and continue to cook until the apples are tender, about 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat. 

Slice the rind off the top of the Brie and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is very soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Slide the baked Brie onto a serving dish and top with the apple mixture, followed by the bacon. Surround with baguette slices, crackers and/or apples, and serve immediately.

Southern Sweeteners Maple Bacon Cocktail

Maple-bacon Old Fashioned

Maple syrup makes a brilliant substitute for traditional white sugar in this Old Fashioned recipe, which was created by writer Sabine Morrow. We prefer to use the packaged bits and pieces sold by Trader Joe’s because they tend to contain more fat than meat, which is what we want in this recipe.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

Bacon-infused bourbon

1 pound of applewood-smoked bacon (see note)

1 (750 mL) bottle bourbon

Cocktail

2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon (above)

1/2 ounce maple syrup

Dash Peychaud’s cocktail aromatic bitters

Dash Angostura orange bitters

Ice cubes, for mixing

Large spherical ice cube, for serving

Crisp piece bacon, for garnish

Orange wheel, for garnish

Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Instructions

To make the bacon-infused bourbon: Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon has rendered all of its fat and turned crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon bits and save for another use.

In a large jar, combine the bacon fat with the bourbon. Stir, then refrigerate until the fat solidifies. Use a spoon to remove the fat and reserve for another use, such as grilled corn. Strain the bourbon through a triple layer of coffee filters into a second jar. If the filter backs up, replace with clean filters as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

To make the cocktail: Place the bourbon, maple syrup and both bitters in a cocktail mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until well-chilled and then strain into a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice. Shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Add the spherical ice cube, bacon slice, orange wheel and cherry. Serve immediately.

Bacon-Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Bacon-cheddar drop biscuits

Quick and easy to prepare, these drop biscuits sing from the addition of bacon and cheddar cheese. Take extra care not to overwork the dough to keep your biscuits nice and tender. 

Serves: 12

Ingredients

2 cups self-rising flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup cooked chopped bacon

3 tablespoons chopped scallions

Instructions

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet generously with nonstick oil spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, sour cream and oil.

Fold in the cheese, bacon and scallions. Use a large spoon to drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each biscuit. Bake until risen and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Loaded Cornbread With Bacon

Cheesy loaded cornbread with bacon

This filling, slightly spicy cornbread would be at home with a bowl of soup or even just eaten alone as a quick breakfast.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 cups yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 ear corn, kernels cut from the cob

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease

Instructions

Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the upper-middle rack in the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and egg. The batter should have the consistency of pancake batter; add more buttermilk or water, if needed. Stir in the cheese, bacon, corn, and jalapeño. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable oil or bacon grease to the hot pan and let heat for 30 seconds. Pour in the cornbread batter and spread in an even layer.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Flip the cornbread out onto a plate and then slide the flipped cornbread back into the skillet, bottom-side up. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com