Healthy Ways To Cook with Bacon (No, Really)

bacon

162959244

Fried bacon strips

Photo by: vikif

vikif

I admit it: I'm a dietitian who loves bacon. But instead of gorging on greasy slabs, I've found ways to add the delightfully salty and smoky flavor to my favorite dishes a little at a time.

A slice of thick-cut bacon contains approximately 45 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein. A slice or two in a recipe that serves 4 to 6 people is plenty to add flavor and texture without sacrificing heart health. Choosing the right preparation will help ensure that a sensible amount of bacon sizzles up any recipe.

Roast

Place strips of bacon on a baking rack and roast at 400-degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. It will be the perfect combination of crispy, tender and chewy. Serve with eggs, pancakes or French toast.

Fry

Fry chopped pieces of bacon until the little morsels are crisp and caramelized. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Use the renderings to sauté onions, kale or shredded Brussels sprouts; add cooked bacon back to the dish at the very end. This method is perfect for vegetable side dishes, egg dishes and risotto.

Microwave

There's a right and wrong way to cook bacon in the microwave. To do it correctly, place 3 to 4 slices on a microwave-safe plate lined with a paper towel (be careful not to crowd the plate). Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your microwave, until just cooked through; allow to rest for 1 minute. Use these strips for sandwiches and wraps, or crumble them and sprinkle over a salad.

Broil

Bacon can also make a tasty coating (of sorts). Wrap shrimp, dates or pineapple chunks with appropriately sized pieces of bacon, and then broil for a few minutes per side until crisp.

Recipes to Try:

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

Healthy Barbecue Chicken (Really!)

This barbecue sauce is an incredible blend of sweet and tangy ingredients, creating a mouth-watering topping that's excellent with grilled chicken.

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

... is actually more than one way. The perfect method depends on the circumstance. Here's how to get perfect bacon every time, no matter what.

More Deliciously Healthy Ways to Cook with Ground Meat

Here's your guide to healthiest ground meat picks, including beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and bison.

Burgers 5 Healthy Ways

Fire up the grill for some tasty burgers! Traditional beef burgers are delicious, but we’ve got 5 creative spins on this summer classic that you’ll love.

Spiced Bacon: 8 Ways

A little sugar and spice make bacon even better.  

Healthy No-Cook Summer Recipes

It's far too hot to turn on the oven or stove but you can still enjoy a healthy homemade meal with our top no-cook summer recipes.

Living the Heart-Healthy Way

Eight easy steps for better health

Holiday Nuts the Healthy Way

Head to the store and pick up these tasty nut mixes to roast and serve at your next holiday gathering — or, prepare your own spiced nuts at home with our easy recipes.

Three Ways to Cook Butternut Squash

Cooking butternut squash, with its hard, thick shell, can seem daunting. But it’s easy to prepare this orange-fleshed winter staple once you learn a few simple tips. Use butternut squash in soups and pasta dishes, or just serve it baked in its shell with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. Cook butternut squash by baking, microwaving or roasting.

Related Pages