There’s no doubt about it: We’re a nation obsessed with bacon.
Bandages, lip balm, jam and even a full-on full-on dress (yes, that’s real meat!) are just a few of the homages to this beloved pork product that we’ve seen recently.
Of course, we think bacon works best as something you eat, and thanks to its shape and texture, the strips are ideal for wrapping around other foods. Like a well-behaved kindergartner, bacon plays well with everyone. This study even shows scientific proof that most foods taste better when paired with it. (Not that anyone really needs convincing!)
The trend may have started with bacon-wrapped dates, but these 10 creative recipes from the food blogiverse prove that it’s hardly a flash in the pan.
Need a crowd-pleasing appetizer for a Super Bowl party? Not only does this recipe from The Frugal Girls contain the pork-tastic combination of cocktail franks, bacon and brown sugar, it cooks itself in the crockpot while you get your house ready for guests.
Get the Recipe: Crockpot Bacon-Wrapped Lil’ Smokies
We all agree that cheese and bacon greatly improve a baked potato, so why not stuff some cheddar into a tater tot and wrap some meat around it? According to Lori Lange of blog Recipe Girl, Tabasco sauce is this recipe’s must-have ingredient, so don’t be tempted to leave it out. “It enhances the flavor of these little bites, taking them from ho-hum to woo-hoo,” she says. Lange also suggests several ideas for variations, like rolling the bacon-wrapped tot in brown sugar before baking it for a sweet, sticky finish.
Get the Recipe: Bacon- and Cheese-Wrapped Tater Tots with Tabasco
“I love it because it’s a different way to serve asparagus as a side dish. The flavor combination of the sesame, bacon and brown sugar is incredible,” Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats tells PEOPLE. She admits that she developed this recipe because she finds it tough to eat enough veggies. We’re happy she did, and can’t wait to try her breakfast suggestion: Topping the bundle with a warm, oozy poached egg.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Caramelized Sesame Asparagus
Anyone who loves desserts like salted caramel ice cream or chocolate-covered pretzels will go bananas (ahem) for these delectable sweet-meets-savory bites from fashion site Modcloth. Editor Julie O’Boyle shares a fun substitution idea with PEOPLE: Swap coconut oil for vegetable oil to amp up the flavor.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Bacon-Wrapped Bananas
These neat little hors d’oeuvres from blogger Joy Zhang of 1-2 Simple Cooking might just become our new go-to party dish. “I love this recipe because you transform leftover bread into something deliciously elegant. Make a big batch, freeze and reheat anytime you have guests over,” Zhang says.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Toast
Confession: Jicama is one of those vegetables that we can go long stretches without and not really notice. Heart Beet Kitchen‘s Amanda Paa has convinced us to revisit it. “The jicama becomes al dente in the oven and the bacon blanket it’s wrapped in injects some amazing flavor. Then take it to the next level and dress it with creamy, cool avocado sauce,” she writes.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Jicama with Cajun Spices
“Replacing the thin nori wrapper with fatty strips of bacon does violate the sushi law, but who the heck cares? This tasty treat serves as a meal in itself,” says writer Mikka Wee of Pepper.ph, a Filipino food blog. Wondering how she got the bacon to lay so perfectly flat? She baked it between two metal cookie sheets until it was crispy but still flexible enough to roll. This dish requires a bit of finagling, so maybe save it for a night when you’re trying to impress a dinner date. Valentine’s Day, anyone?
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Sushi
Author Mellissa Sevigny specializes in low-carb and gluten-free recipes, but these delectable poppers from her blog, I Breathe I’m Hungry, certainly don’t taste virtuous. She customized this appetizer, which is typically grilled, baking it and mixing cheddar and salsa into the cream cheese. Sevigny expressed her dismay that she’s only now discovered the joy of a pork-pepper pairing. “I feel so robbed of all the years I could have been eating bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers! This is a case of ignorance NOT being bliss,” she writes.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalepeños
Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Oregon is the mastermind behind this over-the-top concoction that your guests will be talking about for years. Not only does it taste delicious, you’ll score serious points for presentation. (No one has to know that making a lattice top with bacon is simpler than doing it with pie dough.) And no need to worry if it gets messy when you serve it. “The cutting can be challenging on a whole pie. But, really, who cares?” says Louis.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Lattice Apple Pie
This recipe from I Am a Food Blog‘s Stephanie Le proves that mochi, a chewy-gooey Japanese rice cake, doesn’t have to be reserved for desserts. Grilling the mochi puffs it up like a pillow, creating the perfect foil to the crunchy bacon. “If you eat mochi on it’s own you’ll find it quite bland, but once you grill it up and brush it with soy sauce, it turns into something that cannot be missed. Wrap it in bacon and it’s even more addictive,” Le writes.
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Yaki Mochi