A special touch for your holiday brunch, a delicious sweet-and-savory appetizer, or a fun dessert, this quick Candied Bacon is the easiest treat you'll enjoy all season! You only need 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes to prep a batch of the brown sugar-coated, crispy bacon that bakes in the oven -- completely hands-off!
At its most basic, candied bacon (or "pig candy") is a dessert, appetizer, or side dish made by coating thick strips of smoked bacon with sugar. Brown sugar is the most popular sweetener used to "candy" the bacon, but some recipes call for maple syrup, granulated sugar or caramel instead. Additional ingredients such as chopped pecans, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or a coating of chocolate are sometimes included, too. The candied bacon can be served warm or at room temperature, and has become a really popular treat in the Southern United States.
How to Make Candied Bacon in the Oven
Didn't think bacon could get any better? Think again! Coating the smoky meat with a thin layer of brown sugar elevates this classic favorite, giving it an extra-crispy texture and a sweet-and-salty flavor profile that's unbelievably delicious. Best of all, this simple dish feels special, but comes together with just 2 ingredients (bacon and brown sugar) and about 5 minutes of prep. There's no messy splatter on your stovetop, cleanup is easy (thanks to a foil-lined pan), and the oven does all of the work!
- Dredge each strip of bacon in brown sugar to coat on both sides. Arrange on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the bacon in a 375 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and starting to char on the edges.
- Cool on the wire racks for a few minutes. Serve the bacon warm or at room temperature.
What to Serve with Quick Candied Bacon
Southern candied bacon is a versatile dish that you can enjoy at any time of day. Here are a few options to pair with the pig candy at brunch, cocktail hour, or even for dessert.
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Pancakes or Waffles
- Buttermilk Biscuits or Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Blueberry Scones
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Chocolate Muffins, Cranberry Muffins or Blueberry Muffins
- Cheese Grits
- French Farmhouse Breakfast Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Dutch Baby Pancake
- Old-Fashioned Donuts
- Amish Baked Oatmeal
- Pimento cheese and crackers
- Shrimp Dip
- Crab Dip
- Country Ham Biscuits
- Eggplant Caponata
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
- Deviled Eggs
- Ice Cream Sundaes. Sprinkle over vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.
- Chocolate Dipped Pig Candy. Allow the candied bacon to cool, then dip in melted chocolate. Let the chocolate set until firm.
- Dessert Board. Set up a sweet dessert spread that combines the bacon with other finger-foods like candied pecans, cheese cubes, Scottish shortbread or jam thumbprint cookies, and squares of dark chocolate.
How to Store Candied Bacon
The candied bacon can sit out at room temperature for a few hours, and then it needs to be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. It will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To prevent individual slices from sticking to each other, layer the bacon with parchment paper dividers.
You can also freeze leftover candied bacon. Allow the bacon to cool completely, wrap tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Spicy Candied Bacon: Before baking, season the bacon with cayenne pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder and/or paprika. Feel free to add garlic powder and onion powder for a really zesty, flavorful twist.
- Maple Candied Bacon: Brush the bacon with maple syrup before coating with brown sugar.
- Bourbon Candied Bacon: Brush the bacon with bourbon before coating with brown sugar, or stir together a mixture of maple syrup, bourbon and brown sugar that you can brush onto the meat.
- Double the recipe and use two baking sheets to serve a larger group.
Tips for the Best Candied Bacon Recipe
- You can use either regular bacon or thick-cut bacon, depending on your preferred texture. I find that thick-cut bacon has a slightly chewier texture when candied, while regular thinner bacon gets super-crispy.
- Line the baking sheet with foil. This makes clean-up really quick and easy -- especially because the bacon grease and sugars can create quite a sticky mess.
- Place the bacon on a wire rack to make sure that it gets nice and crispy on all sides. You can flip the bacon halfway through the cooking time to ensure that the bacon is equally crisp on both sides, too.
- Adjust the baking time to achieve the level of browning that you prefer. The total time will vary depending on your taste, your oven, and the type of bacon that you use. Some thick-cut slices of bacon may need closer to 30 minutes in the oven.
- Let the bacon cool for at least a few minutes before serving. The sugars are very hot when it first comes out of the oven, and you will definitely burn your mouth if you try to eat it immediately. The bacon will continue to firm up and will become even more crispy as it cools.
More Recipes with Bacon
- 4-Ingredient Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon
- Rice Salad with Corn, Bacon and Pimentos
- 3-Ingredient Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites
- Sauteed Kale with Bacon
Candied Bacon ("Pig Candy")
- 8-10 slices bacon (or as many slices as you can fit on your wire rack without overlapping)
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet and spray the rack generously with cooking spray.
- Place the brown sugar in a shallow dish. Working with one piece at a time, dredge the bacon in the sugar, pressing to make sure that both sides are evenly coated. Place bacon in a single layer on the wire rack.
- Bake until the bacon is crispy, about 20-25 minutes. Let the bacon cool on the wire racks for a few minutes. It will continue to crisp up as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.