Using Leftover Bacon

Great Ideas for Cooking With Bacon

You might think I'm crazy for suggesting it might be difficult to use up a package of bacon before it goes bad. But if you're cooking for two, and (like us) don't often cook bacon to eat on its own for breakfast, that package can seem to last forever. We love bacon, but our favorite brand only comes in 1.5-pound packages. Our solution is to divide the package, freeze part and use it a few pieces at a time in great recipes like these.

If you want to freeze bacon for easy use, you can freeze individual slices, separated by parchment paper or plastic wrap, and remove as many as you need at once. Or, freeze it in larger batches if you use it more regularly.

You can also cook bacon and refrigerate it for later use. It can be used to garnish soups or salads, or quickly rewarmed in the microwave for sandwiches or breakfast.

  • 01 of 06

    Braised Celery and Bacon Soup

    Braised Celery Soup with Bacon
    Dave Scantland

    Not only does this easy soup use up a few slices of bacon, it also uses a lot of celery, which can be a boon if you're cooking for two and faced with a wilting bunch of celery in the back of the fridge. Based on a braised celery recipe by Marcella Hazan, it develops complexity and surprisingly deep flavor from the long cooking time.

    Click for the recipe

  • 02 of 06

    Modern Club Sandwiches

    turkey and bacon club sandwich
    Desgrieux/Getty Images

    Of course, you can add bacon to all kinds of sandwiches, or even make it the star in a BLT. My favorite, though, is this modern take on a classic club sandwich, which skips the third slice of bread. Bacon and chicken breast, tomato slices and lettuce are the essential ingredients, but if you have extras like avocado, it only gets better.

    Click for the recipe

  • 03 of 06

    Quiche Lorraine

    Quiche Lorraine
    Dave Scantland

    Bacon and eggs are a classic combination, so what could be more natural than adding bacon to quiche? Traditionally, quiche Lorraine adds only bacon and onions to the custard, but many recipes (including mine) add Gruyere cheese as well. With or without the cheese, quiche is a delicious way to use a few slices of bacon.

  • 04 of 06

    Shrimp and Grits

    Shrimp and Grits
    LauriPatterson/Getty Images

    When I moved to Atlanta, I discovered that there are many versions of "shrimp and grits" in the South, ranging from sauteed shrimp piled on top of cheese grits to much more involved combinations. The first time I had the dish was at Crook's Corner in North Carolina -- their excellent version contained bacon and mushrooms, so that's my standard. Bacon is such a classic pairing with shellfish that I can't imagine making the dish without it.

    Click for the recipe

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Spinach Gratin

    We make this spinach gratin for a very popular "Steakhouse Classics" class, and it always converts some spinach haters into lovers. Garlic-infused cream, Parmigiano cheese and -- of course -- bacon elevate spinach into a special side dish or, with the addition of a poached egg, a delicious light dinner.​

    Click for the recipe

  • 06 of 06

    Bistro Salad

    Salad lyonnaise - bacon and croutons on a salad with a poached egg
    Connie Ma/Creative Commons

    Another dish that pairs bacon and eggs is the French bistro classic, salade Lyonnaise. My version uses some of the rendered bacon fat in the warm dressing as well as the crisp lardons sprinkled over the salad. A poached egg turns the salad into a scrumptious lunch or light dinner.