Photo: Caitlin Bensel Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Bacon-wrapped apps: the perfect, kinda kitschy holiday potluck party go-to. A sprinkling of bacon bits may add richness, texture, and bonus umami to a dish, but bacon-wrapping takes flavor to the next level entirely. Here are some of our best snacks gift wrapped in bacon for your crispy pork-loving pleasure.

December 01, 2016

When it comes to bacon, there are literally no limits. Because adding bacon to a recipe promises that the end result will be better, and everybody knows it.  

So, if you’re invited to a holiday party that requires a dish as an entry fee, or hosting a get-together yourself, you might as well blow it out right and get your bacon on. You could use bacon strips to add a flavor boost to hamburger sliders or mini sandwiches, or crumble bacon into crispy bits on top of potatoes or a salad… But then, why bother with a subtle approach when you can just as easily take the pork love next level and make a dish that's entirely encompassed in bacon?

Too much? Never. You'll see why.

Here are our 8 best bacon-wrapped snacks that make mind-blowingly good holiday fare, and ultimately drive home the point that bacon love knows no bounds.

 

 

1. Bacon-Wrapped Smokies with Butter and Sugar

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

Let us begin with a classic. This recipe is super simple, and ridiculously addictive. It calls for mini wieners (A.K.A. Lit'l Smokies), bacon, butter, and brown sugar. How could you possibly go wrong? I'll just go ahead and tell you, ya can't. Put a platter of these little meat-on-meat masterpieces out with a bowl of mustard, and watch them disappear. Feel free to add a pinch of ground cayenne or red pepper flakes at the end for a kick.   

 

 

2. Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Yep, vegetables are also made better by bacon (and yes, I am counting white potatoes as a vegetable... they grow in the ground). This hearty app is gorgeously golden and topped with cilantro for a touch of freshness. And as if potato wedges enveloped in fatty, suculent pork aren't already freaking good by themselves... this recipe also includes a  decadent dipping sauce. But not just any dipping sauce--a garlicky queso dip (amen to that) made with pepperjack and green chiles. In other words, this has "holiay favorite" written all over it. You can make the dip at home and keep it warm during the party in 1-quart slow cooker.

 

 

3. Bacon-Wrapped Asparaus

Photo: psfreeman

Better yet, if you don't agree with me on potatoes really counting as a vegetable, wrap up some green veggies. Bacon-wrapping will make those better too! Prep these tasty asaragus stalks on a grill pan in just 4 to 6 minutes. You can whip them up right before the party for a simple, yet delicious, appetizer. If you want to include a dipping sauce (not necessary, but if you're trying to get fancy...), a Classic Aioli would be a nice touch here. 

 

 

4. Stuffed Banana Peppers

Cheddar, tomato, jalapeno, bell pepper, and onion stuffed peppers, that are then wrapped in bacon... YES. The fresh flavors become a warm, savory snack suitable for a winter night after broiling the peppers for just 4 to 5 minutes. If banana peppers aren't your jam, you could also make this satisfying finger food using hollowed out mini sweet bell peppers. And since we're talking customizations, feel free to vary up the cheese too--grate your favorite strongly flavored cheese (or whatever you happen to have on hand) to replace some or all of the cheddar called for in the recipe. 

 

 

5. Dates with Bacon

Rachel Weill

I reiterate, all things are made better by bacon. Even dried fruit. The rich natural sweetness of luscious Medjool dates pairs quite well with salty, savory bacon. These bite-sized tastes of heaven are sure to satisfy all salty and sweet cravings. And if you have a little extra time and want to go the extra mile, stuff your dates with a soft cheese, like goat cheese, before wrapping in bacon and baking. 

 

 

6. Candied Bacon Sticks with Garlic Butter Drizzle

Photo: Caitlin Bensel Styling: Mindi Shapiro

We're bringing sweet to the salty again here by candying our bacon that we wrap around crunchy breadsticks. Add a garlic butter and you've struck appetizer gold. This 6-ingredient recipe using store bought crunchy breadsticks is easy to pull together and makes for an ideal party snack you'll come back to again and again. 

 

 

7. Bacon-Wrapped Club Crackers

Photo: cgbrown

If you're in something of a hurry, boost the Club crackers you already have in your pantry by adding Parmesan cheese and wrapping them in bacon. Club crackers are so snack-able as-is; just imagine how good they are with the added scrumptious factor delivered by a salty cheese and crispy bacon. Your fellow party-goers will be shocked when you explain how easy it is to prepare their new favorite appetizer. 

 

 

8. Pancetta-Wrapped Mushrooms

James Carrier

Let's not neglect to mention bacon's slightly fancier, Italin cousin, pancetta. Pancetta is a little more delicate, but just as delightfully salty and savory. Wrap it around mushrooms up to 2 days in advance of your holiday party and bake just before the event. If you're a high-brow pork lover, these mushroom poppers flavored with fresh sage are the snack for you.

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