Perfect Homemade Bacon Bits

Homemade bacon bits are super easy to make at home, and way better tasting than store-bought! You can enjoy them atop salads, soups, wraps, and more!

bowl of cooked bacon on cutting board

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Homemade Bacon Bits Recipe

I had a couple girl friends over a while back for dinner when the kids were gone. As part of the dinner I served wedge salad. My friend Laura and I recently shared one when out for lunch and we both had been craving it again so I told her I’d make it when she came over.

My other friend, Becca, commented that the homemade bacon bits were cooked and crumbled perfectly for the salad. Honestly, before that I hadn’t thought twice about what I did or how I cooked my bacon bits.

But it got me thinking maybe that making homemade bacon bits was a worthy tip to share. So, without further adieu I’m sharing how to make bacon bits (aka bacon crumbles) with you all today.

Bacon Bits Ingredients

Homemade bacon bits couldn’t be easier to make! For this simple recipe, all you need is thick-cut bacon. Seriously, that’s it!

If you want to avoid any extra chemicals in your bacon crumbles, choose nitrate-free bacon. Read the ingredients list before buying the bacon to make sure it’s free of nasty chemicals and preservatives (these types of bacon are usually clearly labeled).

picture of bacon

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How to Make Bacon Bits

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. If the bacon is frozen, thaw it about 2/3 of the way. If it isn’t frozen, pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Either way, the bacon should be very cold and a little firmer than straight out of the refrigerator, but you don’t necessarily want it icy. This will make the bacon easier to cut.

3. Stack the bacon strips directly on top of one another in piles that are thin enough that your knife can cut through.

4. Slice the strips in half lengthwise so they are thinner. Then, cut horizontally into chunks (remember they will shrink down when they cook).

5. Place the cut bits into a cast iron pan. Cook for just a couple of minutes over medium high heat on the stove to heat the pan and separate any chunks of bacon.

6. Transfer the cast iron pan to the oven and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 – 30 minutes. Check every 5-7 minutes or so and give the pan a stir.

7. Drain on paper towels.

How to Store Bacon Bits

If you aren’t able to use all of the bacon immediately, or you’re a fan of planning ahead with meal prep tasks, homemade bacon bits can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

I love to cook a whole pack of bacon at a time this way and have homemade bacon bits on hand in the fridge for sprinkling on salads, in omelets, or for use in Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipes.

Can I Use Turkey Bacon?

Most likely, yes. I just recommend purchasing thick-cut bacon, if possible. Keep an eye on your turkey bacon bits and stir frequently once it’s in the oven so that the bacon crumbles don’t burn.

Can I Freeze Bacon Bits?

Yes, you can freeze homemade bacon bits! I like to store mine in a zip top freezer bag labeled with the contents and date. To use frozen bacon bits, you’ll need to let the bacon bits thaw in the fridge before using them.

Tips for Making Bacon Bits

I recommend starting with partially frozen bacon or popping the bacon in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you start cutting the bacon. The bacon will be firmer and much easier to cut quickly and in uniform pieces.

Try to cut the bacon as uniformly as possibly. This will allow for even cooking time across all of the bacon. I like to cut mine in about 1/2 inch dices.

Note that you don’t need to add additional oil to the skillet before making the bacon crumbles. That’s because bacon is naturally quite fatty, and as it heats up in the skillet it’ll release all that fat, which in turn will prevent the bacon from sticking to the pan.

Making bacon bits is a great way to touch up the seasoning on your cast iron pan. Read here for full details on how to season cast iron pans.

Easy Bacon Recipes:

Looking for some new bacon recipes to try? Check out a few of these:

bacon slices on a cutting board

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Garlic Bacon Sautéed Green Beans with Roasted Mushrooms make a great Thanksgiving side dish, loaded with flavor, and a lot more fresh tasting than the traditional green bean casserole.

Breakfast Bowls like these Southwest Protein Breakfast Bowls with Sweet Potato and Black Beans are a great way to enjoy a quick protein-packed, creative meal at home on busy weekday mornings.

Caramelized Onion Bacon Blue Cheese Dip is a revamped and homemade version of the classic onion dip. This dip has tons of flavor thanks to the addition of blue cheese and plenty of crumbled bacon.

Chopped lettuce, heirloom baby tomatoes, plenty of bacon, bleu cheese, and cubes of toasted bread make up this Bleu Cheese BLT Salad, a fun take on a classic BLT. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic are a fantastic side dish that is full of delicious flavor – caramelized, roasted brussels sprouts, savory bacon, and tangy balsamic vinegar.

Butternut Squash Sage Bacon Mac n Cheese features penne covered in a creamy, rich sauce of pureed butternut squash, parmesan and sharp white cheddar with bacon and fresh sage.

This Easy Loaded Baked Potato Soup is like your favorite loaded baked potato in soup form – sour cream, cheese, green onions, homemade bacon bits, and broccoli.

Next time you’re craving comfort food, try these Broccoli Cheese Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes. They’re loaded up with plenty of broccoli, cheese, and – everyone’s favorite – bacon!

Have you ever made homemade bacon bits?

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Perfect Homemade Bacon Bits

Perfect Homemade Bacon Bits

Yield: 1 pound
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Perfect Homemade Bacon Bits are super easy to make at home, and way better tasting than store-bought!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Thick Cut Bacon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. If the bacon is frozen, thaw it about 2/3 of the way.
  3. If it isn’t frozen, pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Either way, the bacon should be very cold and a little firmer than straight out of the refrigerator, but you don’t necessarily want it icy. This will make the bacon easier to cut.
  4. Stack the bacon strips directly on top of one another in piles that are thin enough that your knife can cut through.
  5. Slice the strips in half lengthwise so they are thinner. Then, cut horizontally into chunks (remember they will shrink down when they cook).
  6. Place the cut bits into a cast iron pan. 
  7. Cook for just a couple of minutes over medium high heat on the stove to heat the pan and separate any chunks of bacon. 
  8. Transfer the cast iron pan to the oven and bake at 425 degrees F for 25 – 30 minutes. 
  9. Check every 5-7 minutes or so and give the pan a stir. 
  10. Drain on paper towels.

Notes

HOMEMADE BACON BITS TIPS

If the bacon is frozen, thaw it about 2/3 of the way. If it isn’t frozen, pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Either way, the bacon should be very cold and a little firmer than straight out of the refrigerator, but you don’t necessarily want it icy. This will make the bacon easier to cut.

HOW TO STORE BACON BITS

Homemade bacon bits can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. I love to cook a whole pack of bacon at a time this way and have homemade bacon bits on hand in the fridge for sprinkling on salads, in omelets, or for use in Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipes.

CAN I FREEZE BACON BITS?

Yes, you can freeze homemade bacon bits in an airtight container. You’ll need to let the bacon bits thaw in the fridge before using them.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1/8 lb.
Amount Per ServingCalories 265 Total Fat 20g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 12g Cholesterol 56mg Sodium 955mg Carbohydrates 1g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 0g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 19g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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