You could fight The Bacon Effect. Or you could embrace it and make Bacon Wrapped Asparagus!
You see, no matter how many sides you serve at a party, your guests are going to go craziest for the one that’s wrapped in bacon.
It’s not personal. It’s because bacon is delicious. Just ask these Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
And among the best of the best bacon-centric party recipes you can make: bacon wrapped asparagus!
- You can prep bacon wrapped asparagus well in advance.
- It counts as a legitimate serving of vegetables (just look at all that green!).
- It’s a brilliant combination sensation of salty, juicy, tender, and crispy.
- Everyone will be asking you for the recipe at the end.
When you need a slam-dunk side for easy entertaining, turn to this recipe. It does not disappoint!
OR, when you are in a vegetable rut and craving something extra tasty to serve with your dinner tonight, whip out this bacon wrapped asparagus (this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan is another great option) and delight every member of your household (including you!).
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Here’s the recipe rundown, followed by some seriously scrumptious ways to gussy it up.
You can have the base recipe prepped 10 minutes after pulling your bacon out of the package. Be sure to wash your asparagus before cooking and dry it well.
Step 1: Trim Off the Tough, Woody Ends of Your Asparagus
- Method 1: Trim the asparagus with a knife. Line up your bundle of asparagus and make a cut about 1 to 1 1/2 inches away from the base end. You want to cut off the part that looks pale green/white and seems harder than the rest of the spear. This is the fastest method because you can trim multiple spears at once, but it’s not the most accurate. Each stem’s woody end can vary in length.
OR try my favorite way to trim asparagus…
- Method 2: Snap the asparagus. Take the end of each asparagus stalk between your thumb and forefinger and bend gently until it snaps. The asparagus automatically breaks where the woody ends of the asparagus stop and the fresh, tender asparagus begins. This method ensures each spear is perfectly trimmed and no good asparagus is wasted. It’s also oddly satisfying.
Step 2: Toss the Asparagus with Olive Oil and Black Pepper
- Use a generous amount of black pepper. Its flavor is dynamite with the bacon.
- No salt necessary. The bacon will give the recipe all the saltiness it needs.
- I like to toss the asparagus right on the baking sheet to save on dishes.
Step 3: Count Your Asparagus Spears
- We’ll be making eight bundles of asparagus total. Add up your stems, then divide by eight.
- Depending upon the thickness of your asparagus (later-season asparagus is much thicker than early-season, for example), the number of spears in your pound of asparagus (and thus in each bundle) will vary. Some of my bundles had three skinny spears; others had two thicker ones.
- Make a mental note of the rough number in each bundle. We’ll come back to this.
Why Multiple Spears Per Bundle?
- I find that one slice of thick bacon is more than generous for a small group of spears. Having a few spears in each bundle provides a nice bacon-to-veg ratio that still tastes indulgent.
- Bacon wrapped asparagus isn’t as healthy as other vegetable side dish options you could choose, but it isn’t unhealthy either. The key is moderation of the bacon. Adding an extra spear or two of asparagus to each bundle helps make the recipe more well-rounded and nutritious.
Step 4: Wrap It
- Divvy your asparagus into the eight bundles. Pick up the first one.
- Place one end of a slice of bacon just above the midpoint.
- Channel your inner artist. Wrap the bacon around the stalk so that it slightly overlaps the first end and secures it into place. Continue wrapping, working your way down the stalk until you reach the other end of the bacon.
Step 5: Choose Your Cooking Method
You can cook bacon wrapped asparagus in the oven, on the grill, or on the stove.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus in the Oven (My Favorite Way—Hands Free!): Arrange the bundles on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer side by side (see photo above). Bake the bacon wrapped asparagus at 400 degrees F for 22 to 28 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of your bacon and how tightly you wrap the spears.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus on the BBQ Grill: Prepare the bundles as directed. Secure the free end of each strip of bacon with a toothpick (this will help it stay in place when you turn the bundles). Grill over medium heat, covered, until the bacon is crisp and cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the bundles a few times throughout so that the bacon crisps evenly on all sides (you’ll need about 3 to 4 minutes per side).
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus on the Stove (Least Recommended—It’s Fussy and Splatters): Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. When the oil is hot, place as many asparagus bundles in the pan as will fit without overlapping, placing the bacon seam-side down. The bacon should sizzle. Let cook several minutes, until the bacon is crisp on the first side. Turn the bundles and continue cooking on all sides, until the asparagus is tender and the bacon is crisp. Repeat with the remaining bundles.
I suspect you could also fry bacon wrapped asparagus (or cook it in an air fryer), but both of these methods are too high maintenance for me. I find the oven, BBQ, or stovetop (especially the first two methods) to be straightforward with fab results.
Step 6: Serve It Up!
- Transfer your bundles to a platter and try to stop yourself from stealing all of them before your guests have a chance to snag one.
- You can serve bacon wrapped asparagus as a side dish or hearty appetizer.
- Bacon wrapped apsparagus also tastes great at room temperature, so it’s an excellent option for parties or a buffet table.
While this simple bacon-wrapped asparagus tastes phenomenal as-is, if you’d like to fancy it up further, here are a few ideas:
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze. Transfer the bacon wrapped asparagus bundles to a plate, then drizzle on the glaze just before serving.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Cheese. Just before serving, sprinkle the bacon wrapped asparagus with Parmesan OR, for another delicious twist, try bacon wrapped asparagus with goat cheese crumbled over the top.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Brown Sugar. Arrange the bundles in a casserole dish. Melt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small saucepan with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Drizzle over the asparagus, then bake as directed.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Honey. Cook the asparagus bundles as directed. While the asparagus cooks, whisk together 2 tablespoons honey with 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Brush over the cooked spears prior to serving.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Caramelized Onions. Prepare the caramelized onions from my Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts. Pile them atop the cooked bundles.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Store Leftover Bacon Wrapped Asparagus: While you cannot freeze bacon wrapped asparagus (the texture will not hold up), you can refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. To reheat, arrange the leftover bundles on a greased baking sheet, then reheat in a 375 degree F oven until warmed through.
- To Make Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Ahead: Prep the bundles (including wrapping them in bacon slices) up to 1 day in advance. Store them in your refrigerator, then cook as directed.
PHEW! Are you a bacon wrapped asparagus pro now?
I hope this easy-but-excellent bacon wrapped asparagus makes its way to your plate soon. Serve it as a side dish or starter for a crowd, or enjoy it as a tasty side dish all to yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
Unless your asparagus is VERY dirty, it does not need to be soaked prior to cooking. Simply give it a good rinse, drain it, and pat it dry.
If your asparagus is mushy prior to cooking, it may have gone bad. You can try to perk it back up by submerging it in ice water for about a minute, then drain it and pat dry. If it is mushy after cooking, you likely over-crowded the sheet pan so air could not circulate properly, you overbaked it, or the oven temperature was too low.
Yes, absolutely. If your asparagus is soggy, it was likely overcooked and unfortunately there is little you can do to save it. You know asparagus is done when it pierces easily with a fork, but still gives a little resistance.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the asparagus in a large bowl or on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Count the spears and divide the total number by 8. Gather that number of spears (likely 2 to 4 spears, depending upon their thickness) and hold them together in a single bundle. Starting midway to the top, wrap the bundle with one piece of bacon (overlap the starting end of the bacon slightly to secure it) and place the bundle on the prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining spears.
- Bake until the bacon is crisp and the asparagus is tender, about 22 to 28 minutes, depending upon the thickness of your bacon and how crisp you’d like it to be. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- For storage tips, see the blog post above.
- To grill the bacon OR to cook it on the stovetop, see the blog post above.
- You can also add additional toppings, such as balsamic glaze, cheese, honey, and more! See the blog post above for suggestions.
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