Tired of the same old veggie routine? Bacon makes everything better! Kick your asparagus up a notch with some bacon, sweet brown sugar, and smoky paprika. Roasted bacon-wrapped asparagus pairs well with any dish and will be a great addition to your side dish rotation.
What you’ll need to make roasted bacon-wrapped asparagus
Well, you can probably guess a few of the ingredients (bacon? asparagus?) but here is the full list of what you’ll need to make this delicious side dish:
- center cut bacon
- For this recipe, I recommend using the thickest spears you can find, rather than the really skinny ones. If your store has the really skinny ones, I would probably skip this recipe altogether. The bacon takes a while to cook, so if your spears are too thin, they will burn. So thicker is the way to go here for the most even cooking.
- olive oil spray
- kosher salt
- brown sugar (dark or light will work fine, whatever you have!)
What is center cut bacon, and why do you use it so much?
A lot of my recipes involve bacon. I have to admit, it’s a weakness for me. Emilio even said the other day “are you including bacon in every meal now?” That’s kind of how it feels lately. But, it adds such amazing flavor to dishes.
People might be wary of using bacon when cooking, especially when you’re trying to eat lighter or healthier, so I get that. But, like my motto says, “balance, moderation, healthy living.” It’s all about balance. For this recipe, each serving uses only one slice of bacon, so it’s really not adding a lot of fat or calories here, but it’s adding a ton of flavor.
One trick I picked up over the years of eating healthier is using center cut bacon. Center cut bacon is real bacon, it’s just cut more from the center, so it has less of that fatty edge. That’s the only difference. It’s real pork, it doesn’t have any “diet” properties, it’s just leaner.
Lots of stores carry center cut bacon, and I usually end up using Oscar Mayer because it’s easy to find. This time I used this brand, and this is what my stats are based on.
How to prep asparagus
So, aside from washing it, which is a given (I hope), you also need to trim the ends off of asparagus. The ends can be very woody and stringy in texture, so chopping them off allows for a better bite. It depends on your asparagus, so you’ll have to eyeball where to cut. I typically cut about 1-2″ off the bottoms. I just gather the bunch of asparagus together with my hand, and chop off the bottoms in one swoop.
I did see a tip on the Food Network one time, which said to break the asparagus in half, and wherever it breaks is where it should be trimmed. I have done that before, and I lose about half of my asparagus. But hey, they are the pros, right?
Wrapping the asparagus
Before you wrap your asparagus, preheat the oven to 425F and lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spray the parchment paper liberally with olive oil spray.
Once your asparagus is prepped, divide the bundle into four smaller bundles, equal in size. This will depend on the size of your asparagus spears. For mine, each bundle had five spears.
Spray the asparagus with olive oil spray and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Then, wrap one piece of bacon around each bundle.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, and olive oil together. Then, add this mixture to the tops of the bacon.
Then, pop the baking sheet in the oven and roast away. Keep your eye on this; my advice is to go 35 minutes (just to make sure the bacon gets crispy). If you feel like your asparagus is burning before the bacon is cooking, you can remove them from the oven and finish cooking them in a frying pan for the bacon to get crispy. I don’t think you’ll need to do this, but just in case! Also, if you want your bacon to have a crispier top, you can pop the broiler on for a minute or two.
Roasted Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
- sheet pan
- parchment paper
- 1 bunch asparagus, fresh, thicker stems preferred
- 4 slices center cut bacon
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- .5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spray the parchment paper with olive oil spray.
- Trim the ends of the asparagus off (about 1-2") to remove the hard ends.
- Wash the asparagus.
- Spray the asparagus with olive oil spray, and season lightly with a sprinkle of kosher salt.
- Create four equal sized bundles of asparagus; the number in each bundle will depend on the size of your asparagus.
- Wrap each bundle with a slice of bacon.
- Place each bundle on the sheet pan.
- Combine the brown sugar, paprika, and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Spread an equal amount of the mixture on top of each piece of wrapped bacon.
- Roast for 35 minutes or until the asparagus is roasted and crispy (not burnt), and the bacon is cooked. If the bacon isn't cooked, pop the broiler on for a minute or two.
- If you feel like your asparagus is burning before the bacon is cooking, you can remove them from the oven and finish cooking them in a frying pan for the bacon to get crispy. I don't think you'll need to do this, but just in case.
- 2 WW points (all plans)
If you love bacon, try these recipes:
The Best Brussels Sprouts Ever
Spaghetti Carbonara: Simply Delicious
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