While turkey may be the main event, we love to enliven hors d’oeuvres, vegetable sides, stuffing, and more with savory, smoky cured ham—from spicy cornbread stuffing with bacon to shredded Brussels sprouts sautéed with pancetta and golden sultanas.
The secret to this simple dish is to use the best quality bacon available. Delicious and straightforward, you can whip this dish together quickly while keeping the oven available for other jobs.
Parsley and Pancetta Salad
Crisp, salty pancetta, earthy parsley, and lemon combine beautifully in this salad from Houston’s Dolce Vita restaurant.
See the recipe for Parsley and Pancetta Salad »
Jalapeños and bacon add a twist to classic cornbread stuffing.
Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote »
When you caramelize Brussels sprouts in rich bacon fat, the sweet-salty combination is absolutely irresistible.
See the recipe for Brussels Sprouts and Bacon »
In this version of the classic hors d’oeuvre, oysters are cooked with garlic and wine, then set “astride” toasted garlic bread slices and sprinkled with bacon.
Turnips with Candied Bacon
Bacon and charred tomatoes bring smoky sweetness to turnips cooked in goose fat.
See the recipe for Turnips with Candied Bacon »
This sage-infused roast turkey is stuffed with a bacon-enriched dressing brimming with wild rice, hazelnuts, and oysters.
Get the recipe for Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing »
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Golden Sultanas
The thinly-sliced sprouts in this recipe soak up the flavor from rendered pancetta while golden sultanas bring out the vegetable’s natural sweetness.
See the recipe for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Golden Sultanas »
These poppers have a perfect marriage of textures and flavors—creamy, chive-flecked cheese cuts the bite of roasted jalapeños, while crispy bacon adds crunch.
The custardy batter will puff like an enormous popover in the oven while remaining crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
Get the recipe »
Autumn Panzanella Salad
Crispy pancetta, peppery arugula, and sweet sautéed shallots give a fall spin to panzanella.
See the recipe for Autumn Panzanella Salad »
Red cabbage is braised in bacon drippings and enlivened with red wine vinegar and caraway seeds, making it a perfectly balanced holiday side.
Bacon-and-Cheese Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are easy to prepare and make for an eye-catching presentation. This charming rendition was inspired by a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich; in this form, it may be more elegant but it’s just as delicious.
See the recipe for Bacon-and-Cheese Deviled Eggs »
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
A hearty and classic salad is dressed with a rich mustard-chive bacon sauce.
See the recipe for Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing »
Ultra-crisp tortilla pizzettes, developed by SAVEUR test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin, can be tailor-made with just about any ingredients. We like them topped with creme fraiche, shallot, and pancetta, a flavor profile not unlike alsatian tarte flambee.
Jarred artichoke hearts are wrapped in bacon, secured with a toothpick, and fried to perfection. Briny, smoky, and crisp, these addictive bite-sized treats are ready in a matter of minutes.
We’ve always been partial to traditional New England–style stuffing, particularly when it’s made with French bread, smoky cured pork, and oysters.
In this classic Roman dish, sweet peas are braised until tender and sautéed with salty prosciutto.
Seared Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
Ordinary balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar in the syrup accompanies these seared asparagus stalks.
See the recipe for Seared Prosciutto Asparagus »
This green bean dish is mildly creamy, thanks to a quick blanching in milk, which also sweetens the beans slightly. A garnish of toasted chopped hazelnuts adds a lovely nutty crunch. This recipe appeared with Irene Sax’s piece
Small Wonders (November 2008), a tribute to Thanksgiving side dishes–though we think it works well anytime of year. Get the recipe for Green Beans with Pancetta and Mint »
Butcher shops all across Sicily sell these bacon-wrapped scallions called Cipollate con Pancetta.
Bacon-wrapped bites of chicken liver and water chestnuts were ubiquitous on pupu platters in the mid-20th century.
See the recipe for Rumaki»