Besides the bacon only 2 ingredients go into making this addictive and versatile treat. Peppered bacon can be an appetizer, a brunch dish or a tasty garnish for soups and casseroles.
A few years back we participated in a Food Network cooking challenge where we were to make a dish using 4 ingredients from our pantry or fridge. Those ingredients were voted on by our readers and included bacon and pepper jelly!
We came up with the idea to make a candied bacon (some people like to call it pig candy) using the pepper jelly rather than the typical ingredient, brown sugar. That bacon was the star of the challenge and we finally got around to making it to share here.
Since it also includes lots of coarsley ground black pepper along with the pepper jelly we’ve named our dish Peppered Bacon.
Just 3 ingredients
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on an affiliate link and buy something, we may receive a very small commission. It does NOT result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. Click here for our full privacy and disclosure policy. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Other than the bacon, you’ll only need the jelly and the black pepper, y’all! If your jelly or jam isn’t very hot, or if you just like a big kick of heat you could add a light shake of cayenne pepper, but that’s totally optional.
Being in the south all kinds of pepper jellies are available in our markets and stores. But, if you have difficulty finding it you can order on Amazon.
This one from Peggy Rose’s is a favorite of ours, but feel free to browse around for more varieties.
Freshly ground black pepper is always great and we particularly recommend it for this Goat Cheese & Honey Spread as well as Asiago and Black Pepper Biscuits. If you’re in a pinch for time, though, you can use a store bought coarsley ground black pepper like this.
You’ll definitely want to use thick sliced bacon. The thinner type just won’t stand up to the “low and slow” cooking method. That’s what it gives it an almost jerky type texture.
How to make candied bacon
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (this makes clean up a breeze) and spray a rack with baking spray. Put the rack on the baking sheet.
- Lay the bacon strips side by side on the rack.
- Warm the pepper jelly over low heat in a small pan until it’s liquified enough to spread with a brush.
- Brush each bacon strip with the warm jelly and then sprinkle with the black pepper.
- Turn the bacon over and repeat the jelly and pepper process.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes and turn the bacon strips over.
- Bake additional 8-10 minutes keeping an eye on the color. Remove from oven when it’s brown and caramelized.
- Let cool on rack 5 minutes before removing.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip the step of lining your baking sheet with aluminum foil or you’ll have a tough-to-clean pan on your hands.
- If you like more of a spicy punch try a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper in addition to the black pepper.
- Keep a close eye on the bacon when you get towards the end of the cooking time. It will get a deeper brown than traditional bacon because of the caramelization of the sugar in the jelly. If can, however, go from that beautiful brown to burned quickly.
Your candied bacon will keep for up to 5-6 days in the fridge tightly covered. Be sure to separate the strips with parchment paper or waxed paper so they don’t stick together.
It can also be kept in the freezer for up to a month.
To serve warm it up in a microwave in a single layer about 15 seconds at a time. After that it can sit at room temperature for at least two hours.
How to serve/what to serve your bacon with
Add it to any charcuterie board like this quick and easy mini board or the Southern Appetizer Board. You can also crumble or chop some up to top a soup like Baked Potato Soup or maybe your favorite casserole.
Peppered Bacon (3 Ingredient Candied Bacon)
- 1 pound thick sliced bacon
- 1 cup pepper jelly
- 3 Tablespoons coarsley ground black pepper
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Lay a single layer of bacon strips on rack.
- Warm jelly in a small pot over low heat until liquified enough to spread with a brush.
- Brush each bacon strip with jelly and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Turn bacon over and brush with jelly and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 18-20 minutes and then turn bacon over.
- Bake additional 8-10 minutes watching carefully for desired browning.
- Remove from oven and all to cool 5 minutes before removing from rack.
- For additional spiciness a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper can be added to one or two sides of bacon.
- Bacon can be stored in refrigerator separated by parchment or wax paper and in tightly covered container.
- Bacon can be frozen for up to one month.
- Warm bacon that has been chilled before serving in the microwave a few seconds at a time.