Will Bacon Cook in a Casserole? Everything You Need to Know

Bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be added to many dishes, including casseroles, to enhance flavor. However, cooking bacon properly in a casserole requires some special considerations. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cooking bacon in a casserole, from prepping the bacon to baking tips.

How to Prepare Bacon for a Casserole

When adding bacon to a casserole, you’ll want to start by cooking it ahead of time before combining it with the other ingredients. Here are some tips for prepping bacon for casseroles:

  • Cut the bacon into small pieces or lardons. Pieces around 1/4 inch thick will cook up with the best texture.

  • Cook the bacon over medium heat in a skillet until crispy. Don’t undercook it – you want crispy bacon bits in the casserole.

  • Drain the cooked bacon on paper towels to remove excess grease. Blot it dry before adding to the casserole dish.

  • Let the cooked bacon cool slightly before mixing it into the casserole ingredients so it doesn’t cook the other ingredients.

Should You Parcook the Bacon?

Parcooking, or partially cooking, the bacon before adding it to the casserole can help render some of the fat and crisp it up. However, you don’t want to fully cook the bacon, since it will continue cooking in the oven. Cook it just until it starts to brown but is still pliable.

Should You Drain the Bacon Grease?

Draining excess bacon grease before mixing it into the casserole is recommended The casserole ingredients will likely release liquid as they cook, so you don’t want to start with too much grease

However, you may want to leave a little bacon fat in the pan to sauté aromatics like onion and garlic. Just drain the majority of grease before proceeding.

How Long to Cook Bacon in a Casserole

The total cooking time will vary based on the size of bacon pieces and other casserole ingredients. Here are some guidelines:

  • Casserole with precooked bacon pieces: Bake for 25-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. The bacon just needs to reheat through.

  • Casserole with parcooked bacon: Bake for 35-55 minutes to finish crisping the bacon and cook other ingredients.

  • Casserole with raw bacon: Bake for 45-75 minutes to fully cook bacon and other ingredients. Monitor browning.

  • Larger casserole dishes or whole bacon slices will need more time. Smaller chopped bacon will cook faster.

  • Let the casserole rest for 5-10 minutes before serving so the bacon can continue to crisp up.

Baking Tips

  • Cover the dish with foil at first to prevent over-browning, then uncover for the last 10-15 minutes.

  • Bake at 375°F to start crisping the bacon, then you can lower to 350°F to finish baking gently.

  • Place a baking sheet under the casserole dish to catch any drips.

How to Know When Bacon is Done

It can be tricky to tell when bacon is fully cooked in a cheesy, saucy casserole. Here’s how to check that the bacon is crispy:

  • Look for browned, crispy edges on the bacon peeking out of the casserole.

  • Insert a knife and check that bacon pieces feel crisp, not rubbery.

  • Check that the internal temperature reads at least 165°F.

  • Cut into the casserole and inspect the bacon in the center to ensure doneness.

Ingredients to Cook Bacon With

Bacon pairs well with many ingredients popular in casserole recipes. Consider mixing bacon with:

  • Potatoes – Diced potatoes will soak up bacon flavor.

  • Cheese – Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan.

  • Eggs – Bacon goes great in egg bakes or stratas.

  • Pasta – Toss bacon with macaroni in mac and cheese.

  • Rice – Wild rice, brown rice, white rice.

  • Vegetables – Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach.

  • Beans – Bake bacon into bean casseroles.

  • Bread – Cube bread into stuffing with bacon.

  • Cream/milk – For creamier casseroles.

  • Onion, garlic – Build flavor in the base.

Sample Bacon Casserole Recipes

To give you an idea of how bacon can be incorporated into casserole dishes, here are a few recipe ideas:

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

  • Dice potatoes and parboil 5 min.
  • Cook bacon until crisp. Mix with cheddar, potato, sour cream, green onion.
  • Top with more cheese and bacon. Bake 30-40 min.

Bacon Cornbread Breakfast Casserole

  • Crumble cornbread and mix with eggs, milk, bacon, cheese.
  • Pour into dish and bake 45 min.
  • Sprinkle more bacon on top.

Cheesy Bacon Mac and Cheese

  • Cook bacon, then macaroni. Reserve pasta water.
  • Make cheese sauce with milk, flour, cheddar.
  • Add bacon and pasta. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 min.

Bacon Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Cook rice, broccoli, bacon.
  • Mix with eggs, cheese, cream of mushroom soup.
  • Pour into baking dish, top with cheese. Bake 30 min.

Tips for Perfect Bacon Casseroles

With these tips, you can achieve deliciously crispy bacon baked right into your favorite casserole recipes:

  • Choose a hearty casserole recipe that will stand up to bacon’s strong flavor.

  • Cut bacon into smaller pieces so it cooks evenly and crisps up.

  • Partially precook the bacon before mixing into the casserole ingredients.

  • Limit excess bacon grease by draining and blotting.

  • Bake covered at first, then uncover near the end to crisp the bacon.

  • Check doneness temperature and crispness before serving.

  • Allow to rest before serving so bacon continues to crisp.

  • Add extra crumbled bacon on top for garnish if desired.

With the right techniques, you can successfully bake crisp, savory bacon into delicious casserole dishes that will be loved by all. Try out a recipe today!

will bacon cook in a casserole

Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Rice Casserole for a hearty, quick and easy dinner! Simple ingredients!

Leave a Comment