How to Make Healthy Side Dishes Using Bacon

Bacon isn’t considered a health food, but when it studs other nutritious offerings, you can make the argument that the cured meat is helping you get in your nutrients. Bacon goes well with just about everything, so chefs often enlist it to bring flavor to a variety of their dishes — many of them being healthy ones. Check out these six healthy recipes starring bacon that you can make at home. On their own, the side dishes are low in calories and packed with vitamins and nutrients, and when you add bacon to the mix, they’re equally delicious.

1. Broccoli Bacon Salad

overhead shot of raw broccoli florets

overhead shot of raw broccoli florets Bowl of raw broccoli |

Our first recipe comes from Eating Well and it is for a lettuce-less salad. This broccoli bacon salad doesn’t have any kale or spinach on its ingredients list, but it does have broccoli, cranberries, and water chestnuts. And of course: bacon. The creamy salad is made lower in fat thanks to the employment of low-fat mayonnaise and sour cream, and it’s high in fiber and protein. Make the side dish to complement your dinner and you’ll find yourself going back for seconds of broccoli, all thanks to bacon.


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups finely chopped broccoli crowns
  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • Freshly ground pepper , to taste

Directions: Whisk garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl. Add broccoli, water chestnuts, bacon, cranberries, and pepper; stir to coat with the dressing.

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