Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

5 from 6 votes
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Delicious bacon wrapped asparagus brushed with maple syrup and oven-roasted. For success with this side dish, par-cooking the bacon first ensures a crispy texture.

Some things taste better together, such as my bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon-wrapped chicken, and prosciutto and melon.

Bacon wrapped asparagus on a white plate.

Recipe Science

  • Wrapping asparagus in bacon adds flavor and fat, helping retain moisture and prevent the asparagus from drying out during cooking.
  • The fat in the bacon type renders as it cooks, basting the asparagus and creating a crispy, savory exterior.
  • The high cooking temperature caramelizes the natural sugars in the asparagus and bacon, enhancing their flavors and creating a delicious contrast of textures.

Why It Works

There are multiple ways to cook asparagus spears, like steaming, sauteing, broiling, and grilling. But wrapping them in smokey bacon with a sweet maple syrup coating enhances the flavor. The roasting process chars the spears while crisping the bacon around it.

The biggest challenge in this bacon-wrapped asparagus recipe is preventing the spears from overcooking and turning to mush. The vegetable cooks fast, but the bacon requires more cooking time. The solution is to par-cook the pork to start rendering, then wrap each spear and finish cooking.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients with labels called out to make bacon wrapped asparagus.
  • Bacon: American bacon has a high ratio of fat-to-protein that bastes the spears with a rich and smokey taste. Since asparagus cooks fast, it’s best to use a medium thickness bacon, not a thick cut, as the fat will take much longer to render. The amount of meat-to-vegetable works well with a regular-sized slice.
  • Asparagus: You can typically find it year-round, but its peak season is in the spring, from March to June. Look for firm stems and tips (scale leaves) that are tight and dry, with a slight purple color. The stem should ideally be at least ½-inch thick. Avoid super-thin bundles, as they will never withstand the high roasting temperature.
  • Olive Oil: Toss it with the spears to help roast and crispen the surface.
  • Seasoning: Slices of bacon are already savory. Therefore, I added a little bit of salt and pepper to enhance the neutral flavor of the vegetable. Black pepper is also sprinkled on the bacon before cooking.
  • Sweetener: Brush the bacon with a sweet and sticky maple syrup to balance the salty pork.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

Now that you know how to cook bacon-wrapped asparagus try these delicious variations:

  • Bacon: Use turkey bacon if you want a pork alternative. Try my prosciutto-wrapped asparagus recipe for an Italian flavor.
  • Asparagus: When in season, use mild-flavored white asparagus or purple asparagus. White has a nutty and sweeter flavor compared to green.
  • Sweetener: Sprinkle on brown sugar before roasting, drizzle on honey or a balsamic glaze.
  • Seasoning: Add some alliums like garlic and onion powder. Try sprinkling on freshly grated parmesan cheese during the final roasting, Make it spicy with cayenne, chili powder, or chipotle. Sprinkle on my cajun seasoning for a savory and spicy blend.

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This high oven temperature will be used to par-cook the bacon, then roast the bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles.

Slices of bacon roasting on a wire rack.

Step 2: Par-Cook the Bacon

Roast at 400ºF (204°C) until the bacon turns red. Some fat will drip down, but it should still be flexible for wrapping. We’re not looking for super crispy strips like when roast bacon in the oven, at least not yet.

Chef’s Note: If you wrap the asparagus in raw bacon, the vegetables will wilt due to their high moisture, and the meat’s texture will be floppy instead of crisp. Par-cooking the strips on top of a wire rack set in a sheet pan helps jumpstart the rendering process. Elevating the bacon allows the air to circulate, leaving no raw areas.

Person cutting the ends of a bundle of asparagus.

Step 3: Prepare the Asparagus

Asparagus has tender leafy tips and stems with a fibrous root. Trim off the woody ends before roasting. They tend to be light green, signaling a tough, chewy texture.

You can find the spot to cut by grabbing a stalk and locating the natural point where the stem snaps off on the bottom. I usually end up with about a 7-inch stalk after trimming. Keep it simple and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper before wrapping.

Fingers rolling a small bundle of asparagus around a partially cooked strip of bacon.

Step 4: Wrap the Asparagus

Evenly divide the trimmed asparagus spears into bundles, about 5 to 6. Starting from just below the tip, tightly wrap the bacon around. It should cover the middle of the spears to hold them together.

Person securing a bacon wrapped asparagus with a toothpick before cooking.

I use a toothpick to secure the ends to prevent unraveling. As the fat renders, the proteins will tighten, firming up around the vegetables.

There should be 8 bundles. This asparagus wrapped in bacon recipe is easy to scale down if you’re serving four people.

Step 5: Glaze the Bacon

To enhance the salty, smoky flavor of the bacon, I add some sweetness—the caramel notes in pure maple syrup balance the savory pork. Honey or brown sugar works well, too. It caramelizes in the oven, creating a nice crust on the meat with a candied taste. It’s okay to skip the glaze if you prefer an unsweetened side dish.

Several bacon wrapped asparagus on a wire rack ready to go in the oven.

Step 6: Roast

Roast the bacon-wrapped asparagus in the oven at 400ºF (204°C) for about 13 to 15 minutes. This temperature quickly renders the fat, cooks the meat, and tenderizes the vegetables.

The asparagus should be lightly golden brown on the tips but not overcooked so that it completely loses its structure and becomes floppy and mushy. You want some bite! The bacon will become crispy on the surface but have a hearty chew.

Roasted bacon wrapped asparagus on a white platter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my asparagus not crispy?

They were either not dried well after washing, or they were overcooked. Asparagus is over 90% water, so the moisture will soften the cell walls when cooked too long, making the texture limp and mushy. The cooking time should be until they are crisp-tender and the tips are lightly golden.

Can I use thick-cut bacon for wrapping?

If you prefer a thicker piece of bacon, make sure you par-cook for longer. Depending on the thickness, it should still be flexible, about 10 minutes. This duration renders more of the fat, so cooking doesn’t take as long. Otherwise, the asparagus will get soft and lose its texture.

Can I roast directly on the baking sheet?

The bacon can be par-cooked on the baking sheet. I would replace the foil with a new piece before adding the bacon-wrapped asparagus. It will render a lot of fat, so drain the bundles on a paper towel before serving.

Why is it better to rinse and not soak the asparagus?

It’s always good to wash produce before eating to remove dirt and debris. However, make sure to dry each stalk well. If the spears are soggy before wrapping, it will cause the vegetable and the bacon to steam instead of roast. This will prevent the bacon from crisping on the surface.

More Tasty Appetizers

If you tried this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Try this bacon-wrapped asparagus brushed with maple syrup and oven-roasted until crisp and tender for a delicious side dish.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 8 slices bacon, avoid thick cut
  • 2 pounds asparagus, about 48 spears
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional

Instructions 

  • Pre-heat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the center position and the temperature to 400°F (204°C).
  • Par-Cook the Bacon – Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Evenly place the strips on the rack. Roast until the pieces begin to shrink and turn red, about 7 to 8 minutes. They should be flexible, not crispy. Allow them to cool until ready to handle.
  • Prepare the Asparagus – Wash and thoroughly dry. Trim off the tough fibrous ends to yield about 7-inch long spears. Evenly coat with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
  • Wrap the Asparagus – Divide the seasoned asparagus into 8 even-sized bundles. Starting from the tips, tightly wrap one slice of par-cooked bacon around each bundle, slightly overlapping in a downward spiral. Secure it with a toothpick.
  • Glaze – Place the wrapped bundles on the wire rack used to cook the bacon. Brush the bundles with maple syrup if using. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast – Cook until the bacon browns and crisps, and asparagus is tender, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  • To Serve – Remove the toothpicks and serve warm.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: The bacon-wrapped asparagus can be assembled, covered, and stored in an airtight container for up to two days before roasting.
  • Storing: Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Loosely cover and reheat on the high setting in the microwave in 15 to 30-second intervals until hot. Alternatively, bake at 350ºF (177ºC) until hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 159kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 8g (3%)Protein 5g (10%)Fat 12g (18%)Saturated Fat 3g (15%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 15mg (5%)Sodium 294mg (12%)Potassium 285mg (8%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 5g (6%)Vitamin A 866IU (17%)Vitamin C 6mg (7%)Calcium 34mg (3%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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7 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Christine says

    This sounds delicious. Can you substitute prosciutto for the bacon? And if so, is the temp of the oven and time to cook, the same? I’ve tried numerous recipes from your blog and I’ve never been disappointed. My favs are what you do with Salmon.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Christine, Yes you can! Check the “Flavor Variations” section above as there is a link to my Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus recipe. Enjoy!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can cook in an air fryer. I would skip the pre-cooking of the bacon. Start with Air frying at 360ºF for 10. minutes. Add more time as needed. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Dave says

    What could possibly not be perfect here when employing the world’s most perfect food – bacon prepared by the best chef – Jessica.