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Million dollar bacon is glazed with brown sugar and spices for a sweet-spicy kick. You’ll love this easy candied bacon for brunch or on top of burgers.
While I love veggies now, I always say that I could never be vegetarian because of my love for bacon.
This million dollar bacon really seals the deal on that. Sweet, savory, and spicy, it’s all I can do to leave enough for the rest of the family to enjoy.
The best part? It actually takes less work than frying regular ol’ bacon on the stove.
What is million dollar bacon?
I first had this candied bacon, also called millionaire’s bacon, at the restaurant First Watch.
I was blown away at brunch that day and knew I had to have it again. Now that we don’t live near a First Watch, millionaire’s bacon has found a home in my own kitchen.
Coated in brown sugar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and crushed red chile flakes, this bacon is absolutely loaded… just like a millionaire.
The bacon is cooked in the oven, allowing it to slowly crisp as the sugar caramelizes and mixes with the spices.
If you already know how to bake bacon, you’re just two steps away from candied bacon.
Let’s get cooking! Grab your ingredients to make your new favorite bacon.
While you could use thin bacon to make candied bacon, using a thicker cut will ensure you still get plenty of bacon flavor along with the caramelized coating.
Thin bacon can burn easily so if you choose to use it, reduce the cooking time by half and watch carefully.
Brown sugar is perfect for million dollar bacon because it has that touch of molasses that also reminds our taste buds of maple syrup.
Both light brown sugar and dark brown sugar will work in this recipe, so use whatever you prefer or have on hand.
Ground cayenne pepper
This bacon is spicy-sweet, so we use three forms of pepper to get that full flavor. The first is cayenne.
Cayenne is fairly spicy, so if you want a tamer flavor, reduce the cayenne by half.
Ground black pepper
Cayenne has a slow burn while black pepper packs an immediate punch.
You can use prepackaged ground black pepper or freshly ground black pepper.
Crushed red chile flakes
Crushed red chile flakes, or crushed red pepper flakes, add a burst of heat. You might already sprinkle this ingredient on your pizza!
Crushed red chile flakes are typically a blend of dried ancho, bell, and cayenne peppers, with the seeds included.
How to make millionaire’s bacon
Preheat your oven to 350°F and take the bacon out of the refrigerator. Letting it warm up a little will make it easier to separate the slices.
Take a large sheet pan and line it with aluminum foil. Make sure that you have a small overhang on all sides; double up sheets if you need. Crimp the overhang down the sides. (If you prefer, you can also use parchment paper.)
Place an oven safe wire rack on top of the foil. My rack is simply a cookie cooling rack that I use only for bacon. A rack isn’t required, but it helps to circulate the air under the bacon as it cooks, making it more crisp.
In a large bowl, add brown sugar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and crushed red chile flakes and stir until evenly mixed.
Separate your bacon slices and add them to the spice mixture.
Using tongs or your hands, toss the bacon in the sugar mixture until the bacon strips are completely coated on both sides.
Lay the bacon in a single layer on the prepared pan. It’s OK for the bacon to touch, but try to not overlap it. Use a second pan if needed.
If there is any spice mixture left in the bowl, sprinkle it over the bacon.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you like your bacon a little crisper, return it to the oven for a bit longer.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking rack for 10 minutes to harden the glaze, then serve.
TIP: Let the pan cool completely before removing the foil for easier cleanup.
I can’t imagine you’ll have any leftovers of this million dollar bacon, but if you do, you can store it in the refrigerator.
Let the bacon cool completely, then place it into an airtight container. Place in the refrigerator and store for 3-5 days.
To freeze, lay bacon in single layers between waxed paper and place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month.
To reheat, remove desired number of slices and warm on a plate in the microwave, using 10-15 second bursts until heated to your liking.
Obviously, the best way to eat candied bacon is to just eat it! But, if you want to get a little fancier, here are some ideas.
Go even sweeter by drizzling on warm maple syrup just before serving.
Top your favorite burger with two slices of candied bacon.
Cut into pieces and sprinkle on top of avocado toast or add to caramel corn.
Tuck into your next breakfast taco.
Try on top of a pizza!
Include a slice of million dollar bacon as part of the best bloody mary garnish ever.
Other bacon breakfast recipes you’ll love
Add millionaire’s bacon to your next brunch menu. It will make everyone feel like a million bucks!
Million Dollar Bacon
- 12 ounces thick-cut bacon, about 10 slices
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an oven-safe wire rack on top. Remove bacon from the refrigerator as oven heats.
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, cayenne, chile flakes, and black pepper until evenly mixed.
- Separate the bacon slices and add to the spice mixture. Using tongs or your hands, toss the bacon in the spices until each slice is evenly coated on both sides.
- Lay the bacon in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. It's OK for the slices to touch, but try to not have them overlap. Use two baking sheets if needed.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes to let the caramelization harden. Serve.