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Crispy Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

bacon-wrapped asparagus with Parmesan shavings and balsamic glaze drizzle

Made with as little as 4 ingredients (if you leave out the optional ingredients, and not counting salt and pepper), this simple asparagus dish will BLOW YOUR MIND! It seriously tastes like it's from a restaurant, but it's surprisingly easy to make. It's perfect as a side dish with any main protein, or as a standalone appetizer. 

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces bacon (sliced regular, NOT thick cut) cut in half or thirds, lengthwise
  • ½  lb. asparagus
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  • 1 ½  tablespoons vegetable oil (or sub. any neutral oil)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and set a wire cooling rack on top.
  2. Trim off the bottom 1-2 inches of asparagus and discard. Toss the asparagus with vegetable oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. 
  3. Assemble the bacon-wrapped asparagus: wrap one strip of bacon around the asparagus spear(s)* in an even spiral going from the base to just under the tip. Place the bacon-wrapped asparagus on the prepared tray, tucking the ends of the bacon underneath to keep it in place. Repeat with all of the bacon and asparagus.
  4. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with the brown sugar (if using). Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the balsamic-sugar mixture on each of the asparagus spears (reserving the excess balsamic mixture for later use). Transfer the tray to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and carefully flip each of the asparagus spears with tongs. Brush the remaining balsamic-sugar mixture on the asparagus and continue to cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes more.
  5. While the asparagus is roasting, make balsamic glaze: pour ¾ cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and set it over high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until it reduces down to 3 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes*
  6. Drizzle the bacon-wrapped asparagus with balsamic glaze and garnish with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese, if using.

Notes

  • You can make this recipe by wrapping each single asparagus spear with a strip of bacon or creating small bundles of asparagus wrapped with a strip of bacon. Bundles of 3 asparagus spears are a good option with thinner asparagus.
  • The time it takes for the balsamic vinegar to reduce to glaze consistency depends on a lot of factors, i.e. heat level, stovetop type, size of pot, amount of vinegar, etc. Keep a close eye on it while reducing-- it goes slow at first, but very quickly towards the end. If you reduce it too much, it will burn create a tough mess to clean up, so be careful not to burn it!

Keywords: bacon wrapped asparagus, balsamic glaze, asparagus with balsamic and bacon