Easter Sides: Just Add Bacon!

Easter Sides: Just Add Bacon!

If you've already placed your order for a Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Ham to grace the center of your Easter table, next it's time to think about sides. We've got a list of some of our favorite holiday ham sides (like a smoky Cobb Salad and Bacon Mac N' Cheese), all made with our smokehouse meats:

Bacon Mac N' Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. So, how could it get any better, you might ask? …with bacon, of course! Bacon Mac N' Cheese is a crowd-pleasing side that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Even better, with just six ingredients, it's a quick dish to throw together and toss in the oven.

First, fry up a few slices of our hickory smoked bacon, crumble the fried slices, and set aside to drain on some paper towel. Then, cook 1¾ cups elbow macaroni or shell pasta, if you prefer little pockets of cheesy goodness (we love shells).

While your pasta cooks, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in large saucepan on low heat. Next, stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook until it begins to bubble. Stir in 2 cups of milk and bring to a boil – and be sure to keep stirring! Simmer for a few minutes until thick, then add 1½ cups Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese and cook until the cheese melts, stirring constantly.

Drain the macaroni and add it to the sauce, along with 3 slices (or more, if you like!) of cooked and crumbled Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Honey-Cured Bacon. Pour this beautiful, cheesy concoction into a casserole dish and bake at 350°F for around 20 minutes until it's thoroughly heated. We like to sprinkle on extra cheese before baking, because…Wisconsin.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
In recent years, roasted Brussels sprouts have begun making frequent appearances on restaurant menus. What used to be a dreaded boiled vegetable has become an approachable and delicious appetizer or side dish, thanks to a few simple ingredients and the roasting process, we’re now happy to eat Brussels sprouts when they’re roasted with maple syrup and hickory smoked bacon!

Layer 1 lb of trimmed Brussels sprouts in a baking dish and sprinkle with 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 3 tbs pure Wisconsin maple syrup. Add at least 4 slices of Wisconsin's favorite Hickory Smoked Honey Cured Bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Salt and pepper to taste and bake at 400°F for around 45 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and sprouts are caramelized.

Easy Bacon Baked Beans
Chances are that you already have everything you need to make this easy bacon side dish right in your pantry. Just pour two 16 oz cans of your favorite baked beans into a baking dish and add 6 slices of fried Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Honey Cured Bacon to the top. The bacon should be cooked just enough to release its yummy flavor, so not too crispy this time!

Add 1 diced medium onion, ¼ cup yellow mustard, ¾ cup ketchup, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored, and diced. Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, until the beans are bubbling and the bacon is beginning to brown.

Smoky Cobb Salad
Colorful cobb salads are almost as pretty as they are delicious. Our favorite Cobb is loaded with fresh ingredients and smoky, peppery bacon. For ingredients, you'll need 6 slices of Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Honey Cured Peppered Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, 3 sliced hardboiled eggs, 1 head of shredded iceberg lettuce, 2 sliced tomatoes, 1 sliced avocado, and 3 chopped green onions.

To assemble, place lettuce in a large salad bowl and layer ingredients in rows - or whatever arrangement is most pleasing to your eye. Drizzle with your favorite Ranch or Green Goddess dressing and sprinkle 3/4 cups (or more, if desired) crumbled blue cheese on top.

This salad is beautiful to serve and is a hearty, crisp salad that’s loaded with ingredients that most people love.

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We hope you try one of our Easter sides - and we love it when our customers share recipes, so if you have a good bacon side dish that you’d like to share, please tell us!

Happy Easter,

- Nolechek’s Meats

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