NORTHWOODS COOKS: Baking with bacon

This week's recipes all feature bacon, including the hearty main dish of bacon-wrapped chicken. Serve with a baked potato and salad for a delicious dinner. Adobe stock.

All of this week’s recipes feature bacon. Bacon can be cooked up and frozen to make meal preparation easier. All that is needed is one or more packages of bacon and gallon freezer bags.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pans with foil to make clean up easier. Place bacon in a single layer scrunching together a bit to fit 1 package on each pan if needed.

Place two pans of bacon in the oven at a time. Bake for 20 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of bacon and how crispy you like it.

Let bacon cool on plates lined with paper towels. Line a baking pan with wax paper, a layer of bacon, another sheet of wax paper, and another layer of bacon, repeating until all of the bacon is on wax paper. Cover with wax paper and freeze for a minimum of 2-3 hours or overnight.

Transfer frozen bacon to gallon freezer bags and freeze for up to 4 months.


Thaw bacon in refrigerator overnight or microwave frozen bacon for 30 seconds.

This recipe is from Betty Malisow’s “From Minnesota With Love” cookbook.

Baked Breakfast Omelet

6-8 slices American cheese

12 slices fried bacon

1 cup milk

10 eggs


1/2 cup each of mushrooms, green pepper and onion

Butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Arrange cheese on the bottom of the pan. Beat milk and eggs together. Dice nine slices of bacon and add to eggs with mushrooms, green pepper and onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into pan. Place remaining three slices of bacon on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and cut into squares.

Use a large disposable aluminum pan for easy clean up when making this recipe from the Gooseberry Patch “5 Ingredients of Less” cookbook.

Baked Potato Salad

13-15 potatoes, cooked and cubed

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


1 onion, chopped

16-oz. jar mayonnaise-type salad dressing

Combine potatoes, bacon, half of the cheese, onions and enough salad dressing to make the mixture moist. Mix well and spread into a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about one hour. Serves 18 to 20.

This meaty main dish also comes from the Gooseberry Patch “5 Ingredients or Less” cookbook.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

2 3-ounce packages dried chipped beef

8 boneless chicken breasts


16 slices bacon

10-3/4-oz. can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

Line the bottom of an ungreased 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish with chipped beef and set aside. Wrap each chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon and place on top of beef. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spread soup and sour cream on top. Return to oven for an additional 40 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

This recipe from adds a twist to traditional meatloaf.

Bacon Mushroom Swiss Meatloaf

12 oz. chopped raw bacon


small white onion, chopped

5 button mushrooms, chopped

1-1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup evaporated milk

6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese, divided

1/2 cup corn flake crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until browned. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels and discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Stir in onions and mushrooms, and cook until soft. Remove from heat.


In a large bowl, stir together beef, egg, and milk. Stir in the onion and mushrooms. Mix in about 4 ounces of Swiss cheese, and all but 1 tablespoon of bacon. Stir in cornflake crumbs, and mix until well blended. Shape into a loaf, and place in a meatloaf pan.

Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Drain fat, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon. Return to oven, and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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