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Food & Recipes

Million Dollar Bacon Is Sweet, Spicy, Deliciously Rich — And So Easy To Make

All it takes is brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne pepper — and a little know how

If you ask us, bacon will forever be etched in the breakfast hall of fame — and for good reason: Bacon’s salty, smoky flavors wake up your tastebuds, even during the earliest of mornings, and give you that meaty protein to satisfy your appetite. It’s no secret that this breakfast treat is delicious on its own, but adding other ingredients takes it to a whole new level. Million dollar bacon is a perfect example as it infuses the strips with brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne pepper. This flavor twist produces bacon that’s sweet, spicy and tastes like a million bucks — all while using cheap pantry staples. Keep reading to learn more about million dollar bacon, how to make it by adding in just three ingredients and the best ways to enjoy it!

What is million dollar bacon?

Million dollar bacon takes the dish from ordinary to extraordinary as it coats the strips with a brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne mixture before baking. The end result is spiced and caramelized bacon slices that are too delicious to resist. 

Sweet Maple Restaurant in San Francisco is considered to be the home of million dollar bacon (or “millionaire’s bacon”). There, the chefs slow cook sweet and spicy bacon for hours until it’s perfectly chewy and syrupy. Lucky for you, making million dollar bacon at home is easy and doesn’t require breaking the bank!

3 tips for making the best million dollar bacon

Here, Alyssa Rivers, blogger and founder of The Recipe Critic, shares her top three tips for whipping up perfectly cooked million dollar bacon every time.

1. Use thick-cut bacon over thin or regular varieties.

Thick-cut bacon adds a meatier texture compared to thinner kinds, and it allows you to pack on plenty of coating without worrying it’ll slide off. The best part? You’re less likely to end up brittle, overcooked bacon by using this thicker type.

2. Make sure the bacon strips are super dry.

Excess moisture on the bacon will prevent the sugar-spice coating from properly sticking onto the slices. So, pat the bacon dry with a paper towel before sprinkling it with the sweet coating. 

3. Keep an eye on the bacon while it cooks.

Since the brown sugar coating caramelizes quickly in the oven, watch the bacon during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure it doesn’t burn. Additionally, tweak the cooking time if you want the bacon to reach your desired level of crispness. 

A mouthwatering million dollar bacon recipe

Now’s the fun part: making this bacon delight! Below, you can find Rivers’ Million Dollar Bacon recipe that’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and preps super-fast. (For dish to enjoy this bacon with, click through to our story on how to make fluffy scrambled eggs like IHOP.)

Million Dollar Bacon

Homemade million dollar bacon on a wire rack
Oksana Chaun/Getty


  • 1 lb. thick-cut sliced bacon like Oscar Mayer Thick Cut Bacon (Buy from Walmart, $8.48)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Cooking spray


  • Active: 10 mins
  • Total time: 34 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Grease oven-safe wire rack with cooking spray and place on baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, pepper and cayenne pepper (if using) until combined. Spread mixture on plate or small baking sheet. Press each bacon slice into coating until 1 side is thoroughly covered.
  3. Lay sugared bacon onto prepared baking rack/sheet. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, rotating as needed, until bacon’s edges are crisp.
  4. Take pan out of oven and allow bacon to sit at least 5 minutes. Transfer to parchment-lined plate or baking sheet to cool fully before serving.

    Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat the slices by placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to warm up at 350°F for 3 to 4 minutes.

5 scrumptious ways to enjoy million dollar bacon

Million dollar bacon-topped mashed potatoes

This bacon is tasty on its own or served alongside your favorite breakfast dishes. You can also transform it into a topping or garnish using these five ideas! (Click through to see how you can make Korean corn dogs — which would be great with million dollar bacon!)

1. Incorporate million dollar bacon into your go-to sides.

Chop the bacon and then sprinkle it over mashed potatoes, mac and cheese or sautéed spinach for added sweetness and a kick of heat. This is a great topping option to include a loaded baked potato bar for guests who want their salt cravings satisfied.

2. Add bacon slices to sandwiches.

Whether you love a filling BLT or melty grilled cheese, layer 2 to 3 slices of this candied bacon on hot or cold sandwiches. Then, savor the sugary, spiced flavors it brings to this lunch staple.

3. Sprinkle million dollar bacon bits over desserts.

Crumbled million dollar bacon can be sprinkled on top of ice cream, glazed doughnuts or cupcakes for a rich flavor that balances the dessert’s sweetness. (Click through for delicious croissant doughnut recipes that are worth topping with this candied bacon.)

4. Top your favorite soups with this bacon.

When serving hearty soups like tomato basil or loaded potato, scatter bits of the bacon over each bowl. This gives the soup added saltiness and a nice chewy texture.

5. Turn this bacon into a drink garnish.

Beyond food, you can garnish cocktails or mocktails including a Bloody Mary or an Old Fashioned with this bacon. Afterwards, raise your glass to the sweet and savory goodness that million dollar bacon brings to any drink. Cheers!

For more bacon-tactic dishes, check out the stories below:

Bacon Jam Is the Latest Tasty Spread to Try — Here’s How to Make It

Meat-Lovers Rejoice! Smoky Beef Bacon Is Here to Satisfy All Your Carnivore Cravings

Love Bacon That Has All the Crunch Without the Crumble? Us Too! Here’s the Secret

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