Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: August 29, 2023

This pecan candied bacon recipe has it all; sweet, salty, crunchy, and nutty flavors, topped off with a pecan topping made of pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, and a little bit of cayenne pepper.

Make this recipe in under 40 minutes for a sweet and savory breakfast treat, an appetizer, or brunch side.

Be warned, in my household, these tasty treats last mere seconds.

The good news is this candied bacon is gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and perfect for any paleo diet.

Quick Summary

  • Paleo pecan candied bacon is a sweet, salty, crunchy, and nutty dish made with maple syrup, coconut sugar, and cayenne pepper.
  • The dish takes 40 minutes to prepare and cook, and it's suitable for a paleo diet being gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free.
  • Paleo pecan candied bacon can be served as a breakfast treat, an appetizer, or a brunch side, and it is best consumed within 4 hours of preparation.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Number of Servings: 4


  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 50 grams of coconut sugar
  • 33 grams of pecans
  • ⅓ teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


Pecan candied bacon on tray rack
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Take your rimmed baking sheet, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil (for easier cleanup), and place a wire baking rack on top.
  3. Combine the pecans, maple syrup, coconut sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper into a food processor. Pulse until pecans are finely chopped. 
  4. Place the bacon on the wire rack with enough space in between so the meat isn’t touching. Spoon the chopped pecans and maple syrup mixture onto the top of the bacon, ensuring your spread is even.
  5. Place the bacon inside a preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. The candied nuts topping should be very brown. Remove the cooked bacon from the oven and allow it to cool. 
  6. Transfer your paleo pecan candied bacon onto a plate and serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Preparing candied bacon on tray
  1. When cooking your candied bacon, you’ll want to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure the grease doesn’t drip all over your oven as you cook. 
  2. The wire tray is essential for this recipe; it stops the bacon from turning into a greasy, gooey mess.
  3. Replace the pepper with some balsamic vinegar if you want a more tangy taste than a slight spice. The balsamic will transform your savory bacon into something sweet, tangy, and rich.
  4. If you don’t like maple syrup, try using coconut or avocado oil.
  5. Try replacing your regular bacon with applewood smoked bacon if you want even more flavor.
  6. Try to serve your bacon within 4 hours of making it. If you leave it any longer, the nuts lose their crispness. It still tastes good, but it’s more delicious while it's crispy. Avoid prepping the recipe beforehand, as it tastes a lot better the day of.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 150
  • Total Carbs: 22g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Net Carbs: 20g

Things to Look for When Buying Bacon

Bacon strips on bowl

Delicious paleo recipes are nothing without good meat.

Bacon makes this entire recipe, so we must ensure that the cut is fresh, nice, and pink.

The main thing to look out for is proper meat/fat distribution.

Other things to look out for include:

  • One end of the bacon should be more than an inch of pure fat
  • The slice has kinks in the middle of the meat where the stations have been split
  • The slice isn’t straight
  • Has some marbling

“No matter how tough the meat may be, it's going to be tender if you slice it thin enough.”
- Guy Fieri, Chef

Of course, shopping online for meat makes it difficult to examine the bacon before buying.

Other Paleo Recipes We Recommend:

Learn How to Spot Bad Bacon

Belly bacon top view

If you’ve bought some bacon at your local supermarket or you think your bacon has gone bad, look for these telltale signs:

  • If your pork belly has turned gray or brown, with a tinge of blue or green, your bacon is spoiled. We want the meat to be naturally pink and the fat to be yellow or white. When the meat is exposed to air for too long, a chemical reaction causes it to change color.
  • Fresh bacon will have a natural meaty smell. Meat that has gone bad may smell fishy, sour, or simply unpleasant. Your meat smells bad due to bacteria growth.
  • Bad bacon will feel slimy and looks like it has a sticky sheen around it. This is due to lactic acid bacteria. Fresh meat will be soft and moist.

If you’ve got some bad pork on your hands, it’s better to discard it immediately.

Letting rotten meat sit in your fridge can contaminate other food items.

Wrap it up in plastic and throw it out to stop the smell from attacking your kitchen [1].

Daliatys Escobar Perez of Meals to Share sums up how we can spot bad bacon using three indicators: color, smell, and texture.

Fresh bacon has a distinct pinkish and sweet, pleasant aroma, and is firm to the touch. Otherwise, if it smells bad, patchy, and feels sticky, be ready to discharge it.

Other Ways to Eat Pecans

Not only are pecans delicious, but they are also very versatile. Check out these ways you can incorporate them into your next meal:

  • Roast pecans in the oven alongside brussels sprouts; the sweetness of the nuts pairs well with the smokey flavor of the sprouts.
  • Add the pecans to a green salad, topped off with goat cheese or chicken for extra crunch.
  • Get some low-carb dark chocolate to drizzle on roasted nuts.
  • Sprinkle crushed pecan bits with a pinch of nutmeg over mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Add them to some creamy Greek yogurt along with your favorite fruits and toppings.


What Goes Well With Bacon?

Brussel sprouts, a goat cheese salad, avocado toast, and waffles go well with bacon. Anything fresh and crispy, such as salad, will give a refreshing taste and make the bacon fat feel less greasy.

Do Pecans Need to Be Cooked?

Pecans don't need to be cooked, so you can eat them as is; however, when you bake them, the natural oils of the pecans are drawn to the surface, making the flavor even nuttier and the texture even crunchier.

They’re full of healthy fats, so they make great snacks or salad toppings.

Delicious Candied Bacon With Pecans - Clean Eating Made Sweet

This candied bacon appetizer shines with perfectly sweet and savory flavors.

This clean eating recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, making it the perfect treat for any paleo diet.

This great recipe is my go-to when I crave something sweet in the morning. Plus, it’s hassle-free and takes only 40 minutes to prepare and cook.


  1. https://www.streetsmartkitchen.com/how-to-tell-if-bacon-is-bad/
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