Jon’s Homemade Bacon Basil Pesto

One of the many qualities I love about my boyfriend, Jon, is that he can cook.  I don’t mean he can prepare boxed mac and cheese or bake a store-bought cake mix – I mean he dreams up delicious recipes on the fly.  For example, he once randomly decided to create peanut butter brownies.. at midnight… from scratch, just because he was bored.  He has also created his own peanut butter cream cheese frosting which is to die for and concocted cornbread cupcakes with maple bacon frosting (Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe soon enough ;)).  As you can gather, he definitely excels with desserts but that’s not to say his creativity stops there.

One time while making his homemade pesto, he decided to experiment with crispy bacon and the drippings.  The end result?  The best pesto sauce either of us had ever had!  Graciously, he’s letting me share the recipe with all of you – Mmm, let’s get started!

Begin by heating a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the skillet is warm, place your bacon strips down.  Cook, turning once, until the strips are completely cooked.  Smells good, doesn’t it?

Place the bacon strips on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess grease.  However, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings (Jon laughs at the word ‘drippings’ but I think it sounds a lot better than grease!) from the skillet and set aside.

Switching gears, add your basil leaves, garlic, parm, black pepper, bacon, and bacon drippings to your food processor.  We pressed the ‘Chop’ option and let the machine do its work for about 30 seconds.  Slowly drizzle in some of your olive oil and ‘Grind’ for another 30 seconds.  Continue adding the olive oil until you reach a desired consistency.

Tip:  It’s really important to drizzle your olive oil in small amounts.  If you pour in too much oil, and you don’t have any more basil leaves, your sauce will be too oily – which we learned the hard way the first time.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl and eat as a dip, a pasta sauce, or as my favorite, a pizza sauce like on my Seafood Pesto Pizza.

Jon’s Homemade Bacon Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 bacon strips
  • 2 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup – 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (based on your desired consistency)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

What to Do

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the skillet is warm, place your bacon strips down.  Cook, turning once, until the strips are completely cooked.
  2. Place the cooked bacon strips on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess grease but reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add basil leaves, garlic, parm, black pepper, bacon, and bacon drippings to your food processor.
  4. Chop for roughly 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly, drizzle in some olive oil and grind for another 30 seconds.
  6. Continue adding the olive oil until you reach a desired consistency.
  7. Enjoy as a dip, as a pasta sauce, or on a pizza!
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14 thoughts on “Jon’s Homemade Bacon Basil Pesto

  1. Interesting, I have to say…I am a huge bacon fan. And keep Jon cooking! My father-in-law had one bad experience with my husband and advised me the day before our wedding to keep him out of the kitchen,It took me years to find out that he could cook, and actually develop recipes(!) By that time, he had gotten pretty used to the kitchen being my realm, so he hasn’t taken the time to come up with many creations, but he gets begged for the ones he has up his sleeve.

    • Mmm, I absolutely love bacon too! Jon and I would probably put it in everything if we weren’t concerned with our health. Trust me, I LOVE that Jon cooks. He’s great in the kitchen – I’m so lucky :). As for your husband, that’s awesome that you finally found out he could cook – Better late than never I suppose. Since he feels like the kitchen is your realm, maybe you two could cook together until he’s more comfortable. By then, you two might have to battle for the kitchen though ;).

  2. I love boyfriends that can cook! It’s so fun to be in the kitchen together… One time, my boyfriend and I had a soup competition because we decided we had different dreams for dinner! Ha! Seriously, all of the above sounds awesome though. And am definitely headed to the peanut butter frosting recipe because I am very curious about all things peanutbutter.

    I love the creative twist on pesto; I think bacon would add a reaaally delicious smokiness. YUM!

    • Thanks, Kathryn! That’s too funny about you and your boyfriend having a soup competition! What did you two end up making? (Yes, the bacon was deeeelicious! :))

  3. Excellent recipe! And the cornbread cupcakes with maple bacon frosting sound so delicious! Cannot wait to see them!

    • Thanks, Judy :). I was happy to share it. We make this pesto literally once a week to put on our pizzas! As for the cornbread cupcakes with maple bacon frosting… hopefully I can share them soon (guess that means we have to make them again!).

  4. Leah, pssssst! Have you heard the recent study about bacon fat not being bad for you?My husband has jumped on that bandwagon! And thanks, but the kitchen IS my domain and I will only let him in for his specialties(!)

  5. Pingback: Seafood Pesto Pizza « Inspire & Indulge

  6. Pingback: Ingredient of the Month: Basil

  7. Pingback: Garlic Mashed Cauliflower « Inspire & Indulge

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