Bacon wrapped asparagus is a great way to enjoy Springtime asparagus. These also qualify as a Whole30 snack or Whole30 dinner side dish. Wrap bacon around asparagus, drizzle with a simple vinaigrette, and bake.
While potatoes are technically permissible on the Whole30 diet, French fries are definitely not. Even if they're fried in Whole30-approved oils. It's something about the act of eating-slash-gorging on something fried and salty. I'm not guilty of this, you are. And it isn't me googling a million ways to make Whole30-approved French fries; that is definitely you. Hah, it is most definitely me, all day long!
So standing in French fries' place is these bacon wrapped asparagus spears. They're an excellent side dish to any Whole30 dinner, and I've even used them as a snack. While tossing frozen tater tots or Trader Joe's fries in my toaster oven for a quick, salty snack is standard for me, I need a replacement.
Using bacon wrapped asparagus instead of a salty fried potato isn't exactly the same experience for me, because half of the fun is dipping them in ketchup and eating with my toddler. While my little Camille will eat asparagus, she will not eat bacon or any type of meat that isn't salmon or shrimp. Speaking of, have you seen my Whole30 salmon patties?
I've had a lot of versions of bacon wrapped asparagus over the years, but this is the best version. After the asparagus is wrapped in the bacon, a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried oregano is drizzled over the top. As if oven-roasting vegetables in bacon grease isn't enough, we add the vinaigrette for acidic tang. The balance is perfection.
How to make bacon wrapped asparagus in oven:
First, portion out 4 medium-sized asparagus spears per bundle onto a large baking sheet. This is a good time to make your simple vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar + ½ teaspoon dried oregano + ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
You can absolutely use regular balsamic vinegar here; I just had the white version in my pantry from Trader Joe's.
Next, cut each bacon slice in half and wrap it around each bundle of spears. Drizzle evenly with the vinaigrette, and slide into a 400-degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. They're so easy, and so fast to make, right?
An average 1-pound package of asparagus makes 8 little bundles of joy, which is perfect for a side dish with dinner plus a few leftover for snacking the next day. I'm eating them with my lunch today, but I'm thinking of using them for an afternoon snack tomorrow.
It makes me feel invincible when I eat a vegetable as a snack, even if that vegetable is wrapped in bacon.
Can we also talk about the size of asparagus spears? While any asparagus you meet will tell you that size doesn't matter, I have a different opinion. Let's break it down.
Asparagus stalk sizes (and the best way to use them):
Asparagus is a perennial plant that puts out new shoots each year. An asparagus plant actually kinda looks like a Christmas tree with red balls on it in real life. Did you know this? You're lucky I'm your resident farmer turned blogger. I grew and harvested asparagus in the university community garden in my days at University of California, Davis. It's one of my favorite things to harvest because farm knives are fun!
Thin asparagus spears are usually young or new growth on the asparagus bush. The super-thin spears are usually the first harvest of the season or the first harvest of the plant's life, and are great for eating raw, shaving on pizza, or quickly sautéing in a stir-fry.
Medium-thick asparagus spears are about the diameter of a pencil, and are the most common size of asparagus you find in the markets.
Thick asparagus spears are hard to find, but she's worth it. There's nothing wrong with her for being thick, it's just the way she is and she's very comfortable in her body. Chefs seek these out because they're truly the best and most flavorful asparagus spears. Thick asparagus spears are best for long-term braising and slow-roasting in the oven and serving under a steak. Not suitable for short cooking times.
How to serve bacon wrapped asparagus:
I serve these even during non-Whole30 times, especially as an appetizer at a party. If you serve them with napkins, they can be a finger food. I feel completely comfortable eating this 3-bite appetizer on a little party plate with my hands, but maybe I'm not the most lady-like person.
These are also a great side dish to any main protein dish. If you're making my Cowboy Steaks for Two, it's a great substitute for the Brussels sprouts!
I also love these bacon wrapped asparagus spears alongside my stuffed chicken breast.
- 1 pound of fresh asparagus spears (~32 stalks)
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon se salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate the asparagus stalks into 4 per bundle, and place them on the baking sheet. You should get 8 bundles or so.
- Cut each slice of bacon in half. You should have 8 pieces of bacon now.
- Wrap each piece of bacon around each bundle of asparagus.
- Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a measuring cup with a pour spout. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the bundles evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes, no need to flip half-way through.
- To reheat leftover bundles, place them back in the oven at 350 until sizzling.
Please note that if you're following the Whole30 diet, you need to ensure that your bacon is sugar-free and lacks any weird chemicals not allowed on the diet.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g