Candied Bacon Panzanella Salads with Rye Bread Croutons

If you can’t tell by now, we are totally feeling the panzanella lately! Last week, it was the salmon panzanella, this week, BLT’s! These are kicked up a notch with candied bacon and I used rye bread for the croutons. Let me tell you. That rye bread is killer in this salad!

Candied bacon is simple to make – just a bit of brown sugar and some maple syrup. I used Bushwick Kitchen’s Spicy Maple for this batch – so good! If you follow on Instagram, you know how hard I stan for Bushwick Kitchen. Scroll towards the bottom of the post for all my favorite BK.

My go-to for really good bacon is putting the bacon in a cold oven and letting is bake as the oven heats up. Works every time! You can control the crispiness, too, which is super dreamy when you make a candied bacon. The crispy ends taste 100000 times better when they’re a little crispy – it’s like the fat of the bacon releases and with the maple….mmmmm….stop it. It’s like a little bite of heaven.

The bacon levels up this BLT salad big time. It’s just the right amount of sweetness to make this salad feel a little more special than some lettuce with tomatoes and croutons on it.

For the dressing, I used the lemon basil vinaigrette from earlier this week, but the homemade ranch dressing from this post would be excellent, too!

Are you guys into panzanellas? I love the big chunks of bread, lightly toasted in the oven – it feels like an undone sandwich, and I’m here for it. We’re trying to get in more salads because some how we suddenly stopped eating so many veggies like we usually do! Quarantine. Messing us up!

What are your favorite salad combos right now?

Bushwick Kitchen is something I’m constantly reaching for in my kitchen – here are a few of my favorite BK products!

Candied Bacon Panzanella Salad with Rye Bread Croutons

The candied bacon levels up this salad BIG time, and the toasted rye bread makes for the best croutons. Like an undone BLT – here for it!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins


Candied Bacon

  • 10 pieces thick cut bacon per salad
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Rye Bread Croutons

  • 4 c chunks of rye bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper


  • lettuce, tomato
  • favorite dressing


Candied Bacon

  • Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and a cooling rack on top. This ensures the air gets around the bacon and the bacon won’t get soggy from cooking in its fat.
  • Mix sugar and maple syrup together; evenly spread on both sides of the bacon, placing each slice on the cookie rack
  • Place in a cold oven and turn the temperature up to 375. At 10 minutes, begin checking on the bacon and bake until it reaches desired crispness. I go about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon
  • I recommend letting the bacon get crispy on the ends so the bacon is stiffer when it cools, which gives you that great candied bacon feel.
  • When you remove from the oven, allow to cool, occasionally moving the bacon on the cooling rack it was baked on so it does not get stuck. 

Rye Bread Croutons and Assembly

  • While the bacon is cooling, toss rye bread chunks with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on a foil linked baking sheet for about 10 minutes until the bread is crisped a little. Keep the croutons a little soft so they’re easy to bite!
  • Add lettuce and tomato to bowls or plates, top with 2 slices of bacon per salad and dress with your favorite dressing.

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