Bacon Is The Key To Adding Another Savory Protein Layer To Salmon Filets

Ask an omnivore — sometimes the best accouterment to a meaty entrée isn't rice pilaf or a light green salad. Sometimes, it's more meat. Introducing salmon and bacon: the perhaps-unexpected power duo that belongs on your radar.

The pairing offers a complex, dimensional flavor profile when umami-forward salmon meets smoky bacon. But in the nutritional sense, one 3 ½-ounce serving of salmon packs roughly 25 grams of protein, and three slices of bacon add 12 more grams. Considering the FDA's daily recommended protein intake for adults is 50 grams, one bacon-wrapped salmon filet puts you 75% of the way there.

Aside from its "not too fishy" flavor, one of the most appealing parts about salmon for home cooks is the myriad of ways it can be prepared. Salmon is simultaneously sturdy and tender enough to be grilled, roasted, pan-seared, poached, sauteed, fried, or even enjoyed raw (depending on its grade). Plus, salmon's natural fat content makes it hearty enough to stand on its own alongside bacon without getting lost.

As you brainstorm ideas for pairing salmon and bacon, keep in mind that bacon is already naturally high in sodium, so take care not to overdo it on the salt in your preparation. Opt for thin-cut bacon to keep the meaty mouthful from becoming overwhelming, and pair the dish with something tangy for balance, like a quinoa salad tossed in red wine vinegar or crispy potatoes with arugula.

Ideas to pique your protein-packed appetite

Salmon and bacon make a nutrient-dense, crave-able dish for all times of the day. Lox, eggs, and onions is a classic New York City deli breakfast — toss some pepper-smoked bacon into the mix and pair it with a piece of rye toast to complete the meal. For an elevated brunch, you could whip up a salmon and bacon eggs benedict or chop the ingredients up for a savory omelet filling (bonus points if you pair your brunch with an oyster sauce Bloody Mary). You could even make a salmon and bacon hash with cubed red potatoes, chives, and a fried egg on top.

For dinner, fire up the grill for a smoky charred salmon filet wrapped in bacon and slathered with garlic butter. Pair with grilled asparagus as a side, or use your bacon two ways and whip up some cream cheese jalapeño poppers. While the grill's still hot, you could make salmon burgers topped with bacon, lettuce, and a generous slice of beefsteak tomato.

Feeling fancy? Try your hand at salmon mignon wrapped in bacon with lemon butter sauce and a glass of Pinot Blanc, or toss some chopped bacon into this impressive Smoked Salmon Pasta recipe with fresh, snappy grape tomatoes, bright acidic lemon, and spicy chiles. Feel free to get creative here, too; serrano ham or prosciutto would make sophisticated substitutes for thin-cut bacon.