For bacon lovers, the temptation is to make their most beloved food the foundation of the feast. Perhaps you will serve a beautiful roasted chicken lovingly wrapped in a lattice pattern of bacon. Or maybe a plate of filet mignon steaks, each cooked to a perfect medium rare and each adorned with a crisp strip of bacon, tying each little steak up like a bow. And of course, there are even more spectacular, and bacon heavy, main dish options available, such as a stunning bacon explosion.

But let us not forget the secret champions on our holidays feasts: the humble side-dishes. A perfectly roasted turkey may be the iconic symbol of a Christmas meal, with it’s burnished, golden brown skin and tender meat. However, it is often the side-dishes that are actually eaten, and enjoyed, the most. While I do relish chowing down on a drumstick, it’s the stuffing and mashed potatoes that always have me loosening my pants and going in for a third helping.

Like most fantastic foods, adding bacon to side dishes makes these beloved meal staples even more spectacular. Here are a few ways that you can spruce up your side dishes this holiday season.

Corn Salad

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At first glance, this salad looks suspiciously healthy, and it is. The combination of corn, green peppers, tomatoes, red onions, scallions, and bright cilantro is makes for a wonderfully fresh, healthful side. The combination of colours is also incredible beautiful, much more striking than the standard iceberg lettuce starter salad. To top it all off, this dish also features a generous crumble of bacon, making it a true show stopper. The next time you’re invited to bring a salad to a family gathering, break out this baby!

Bacon and Corn Bread Stuffing

My absolute favourite part of any holiday meal is unquestionably the stuffing. There’s something about the texture of stuffing – like an edible pillow! — combined with the satisfaction of eating carbs that makes it close to irresistible. This stuffing recipe includes the genius idea of adding a whole pound of glorious bacon, sweet toasted pecans, and tasty cornbread. If that doesn’t sound delicious then I don’t know what does.

Bacon and Chestnut Stuffing

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I like stuffing so much I’m including another option here. This stuffing is much more dense, and is formed into delicious little balls of delight that can be either stuffed into a bird or individually fried and eaten on their own. I feel like I am definitely going to overdose on these at some point. These are pretty awesome, I can’t wait to try this stuffing.

Potato, Bacon and Onion Galette

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Potatoes and bacon have a natural affinity for each other. Add some onion, thyme, delicious gruyere cheese, and neatly bundle it all up in a pie crust, and you have a mouth-watering side dish that is also a serious showstopper.

Broccoli with Bacon

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Even the most diehard meat-and-potates fan will be hard pressed to get through the gauntlet of holiday eating without craving the occasional vegetable. For that, we recommend something like this recipe for sauteed broccoli that also includes bacon, shallots and a little kick of dijon mustard. You’ll still be getting all the bacony goodness you need while fighting off scurvy!