How can something with bacon it be called “lightened up”? This Smoky Maple Bacon Dip earns its title by featuring turkey bacon and low-fat cream cheese. Of course, you can swap out the turkey bacon for regular pork bacon. I’m sure that would taste good, too, just drop the “lightened up” from the title!
We’re in the midst of the holiday stretch when we are making and eating lots of appetizers. I’m guessing you have stand-bys you always like to make. For me, I’m always bringing the either the Muhamarra Spicy Red Pepper Dip or the Spicy Green Onion Dip. Sometimes both! This year, for Thanksgiving, I wanted to bring something new along with the Muhammara, and I came up with this Smoky Maple Bacon Dip.
I’ve had good luck concocting new dips. This Maple Bacon Dip was definitely a hit. The regular maple syrup gives it a nice touch of sweetness, which is balanced by the smokiness in the bacon and smoked maple syrup. It’s nice served alongside something spicier.
I’m trying to recall where the inspiration for this maple bacon recipe started. I think it was looking for more tasty ways to use the Smoked Maple Syrup I’d picked up this summer. We loved it featured in this Smoked Maple Greens and Cabbage Salad, the dressing for it is now a regular in our rotation. The Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind Maple Syrup made from 100% pure maple syrup infused with hardwood smoke. You can order some or find out where you can buy it on Sugar Bob’s website. (no affiliation link here, I just like supporting quality, small local producers that I’ve found!)
I saw turkey bacon on sale, and though that’d be worth trying out. As you might imagine, I wouldn’t say turkey bacon is as tasty as regular bacon, but it has much lower fat and calorie content, and is a pretty fair substitute in this recipe and others where there are enough other ingredients delivering flavor.
So, if you’re looking for a lightened up appetizer to serve this holiday season, add this Smoky Maple Bacon Dip to your list! Serve with chips or raw veggies.
I don’t have a specific wine pairing offer for this one. We were sipping on sparkling wine with our Thanksgiving apps. Generally a good way to start, but the dry bubbly didn’t pair too well with the sweetness of the dip. If I were to pair to this dip specifically, I’d look for something with a touch of sweetness to match, such as a Moscato or off-dry Riesling. If you find a good pairing for this dip, please let me know! Meanwhile, if you want to find something that does go well with bubbly, check out my 20 Pairings for Sparkling Wine roundup. Cheers!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 strip turkey bacon
- 3 cloves garlic
- 8 ozs low fat cream cheese
- generous pinch dried sage
- small pinch rosemary
- pinch cayenne
- ⅓ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp regular maple syrup
- 1 tbsp smoked maple syrup
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes prior to starting the dip so it will begin to soften.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the turkey bacon, cook for about 5 minutes, the flip to cook until both sides are browned, about 10 minutes total cooking time. Remove the bacon from the pan, and set aside to cool on a paper towel.
- Add the garlic to the a food processor, and give it a whir to mince the garlic.
- Add the cream cheese to the food processor, and puree so that it gradually becomes smooth. It takes a few minutes, so some patience is needed. You can add an extra tablespoon olive oil if it looks like it needs something to get to a smooth consistency.
- Add the sage, rosemary, cayenne and cumin, and puree again. Add both kinds of maple syrup, puree that into the mixture.
- Break the turkey bacon into bits. Add half of the bacon to the food processor along with the baby spinach. Puree to incorporate into the dip.
- To serve, place the tip in the middle of serving platter, and sprinkle the remaining bacon bits on top. Serve with chips or raw vegetables. The dip can be saved in the fridge for serving later.
Tools to use: A good food processor gets a serious workout in an active kitchen! If you or a someone on your shopping list need one, my Cuisinart Food Processor has been used hundreds of times over the years and is still going strong! Serving up my Amazon affiliate link here, which means I’d earn a small commission if you chose to make a purchase using this link. As always, I only link to products I have used and recommend!