How to Make Million-Dollar Bacon for an Easy Breakfast Upgrade

Updated: May 02, 2023

Is anything better than bacon? Maybe million-dollar bacon, aka "millionaire's bacon." Spicy, sweet and simple to make, this rich bacon recipe can be part of breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

It’s no secret that we love bacon. When we heard about breakfast chain First Watch’s famous million-dollar bacon, we were immediately intrigued. Crispy bacon drizzled with a sweet-and-spicy sauce and caramelized in the oven? Yes, please!

Though the recipe is also known as “millionaire bacon,” it calls for only pantry staples. It’s rich in taste, not expense. The addictively sweet-savory recipe makes a nice change of pace from plain bacon at brunch, or a delicious appetizer at a potluck. Here’s how to make it at home.

Our Million-Dollar Bacon Recipe

This recipe was developed by the Taste of Home Test Kitchen.


Million Dollar BaconTMB Studio

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 pound thick-sliced bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup


Step 1: Prep your tools

Alluminum Foil On Baking SheetTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 15x10x1-in. pan with foil. A different size is fine, as long as the bacon isn’t too crowded together, which will prevent it from crisping well. A rimmed sheet is essential, as the bacon will let off some fat.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

In a bowl or baking dish, combine the brown sugar, pepper flakes, cayenne and ground pepper. Mix together with a fork. It’s easiest to use a dish large enough to dip the full slice of bacon.

Step 3: Dip

One at a time, dip bacon slices in the sugar mixture. Make sure to get both sides. Place on the prepared pan.

Step 4: Bake

Bake until the bacon is browned and crisp, about 20-25 minutes. If your bacon is on the thinner side, check on it a bit earlier to make sure it’s not browning too quickly.

Looking for something to do while the bacon bakes? Some of our copycat restaurant breakfasts are quick enough to whip up in 20 minutes.

Step 5: Drizzle

Million Dollar Bacon And Syrup On Sheet PanTMB Studio

Remove the pan from the oven (but don’t turn it off). Drizzle maple syrup over the bacon.

Step 6: Bake again

Return the pan to the oven and bake until bacon looks glossy but dry, about 5 minutes longer.

Step 7: Eat!

Transfer the bacon to a cooling rack. Do not use paper towels as it will stick to the bacon. Serve while still warm for the tastiest experience. Eggs, waffles, pancakes and any other favorite breakfast foods taste delicious with million-dollar bacon. Use leftover bacon chopped up in an omelet or scattered over a pizza. Next, try our favorite million-dollar recipes.

Tips for Making Million-Dollar Bacon

Use thick-cut bacon

For best results, use thick-cut bacon. Thinner cuts of bacon burn more easily and won’t achieve the ideal chewy, caramelized texture. For this recipe, we used Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon, but any of our top-rated bacon brands will work well.

If your bacon is on the thinner side, keep an eye on the baking (Step 4), and take it out if the edges start getting too dark. Looking for an easy recipe? Learn how to make million-dollar deviled eggs.

Make this bacon the day-of

While we love a make-ahead breakfast, millionaire’s bacon is best enjoyed the day it’s made. The texture will soften as it sits, making it slightly less scrumptious. If you do have leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator. They’ll still be tasty cut up and sprinkled over a frozen pizza or in a salad.

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