How to Cook Turkey Bacon: The Best Tips You Need

Nicole Austin

There are a variety of ways to cook crispy turkey bacon at home.

I know this can be a controversial statement, but I like turkey bacon. I do understand the argument that it isn’t the same as “regular” pork bacon, and it isn’t — however, you’re probably not going to notice a big difference in the flavor and crunchiness of your BLT wrap.

How to Cook Turkey Bacon Photo

And it isn’t a huge adjustment to learn how to cook turkey bacon, so it’s something you may not mind experimenting with in your own kitchen. Turkey bacon makes a great substitute for those looking to consume less fat, or people who avoid regular bacon or pork for personal or religious reasons.

When I say less fat, I certainly mean it. Turkey bacon contains up to 75% less fat, as well as 25% fewer calories, than conventional bacon, and contains almost double the protein. This means it is not only better for your health, but also more filling.

We're not saying you should never have traditional bacon, and it may come down to personal preference. But it's worth understanding the differences between the two, including the lower fat content of uncured turkey bacon, especially if you're looking for an easy way to make crunchy bacon for the first time and prefer to avoid pork for any reason or need a healthier option.

There are different brands of turkey bacon, so check the specific packaging if nutritional information are a factor for you. Cooking time won't be impacted by the brand of turkey bacon you pick.

How to Cook Turkey Bacon Picture

As is the case with any processed food, turkey bacon does contain some undesirable ingredients. In this case, you’re looking at a lot of preservatives, sodium, and saturated fat.

However, unless you’re eating it excessively, turkey bacon is not going to cause any known health issues and is part of a balanced diet. Seeking a no-sugar-added or uncured bacon makes it an even more health-conscious choice.

Even though the flavor and texture do not exactly mirror pork bacon, turkey bacon still has a smoky, salty flavor that makes bacon familiar.

You may be new to turkey bacon, or perhaps you want to know how to make the taste or texture even better than before. We’re here to help you figure out the best way to cook turkey bacon!

BBQ Blue Cheese BLT Photo

What Does Turkey Bacon Look Like Cooked?

If you want to know when to tell your turkey bacon is done, wait for it to be brown and fairly crispy.

The meat should be darkened, with no pink or raw looking spots.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Image

How Long to Cook Turkey Bacon

Turkey bacon cooked in a skillet will be done in about 8 to 10 minutes total. You’ll want to flip it midway.

When cooked in the oven or toaster oven, turkey bacon typically takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Air fryer turkey bacon will take about 10 minutes.

Though less ideal, turkey bacon can safely be cooked in a microwave. You will want to check the bacon at one-minute intervals after the first 2-4 minutes on high to determine when it is done cooking.

Let's get into the different ways to prepare it!

Bacon Image

How to Cook Turkey Bacon in the Oven

Some people prefer to bake turkey bacon in the oven because it allows them to prepare other foods while it cooks. It’s also easier to make a lot of bacon at once, which is great for families, guests, or meal prep.

In fact, it's arguably the easiest way of cooking bacon in general, and offers easy cleanup compared to the stovetop approach.

Turkey bacon that is prepared in the oven using these directions does not need oil added:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and set a baking rack on top.
  3. Arrange turkey bacon in a single layer on the rack or parchment and correct any overlap.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack.
  5. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or topped with a paper plate to absorb any oils that come out of the bacon.

Quick tip: You can follow these directions for baking turkey bacon in the toaster oven as well!

Bacon Sampler from D’Artagnan Photo

How to Cook Turkey Bacon in Air Fryer

Air fryers are a great way to make crisp turkey bacon without any added fat or deep frying. It’s very simple to cook turkey bacon in an air fryer. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F.
  2. Place the turkey bacon strips in the basket in a single layer, leaving a small amount of space between each.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip.
  4. Cook for another 5 minutes or until crisp.

Bacon cooked in the air fryer is less greasy, so it works well in sandwiches like our Apple Butter Grilled Cheese, which features bacon. Less oily bacon is also ideal for Jalapeno Popper Bread, a delicious app for parties or a snack.

Bacon Pic

How to Cook Turkey Bacon on the Stove

You can cook turkey bacon in a pan just as you would pork bacon.

Stove-top bacon is arguably the most popular method for cooking turkey bacon because it can generate a more flavorful bacon, but it requires a little bit more focus than the oven-baked turkey bacon method (or air fryer approach) above. The trick is to add oil for that crispy bacon texture you’re looking for.

  1. Preheat a skillet to medium high and add a small amount of your choice of oil.
  2. Heat slices while turning them every minute, checking for uniform browning.
  3. When the bacon appears halfway done, turn the burner down to medium heat and continue cooking.
  4. Carefully remove from heat to a plate that is lined with paper towels or topped with a paper plate, to remove excess oils.

Pan-cooked bacon is perfect for use in our Bacon Cheddar Mini Quesadillas, a fun way to make a snack, app, or kid-friendly dinner in no time.

I also like pan cooked bacon, especially turkey bacon, on top of our Asparagus Tart with Bacon because it seems extra crispy.

Asparagus Tart with Bacon Photo

How to Cook Turkey Bacon in the Microwave

It’s possible to safely cook turkey bacon in the microwave, though it’s harder to tell if it’s done and how long it will take.

We generally don't microwave turkey bacon unless the oven, stove, or air fryer aren't options (say, for example, you're in a hotel room or only have a kitchenette). Partly because it requires more than just a little attention to get the cooking process right and end up with the perfect bacon.

For best results, cooking on high for 2-4 minutes is a good start. Continue to cook for one-minute increments at a time until fully cooked.

You can also reheat already cooked turkey bacon, or precooked store-bought turkey bacon, in the microwave.

BLAT Eggs Benedict Photo

Covering your turkey bacon with a paper towel in the microwave will help retain moisture. It will also help with an easier cleanup.

Need to store leftover turkey bacon? Just give us a call and we'll come take care of it! More seriously though, you can preserve leftover bacon by letting it cool to room temperature, pressing it between paper towels to try and remove excess grease, wrapping your crispy turkey bacon in plastic wrap, and storing it in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.

But a better approach may be to try one of these new recipes as a way to incorporate your turkey bacon slices into more dishes and use it up more quickly. Your taste buds will thank you.

Tip: Learn how long bacon lasts once it’s open.

Bacon Picture

Ideas for Cooking with Turkey Bacon

Turkey bacon can also be wrapped around vegetables or meats and prepared in the oven as you would any recipe that calls for pork bacon. Some of our favorite recipes for bacon-wrapped goodness are:

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Image


Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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