This easy method for making Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer is about to transform your morning routine for the better. This air-fried turkey bacon will give you all the smoky, crispy, salty flavors you crave without needing to babysit a pan on the stove!
Despite being a nutrition professional, I LOVE a pile of crispy bacon. Whether served with a morning scramble, on a sandwich, in my favorite holiday side, or crumbled into a bowl of soup or stew, the savory flavor of bacon is something I will always cherish even if it isn’t super healthy.
Luckily, some clever folks figured out how to give me all the tasty, bacon-y goodness I crave with far fewer calories and less fat by creating a turkey-based version. However, despite this incredible nutritional advance (seriously, someone should win a Nobel Flavor Prize!), cooking turkey bacon on the stove or in the oven is just as messy as the pork variety.
Or at least, it WAS until I figured out that air-frying turkey bacon was a possibility! Using my favorite countertop appliance means I can crisp up beautifully striated strips of smoky goodness on busy mornings while I warm up the baby’s bottle and pour myself a much-needed cup of coffee — with no splatter marks or dirty pans to speak of. Hooray!
- Can you air fry turkey bacon?
- Is turkey bacon healthy?
- What does air fried turkey bacon taste like?
- How to Cook Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer
- How do you know when turkey bacon is done?
- Optional Variations
- Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Tips & FAQ
- Nutritional Info
- Pricing Info
- Other air fryer recipes
Can you air fry turkey bacon?
You sure can, and it works like a dream! Read on below to learn how. 🤓
Is turkey bacon healthy?
While I’d argue that turkey bacon is healthier than regular pork bacon (it has about half as much saturated fat and about 1/3 fewer calories than regular bacon), it’s still something I suggest you consume in moderation.
In order to replicate the delicious flavor of bacon we all crave, the turkey variety is loaded with sodium — almost on par with the pork variety. Also, many turkey bacon brands are preserved with nitrates and nitrites, both of which can produce cancer-causing compounds known as nitrosamides when exposed to high heat.
At the end of the day, turkey bacon is still considered processed meat. Processed foods have been linked to increased incidences of adverse health outcomes like heart disease, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer.
So, while bacon made from turkey is a better choice from the standpoint of calorie and saturated fat consumption, make sure you eat it in moderation.
What does air fried turkey bacon taste like?
This Air fryer turkey bacon recipe tastes like perfectly cooked, shatteringly crisp pan-fried or baked turkey bacon, just without all the mess and monitoring. It’s salty, smoky, rich, and delicious, perfect for piling on a BLT or devouring with a slice of breakfast casserole.
Surprise! This air fryer turkey bacon requires just one ingredient:
- Turkey Bacon – Made from chopped and pressed dark and light meat turkey that has been seasoned to taste like classic bacon, this breakfast meat can generally be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near regular bacon and sausage.
The best turkey bacon brands
Taste is totally subjective, so you’ll need to do some digging to find your favorite brand of turkey breakfast meat. That said, I suggest looking for the following qualifiers on the package for the healthiest options around:
- Uncured turkey bacon
- No added nitrites or nitrates
- No added sugar
How to Cook Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer
Making turkey bacon air fryer-style is as simple as 1-2… that’s it. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Prep. Preheat the air fryer and lay out strips of turkey bacon in a single layer in the basket.
Step 2: Air fry the turkey bacon in the preheated device for about 7-10 minutes, or until your desired level of doneness. Enjoy!
How do you know when turkey bacon is done?
As with regular bacon, the doneness is somewhat dependent on your personal preferences. I personally like my bacon to shatter when I bend it — the crispier, the better for me! Other folks prefer their bacon floppy. I can’t say I understand, but different tastes make the world go round. 🤷♀️
From a food safety perspective, make sure your turkey bacon hits a minimum temperature of 165F. Otherwise, feel free to cook it to your desired level of crispness!
- Use pork bacon. The air-fryer method will also work with regular bacon.
- Brown sugar turkey bacon. Make a mix of about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Rub the turkey bacon with it before adding it to the air fryer. The end result is essentially bacon candy. YUM!
Storage & Reheating Instructions
While it’s best fresh from the basket, air-fried turkey bacon leftovers can be wrapped well or placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
To reheat, use a pan on the stovetop or the air fryer. You’re also welcome to use the microwave in quick 10-second bursts, but you’ll lose some of the crispiness if you do.
Tips & FAQ
- Line your air fryer with parchment, foil, or a reusable liner for easiest way to clean up. Just make sure to poke a few holes and don’t block the vents — the cooking process in an air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food!
- Adjust the crispiness factor with how long you cook it. Different air fryers cook at different rates, so do a little bit of experimenting. I suggest checking on your turkey bacon strips after about 6-7 minutes, then adding on an extra minute at a time until you hit your preferred level of crunchy bacon.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Make sure the bacon strips are laid in a single layer with as little overlap as possible. Start by adding just a few slices of turkey bacon. Depending on how much you’re making, you may need to work in batches.
- Drain on paper towels to absorb any extra grease. While turkey bacon isn’t as greasy as normal bacon, there may be a bit of extra oil on the surface when you’re done. Feel free to drain and/or dab it with paper towels before serving.
That depends on both your air fryer and your personal preferences. I find that 8 minutes is the ideal amount of time to cook it in my air fryer, but the range can be anywhere from 6-10 minutes.
Absolutely! Unlike a microwave, air fryers are essentially little ovens with fans to blow the air around, so metal is perfectly safe to put in it. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you don’t block the air vents!
Boasting 9 grams of protein and 126 calories per 3-slice serving, this air-fried turkey bacon is a great salty snack or a nice addition to a balanced meal. I suggest rounding it out with some whole grains and veggies for added fiber, like on a BLT with whole-grain bread.
That said, with 535 milligrams of sodium (nearly 25% of the daily recommended value) and 9 grams of fat (about 10% of the daily recommended value), even air fryer turkey bacon should be consumed in moderation.
If you’re on a real bacon-craving kick, rather than eating a full portion every day, I suggest using just a piece at a time to crumble and add yummy bacon flavor to your jacket potatoes, soups, salads, or other meals.
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 126 kcal
- Total Fat: 9 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
- Sodium: 535 mg
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
This is what I personally paid to make this recipe:
Package of turkey bacon: $4.99 or roughly $1.25 per serving!
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Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer
- 12 oz turkey bacon
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°. Carefully place turkey bacon in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 375° for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Repeat for remaining turkey bacon strips.
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