Healthy Pancetta Recipes

Find healthy, delicious pancetta recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta

Rating: Unrated
2
We opt for fresh spinach pasta here--it cooks quickly and adds a pop of color. Cooking lima beans in pancetta drippings infuses them with flavor.

Cauliflower, Pancetta & Olive Spaghetti

Rating: Unrated
1
Don't ditch your pasta-cooking water! The flavorful liquid retains a touch of the pasta's starch, which helps your sauce cling to the pasta in this healthy pasta recipe.

Lentil & Root Veggie Soup

Rating: Unrated
1
French green lentils and black lentils hold up well to long, slow cooking without becoming mushy. Save the rinds from used-up blocks of Parmesan in a resealable plastic bag or tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. They give soup broths a rich, savory flavor.

Rigatoni Amatriciana

Rating: Unrated
1
Created by chef Fabio Viviani of Siena Tavern in Chicago, this Amatriciana sauce is a classic of modern Roman cooking (though it most likely came from the town of Amatrice about 90 miles away). Typically, it's made with few ingredients: garlic, guanciale (cured pork jowl), cheese and tomato. This version doctors up jarred sauce to keep it quick and calls for easy-to-find pancetta in place of the guanciale. This tomato sauce is sometimes paired with bucatini; here, Fabio dresses up rigatoni with it.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Sage

Rating: Unrated
2
In this roasted Brussels sprouts recipe, pancetta--cured Italian-style bacon--seasons sweet Brussels sprouts with a hint of salt and a touch of smoke that goes nicely with the fresh sage. These Brussels sprouts are the perfect vegetable side dish to any turkey, pork or chicken dinner.

Basil-Ricotta Cheese Dumplings with Creamy Peas & Bacon

Rating: Unrated
4
In this dinner, ricotta dumplings are pan-fried until browned and served with creamy peas, bacon (or pancetta) and shaved Parmesan. Part-skim ricotta makes light and fluffy dumplings and adds protein to this elegant dish. For an easy mess-free way to shape the dumplings, see our tip on how to make quenelles.

Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Wilted Watercress

Rating: Unrated
15
We use just a touch of pancetta--cured Italian-style bacon--to balance the sweet tomatoes and peppery watercress. Make it a meal: A salad tossed with a red-wine vinaigrette completes dinner.

Pancetta Pangrattato & Leek Pasta

Pangrattato is simply fresh breadcrumbs with herbs, garlic and salt sautéed in hot olive oil until crunchy to top this quick-cooking pasta. We add pancetta and chopped walnuts for even more richness.
By Adam Dolge

Pancetta & Greens Frittata

Rating: Unrated
3
This frittata is packed with hearty greens and leeks with a touch of salty bacon or pancetta and Asiago cheese for flavoring. We tested the recipe both with egg substitute and whole eggs. It works great either way, but has fewer calories and less saturated fat when you use egg substitute.

Peas with Pearl Onions & Pancetta

An easy side dish recipe gets a boost of umami from crispy pancetta. Using frozen vegetables keeps things quick, but substitute fresh peas and pearl onions if you prefer, adjusting the cooking time as needed.

Slow-Cooker Braised Collard Greens with Pepperoncini

Collard greens have large, dark green leaves that are dense with vitamins, calcium and fiber. The briny pepperoncini and salty pancetta add enough brightness to this dish to balance the collards' vegetal flavor. These slow-cooker collard greens pair perfectly with braised meat or barbecue.

Green Beans & Pancetta with Whole-Grain Mustard Dressing

In this easy vegetable side recipe, green beans are tossed with crispy bits of pancetta, shallot and whole-grain mustard after cooking. If you can't find pancetta, bacon is a perfect alternative.

Inspiration and Ideas

Leek & Pancetta Risotto

Rating: Unrated
2
Sizzled pancetta gives this creamy leek risotto great flavor and a bit of added crispy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 3 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is gone, then begin adding the broth. You can substitute more broth in place of the wine.

Slow-Cooker Sweet Onion Jam with Pancetta

This is a salty, sweet and smoky onion jam with a noticeable pork and black pepper flavor. It may seem slightly runny when hot, but when cooled it's thick and tender. Eat this tasty slow-cooker jam on burgers, especially with blue cheese, or serve on a cheese board. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Bold Watercress and Pancetta-Apple Salad with Candied Pecans

This salad is bursting with flavor! Peppery watercress, salty pancetta, fruity apples and sugary-sweet pecans are served with crumbled goat cheese and an apple-honey vinaigrette.