Crispy Pancetta are rich and savory flavor crystals that take just 5 minutes to make. Just toss the pancetta in the pan, let it cook, then enjoy as a topping for a pesto pasta, prosciutto pizza, potato crostata, or creamy polenta.
Pan frying is the superior way to enjoy pancetta. It adds the perfect crispy outside and smoky flavor. We love crispy pancetta in carbonara, on our potato crostata, or mixed with veggies, like roasted Brussel sprouts and twice-baked gruyere mashed potatoes, or fried rice. Trust us, you'll want to put these crispy pancetta on everything!
Why You'll Love Crispy Pancetta
- Taste - Crispy pancetta is rich, salty, and lightly sweet.
- Texture - The pancetta is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
- Effort - Making crispy pancetta is easy. Just cook it, let it cool, then enjoy!
- Time - It takes just a few minutes to cook the pancetta then a few minutes for it to cool down.
- Pancetta - All you need for this recipe is diced pancetta. It is found at most grocery stores and gets perfectly crispy after just a few minutes. You can also get a whole slab of pancetta and cut it into cubes yourself.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Guanciale - Use guanciale instead of pancetta for a fragrant, herbaceous meat. Guanciale is typically cured with rosemary.
- Lardons - Lardons are small strips or cubes of fatty bacon.
- Spicy - Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper for a little spice.
- Herbs - Add chopped rosemary for extra herbaceous flavor.
- Sweet - Add brown sugar or maple syrup at the last minute of cooking for a hint of sweetness.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Crispy Pancetta
- Add pancetta to pan - Add the pancetta to a cold pan and turn the heat on to medium heat. (Photo 1 and 2)
- Cook pancetta - Cook until caramelized and occasionally stir, then remove the pancetta from the pan. Then use in pastas, on salads, and more. (Photo 3 and 4)
Pro Tip - Use leftover pancetta oil to sauté vegetables. It gives the vegetables even more flavor.
What to Serve with Crispy Pancetta
Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly. It is made by salting and curing the pork belly for several weeks, giving it a great salty flavor. It is often used in pasta like carbonara but it is also delicious with so many other dishes!
Yes, assuming it is properly cured. However, we recommend cooking it to give it the perfect crispy crunchy texture.
No, pancetta already contains a lot of fat for it to cook in. The fat will also prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Crispy pancetta and bacon are both made from cured pork belly, but pancetta is cured longer resulting in a more savory flavor. Pancetta is also often diced while bacon is typically in strips.
Pancetta comes from pork belly while prosciutto comes from pork leg. It is also cured for several weeks while prosciutto is often cured for months or even years. Pancetta has a firm, chewy texture, while prosciutto has a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Yes, you can cook it up to 4 days ahead of time. When you are ready to enjoy it, heat it in a pan or in the oven for a few minutes at 350°F.
Refrigerate leftover crispy pancetta in an air-tight container or wrap in foil for up to 4 days. Just let it cool completely before storing it. Reheat it in a pan or in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes.
- Keep an eye on the pancetta and do not leave unattended as the small pieces can burn quickly.
- Do not overcrowd the pan or the pancetta won't cook evenly. If the pan is crowded, there will be some burnt pieces and some undercooked pieces as a result.
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- 4 oz pancetta
- Cook pancetta - Add the pancetta to a cold pan and turn the heat on to medium. Cook until caramelized and occasionally stir, about 5-7 minutes, then remove the pancetta from the pan. Use in pastas, on salads, and more.4 oz pancetta
- Use leftover pancetta oil to saute vegetables. It will give the vegetables even more flavor.
- Keep an eye on the pancetta while it cooks because the small pieces can burn quickly.
- Do not overcrowd the pan or the pancetta won't cook evenly and may steam instead of crisp.