Sheet-Pan Crispy Rice With Bacon Lets Your Oven Do *Allll* the Work For You

Double down on the crispy bits.

November 30, 2018
Photo by Rocky Luten

If I had a band, we'd be called The Crispy Bits. We'd all wear our hair in gelled-up spikes (Aaron's Party-style) and we'd dress in studded pant suits. Our concerts would sell out immediately—so long as we kept it under wraps that I was lip-syncing—each time tickets went on sale, because everybody loves the crispy bits.

And for good reason. The crispy bits are textural magic, a welcome foil to any soft or squishy elements of a dish. Often (like with the brownie edges, or the top peaks of sheet-pan mac and cheese) they're jam-packed with flavor, which I like to think is because they've had much of their extra moisture sucked out and only the salty or sugary, flavor-y parts remain. (Please don't fact-check that "science.")

But back to the important stuff: my band. We'd need a signature dish to serve at our concerts, because, well, this is my musician fantasy narrative and you're welcome to conduct your own however you like. The Crispy Bits' signature dish would be—hey, Crispy Pete, can you hit a drumroll?—my favorite sheet-pan rice and bacon. (There's tons of other stuff in there, too, like broccoli, mushrooms, scallions, and peas, but bacon begs for first mention.)

All that's missing is you. Photo by Rocky Luten

Inspired by fried rice, sheet-pan crispy rice is my favorite way to use leftover grains of any kind, which I always seem to have by the bucket-full. Use any cooked grain you have on-hand—the drier, the better—and mix-and-match with whichever elements you like; squash, cauliflower florets, shallots, shrimp, sweet potato, or beef would all be delicious subs or additions. Thanks to the generous spatial distribution and high oven heat, you'll have all of the crispy bits, and then some. And the second best part about sheet-pan rice is that your oven does all of the work for you. You just toss together your constituents (grains, vegetables, alliums, anything else you like, soy, rice vinegar) on an oiled sheet pan, place it into a hot oven, and give it a stir every now and again.

Which leaves you mostly free. You know, in case you need to practice for your band's upcoming concert performance, or something.

What's your favorite dish to pick the crispy bits from to eat first? Let me know in the comments.


Posie (. November 30, 2018
Um this is everything I've ever wanted. It's like big-batch shortcut bibimbap!
Author Comment
Ella Q. November 30, 2018
Thanks Posie! I change up the recipe pretty much every time I make it. Excited to hear what you go with if you try it :)