Have you ever noticed that some party appetizers seem to disappear more quickly than others? Bacon-wrapped shrimp is a prime example. If it’s on the table, it’s almost guaranteed that it’ll be the first appetizer to go. These sweet and savory bites are just irresistible. Play around with the seasonings and dipping sauces for some variation. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with just dipping in clarified butter.
Ingredients for Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
For this super simple yet very flavorful appetizer, you’ll need:
Center-cut bacon. This cut of bacon is thin and tends to have the least amount of fat, so it will get crispier than a thicker, fattier cut of bacon, which is what we’re looking for here.
Large tail-on shrimp. The bigger the shrimp, the better you’ll be able to evenly wrap the bacon around it. This helps ensure that the bacon gets crispy throughout.
Olive oil. It’s possible to use melted butter here, but olive oil tastes just as delicious and saves you the step (and extra mess) of having to melt the butter.
Honey. Serves as the perfect sweet contrast to the salty, savory bacon.
Spices. This recipe calls for a simple mix of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, which really takes this simple appetizer up a notch.
How Do I Keep the Bacon Crispy?
No one likes soggy bacon. To get the bacon extra crisp, give it a head-start by partially cooking it in the oven. Before you start wrapping the shrimp, pop your baking tray back into the oven to get it piping hot. The reason? When you place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on the baking sheet, it’ll get a nice sear on the bottom while the top gets crunchy under the broiler.
How to Serve Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
This party doesn’t stop at just an appetizer. Here are some other ways to enjoy these tasty bites.
As a salad topping.
Alongside grilled steak for some surf and turf.
Mixed into a bowl of lemony pasta.
Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Recipe
Spice up a party, or a weeknight meal, with these bite-size shrimp.
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes to 30 minutes
Serves4 to 5
center-cut bacon (not thick cut)
freshly ground black pepper
raw extra-jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined but tails left on
Lemon wedges or dipping sauce, such as lemon butter sauce (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400℉. Cut 1 pound center-cut bacon lengthwise into halves, creating 2 thin strips per slice (cut until you have a strip of bacon for each shrimp; reserve any extra bacon for another use). Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until the bacon has rendered most of its fat but is still pliable and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp and toss to coat.
Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour any excess grease off the baking sheet, then line it with a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the oven to broil..
Wrap each shrimp with a strip of bacon, overlapping a little, starting at the thick end and going toward the tail. Secure the end of the bacon with a toothpick. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet, spacing the shrimp evenly apart.
Bake until the bacon is crisp and the shrimp are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a dipping sauce if desired.
Broil, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until the bacon is slightly crisp and the shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a dipping sauce of your choice.
Make ahead: Cook the bacon, wrap the shrimp, and refrigerate in an airtight container overnight. Place the baking sheet in the oven while it is heating, then bake the shrimp on the baking sheet.
Air fryer: This recipe can also be done in an air fryer. Cook the bacon in the oven first, then wrap the shrimp. For crispy bacon, depending on the size of your air fryer, cook the shrimp in batches so as to not crowd out the shrimp (which will result in soggy bacon). Air fry the wrapped shrimp at 400℉ for 6 to 8 minutes.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.