Does an appetizer on a disposable pick, single-serving style, that is both sweet and tangy sound yummy + easy?
Then, you will love my sweet and tangy water chestnuts wrapped in bacon!
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Basically, you are working with 2 key ingredients in this recipe, and I am sure you have figured that out.
YOu will be using bacon and water chestnuts.
It’s a perfect single-serve option, that you can build up or keep as I have suggested (I’ll explain more shortly).
What’s best is that these are simple to make and you can really change this recipe’s flavor with very little work.
In fact, you can make a solid party platter of this appetizer wrapped in bacon in minutes of prep, so it’s well worth a read!
If you want to skip on to the recipe do that thing called the recipe jump below but you’ll miss some key tips and tricks! ↓↓Jump to Recipe
Let’s uncover water chestnuts before it is an appetizer wrapped in bacon!
Crunchy and fiber-filled and totally yummy raw, what food I am describing?
Naked, freshly opened, and drained water chestnuts!
On their own, they are a delightful treat, and in so many recipes that I make they offer a universal taste, kind of like tofu, that takes on other elements of the recipe ingredients, yet remains a little crunchy (at least how I use it! )
In those recipes, I don’t add the water chestnuts until the end, so they retain their crunch.
Did you know that a water chestnut is low in calories, high in fiber, and has zero fat in it?
But, when you prepare a chestnut and encase it, in bacon, well, suddenly you’ve got a sweet and tangy treat.
However, you will find a marvelous, yet softer crunch still remains.
Hopefully, you will cook the bacon long enough that it gets its crisp on!
An Appetizer Wrapped In Bacon is An Appetizer that is for bacon-lovers
I love this recipe as it is a perfectly easy, novice recipe, that offers sweet and sour single serve appetizers on a stick.
If you are having a dressier party, these are super easy to move about on trays and easy to pick up, so as far as finger food this is really it on a stick, consider this appetizer wrapped in bacon!
When To Make Water Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon
Do you need a special occasion to serve this appetizer wrapped in bacon? NO!
- football parties
- graduation parties
- Mother’s Day gatherings
- Father’s Day (bacon is perfection!)
- Holiday gatherings
- small gatherings
- make and take for potluck dinner appetizers
As you can see sweet and sour single serve appetizers on a stick are practical for almost any occasion!
Bacon is Everything For Appetizer Wrapped in Bacon
Make your bacon choice count.
That means, don’t buy el cheapo bacon and crave the big taste, because it is NOT going to happen!
GO big when you make these especially if you are just doing a few trays!
Bacon comes in many flavors and if you can’t find it in the meat case, find it in the fresh meat case.
- honey chipotle (so sweet and smoky)
- teriyaki – again sweet and savory
- maple flavored – just like syrup
- honey bbq
- cracked black pepper
- garlic flavored
These are just a few options.
Bacon Tips for making those bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
Also, don’t buy THICK cuts of bacon, it will just not cook the right way or fast enough, thick is good for breakfast, but not for sweet and tangy water chestnuts wrapped in bacon!
One more bacon tip to make your prep work easier.
I always let my bacon sit out about 20 minutes prior to wrapping.
The bacon at a bit more of ‘room temperature’ is easier to work with.
If I can easily separate the pieces, I do such when it is cold, but, it often rips, which is NOT what I am going for, I need whole pieces.
Therefore, letting it sit a bit on the counter to warm up, makes it a bit more flexible and so much easier to work with!
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts + Microwave Tip
To simplify the recipe even further, I often use my microwave.
This is optional and really all up to how you like to prepare your food.
Once you drain the water chestnuts, simply use a baking dish (microwave safe) and place the chestnuts in the shallow dish.
Add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave for about 5 minutes.
This will help you speed up the cooking process a little further into the prep.
Plus, this intensifies the flavors that you will shortly marinate your water chestnuts with as they accept the flavor more easily when they are warm.
This makes using a marinade very well worth the time.
Also, when the water chestnuts come out, note that they will be HOT to handle and need to be drained again before tossing them into the marinade.
Marinade Chatter and Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts.
So, here’s the thing, we all have our own tastes that we are working with.
If you don’t like spicy and tangy, then you can change this all up.
In fact, you can make up your own sauce if you don’t like mine.
Try using equal parts brown sugar and ketchup before rolling the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.
Simply, roll a water chestnut in the mixture then wrap it with bacon.
Alternatively, if you want a little heat and sweetness, then you will want to use a chili sauce, with a dash of lime chili powder and some brown sugar. Oh yea, you are on to something heated up before it cooks!
Spirited Water Chestnuts
For those of you that love to be a bit adventurous in recipe creation, I highly suggest the following!
Soak your water chestnuts in some yummy maple-flavored whiskey. (Bird Dog Maple comes to mind)
If you prefer sweeter chestnuts, then go for Dewar’s Highlander Honey.
Knob Creek smoked maple is yet another option and while a tad pricey, it will make those water chestnuts ‘fyah!’
You’ll simply need to poke a hole in those chestnuts, use a very quick stab of a knife tip, or a thin metal skewer, so the water chestnuts ‘drink’ (lol) the whiskey.
Let them sit in the alcohol for a minimum of 3 hours and a max of 4 days and you WILL LOVE the taste!
Cooking Method of your sweet and sour single serve appetizers on a stick
I love making these and I love my microwave, but, with soy and brown sugar, I find it just ruins the flavor and burn.
Just say no to the microwave for a cooking method!
This is here because I have had a lot of people ask me about it, and it’s not my favorite cooking method for this recipe.
I have to suggest you use your oven to bake these bad boys!
I will say that microwaving the combination is not recommended for many reasons (been there, done it, and never will do it again)
When You Bake A Batch of Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts…
Suggestion, tip, whatever you want to call this, use it!
Silicone mats are your best friend in this mess.
Or of course, if you can find parchment paper that does not break the bank, buy it!
Keep the cleanup easy.
Silicone just slides all the gunk (leaked soy, etc) off.
While Parchment paper lets you toss the mess out!
Of course, you could use foil-lined trays.
Perhaps that is the common ground item you are looking for and the best tip!
Stacked option for sweet and sour single serve appetizers on a stick.
If you really want to stack up your appetizer wrapped in bacon, then I suggest small, fully cooked shrimp, with tails-off!
You could add this to the spirited water chestnuts, or those that you soaked in your marinade, and well it’s like a mini feast for your belly.
Ideally, you will use a fully cooked shrimp that will fit atop the water chestnut, mind you these are only about the size of a quarter, but, it truly is a heartier, bolstered appetizer.
So if you are looking for a stacking option, I’d say blow that appetizer up with some fully cooked mini shrimp or cut a large fully cooked shrimp into 1/3’s!
Sweet and Tangy Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts in your Future ↓↓
Sweet and Tangy Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- A Package of Bacon strips bacon Don't buy el cheapo bacon, and don't use THICK bacon. Read blog post for more info.
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 3 T. honey agave works too but honey is better
- 2 8- oz. can water chestnuts rinsed and drained (marinade tip in blog post)
- ¾ c. Greek yogurt
- 3 T. Dijon mustard
- 2 T. hot sauce chili sauce
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper or chili-lime pepper
- 2 T. fresh parsley roughly chopped (optional)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste (optional)
- Cut bacon strips in half lengthwise.
- Set aside.
- Mix soy sauce and honey (agave) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add water chestnuts to the soy sauce and honey mixture, turning to evenly coat.
- Marinate at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.
- Do note that you need to turn the water chestnuts 2-3 times as they sit for that 30 minute time period. (get around this by using a zippered bag and placing it flat the reversing at 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place a metal rack inside a large, rimmed baking sheet. (tip above to keep this baking tray clean, read the blog post)
- Spray rack with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Drain water chestnuts, but reserve the marinade.
- Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon.
- Secure bacon with a toothpick (or place on a skewer to do more at a time up to 4 water chestnuts) and place it on a baking rack.
- Repeat with remaining water chestnuts.
- Brush each appetizer with reserved marinade on all sides.
- Place prepared baking sheet in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and brush with more marinade before returning to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
- While the water chestnuts are roasting, it’s time to make the dipping sauce.
- DIPPING SAUCE (optional but yummy)
- Combine Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and parsley in a small bowl.
- Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Now remove the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts from the oven.
- Remove the spicy sauce for dipping from the fridge and serve with the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.