Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are crunchy, savory, candied bacon wrapped perfection. These bite-sized appetizers are a must for your holiday parties.
Bacon and Brown Sugar Magic might as well be the tagline for this site. From chicken to pork to pineapple, if we can wrap it in bacon and dust it with brown sugar, you know we are going to do it. Find other favorites like Bacon Brown Sugar Lil Smokies, in our Appetizer Recipe collection.
BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
A few years ago we made Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites, and they were an absolute hit. The sweet fruity flavor plus the saltiness of the pork is just magic together.
These Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are just as amazing, plus they have an added crunch and savoriness to them and they just sound like a fancy and exotic appetizer.
Most people might think of water chestnuts as those crunchy disks in an asian stir-fry or lettuce wraps. They keep their crunch when cooked at high temperature and they are great at taking on whatever flavors of the dish they are in.
While they are certainly great for adding to popular asian dishes, they are even better as a stand alone appetizer. The sugary, tangy sauce covering these baked bacon chestnuts makes a delicious balance of salty and sweet.
Bite-sized and easy to grab with a toothpick, these are a perfect appetizer for your New Year’s Eve party. The firmness of the chestnut will keep it from sliding off into a champagne glass or, worse, onto your sparkly new outfit.
You don’t have to reserve them for special occasions though. Serve them up at your next sports event, like the Super Bowl. With so many easy recipes on this site, you could even have a bacon wrapped themed potluck. Put some recipe names into a hat, choose who will make what, and let the Bacon Brown Sugar Bowl begin!
MAKE BACON WRAPPED CHESTNUTS AHEAD OF TIME
It’s always a good idea to have appetizer ideas that you can make ahead of time on hand. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts can be assembled and frozen until you are ready to party.
- Wrap in bacon like normal and secure with a toothpick.
- Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Transfer to a container and store.
- When ready to serve, bake first without the sauce to crisp up the bacon, then finish the recipe like normal.
MORE AWESOME BACON RECIPES
HOW TO MAKE BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce together in a small bowl.
- Wrap the bacon around the water chestnut and spear with a toothpick.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Top with the sauce.
- Bake for 30 more minutes.
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VARIATIONS ON BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
- Spicy: Turn up the heat, and add some asian flair, by adding a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce. From the makers of Sriracha, just a little bit of this kitchen must-have will bring fiery, garlicky, flavor.
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite barbecue sauce instead of ketchup for a more smokey, traditional bacon wrapped combination.
- Cheese: Make these more like a Bacon Wrapped Date inspired dish by adding Manchego, gorgonzola, or Goat Cheese before wrapping in bacon.
- Marinate – Before making this Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts recipe, soak your chestnuts in a marinade of soy sauce or tamari for at least 30 minutes.
- Rumaki – Put this dish into a time machine back set to the popular tiki culture of the 50’s and 60’s by first wrapping your water chestnut in chicken or duck liver. Wrap it all in the bacon. For a more authentic sauce, add a bit of fresh ginger and minced garlic.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
- Are chestnuts and water chestnuts the same thing? Chestnuts roasting over an open fire are not the same as water chestnuts. Christmas chestnuts are from a tree, and are truly a nut. Water chestnuts are actually a tuber (like a potato) that grow in marshes.
- Where do I get water chestnuts? You can get canned water chestnuts in the asian section of most major grocery stores. Make sure you get the whole water chestnuts for this recipe.
- What do Water Chestnuts taste like? Canned water chestnuts don’t have much flavor on their own, but fresh ones taste like a cross between a coconut and an apple with the texture of a pear. It could be compared to jicama but less sweet.
- Can you make this dish in a slow cooker? Yes! To make sure your bacon gets crispy, bake your bacon wrapped chestnuts for 10-15 minutes before adding to your crockpot. Cook on low for 2 hours in the sauce.
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HOW TO STORE BACON WRAPPED CHESTNUTS
- Serve: These will last for up to 2 hours at room temperature. Keep warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours.
- Store: Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts will last for up to a week, covered, in the fridge for a week.
- Freeze: Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet and remove toothpicks before transferring to a container. Keep for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound bacon , cut in half
- 2 cans whole water chestnuts , 8 ounces each
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
- Wrap the water chestnut with bacon and spear with a toothpick then place in baking dish.
- Bake the water chestnut wraps for 15 minutes.
- Drain the bacon grease from the pan then top the bites with the sauce.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.
These are a hit! I didn’t bother with the toothpicks – just wrapped the bacon and made sure to place seam down – they stayed perfectly intact and saved a little time. Love that they can be baked ahead and reheated – people can never get enough of these.
I make this, but I add a piece of pineapple. I also sometimes use teriyaki sauce. They are amazing!!
Ironically, I bought water chestnuts today for a similar recipe, but I’m loving this version way more so I’m scrapping the other! haha!!
How funny! So glad you saw this recipe.
Can these be immediately placed in a warm slow cooker? Will the bacon keep it’s crispiness? Are the toothpicks removed before putting in the cooker, then new ones put in to retrieve? Thank you.
It’s been a while since I tried a good chestnut recipe, so really looking forward to trying yours – it certainly looks incredible!
I hope you enjoy it!
You can wrap anything in bacon and I am happy but I never thought about water chestnuts. Off I go to get some lol…
Bacon does just make everything better!
WOW! These were such a hit! We couldn’t get enough, they were delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
You’re welcome, Amelia. So glad you enjoyed them.
This is a great way to eat water chestnuts!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
You suggested marinading in soy – can they be marinaded, wrapped in bacon and frozen?
Second question / if they are baked all the way and then frozen, how do you reheat?
Yes, they can be frozen. I would recommend following the directions through step 4. Let them cool completely and then flash freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place them in a freezer safe storage bag or container. To complete, thaw on a baking sheet on the counter and then finish the instructions. Hope this is helpful.
Yes perfect thank you
Oh sorry also asking how to reheat the completely baked chestnuts with sauce that have been frozen.
Make sure they’re thawed and drizzle on the sauce. Reheat in a 400-degree f oven for 5 minutes. Watch for the bacon to crisp back up. Hope this helps!