Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are the snack of the party! These bite sized little balls of glory are super crunchy, extra salty and simply delicious! They make the perfect appetizer or snack for parties, gatherings, holidays or game days. But be warned, they’re highly addicting and will be gobbled up in no time!
If you’re looking for that perfect snack, you know, THE one… Easy to make. Delicious to eat. And will take the entire crowd by delightful surprise. Then, allow me to introduce you to these flavourful and unique Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. It ain’t no secret – anything bacon wrapped is a show stopper IMHO. Don’t believe me? Then try my Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts or Bacon Wrapped Dates next and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Of course, bacon just makes everything better. But in the case of these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts, the chestnuts are also the star, here. I mean, two stars in one dish?! You just know it’s gonna be good! So, really, what are you waiting for?!
There’s just something magical that happens when the crunchy and marinated water chestnuts get wrapped in crispy salty bacon and then baked to perfection in the oven. The flavour combo is irresistibly delicious and truly like a party in your mouth. These little treats are highly addicting and so, so good for impressing all the foodies in your life. Literal bursts of flavour. Gives umami a whole new meaning. And NEEDS to be on your next party menu.
Water chestnuts are a pretty underrated ingredient, if you ask me. So, hopefully this recipe will prove that they truly deserve some fame. The surprise crunch that comes in every bite is enough to see those babies in a whole new light. This recipe is easy to follow, fun to whip up and one you’ll want to make for every party you have or attend from here on out! You might not even have a choice. You see… all the party goers will request this one time and time again!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED THESE BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS
You don’t need many ingredients to make these tasty Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts that are absolutely bursting with flavour! The recipe is easily customizable, though, and you can even do it with less ingredients if you don’t have all of the ones listed on hand. So, let’s talk about them in a little bit more detail down below:
- Water Chestnuts: Well, duh.. the first star of the dish! These babies are common in Asian cuisine and therefore, can be found in the Ethnic/Asian isle of most grocery stores. They’re super crunchy and hold their firm texture when they’re baked in the oven. Water chestnuts don’t really have much of a flavour on their own but marinating them beforehand changes that completely as they’re the perfect little vessels to absorb all the ingredients in the marinade. Trust me. So good. Be sure to grab whole water chestnuts (found in a can) as opposed to halved ones.
- Bacon: The second star of the dish and really and truly takes the water chestnuts to a whole new level. Adds flavour, smokeyness and the perfect amount of saltiness. Who really knew this combo could be this good?! Regular cut, thinner bacon works best in this recipe.
- Soy Sauce: The base of the marinade for these bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Soy sauce adds the perfect punch of flavour and saltiness to this dish. Therefore, marinating the water chestnuts in the soy sauce for an hour before wrapping really makes them special.
- Maple Syrup: Adds a bit of sweetness to the marinade which is important to balance out the saltiness from the soy sauce and bacon. Also helps the bacon wrapped water chestnuts caramelize as they bake up in the oven making them extra delicious.
- Sriracha: For a bit of heat. But, totally optional. Therefore, add more for extra spicy and omit for none at all. I like sriracha in this recipe as it’s thick and not overly spicy. However, you can use a different hot sauce instead, if you prefer.
- Garlic Powder: Adds a little garlicky flavour to the marinade and balances out the rest of the ingredients. Since we marinate the water chestnuts before baking, garlic powder works best in this recipe, as opposed to fresh minced garlic.
HOW TO MAKE BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS (KEY TIPS)
- Use whole water chestnuts. Pay attention to the ones you’re buying as it’s easy to confuse the two (the cans look the exact same). You need whole water chestnuts, not the halved ones. They’re the perfect size for this recipe for bacon wrapped water chestnuts.
- Use regular sliced bacon as opposed to thick cut for best results. Thick cut won’t crisp up nicely in the oven like the thinner version will and will take extra long to cook.
- Marinate the water chestnuts! Trust me on this one, it reaaaaally makes a difference. The good news is that, unlike most marinades, you don’t need to do it for too long. An hour adds the perfect flavour and gets the job done just fine. However, if you want to go longer, be my guest. Just be warned that the water chestnuts might become overly salty if you allow them to marinate in the soy sauce for too long. EXTRA TIP: Use a ziploc bag to marinate the water chestnuts in the sauce. You can easily add all the ingredients into the bag and swoosh it up with your hands to ensure everything is nicely coated. Easy peasy and no dishes to wash!
- Use a wire rack on top of your parchment lined baking sheet for best results. Placing the bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a wire rack instead of directly on the baking sheet is useful for a few different reasons. 1) It allows for 360° air circulation which is good for even cooking and crisping up perfectly on all sides. 2) Eliminates the need for flipping the water chestnuts at any time throughout baking without affecting the outcome. 3) Allows the bacon grease to drip off as they bake resulting in less greasy bites. However, if you don’t have a wire rack (I just use a cooling rack meant for cookies and it works like a charm, lol), just use a parchment lined baking sheet. But you’ll have to give the bacon wrapped water chestnuts a flip halfway through baking to ensure even cooking all the way around.
- Use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place or place the bacon wrapped water chestnuts seam side down on the wire rack/baking sheet before cooking. This will ensure they stay intact and don’t come apart while baking. EXTRA TIP: If you’re using a wire rack on top of a parchment lined baking sheet, push the toothpick all the way through the bacon wrapped water chestnut. However, if you don’t have a wire rack and you’re only using the baking sheet, don’t push the toothpick all the way through as you’ll have difficulty getting them to line up on the pan. EXTRA EXTRA TIP: Keep the toothpicks in the chestnuts for easy serving!
- The marinade will smoke in the oven as these babies cook. Therefore, keep the fan on and a window open if you can. Don’t worry, they’re not burning, the marinade dripping off them and onto the baking sheet is which doesn’t affect the overall taste of the dish.
- Drain some of the grease off the bacon wrapped water chestnuts for a few minutes on a paper towel lined plate before serving to ensure they’re not too greasy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have any leftover, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. They’ll be good for up to 3 days. You can easily reheat them in an air fryer, microwave or oven. Or, you can pop ’em in your mouth cold, straight outta the fridge. IMHO, they’re just as good cold as they are hot!
Since these bacon wrapped water chestnuts are a perfect appetizer for parties or gatherings, they’ll be great alongside other party favourites. Layered Nacho Dip, No Chickpea Cauliflower Hummus, Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites or Sweet and Salty Candied Cashews all make great options.
YES! These bacon wrapped water chestnuts come out ahhh-mazing in the air fryer and cook up in about half the time! 375° in the air fryer and about 15 minutes is all you need.
Water chestnuts are high in fibre and potassium, low in calories, contain no fat and contain nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and manganese. They’re a healthy addition to any dish (such as stir fries and lettuce wraps) and are extremely popular in Asian cooking.
- 2 8 oz. cans Whole Water Chestnuts, drained
- 1 pack Regular Cut Bacon
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, plus more for drizzling (optional)
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- In a large ziploc bag, add the water chestnuts, soy sauce, maple syrup, sriracha and garlic powder. Seal and use your hands to toss the ingredients to coat well. Marinate for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Cut the bacon strips in half and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top, if you have one and spray with cooking spray. If not, just use the parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Working one at a time, wrap each water chestnut in a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. I like working directly out of the ziploc bag to retain as much of the marinade as possible. Add the bacon wrapped chestnuts to a bowl until you do them all.
- Once all the water chestnuts are wrapped in bacon and in the bowl, pour the marinade from the ziploc bag over top and toss to coat the bacon.
- Lay them in a single layer on the wire rack or baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bacon is crisped up to your liking. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet for 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little extra maple syrup before serving, if desired.
If you want to Air Fry these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts instead: They'll need about 15 minutes at 375°.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 27 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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