Looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer? Make bacon-wrapped shrimp! It's kinda ridiculously good.
I blame the bacon.
Seriously, this one is really easy and crazy good. Bacon and shrimp make a very happy couple.
How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
For this recipe, we coat the shrimp with some lime and chili powder, and then wrap them in slices of bacon. You can either put them on the grill or bake them in the oven.
Tips for the Best Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Here are a couple of tips that can help make bacon-wrapped shrimp even better:
1. Brine the Shrimp: When grilling shrimp I recommend brining them first. The brine will help shrimp hold onto its moisture. Even when exposed to the high heat of the grill, brined shrimp can remain plump and juicy.
To make the brine, just whisk together kosher salt, sugar, and water in a bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add ice and the shrimp, and let it sit for 30 minutes (no longer or the shrimp will get too salty).
2. Pre-Cook the Bacon: Make sure to pre-cook the bacon a bit before wrapping them around the shrimp. (We microwave the strips.) Otherwise, the shrimp will be over-cooked in the time it takes for the bacon to be cooked.
Love Shrimp? Love Appetizers? Try These!
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo
- Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Pickled Shrimp
You'll need about 1 strip of bacon for every 2 shrimp.
I highly recommend brining the shrimp first. The brine will help keep the shrimp from drying out in the time it takes for the bacon to cook.
If grilling, I recommend using long, flat skewers which make turning the shrimp on the grill easier. If you don't have flat skewers, I've used two thin bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand) to the same effect.
- For the brine (optional, but recommended):
- 1/4 cup (Diamond Crystal) kosher salt (if using Morton's kosher salt, use only 3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ice
- For the bacon-wrapped shrimp:
- 1 pound (12 to 20 count), raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (tail on)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder (less or more to taste)
- 6 to 10 strips thin bacon, cut in half (half as many pieces of bacon as there are shrimp)
Brine the shrimp (optional, but recommended):
Whisk the salt, sugar, and water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the ice and the shrimp, and let sit for 30 minutes (no longer). Remove the shrimp from the brine.
Prepare grill or preheat oven:
Prepare grill on high, direct heat (if grilling) or preheat the oven to 400°F. If grilling and using thin bamboo or wood skewers, soak them in water first for 30 minutes.
Season the shrimp:
Mix together in a small bowl the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, and chipotle powder. Stir the shrimp into the lime chipotle mixture; make sure each piece is well coated.
Partially cook the bacon:
Spread the bacon pieces out over several layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with another layer of paper towel. Microwave on high until the bacon fat begins to melt but the bacon is still somewhat pliable, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Wrap the shrimp with bacon:
Working one at a time, wrap a half piece of partially cooked bacon around each piece of shrimp.
Prep the shrimp for cooking:
If you are grilling, thread the shrimp onto skewers.
If you are using the oven, secure each the bacon onto the shrimp with toothpicks. Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on a foil-lined baking pan. Brush remaining lime chipotle mixture on the outside of the bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Grill or bake the shrimp:
Grill uncovered for 3 minutes on each side (less or more time depending on the heat of your grill), or bake in the 400°F oven for 8 to 11 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned and the shrimp is cooked through.