Quite possibly one of my most popular appetizers, these crunchy water chestnuts wrapped in bacon are glazed in a sticky sweet and savory sauce that is delicious!
Also known as Rumaki (a popular Polynesian party appetizer), Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are one of those easy appetizers that will be gone in minutes! I highly suggest doubling the recipe for a crowd! The sticky sweet glaze is just so good paired with the crunch from the water chestnuts and crispy bacon.
Pro Tip: Hit the 2x button on the recipe card below to automatically double the ingredients.
What are Water Chestnuts?
Great question! You might be wondering, “Are water chestnuts actual nuts?” Often called Chinese Water Chestnuts, they are not nuts. They are actually a water vegetable, crazy right? They are a grass-like plant most commonly found in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Water chestnuts add a delicious crunch to every dish! Find them canned in the Asian section of your grocery store. You’ll want to buy the whole water chestnuts for this recipe, but they also come diced and sliced!
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnut Ingredients
Here’s a quick glance over the ingredients along with any substitution recommendations! Find the full recipe in the printable recipe card down below.
Bacon – I suggest avoiding thick-cut bacon since it will take longer to get crispy. Other than that, use any variety bacon you prefer!
Water Chestnuts – Buy canned whole water chestnuts, near the Asian section of your grocery store.
Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar both work here. I use light brown sugar because I have it on hand more often.
Ketchup – This provides the base for the glaze, you can use any ketchup variety you prefer.
Soy Sauce – This adds the perfect salty, sweet, umami flavor! Use low sodium or regular.
Worcestershire Sauce – This adds depth to your glaze. Don’t leave this out!
Garnishing – You don’t have to garnish this appetizer, but I find a little sprinkle of parsley makes these extra appetizing on your platter!
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- Cut each slice of bacon in thirds. Wrap one piece of bacon around a whole water chestnut, secure with a toothpick.
- Stir together the glaze ingredients and brush them liberally with that sticky sweet good stuff!
- Line them up on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 to 23 minutes.
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
I LOVE my air fryer! So I’m always looking for ways to nix the oven and make appetizers even faster in the air fryer. So I’ve been testing out this recipe in mine. Here are the air fryer cooking instructions…
Cook your bacon wrapped water chestnuts in the air fryer at 390 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.
Save time by prepping your wrapped water chestnuts with bacon ahead of time. Simply prep and glaze, then store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may need to increase baking time a 2-3 minutes unless you allow them to come to room temperature when removing from the refrigerator.
Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley, green onion, or other fresh herb for a pretty presentation.
These bacon wrapped water chestnuts are a great addition to any holiday appetizer spread, game day, backyard potlucks and more!
More Bacon Appetizers to Try:
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- 9 slices bacon
- 2 cans whole water chestnuts about 26 total water chestnuts
For the Glaze
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack, aluminum foil or a piece or parchment paper.
- Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap one piece of the bacon around a whole water chestnuts and skewer with a toothpick in the middle to secure it. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients (brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce).
- Brush the glaze on each skewered bacon wrapped water chestnuts until coated well.
- Place the basted bacon wrapped water chestnuts on your baking sheet. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until bacon is cooked to crispy. Note: Fro added flavor, remove baking sheet halfway through baking to brush on more glaze. Return to oven to continue baking until done.