Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are such a delicious holiday appetizer. They are easy to make ahead of time, and even easier to eat.
Are you in the thick of holiday shopping, sending cards, and wrapping? I am too! I am also working really hard at slowing down and enjoying the small moments of this very busy time of year. Little peace-filled moments, like the joy on my kids’ faces when they open advent calendars, makes the craziness a little easier, a little less crazy.
A big part of the holiday season is spending time with people you haven’t seen in ages. That seems especially sacred this time of year, and it is filling up my tank.
If you love making Christmas appetizers for those holiday parties like me, these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are perfect! I tweaked this recipe several times until it was just perfect. The end result was an appetizer I could eat endlessly. Delicious flavors, the perfect amount of sweetness, and crisp bacon all around a crunchy water chestnut will make you fall in love too.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- Soak some toothpicks. It is easy for the toothpicks to get charred in this recipe. One thing that helps is if they soak in water for 30 minutes before going in the oven. You will notice they still get dark, but this is much less than if they weren’t soaked.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and minced ginger.
- Soak the water chestnuts. Add the drained water chestnuts to the sauce and soak for 30 minutes.
- Wrap the water chestnuts. Cut the pound of bacon into thirds. In other words, one slice of bacon, cut into thirds, is enough to make three bacon wrapped water chestnuts. (Do not discard the remaining sauce.)
- Bake them. Place a wire cooling rack on a parchment paper rimmed baking sheet. Spray it with cooking spray. Add the wrapped water chestnuts and bake for 30 minutes.
- Add more sauce. Remove them from the oven and dip them in the remaining sauce, then place them back on the wire rack. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
What is a Water Chestnut
Believe it or not, before developing this recipe, I didn’t really know where a water chestnut came from. Though, I love them and have been using them in my Szechuan Chicken for years, I didn’t know their origin.
Water Chestnuts are aquatic vegetables grown in marshes, streams, and even mud. They grow under water with greens coming up above the surface. They can be eaten raw and are often used in Chinese dishes.
Making Backing Wrapped Water Chestnuts Ahead
If you want to prepare this recipe ahead of time, make it up to the point of putting them in the oven. They can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Place the prepared water chestnuts in an air tight container (fully wrapped and speared with a toothpick) and store the sauce in a separate air tight container. Put both containers in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake and serve.
Storing Left Overs
Place cooled leftovers in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These are actually really good cold. So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reheating them. If you reheat them, keep in mind that the bacon won’t be as crisp.
This makes about 30 pieces (depending on how many chestnuts come in the can you buy). It is very easy to double though, just keep in mind that you will want to recruit help wrapping them.
Yes! Please see my instructions above for making these up to 24 hours in advance.
Other Christmas Appetizers
If you are making a whole smorgasbord of holiday appetizers, here are some of my other favorites:
If you make this bacon wrapped water chestnut recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- 16 ounces whole water chestnuts well drained
- 1 pound bacon cut into thirds
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
- toothpicks soaked in water
- In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and Worchestershire sauce until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the drained water chestnuts. Let soak for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack over it. Spray it with cooking spray.
- Wrap the water chestnuts in bacon, and skewer with a soaked toothpick. (Do not discard the remaining sauce.) Place the water chestnuts on the wire rack. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining sauce. Bake for 10 more minutes.