Bacon Wrapped Shrimp are the most addicting crispy, succulent, juicy appetizer or entrée and deceptively easy to make! EVERYONE always begs me for this recipe and I can’t get enough!
This Bacon Wrapped Shrimp recipe is the perfect appetizer with quick, easy prep and flavor exploding results. They are bursting with smoky, robust mesquite seasoning and dipped in tantalizing Apricot Cocktail Sauce. These Bacon Wrapped Shrimp are always a party favorite and the recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd!
Thank you Grill Mates® for sponsoring this Bacon Wrapped Shrimp post. All opinions are my own.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe Video
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe
These Bacon Wrapped Shrimp belong on your grill and in your mouth NOW AKA they are one of my favorite creations to come off my grill! Just think smoky mesquite + juicy shrimp + crispy bacon = ridiculously delicious flavor bombs. I can’t get enough!
I have always been skeptical about bacon wrapped anything on the grill because other food photos left me wanting much crispier bacon instead of the lifeless pale bacon before me BUT I discovered the trick to the crispiest bacon – so, never fear, crispy grilled bacon is here! Between the bacon and the Grill Mates® Mesquite Seasoning, you will definitely grill your best this summer!
What Shrimp Do I use for the Best Bacon Wrapped Shrimp?
For Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, you are going to want to use shrimp that is:
- 16-20 count/pound
- Defrosted (if it’s been frozen)
We use the large shrimp for a few reasons:
- First, it is harder to overcook large shrimp and we want our grilled shrimp to emerge gloriously juicy. We also want our shrimp to require a little longer to cook than smaller shrimp so the bacon can finish crisping up on the grill in the same amount of time it takes for our shrimp to cook.
- Second, the ratio of bacon to shrimp is perfection with the jumbo size shrimp. Even though a half strip of bacon wrapped around the shrimp might not look like much, it delivers a dynamic bacon blow.
- Third, most of the bacon’s surface is exposed so it can grill to perfection.
- Fourth, it is much easier to grill large shrimp!
HOW Do I DEFROST SHRIMP?
I am a huge fan of frozen shrimp, but for this Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, I prefer to purchase my shrimp from the seafood counter at the grocery store that is raw, fresh, shelled and deveined and all ready to go (I don’t use a lot of jumbo-size shrimp in other recipes thus the frozen would go to waste). You can, however, purchase raw, frozen shrimp and defrost it if you prefer.
- To quickly defrost shrimp, place the frozen shrimp in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Place this sieve in a large bowl of cold tap water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water in the bowl with new cold tap water and resubmerge the shrimp. Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes. At this point the shrimp should be completely defrosted.
- The easier way to defrost your shrimp – if you remember in advance – is to remove your frozen shrimp to a covered bowl and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Shrimp Tails On or Off?
I recommend leaving the tails on your shrimp because it creates a built-in handle to grab to eat your shrimp. This also means you can remove the toothpicks before serving if you wish because they aren’t required to hold onto. The bacon shrinks as it cooks, so you don’t need tot worry about the bacon falling off.
Par Cook Bacon
It is essential to par cook your bacon because it cooks slower than shrimp. If you don’t cook your bacon first, then the fat won’t render and you’ll end up with soft bacon instead of crispy bacon.
To Par cook Bacon:
- Prep your bacon by cutting each piece in half. You will need half as many pieces of bacon as you have shrimp.
- Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels. Line with half of the cut bacon in an even layer, and top with a layer of paper towels. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. You want the bacon mostly cooked but still soft and PLIABLE so it is flexible enough to wrap around the shrimp. Don’t overcook or it will break when wrapping.
- Microwave your bacon and wrap your shrimp in two batches. This keeps your bacon from firming/crisping up by microwaving it all at the same time and waiting to wrap your shrimp.
How to Wrap Shrimp in Bacon
Wrapping the bacon around the shrimp is super simple, you really can’t mess it up! It might take you one or two to get the hang of it but then they come together super quickly. I only use one toothpick but you can always use more if you need/feel more comfortable.
- Start the bacon on the underbelly side of the shrimp then wrap around the shrimp.
- Secure bacon from the bottom starting point straight through the shrimp with a toothpick (see pics).
- Once your first batch is secured, microwave your second batch of bacon and repeat.
How to make Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Soak toothpicks. You will need to soak your wooden toothpicks in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling so they don’t catch fire. I have even soaked my toothpicks days in advance – just added them to a bowl of water when I felt like it.
- Use 16-20 count shrimp. I’ve detailed this above. Just take care your shrimp is shelled and deveined. I prefer to purchase my shrimp at the seafood counter so all this work is done already.
- Quick Marinade. You will be shocked at the explosive, dynamic flavor that comes from such an easy, quick marinade in such a short amount of time. You can marinate your shrimp for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for 1 hour. You don’t want marinate your shrimp for much longer because the marinade contains lemon juice which can break down the shrimp.
- Mesquite marinade. Our crazy delish marinade is a quick whisking of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, a splash of cocktail sauce and Grill Mates® Mesquite Seasoning. This marinade is all about the Grill Mates® Mesquite Seasoning. It’s a smoky robust blend of paprika, garlic, onions, bell peppers, salt and mesquite flavor. If you don’t own it yet, this seasoning is a must for your grilling repertoire. A simple shake will blow your mind.
- Use traditional bacon. Do NOT use thick cut bacon. Thick cut bacon will not get as crispy and is too meaty in proportion to our shrimp.
- Parcook Bacon. THIS is the trick to crispy grilled bacon. Cook bacon in the microwave until mostly cooked through but still flexible.
- Wrap Shrimp. Wrap each piece of shrimp in a par cooked piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
HOW LONG DO YOU GRILL BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP?
First, grease the grill with oil otherwise the bacon will stick. Preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. Grill shrimp, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes per side, or just until shrimp is cooked.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP IN THE OVEN?
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, top a baking sheet with a baking rack and add shrimp. Bake for 5 minutes, flip the shrimp then bake an additional 5 minutes. Finally, the secret to make your bacon extra crispy – broil the bacon wrapped shrimp for 3 minutes or until crispy.
What Should I serve with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp?
These Bacon Wrapped Shrimp are so flavorful thanks to the McCormick Mesquite Seasoning, you don’t even need a dip or sauce but they are even better with one! My Apricot Cocktail Sauce boasts a subtle sweetness to compliment the smoky Mesquite seasoning.
This Apricot Cocktail Sauce is a quick whisking together of:
- 1/2 cup chili sauce (tomato based, not Asian)
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce more or less to taste
Feel free to play with the amount of horseradish, hot sauce and lemon juice to taste. As written, this cocktail sauce emerges tangy, slightly sweet and the perfect sassy companion to the smoky, robust shrimp.
Can I Prep Bacon Wrapped Shrimp in Advance?
You can prep your Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and have them marinated, skewered and all ready to go before your guests arrive so when it’s go time, it is minutes to eating!
I wouldn’t assemble the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp too far in advance, however, unless you are using metal skewers because we want the toothpicks to remain in the water and not dry out. Assembling them 30 minutes before grilling should be fine.
How to Reheat Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
These Bacon Wrapped Shrimp actually reheat very well just in the microwave! Heat on high for about 1 minute and devour.
Looking for more Shrimp Recipes?
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Chipotle Lime Shrimp Burrito Bowls
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Asparagus
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas with Pineapple
- Old Bay Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce
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