Bacon wrapped water chestnuts

4.65 from 42 votes
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These bacon wrapped water chestnuts are by far one of the most requested appetizers from friends AND one of the most viewed recipes on this site. Water chestnuts are wrapped in bacon and slathered in a brown sugar glaze to make tasty bites that are always a huge hit.

If you want more bacon wrapped food try this bacon wrapped asparagus, bacon wrapped pineapple, and bacon wrapped little smokies.

bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a plate


This recipe is probably one of my top 5 favorite appetizers. If you have a can of water chestnuts in your pantry I would consider giving these a try.

Some people refer to these are Rumaki, but we just call them bacon wrapped water chestnuts. They are the perfect balance of salty and sweet with a crunch that makes them irresistible.

What are water chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are not nuts and they definitely are not chestnuts. They are actually a vegetable that lives under the water.

Ingredients needed

  • Water chestnuts – You can typically find them in a can in the international aisle of the grocery store.
  • Bacon – I like to use center cut bacon because it typically has less fat. Feel free to use your favorite bacon, however, I would suggest not using thick cut bacon to ensure that it crisps up.
  • Brown sugar – This makes the delicious, sweet glaze.
  • Worcestershire sauce – A savory ingredient for the glaze.
  • Ketchup – This is the base of the glaze sauce.
  • Toothpicks – You will need these to hold the water chestnut and bacon together.

How to make bacon wrapped water chestnuts

Scroll down for full, printable recipe, ingredients and video.

  1. Wrap: Make sure to cut each piece of bacon into three pieces. Wrap a piece of bacon around one water chestnut and put a toothpick through the center to hold the bacon in place.
  2. Bake: Place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Sauce: Combine brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the brown sugar dissolves. Make sure to stir so that the sauce doesn’t burn.
  4. Bake again: Spread the sauce over each bacon wrapped water chestnut. Bake again for another 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.
Ingredients for bacon wrapped water chestnuts, chestnuts wrapped in bacon on foil, sauce in pan and finished bacon wrapped water chestnuts

Can you make these in the air fryer?

Yes, this recipe uses the oven as the cooking method but you can make bacon wrapped water chestnuts in the air fryer. Cook them at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Cover them in the sauce and then cook another 5-6 minutes or until bacon has cooked.

Can you make Keto friendly bacon wrapped water chestnuts?

Yes, to make these Keto friendly, replace the sauce with sugar free BBQ sauce.

Can you make bacon wrapped water chestnuts ahead of time?

They can be made ahead of time by wrapping the bacon around the water chestnut and securing with a toothpick. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 24 hours ahead of time.

How to store leftovers

These will last up to 2 hours at room temperature if you are serving them at a party. You can also keep them warm in a slow cooker to keep them hot.

Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in the oven, air fryer, or microwave.

You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

water chestnuts wrapped in bacon on a serving dish

More of our favorite appetizers

If you made these bacon wrapped water chestnuts let me know in the comments. Also be sure to check out this delicious list of 31 bacon appetizers.

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts on plate.
4.65 from 42 votes

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts

By Heather
Bacon Wrapped Water chestnuts are by far one of the most requested appetizers from friends. Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon slathered in a brown sugar glaze, these tasty bites are always the first thing to go at a party.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 15


  • 1 can whole water chestnuts
  • 1 package of center cut bacon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • toothpicks


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the bacon slices in thirds and then wrap one piece around 1 water chestnut. Put toothpick through the bacon and water chestnut to secure the bacon.
  • Prepare a foil lined cookie sheet with non-stick spray and place the wrapped water chestnuts on the pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • While the bacon wrapped water chestnuts are baking, add the ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until brown sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • After 25 minutes, take out water chestnuts and cover them with the sauce. Bake again for 25 minutes. Serve warm.


YouTube video


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


    1. This recipe accounts for uncooked bacon. You could possible use the precooked bacon and just cook for less time.

  1. I have made these for 30 years but we use 1 jar chilli sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup mayo for the sauce. They are so good. I slice the chestnuts & use 2 slices in each bacon piece

  2. I’m just concerned about 1c of soy sauce and using all of it? Although it sounds delicious!!! So if you use a 13×9 pan you will need to double this? Thanks, Merry Christmas 🎅