This Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts recipe is the perfect appetizer for special occasions or your next game day! A classic appetizer with  bacon, water chestnuts and a delicious homemade sauce.

I first tried this incredible appetizer recipe in college! I was lucky enough to have a roommate whose mother owned a catering business. Each time she visited, she would cook us these bacon-wrapped water chestnuts (among other delicious recipes)!

a close up photo of bacon wrapped water chestnuts

I was obsessed with these tasty little bites, and they’ve since become my go-to easy appetizer recipe for parties! The crispy savory bacon, the crunchy texture of the water chestnuts, and the SAUCE! I would literally use my finger to clean up leftover sauce on our shared plate. It’s that good! 

a photo of bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a baking tray

You have likely experienced water chestnuts in stir fry or Asian foods, but not like this! In this delicious appetizer recipe, I wrap each crunchy water chestnut in bacon strips, then roast it to perfection.

Next, I make a BBQ brown sugar glaze from simple pantry ingredients; brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. This sweet brown sugar barbecue sauce is the PERFECT compliment to the saltiness of the bacon.

I promise that this recipe is the ULTIMATE party food! Anytime I bring this appetizer to a party, it’s a huge hit! I like to serve these bacon wrapped water chestnuts with other savory appetizers like Candied Bacon Baked Brie, Easy Butter Smoked Shrimp, Jalapeno Dip or these Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

an overhead photo of bacon wrapped water chestnuts in bbq sauce on a white serving platter

(PS- This homemade BBQ sauce is also amazing on little smokies!) 

I’ve customized this Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts recipe just a bit over the years, and have learned some tips and tricks to making sure they are perfect!

A photo of a hand holding a toothpick with a bacon wrapped water chestnut on it

Tips and Tricks:

These tips for making this recipe are below, but there is one that I want to emphasize for you. Do not cook the Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts directly on your baking tray. 

Why not? Because it as the bacon cooks, it will release grease. And then, your bacon wrapped goodies will be cooking directly in a puddle of grease. They will start to smoke, and your fire alarm will go off. Not to mention, you bacon will be soggy. It’s a mess! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂 

To avoid this mess, you can do two things.

1) First, cover your baking tray with aluminum foil. This will help you easily clean up the grease released from the bacon. Just let the bacon grease cool and solidify, then throw it (and the foil) in the trash)!

2) Second, on top of your baking tray (and over the foil, if you use it), place a cookie cooling rack. Using a rack will lift your bacon wrapped chestnuts out of the grease, give you crispier bacon, and save you a TON of trouble! You can also use a broiler pan with a wire rack in it, like what you’d use to roast a turkey or chicken.

a picture of bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a plate with toothpicks

How to Make Ahead of Time:

Yes, you can prep this appetizer recipe ahead of time! Wrap the bacon around the water chestnuts, secure with a toothpick and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bake right before serving.

a photo of bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a platter

Recipe Substitutions:

Feel free to substitute soy sauce for the Worcestershire sauce.

I like to use center cut bacon or thin cut bacon because. Lean, thinner bacon will give you a more crisp bacon wrapper. But, use what you have!

Make sure to use whole water chestnuts, and drain them before using. You can also choose to pat them dry with a paper towel to reduce excess moisture, but this is totally option! 

a photo of sauce made with brown sugar

Storing Leftovers:

Store leftovers (if there are any) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I prefer to reheat in the oven.

a close up photo of bacon wrapped water chestnuts

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Yield: Makes 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

The BEST bacon wrapped water chestnuts recipe with a BBQ glaze! Includes oven and air fryer instructions.


  • 12 slices of bacon, cut in half (roughly one pound of bacon)
  • 1 can of water chestnuts, whole (not sliced)

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


For the bacon wrapped chestnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wrap each individual water chestnut in bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
  3. Place bacon wrapped water chestnuts on large rimmed baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
  4. Remove from oven. Carefully flip bacon wrapped chestnuts over with a tongs. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy, but not burned.
  5. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

For the sauce

  1. Combine ketchup and brown sugar in small sauce pan. Cook on low until the brown sugar melts and the sauce begins to bubble, stirring often. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts in Brown Sugar Sauce
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Stir and taste. Add more Worcestershire sauce if desired. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Brown Sugar Sauce

Transfer wrapped chestnuts onto a serving platter, and pour warm sauce over the top of the baked bacon-wrapped chestnuts to coat them.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • AIR FRYER: Place your bacon wrapped water chestnuts in your air fryer basket and air fry at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the bacon start to crisp! You "can" put the sauce over the water chestnuts in the final 1-2 minutes of air frying, but I will warn you, it makes an sticky mess of your air fryer! I typically add the sauce after cooking.
  • Nobody likes soggy bacon! While you can cook these directly on a greased baking sheet, I recommend using a cookie cooling rack placed inside of your baking tray to keep the bacon lifted off the pan. This will keep them out of the grease, and it will get nice and crispy!
  • Be very careful when removing these from the oven. They generate a lot of grease, and the oven will be very steamy when you open it. I recommend opening the oven and letting the steam escape before you bend down to get them out.
  • You do not have to immediately pour the sauce over the top of the cooked water chestnuts. Feel free to serve the sauce in a small bowl for dipping, instead.
  • Feel free to double or triple this recipe to feed a lot of people! 

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Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 6
Amount Per Serving Calories 72Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 6mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 0gSugar 10gProtein 2g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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