This bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer recipe is perfect for serving at parties this holiday season! You'll love the crispy bacon, sweet & tangy glaze, and plump, juicy shrimp.
This post is sponsored by Jennifer's Kitchen – thank you for supporting the brands that keep Salt & Lavender cooking! I only work with brands whose products I love. All opinions are my own.
When Jennifer approached me about creating a delicious holiday appetizer with her small-batch pepper jellies, I was eager to try them out. As a fellow owner of a small business, I am always appreciative of the kind of work that goes into running your own passion project. I am very excited to be incorporating Jennifer's Confetti Pepper Jelly into this recipe (it comes in mild and hot)!
What is pepper jelly? It's a preserve (sometimes described as a jelly somewhere between a jam and a relish) that's very popular in the southern United States. Jennifer's pepper jellies are made with bell and jalapeno peppers, pure cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, and pectin.
It took me a bit of thinking to nail down the recipe technique I used here. If I had wrapped the shrimp in raw bacon, it wouldn't have crisped up and/or the shrimp would have been overcooked. I needed to par-cook the bacon (partially cook), but I wanted to make it easy, so I decided to cook the bacon in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet with a wire cooling rack on top. I then finish cooking the bacon-wrapped shrimp on that same setup so that it's minimal extra work and the same amount of clean-up. I am very pleased with how these turned out! They were polished off quickly. 😉
How to make bacon wrapped shrimp
- Prep your shrimp (thaw and peel) and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up and place a wire cooling rack (like you'd use for cookies) on top.
- Lay the bacon strips on the rack (don't overlap);
- Cook the bacon in the oven for 13 minutes or until it's partly cooked but still pliable/easily wrapped;
- Take the bacon out of the oven and let it cool while you mix the pepper jelly with some melted butter;
- Cut the bacon slices in half and then wrap each shrimp with the bacon, securing it with a toothpick;
- Brush the pepper jelly mixture over the shrimp (you can pick up the shrimp and do both sides), and place each shrimp on the wire rack;
- Cook the shrimp for 8 minutes.
(Full ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below)
As ovens can vary, I recommend using your best judgment in regard to timing. If you know your oven runs hot, take a minute or two off the cooking time.
I suggest using 26/30 size shrimp (that's how the bag will be labeled). This just means that there are between 26 and 30 shrimp in a 1 pound bag. The larger the number, the smaller the shrimp.
Pro tip: Don't accidentally use mint flavored toothpicks like I've done in the past, or it'll ruin your appetizer!
More info on Jennifer's pepper jellies:
- They're all-natural and free of any dyes or preservatives. They're also vegan and vegetarian.
- They're versatile - you can use them in many recipes including over cream cheese with crackers, goat's cheese or baked brie, on charcuterie boards, or even on toast (my husband has done this). You can find more recipes for pepper jelly on the Jennifer's Kitchen website.
- They come in several flavors including the Confetti one I used for this recipe, plus Holiday, Strawberry, and Peach.
Want to pick up some of Jennifer's pepper jellies? Here's the link to buy them directly through her website (use the discount code Salt25 for 25% off) or you can purchase them through her Amazon shop if you prefer (no discount code). They make wonderful stocking stuffers for the foodie in your life!
Let me know if you will make this appetizer!
Questions? Ask me in the comments below.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- 10 strips bacon
- 20 extra large shrimp (26/30 count size) see note
- 1/4 cup Jennifer's Kitchen Confetti Pepper Jelly
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Prep your shrimp (thaw under cool running water if frozen and peel them, then pat them dry with paper towel) and preheat the oven to 400F. Move the oven rack to the middle position.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up and place a wire cooling rack (like you’d use for cookies) on top.
- Lay the bacon strips on the wire rack (don’t let them overlap).
- Cook the bacon in the oven for 13 minutes or until you can see it's on its way to being cooked but not quite there yet (we still want it pliable so it can be wrapped easily). If your oven runs hot or cold, you may need to adjust timing.
- Take the bacon out of the oven and let it cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, add the pepper jelly and butter to a small bowl and microwave until the butter is melted. Give it a good stir.
- Cut the bacon slices in half and then wrap each shrimp with the bacon and secure it with a toothpick.
- Brush the pepper jelly mixture over the shrimp (you can pick the shrimp up by the toothpick and do both sides), and place each shrimp on the wire rack.
- Return the wire rack/baking sheet combo to the oven and cook the shrimp for 8 minutes (again, you may need to adjust timing a little bit if your oven runs hot/cold). Serve warm.
- If you buy a 1 pound bag of frozen 26/30 count shrimp, you'll have a few left over, so that's what I would buy for this recipe if you can't find a 3/4 pound size bag (often sold here in Canada).
- I used regular bacon (not thick cut).
- You can remove the tails from the shrimp if you prefer.