Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are a delicious hot appetizer with crispy bacon wrapped around marinated water chestnuts and served with a lovely Spicy Mustard Dip.
My mom used to make these for parties or for Christmas Eve when our dinner consisted of nothing but appetizers (YUM!). These are a kicked up version of hers served with an absolutely amazing mustard dip.
Wrapping each water chestnut can be slightly labor intensive, BUT... they can easily be prepared ahead of time up to the final bake. Then just pop them in the oven to heat and serve once your guests start to arrive.
What are water chestnuts?
Water chestnuts aren't nuts. They got that name simply because they resemble chestnuts. Actually, they are a water vegetables; a tuber that grows under water on the roots of an aquatic grass.
Fresh water chestnuts can be found in some Asian specialty markets. Most mainstream grocery stores only carry the canned ones in the Asian food aisle.
Canned water chestnuts tend to have a mild (almost bland) taste to them. That isn't a problem with this recipe thanks to a marinating in some soy sauce and honey.
Get more information on water chestnuts on Spruce Eats.
Ingredients for Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Just four simple ingredients:
bacon - pork bacon crisps up the best, but you can use beef or turkey or vegetarian.
soy sauce - low sodium tamari is my choice, the bacon adds enough sodium.
honey - or some maple or agave syrup, or some brown sugar and a little water.
canned water chestnuts - see above
For the sauce you will need a few more, but it is worth it (make double and serve it with chips, pretzels, etc.):
- plain yogurt
- whole grain or Dijon mustard
- hot sauce (Tabasco, Crystal, Frank's, homemade)
- fresh parsley (dried is okay, but fresh looks better)
- spices: cayenne, salt and black pepper
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts with Spicy Mustard Dip
- 8 strips bacon
- ⅓ cups soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 cans 8 ounce size water chestnuts (rinsed and drained)
Spicy Mustard Dip
- ¾ cups plain Greek yogurt
- 2½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cut bacon strips in half lengthwise, then cut each thin strip into 3 equal sections for a total of 48 pieces. Set aside.
- Mix soy sauce and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Add water chestnuts and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even flavor.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and place a metal rack inside a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spray rack with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Drain water chestnuts, but reserve the marinade. Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon, then repeat with a second strip on the opposite side. Secure both pieces of bacon with a toothpick and place on baking rack. Repeat with remaining water chestnuts.
- Baste each appetizer with reserved marinade. Bake for 20 minutes, brush with more marinade and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
- In a small bowl combine Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and parsley in a small bowl. Season salt and black pepper, to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.