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Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp are a crowd-pleasing appetizer that you can make in about 30 minutes. A couple of simple, but essential steps guarantee that they're succulent every time.
So, what's the secret to perfectly cooked shrimp wrapped in bacon? It's all about thinking of the two main ingredients, shrimp and bacon, separately so that together they become much greater than the sum of their parts.
Too often with this dish, the shrimp are overcooked and/or the bacon is underdone. Crispy bacon and tender shrimp are the goals here; the key is to pre-cook the bacon on the grill before wrapping the shrimp. It's a simple step that makes a world of difference.
Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Ingredients
- Shrimp: large
- Olive oil: ideally extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea Salt: or double the amount of kosher salt
- Pepper: freshly ground black pepper
- Bacon: ideally thin slices of bacon
- Lemon: optional, for serving
Though giving the bacon a head start is crucial, it's also really easy. No need to turn on the oven or spend time at the stovetop, instead you can partially cook bacon right on your grill, ideally over indirect heat to avoid flare ups. Get the bacon as crispy as you like with this method - just be sure to pull it off of the grill while it's still pliable enough to wrap around the shrimp.
Once you've wrapped the shrimp, seasoned simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, you'll thread them onto skewers and finish them on the grill. Serve alone or with your favorite dipping sauce - Remoulade Sauce, Aioli, Sriracha Aioli, or Pesto Aioli would all be great options.
Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp are a distinctive finger food to serve before dinner with a glass of wine, but they're equally welcome in a game day spread or at a backyard BBQ.
Medium-high or 375 to 450 °F is ideal for grilling bacon wrapped shrimp.
Wrapping shrimp in partially cooked bacon before grilling is an ideal way to hold in moisture. Generally if grilled shrimp is rubbery or dried out, it means it's overcooked.
Medium, large, or extra-large / jumbo shrimp are best for grilling. Small shrimp cook too quickly.
When wrapping with bacon, you should grill shrimp with the shell removed except for the tail.
The best way to grill bacon is over indirect heat to avoid flare ups. You can do this faster with the lid closed, but I recommend leaving the lid open and removing it from the grill as soon as it's cooked or partially cooked to the degree you want.
More Bacon Wrapped Favorites
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp (A winter version of these delectable shrimp that's made in the oven.)
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Scallops (the grilling season version of the above)
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Bacon Wrapped Dates
How to Make Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Preheat grill to medium-high (425˚F). Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and grill over indirect heat for 5-6 minutes bacon until slices are starting to crisp, but still pliable. Transfer to clean plate and leave grill on.
Toss peeled (except for tail) and deveined shrimp in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Wrap each shrimp with a piece of partially cooked bacon and thread onto skewers.
Grill shrimp with the lid closed over indirect heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time, until shrimp are pink and bacon is cooked as desired.
Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- 16 large shrimp peeled except for the tail and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices bacon halved crosswise (see recipe note)
- 1 lemon cut into wedges, optional
- Pre-heat a gas grill to medium-high, 425˚F.
- Meanwhile, add shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper to a medium bowl; toss gently to coat.
- When the grill reaches temperature, turn off burners in one area to create an indirect heat zone. Place bacon slices on grill over indirect heat, leaving a little space between each. Grill with the lid open, 5 to 6 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon. It should still be pliable when you remove it from the grill. Transfer bacon to clean plate.
- Close grill lid and reheat to 425˚F.
- When partially cooked bacon slices are cool enough to handle (a few minutes after you remove from grill), wrap each slice of bacon around one raw shrimp and thread onto a metal skewer (or bamboo skewer soaked in water for 15 minutes or more). Repeat with remaining shrimp (4 to 8 shrimp per skewer depending on the skewer length), leaving a little room between each shrimp. Transfer to plate.
- Grill shrimp over indirect heat with the lid closed, 4 to 5 minutes on each side until shrimp are pink and bacon is cooked through (8-10 minutes total). (recipe note #3) Transfer to clean platter or plate and serve with lemon wedges if desired.
- If your bacon strips are very long, cut them into thirds crosswise instead of in half. You want the strips to be long enough to wrap the shrimp, but not so long that a large area of the bacon overlaps.
- For thick cut bacon, increase par-cook time by a few minutes, until bacon is starting to crisp, but is still pliable. Do this on your grill or in your oven or in a skillet on the stovetop.
- If you want a little char on your bacon, move skewers to direct heat for a minute or two with the lid open just before transferring to a serving platter.