Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

water chestnuts wrapped in bacon for rumaki recipe

A few days ago on the Stuffed Grape Leaves post, a reader left a comment empathizing with how tedious it is to make individually prepared appetizers. He said he agreed, and he got that same feeling whenever he made rumaki.


What is rumaki???

toothpicks to make bacon wrapped water chestnuts

I did a quick Google search and went Ohhhhhhh as I realized it’s that appetizer made from water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.

I have to thank John E Baker III for leaving that comment because I had completely forgotten about this addicting appetizer. My mom made them all the time when I was a kid, but I hadn’t eaten them in years!

That needed to be fixed, immediately.

I called my mom and asked what exactly she put into the recipe, and then I ran out to the store to pick up all the ingredients. If you still don’t know what to make for Memorial Day, add this one to your menu my friends! People will go crazy for it.

rumaki made with mustard and brown sugar

There are endless variations for rumaki, but this is the one my mom makes, and I love it.

The bacon is pressed with brown sugar on one side, and spread with a little bit of whole grain dijon mustard on the other:

mustard and brown sugar bacon wrapped water chestnuts appetizer

Then you wrap the bacon around the water chestnut like a cozy little blanket, with the brown sugar layer on the outside, and secure with a toothpick.

party tray of bacon wrapped water chestnuts

20 minutes in a 375 degree oven and you’re ready to fight over them! Or if you’re alone…eat them all by yourself.

No shame.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts


  • 8 oz can whole water chestnuts*
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 10 strips center cut bacon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Soak the toothpicks in water as you prepare the other ingredients so they don’t burn in the oven. Rinse and drain the water chestnuts.
  2. Spread the brown sugar out on a plate or shallow bowl. Cut the bacon strips in half (right in the middle), and press one side of each bacon strip into the brown sugar. Spread the other side of bacon with 1/8-1/4 tsp of the whole grain dijon mustard. Place a water chestnut on top of the mustard side of the bacon strip and roll it up, securing the bacon with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Place all of the bacon wrapped water chestnuts onto a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until the bacon has cooked through and the brown sugar has caramelized. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

*Look for the biggest water chestnuts you can find. Look for words like “jumbo” or “fancy” on the can.

All images and text ยฉ.