Sweet and smoky bacon wrapped shrimp is the best appetizer to serve your guests! What can resist buttery shrimp and crispy bacon? Made in the air fryer they are ready in minutes. Serve with a chipotle cocktail sauce to round out the bite!
The best bacon wrapped shrimp
When looking for fancy foods to serve my guests I go straight to seafood for some reason. But not just any seafood as so many people are picky about the fish they eat, but shrimp!
Now this doesn’t help guests with shellfish allergies, but I will say that shrimp appetizers are always a hit!
What could possibly make the shrimp even better? BACON, of course! Everything is better with bacon.
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy air fryer shrimp recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
You may think that a bacon wrapped shrimp recipe is labor intensive and tricky to cook but let me assure you that this recipe is easy! Oh, and I did I mention that it only has 3 ingredients?
How to make bacon wrapped shrimp
This recipe only uses 3 ingredients, shrimp, bacon, and jalapeño. Not even salt and pepper are needed for this one! The bacon has plenty of flavor already and adding other seasonings may overshadow the flavor of the shrimp so let’s keep it simple.
If you are not a spicy foods fan you can skip the strips of jalapeño, but let me assure you that the air fryer and the bacon mellow out the heat.
Step one: Peel the shrimp, leaving the shell on the tail for easy eating!
Step two: Wrap the bacon around the shrimp and jalapeño, pulling a little tight. Feel free to secure with a toothpick if you like.
Step three: Preheat the air fryer for a minute or two before you add the bacon wrapped shrimp. This sears the bacon a little and keeps them from sticking to the basket. Be sure to have space between the shrimp so the air can circulate and crisp all sides.
Because we are using an air fryer to cook these, we are limited on space and need to cook the shrimp in batches. This works out perfectly because they cook quickly, you are always serving hot appetizers.
You can stop cooking when everyone is full and the remaining shrimp can be stored properly in the fridge until you are ready to cook them!
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What is the best size shrimp?
This recipe calls for 1 pound of shrimp but shrimp come in all sizes so be sure to pick the right size for your recipe.
Shrimp is classified by size, i.e. 21/25, 26/30. These numbers mean the number of shrimp in a pound. The higher the number (51/60) the smaller each individual shrimp is. 51/60 is typically found in a shrimp salad.
- 51/60 – small
- 41/50 – medium
- 36/40 – med large
- 31/35 – large
- 26/30 – extra large
- 21/25 – jumbo
- 16/20 – extra jumbo
The ones I use for this recipe are the 21/25 size and the typical serving would be 4-6 shrimp per person which is approximately 4 ounces. And I chose a medium thickness cut bacon.
The smaller the shrimp the thinner the bacon should be cut or you risk over cooking the shrimp before the bacon is crispy. If the bacon is too thin and the shrimp too large, the bacon will burn before the shrimp is cooked through.
Helpful hints for making bacon wrapped shrimp
- Make sure you use raw shrimp with the shell on the tail. Don’t use butterflied or those cut up the back. They will dry out.
- The bigger the shrimp the thicker cut of bacon you can use.
- Cold bacon is easier to handle when wrapping the shrimp but slightly warmer bacon (almost room temp) can be wrapped tighter.
- Chill the bacon wrapped shrimp in the fridge before cooking in the air fryer. This helps the bacon stay wrapped and keeps it from overcooking before the shrimp is done.
- Preheat the air fryer so the bacon sears a little when you add the shrimp to the fry basket. This keeps it from sticking.
- Serve the air fried shrimp on a warm plate or keep the cooked ones in a warm oven while you are frying subsequent batches.
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Can I use any type of bacon?
I prefer to use the regular “cut” bacon instead of thick cut if the shrimp are smaller. See the hints section above for more detail.
Can I bake these in the oven if I don’t have an air fryer?
Yes, you can! Bake them on a regular baking sheet in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through. Cooking times will vary so check on them frequently!
Do I need skewers or toothpicks to hold the bacon in place?
I didn’t because I placed the shrimp in the fryer basket with the end of the bacon down or under the shrimp to keep it from unraveling.
If you love this Easy Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review, and be sure to help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!
Other air fryer recipes to make
- crispy beer pickles
- crispy brussels sprouts
- Caprese empanadas
- street corn empanadas
- cheesy risotto balls
How to make bacon wrapped shrimp in the air fryer
- 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled with tails on)
- 1 pound bacon (12 slices cut in half)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and cut into thin strips)
- 1 cup cocktail sauce
- 1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped fine)
- Preheat the air fryer at 390F for 5 minutes while you prep the shrimp.
Wrap the shrimp
- Cut your bacon slices in half.
- If you haven't already, slice the jalapeño thin.
- Peel the shrimp leaving the tail end on if you want to.
- Place a shrimp and a thin slice of jalapeño on one end of the shrimp.
- Roll the shrimp in the bacon wrapping it tightly.
- Chill the shrimp for 10-15 minutes to set the bacon.
Make the chipotle cocktail dipping sauce
- Mix the cocktail sauce and the chopped chipotle peppers together.
- Chill until ready to serve with the bacon wrapped shrimp.
Air Fry the shrimp
- Air Fry the shrimp by placing them in the air fryer basket.
- Don't crowd them and make sure there is space between them so the bacon can crisp and the pieces don't stick together.
- Fry for 5 minutes at 390F.
- Flip the shrimp and air fry for another 4-5 minutes.
- Remove to a plate with a paper towel while you cook the remaining shrimp. Feel free to place in the oven at the lowest setting to keep warm.
- Serve with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce!
If you love this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with 5 stars. Thank you and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 2119mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
This recipe inspired by this recipe by Sandra at The Foodie Affair!
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