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This award-winning recipe for grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp is an easy appetizer you can whip up on your Ninja Grill for your next party.
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I have made this recipe multiple times as an ancillary entry for BBQ competitions. It took first place in California and 10th place at the Jack Daniel’s World Championships.
Whether you’re cooking it for a competition, making it for dinner or preparing it for a party, you’re going to love it!
How to make tender shrimp wrapped in bacon
The biggest challenge with making bacon-wrapped shrimp is ensuring the bacon is fully cooked and rendered without overcooking the shrimp.
You want the final dish to have crispy bacon with tender juicy shrimp.
The key to perfection is to use the right size shrimp. If you use smaller shrimp, it will definitely be overcooked.
Shrimp size can be rather confusing. Bags include labels like jumbo shrimp, large shrimp or colossal shrimp. To be certain you’re getting the size needed for this recipe, look for the bag that says 16-20 per pound.
- Raw Shrimp: Size 16-20 shrimp works best for this recipe. To save prep time, buy frozen shrimp or fresh shrimp that is already peeled and deveined.
- Bacon: I use Oscar Mayer Original Bacon. It’s the perfect thickness for crispy bacon. Don’t use thick-cut bacon. It takes too long to cook.
- Ancho Chile Glaze: The glaze is optional, but adds a great sweet, mildly spicy coating to the bacon. The full recipe is below.
- Ranch Dipping Sauce: You can use bottled salad dressing, but I usually make homemade ranch. The full recipe is below.
Substitutions: Instead of the glaze, you can also use maple syrup, honey, hot honey or BBQ sauce. Instead of the ranch, use your favorite dipping sauce.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to grill bacon-wrapped shrimp
If you choose to make the glaze and dipping sauce, start with those recipes. For the glaze, simmer the ingredients in a pot for five minutes to dissolve the sugar. Keep the glaze warm.
For the ranch dipping sauce, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and chill until ready to use. Both the glaze and sauce can be made in advance.
- STEP ONE: For straight shrimp, insert short wooden skewers through the shrimp tails and push them to the top.
PRO TIP: Because the Ninja Grill doesn't use fire, you don't have to soak the wooden skewers. You can also make this recipe with the shrimp's natural shape. To do that, just skip this step.
- STEP TWO: Cut each piece of bacon in half. Wrap a half slice of bacon around each piece of shrimp. Secure with a toothpick.
- STEP THREE: Preheat your indoor or outdoor Ninja Grill. Set the function to grill, the temperature to medium and the time to 20 minutes.
PRO TIP: If you're using a gas, charcoal or pellet grill, set the grill to 400F degrees with an indirect heat zone. Cook the shrimp over the indirect heat to avoid flareups.
- STEP FOUR: Place shrimp on the grill in a single layer. Cook for 8 minutes, flipping after the first 4 minutes.
PRO TIP: I always set the time on my Ninja Grill for longer than I need it so it doesn't turn off early.
- STEP FIVE: After 8 minutes, brush with glaze and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- STEP SIX: Flip. Brush with glaze again and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from the grill and remove the toothpicks.
How to serve bacon-wrapped shrimp
This bacon-wrapped shrimp recipe makes a perfect appetizer for holiday parties or tailgating. Serve it on a platter with a small bowl of ranch dipping sauce and garnish with chopped chives.
For fancier plating, serve each piece on its own plate with a smear of ranch.
To serve as a main course, stack several shrimp on a pile of cooked rice or cheesy grits.
Store leftover cooked bacon-wrapped shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat in the Ninja Grill or microwave.
To make this recipe in advance, prepare the glaze and ranch dressing and chill. Wrap the shrimp with bacon and chill. When ready to cook, heat the glaze in the microwave and grill the shrimp as instructed.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Use size 16-20 shrimp for best results
- Save time by using peeled and deveined shrimp
- To avoid overcooking the shrimp don’t use thick-cut bacon slices
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. To make this delicious appetizer in the oven, heat the oven to 400F degrees. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped shrimp on the baking rack over the prepared baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, brushing with glaze as the shrimp cooks.
It can be if you omit the glaze and dipping sauce.
Each shrimp has a vein that runs along the back of the curve. This is the digestive tract. For the best shrimp, buy deveined shrimp.
To devein shrimp yourself, run a paring knife along the dark line to split open the shrimp. Then, pull the vein out and discard.
More Party Food on the Ninja Grill
More Shrimp Appetizers
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Ninja Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
- 1 lb size 16-20 raw shrimp, peeled and deviened
- 8-10 slices bacon
Ancho Chile Glaze
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp whiskey or bourbon, optional
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp ancho powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
Homemade Ranch Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp ranch seasoning
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped
Ancho Chile Glaze
- Combine the glaze ingredients in a small pot. Heat over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Keep warm.
Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, until blended. Keep cold. Add more milk, if you like it thinner.
- Preheat: Preheat Ninja Grill. Set function to grill, temperature to medium and time to 20 minutes.
- Skewer: For straight shrimp, insert a skewer up through the tail into the shrimp. For regular curly shrimp, skip this step.
- Wrap: Wrap half a slice of bacon around each shrimp. Secure with a toothpick.
- Grill: Place the shrimp on the grill for 8 minutes, flipping after 4 minutes.
- Glaze: Brush with ancho chile glaze. Grill for 2-3 minutes. Flip. Brush again with glaze. Grill 2-3 more minutes or until shrimp are pink and bacon is crisp. Remove from the grill and remove the toothpicks.
- Garnish: Serve with ranch dipping sauce and garnish with chopped chives.
SubstitutionsInstead of the glaze, you can also use maple syrup, honey, hot honey or BBQ sauce. If you make the glaze from scratch and don’t have ancho chile powder, use chili powder or any other ground red pepper. Instead of garlic salt, you can also use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Nutrition information includes the glaze and ranch dressing.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.