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Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts {Rumaki}

Remember this fantastic appetizer from the 70’s? There’s a reason that Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (Rumaki) are still around!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are an easy appetizer that everyone LOVES! Perfect football food or party appetizer!

I feel so 1970’s today!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts were big back in the day. My mom made these countless times and even back then I was eating them by the dozen. They’re addictive – crunchy water chestnut meets crispy, fatty bacon and a sweet, sticky sauce.

These little beauties are also known as “Rumaki” but I prefer to call them Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts since that’s what I’ve always called them. Rumaki can also have a little duck or chicken liver wrapped up in it, too, but since these don’t have any, I didn’t want to confuse the issue by using a name that technically may not apply. Besides, as soon as people hear “bacon wrapped” it really doesn’t matter what comes next!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts, Rumaki Recipe

Rumaki Sauce

The rumaki sauce is made with just ketchup and brown sugar with a few dashes of Worcestershire. Don’t skip the Worcestershire, it adds that extra little something. I like to add a few dashes of Sriracha for some spice, too. You can never go wrong with a sweet & spicy combination!

Don’t let the fact that these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are vintage scare you off, either. They’re nothing like these hilarious concoctions from those groovy days past. They make a great party appetizer and are perfect football food but be sure to double or triple the recipe if you have guests over – they really do disappear quickly!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts are an easy appetizer that everyone LOVES! Perfect football food or party appetizer!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (Rumaki)

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This beloved snack from the 70's is as good today as it was then!


  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts, not diced
  • 1 pound bacon, not thick-sliced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes Sriracha or other hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes before using


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a wire rack over a sheet pan and set aside.
  2. Mix together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and Sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Slice bacon into thirds crosswise. Wrap one piece of bacon around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place each wrapped water chestnut onto the wire rack. Repeat until bacon and water chestnuts are gone.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until bacon is starting to crisp (around 30 minutes or so). Remove from oven and, using a basting brush, dab sauce all over each appetizer. Return to oven and continue cooking until bacon is crisp and sauce is sticky and thick, another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately. They'll go quickly!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1173mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 20g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Sunday 2nd of October 2022

Growing up in the 70's, my mom always made these for parties and I was crazy about them. I remember she had this electric serving tray that would heat up to keep them warm. I'll have to ask if she still has that! Anyway I love making these every now and then. And nowadays it's a first for a lot of people.


Friday 9th of September 2022

I have made these for family holidays 25 years now. I do it slightly different.

I pre bake the bacon wrapped water chestnuts on a baking rack over a baking sheet for about 1/2 hour at same temp shown. I then either dip in the sauce mixture immediately and bake as stated or cool the wrapped water chestnuts and dip them the day I need them. Usually next day so they are fresh when I need them.

I’ve never put a hot sauce in the sauce before. I tried it this morning, I’m interested in seeing the impact to the sauce which I think is delicious already!

Lori Putnam

Saturday 1st of January 2022

These are always very good. I like them saucy, so I baked for 30 min, then tossed in bowl of sauce to really coat, then baked until they were a satisfying level of sticky gooey. Yum!


Sunday 7th of February 2021

Is it 1/2 CUP of brown sugar or a different measurement?

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 22nd of February 2021

I'm so sorry, I didn't realize there was a typo in the recipe. Yes, it's 1/2 cup and I'll update the recipe now. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.


Tuesday 11th of December 2018

How many does this recipe for Rumakie make.. have 10 people coming for appetizers


Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Hi Sheila, You can make as many as you like! One can will make about 20 so just adjust as you like.

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