With crispy bacon, a sweet glaze, and a touch of spice, this bacon-wrapped little smokies recipe is the perfect bacon appetizer to serve during game day, the holidays, or any gathering.
I'm the type of person that loves to try a variety of foods, so parties with a lot of appetizers are right up my alley.
The best thing is that this is such a super easy appetizer recipe that just about everyone loves! It's almost like meat candy, after all.
Plus, this little smokies appetizer has a nice bit of different flavor thanks to the addition of a few spices to the classic recipe.
I'd definitely suggest making a double batch of this great recipe if you're cooking for a large crowd.
Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies Ingredients and Substitutions
I've honestly never deviated from the original recipe but here are the ingredients and some substitutions that I think should work well.
- Little smokies - I go the traditional route but these days there are also mini beef franks, cheese smokies, little polskas and more available. You can even cut your favorite regular sized sausage brand into bite-sized chunks, you just may need more bacon to accommodate the size. I even think hot dogs cut into chunks would be good prepared this way.
- 1 Pound of bacon - I love thick cut bacon but this is one time I don't use it. If you used thick strips of bacon, you may need to bake this recipe a bit longer. I find regular center cut bacon to be the best bacon to use. Turkey bacon should also work just fine if that's more your style.
- Brown sugar - I like using dark brown sugar as it gives the bacon a bit more stickiness and depth of flavor. If all you have is light brown sugar it'll work just fine.
- Garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper - I really love the extra flavor punch these spices and seasonings add. If you don't like one of them you can certainly leave it out! I don't recommend fresh or dried minced garlic or onion here as it's likely to burn.
- Kitchen shears - These make cutting the bacon slices super quick and easy.
- Half sheet baking pan - This is my favorite baking pan from appetizers to cookies. You could also use a cookie sheet (make sure it has a rim) or a 9 x 13, though the baking time may be a bit longer due to the smokies being closer together for less air flow.
- Parchment paper - My go to for lining baking sheets for easy clean up.
- Whisk - To mix together the ingredients for the brown sugar mixture.
- Tongs - To remove (and serve if you like) the smokies from the pan. Be careful - the brown sugar mix gets HOT!
- Toothpicks - May be needed for securing the bacon and are also great for serving.
How To Make Bacon Wrapped Smokies
1 Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line your baking sheet with parchment or foil.
2. Cut each slice of bacon into thirds. I like to use culinary shears to do this as you can cut the whole slab of bacon at once.
3 and 4. Whisk ½ cup of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper together in a small bowl.
5. Wrap each of the little sausages tightly with a piece of bacon and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
If you have issues with the bacon staying put, you can stick a plain wood toothpick to keep things in place. Make sure the toothpicks are wood (not plastic, etc.) aren't flavored, and don't have extra frills like like a plastic topper.
I'd also recommend soaking the toothpicks in cold water for around 10 minutes to make sure they don't catch on fire since they will be in the oven a while.
6. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the bacon wrapped smokies.
Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is crisp, about 35 - 40 minutes cooking time. You want to the bacon to be very crispy and caramelized.
Be sure to let cool a couple of minutes before serving - the brown sugar glaze will be super hot and sticky!
Can I Make Lil Smokies Ahead Of Time?
I love getting as much as I can done ahead of time when making appetizers for a party! For this particular easy recipe you can wrap the smokies in the bacon, place in the baking dish, and then wrap and refrigerate.
You can also prepare the brown sugar mix and cover, then sprinkle it on the lil smokies just before baking.
You could go ahead and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top and refrigerate, but it will start hydrating and turn into a wet paste/glaze.
I haven't tried baking from this state, but it should turn out just as good if you want to try it.
How Can I Keep Them Warm?
Honestly, I've never had these last long enough to need to keep them warm, but you could try putting them in a slow cooker or crock pot on the keep warm setting.
Another idea is to heat an oven-safe ceramic dish until it's warm and then use the warm dish as your serving dish as it will retain heat for a good while.
Storing Leftovers And Rewarming
If you somehow have leftovers or are making them to eat throughout the week you can keep them covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil so the bacon doesn't burn. Bake in a 350°F preheated oven until warmed through.
You can also reheat in the microwave, just be careful of splatter and burning.
More Recipes Using Bacon
- Baked Potato Salad Recipe
- Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Deviled Eggs with Bacon
- Loaded Smashed Potatoes
- Cheese and Bacon Ranch Dip
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet or large baking pan with a rim with a silpat, parchment paper, or foil.
- Cut each bacon strip into thirds.
- Wrap each little smokie with a piece of the bacon. Place on the lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- In a small bowl mix together the ½ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until thoroughly combined and no clumps. Evenly sprinkle the sugar mix over the smokies.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then place onto serving platter and serve.
Leftovers can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat by covering with foil (so the bacon doesn’t burn) and baking until warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave but be careful of splatter and burning the bacon.
For ingredient substitution ideas and tips making this recipe please visit https://smartsavvyliving.com/bacon-wrapped-little-smokies-recipe/
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ~4 Little Smokies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 741mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information may not be accurate. Optional garnishes and toppings aren't included. Nutrition information is calculated automatically by and provided by Nutritionix. Exact nutrition information depends on the specific ingredients, brands, and amounts you use.