Simple Shrimp Skewer Recipe Wrapped in Basil & Bacon

Who doesn’t love shrimp or prawns hot off the barbecue? Well then, have you ever tried shrimp wrapped in basil leaves and bacon then skewered together?  If you haven’t then you are missing out!

The smoke from the barbecue combined with the fresh basil leaves and bacon infuse the shrimp with such a great and addicting combination of flavor.  By cooking the bacon wrapped prawns on the barbecue you are allowing a lot of the bacon fat to drip off into the fire versus when you bake them and all the ingredients just soak in the bacon fat.

Shrimp skewers can be great as a light dinner entree or as a great appetizer to start off a party right! As an appetizer we usually plan on 2-3 prawns per person.  As an entree compliment to a large fresh dinner salad we go more with 6-8 per person–so modify as needed below, depending on size of your group.  The equation roughly goes for each prawn or shrimp you need 1 large basil leaf and a third to a half a piece of bacon.

This recipe (which is also Paleo friendly) requires very little preparation but it is a VERY important one to keep a close eye on your barbecue while cooking. Fat dripping into the fire is a cause of flare-ups. Unless you want charbroiled skewers you need to hang out near the grill and pay attention to the heat!

Recipe Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 24 Large Prawns or Shrimp
  • 24 Medium to Large Basil Leaves
  • 8-10 Slices of Bacon, Preferably Thinner Slices
  • 4-6 Long Metal Skewers
  • 2 Bricks (or Other Rotisserie Equipment to Keep Shrimp Off the Grill


BBQ Recipe Instructions:

  • Prep: Take tails off of all the prawns and rinse off. Rinse all the basil leaves and set aside. Cut bacon slices into large enough pieces to wrap entirely around the prawn.


  • Assemble:  Take each prawn or shrimp and wrap in one piece of basil and then with one piece of bacon. Then slide onto skewer so that the skewer pierces all three items and you attach both ends of the bacon through the skewer so it stays on once you are grilling.  Repeat for each shrimp piece. Do not overcrowd the skewers as you don’t want the bacon pieces so smashed together that when they are done cooking they stick to the other bacon wrapped prawn.   Make sure you leave room on each end of skewers so they can rest on the bricks–see grill instructions below.


  • Set up Grill:  Set up a brick on each side of the barbecue (see picture below) wide enough apart that each side of the skewers can rest on each side. Preheat grill to Medium High. If you are barbecuing on charcoal you could throw some wood chips on the coals to infuse more smoky flavor into the bacon and shrimp.  Set skewers resting each end on the bricks so it is not directly touching the grill.  Close lid immediately.


  • Monitor Barbecue: Stand nearby and have your tongs ready!  You will likely hear some flareups with this recipe once the bacon starts to drip into the fire but try not to panic.  Peek inside and you will likely see some short bursts of flames but if they are just a short brief burst, don’t worry about it just shut the lid so you don’t make it worse.   If it is a continuous flame, just lower the heat (or shut down your vents if using charcoal) and stack the skewers to the other side where not flaring up, shut the lid again and wait for it to mellow out a little bit. Once the flames go away, spread your skewers back out as demonstrated above in the photo next to recipe ingredients.


  • Flip the skewers as needed, cooking through until they have turned pink and are no longer opaque & the bacon is cooked. Depending on how low you turned down your flames to prevent flareups, the cooking time could vary.  The last time we made these shrimp it took about 15 minutes of grilling time for the bacon to cook through as we were cooking on a cabin barbecue that flared up easily with the bacon fat drippings so we had to cook at more of a medium temp.


  • Serving time! Remove skewers from grill and carefully push the bacon wrapped shrimp off the skewers and onto a platter. Wrap immediately with foil to keep warm until you are ready to serve.  If we are bringing these as an appetizer to a party you’d be surprised at how warm these can stay (and tasty!) if you just wrap very tightly with aluminum foil and go directly to a nearby party.

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