Appetizer: Bacon-wrapped Grissini

YESTERDAY, the moment I retrieved a batch of Bacon-wrapped Grissini from the oven, Lily the Beagle appeared at the kitchen door. And who can blame her? These cocktail-appetizers are smokey, sweet, and tender-crisp. To try them is to love them. Fortunately they are no trouble to make.

The only trouble you might encounter is finding grissini.  Grissini are very thin, Italian bread-sticks. I searched and searched for the product, but had no luck until someone alerted me to an Italian market in Hudson, NY. There I found Sesame Grissini. And Rosemary Grissini. And plain, unadorned  Grissini — which is exactly what I needed for my project. I purchased 5 boxes for $2.99 each.

You’ll need bacon, too. Try to find the thinnest, leanest type you can. I purchased “center-cut” bacon (which is mostly all-meat) from my local supermarket.

Let’s make these appetizers, okay?

Bacon-wrapped Grissini
Ingredients for about 2-dozen appetizers
For the caramel glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Small pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

For the Grissini Sticks:
12-oz package “center-cut” bacon
Approximately 24 grissini sticks

Special equipment: A parchment-lined baking sheet

First, make the glaze. Pour  the brown sugar, salt, black pepper and chipotle pepper powder into a pie plate…

And mix them all together with a fork.

Okay, I mixed mine with my hand. I’m a tactile sort of guy.

Set the sugar mixture aside.

Now take the bacon, and cut every strip in half lengthwise. You’ll want to use a very sharp knife for this job.

Do you have at least one decent knife? I did not, until I finally grew up and bought one. Good knives are not cheap. But cheap knives can’t be sharpened properly. Cheap knives are dangerous.

Forming the appetizers: Take a strip of bacon and hold it against the outside tip of the bread-stick.

Flip the long end of the bacon over the stick. Then twirl the stick so the bacon winds round and round.

I should probably mention that a 9-inch long strip of bacon will cover only about 3-inches of a grissini stick. But that’s okay. You don’t need to cover the entire stick. As a matter of fact, you should break off all but one 1/2 inch of the exposed end, as pictured above.

Place the wrapped grissini in the brown sugar mixture, and then roll it around to coat.

Place each bacon-wrapped stick on a baking sheet that you’ve lined with parchment paper (do not use Silpat).   As the grissini bakes, the parchment paper will absorb a good deal of the bacon fat.

If you are making these incredible appetizers, you are obviously concerned about fat and sugar in your diet.

Baking – 18-20 minutes at 375F. Set the oven rack at the lower-middle position, and bake the grissini for exactly 9 minutes. Then, to insure the appetizers bake evenly,   flip the pan around so that the grissini in the front is now in the back. Continue cooking until the bacon turns a beautiful caramel brown — 9 to 11 minutes.

Remove the grissinis from the baking sheet, and immediately set them on waxed paper. Or, place them directly on a serving platter.

Oh. See the black spots on some of my bread-sticks?  This is the result of brown sugar coming in contact with the sticks. Consequently the bread-sticks aren’t burned — the sugar is. Grissini that my favorite caterer makes always exhibits this kind of blackness too.

So there.

Bacon-wrapped Grissini are as delicious as delicious can be. Promise me you’ll serve them at your next cocktail party.

Need a copy-and-paste version of the above recipe? Here goes:

Bacon-wrapped Grissini
Ingredients for about 2-dozen appetizers
For the caramel glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Small pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

For the Grissini Sticks:
12-oz package “center-cut” bacon, each strip cut lengthwise in half
Approximately 24 grissini sticks

Special equipment: A parchment-lined baking sheet

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the lower-middle position.

1. Pour the glaze ingredients into a pie plate; mix well.
2. Take a strip of bacon, and hold it, with your finger, against the outside end of a grissini stick. Flip the long end of the bacon over the stick. Then start turning the stick so the bacon-strip will wind round and round. The bacon will cover about 3 inches of the stick. With your fingers, pinch off all the one 1/2 inch of the exposed (non-bacon-covered) end of the stick.

3. Roll each wrapped stick in the sugar glaze mixture to thoroughly coat. Then the coated stick on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining grissini.

4.  Baking – 18-20 minutes in the preheated 375-degree oven. After 9 minutes have passed, turn the baking sheet around. Continue baking until the bacon is done but not crisp, and the sugar-glaze has turned a caramel-brown – 9-11 minutes.

Well, I hope you will try these Bacon-wrapped Grissini. Believe me, your guests (and your beagle) will kiss you for making them.

Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s weekly newsletter.

Related Posts:
Paillettes (Puff-pastry Cheese-Straws)
Angelic Zucchini Fritters
The Perfect Cosmopolitan


  1. cathy fox says:

    looks tasty. keep them coming.kevin, i love your site.

  2. I have a personal rule against sugar in contact with meat (the one exception being honey baked ham…), but I might be forced to try this. 🙂

  3. Brenda Johnson says:

    These were delicious!!!! (Both batches I was privileged enough to try!!!!) Salty, sweet, crunchy and just a hint of smoky heat from the chipotle – super yummy and looks pretty easy! A winner for coming holiday events to be sure!!!

  4. Will make this at Thanksgiving time! I will add Chipotle powder to my hard tack now! I’ll be making your pumpkin muffins today. Love your site, Kevin

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kevin for this fabulous recipe!!!!! Your Halloween party last weekend was just over the top. As a very hungry cow, I arrived at the appetizer table just as the bacon-wrapped Grissini arrived. What a fabulous treat this is. The sweetness, the crunch, and the bacon flavor make this appetizer just devine. Tomorrow, I’ll be making a special trip to purchase the grissini and will mkae this dish for company complete with your sugary spice cookies for dessert.

  6. Thank you sooo much for the recipe. These look delicious and I am planning to make them. For those of you who live out West, I found Grissini at our local Safeway store. An 8oz pkg was around $4. Can’t wait to try these.

  7. Hi Kevin!
    I am looking forward to trying these. I wanted to let your readers know that for those of us who don’t live near any wonderful Italian markets – I found the Grissini on Amazon!

  8. Emily Phillips says:

    I can not wait to try these! Looks like someone in the last photo was pretty interested also. A four legged friend! LOL

  9. Della Logan says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe at Thanksgiving. Hope I can find the Grissini in this area!

  10. Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says:

    What a great appetizer!
    Thanks again Kevin – love getting your newsletters and am always curious what new recipe you’ll offer. Give Lily a little kiss from a far away fan.

  11. Looks delicious!
    -An alternative perhaps for those who can’t find the grissini sticks and you still want the flavors… -And for those of us who have to control our carbs…
    Perhaps use a thin wafer cracker such as Wheatables Nut Crisps, or one that Blue Diamond makes, or any number of the thin crackers from Trader Joe’s line. Consider a lighter flavor in your cracker to maximize the flavored bacon.
    Cut the bacon into ~1″ segments of squares or rectangles and dip it into the brown sugar mixture as noted in the recipe; then lay on each cracker. If you’re controlling carbs and sugars, just don’t get carried away with pressing to pick up sugar; this should still give delicious caramelization and minimize the grams of carbohydrates from the brown sugar (3g. carbs per teaspoon). Presumably you’ll either have brown sugar left over or you’ve made LOTS of appetizer crackers with this amount of rich, spicy sugar.*
    Of course, the grissini sticks would be far more interesting and fun, And traditional fatter breadsticks might be too… something.
    Note: Just before serving I probably will garnish just for a touch of additional color. -Maybe a very light sprinkle with some zest of lime, lemon, or orange, or fine dice of parsley, celery leaf, sweet basil, or some low-flavor green, again, just for a spike of color.

    * If you wish to save any leftover seasoned brown sugar for another batch or a smaller yield, I’d recommend freezing it and then gently thawing it, or refrigerating if it will be used within a day or two. Reason: you’ve dabbed or rolled raw bacon in it. When folks say my appetizers are killer good, I always want to make a liar out of them. [wink]

  12. So enjoy your weekly offering. Thanks so much. Love to Lily from her cocker pals Bella and Nicholas. 

  13. Kevin love your recipes Have lots of yours on pieces of paper in my recipe box. When are you going to write a cook book. If you already have what is the name of it. Love this site.

  14. Kevin I think they look wonderful. I live in PA and found the grissini bread sticks at my local Acme Market. In the bread section. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

  15. Kat Ray – So glad you like the recipes here. Yes, I am working-working on a cookbook.

    Mary – You know, I looked for grissini in the “snacks” aisle at my local supermarket. Didn’t occur to me to check the bread section. Thanks for the tip!

  16. Brigid O'Brien says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I hope these are okay to serve at room temp. I’m traveling on Thanksgiving and thought these would be easy to make and transport! I will check out the store in Hudson for the grissini.

  17. Hi Brigid – Good news for you: Bacon-wrapped grissini is usually served at room temperature. Have fun making these awesome appetizers, and happy TG to you and yours!

  18. Happy Turkey to you, Lily and Will too!

  19. You make cooking so exciting!

  20. Kevin, I’m just about to take these out of the oven. When I tried to pick one up from the waxed paper, it was soggy from the mixture of brown sugar. I think I rolled too much sugar and it’s like a puddle on the pan. What should I do? Will these harden? I’m not touching for a while.

  21. Brigid – If you think they might stick to wax paper as they cool, let them cool on a plate or serving platter. (And be sure to taste one!)

  22. Hi Kevin – The bacon-wrapped grissini was a big hit. People were holding back because they felt like they were eating too many already – they wanted to eat the whole platter but decided to let others try. Every person said the same thing…. that they ate three and felt like they were being greedy. Sarah, my daughter, is very picky and she loved them. I’ll make these again and again. I did break a few. I think I had too many cooking closely together and that’s why they were stuck on the waxed paper.
    It all worked out though!

  23. I found the grissini (or similar product) at Dollar Tree. They are just called “Italian Breadsticks”. Just an FYI.

  24. Thx for the recipe..they look awesome!! I am planning on making these for New Year’s Eve!

  25. Kevin – when’s your first book coming out 😉

  26. Kevin, this recipe looks fantastic and I’m making it for a cocktail party Thursday night. My question is, can I make these one or two days in advance and store in a ziplock or Tupperware after they cool? I’d love to make them in advance if possible. Thanks for a beautiful recipe, and your thoughts on making in advance!

  27. Babette – I’ve made bacon-wrapped grissini as much as 3 hours in advance of a party, but never earlier than that. If you try making/baking/bagging the grissini a day or two ahead, please let me know how they turn out for you.

  28. Kevin, this recipe is a winner! Everyone loved them. I’d made a ton, and we had a few left over, so I put the brave few into a sandwich bag and into the fridge. The next day, I pulled them out and let them warm to room temp for about 30 – 40 minutes, then placed them on a small piece of parchment on a small cookie sheet and put into the oven, which I then turned on to heat to 300. When the oven got up to temp, I pulled them out and they were nice, warm, and almost as delicious as the day before. Just wanted to let you know how much we all loved the recipe, and that rewarming is an option. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe!

  29. Babette – So glad that you and yours loved these appetizers. And…thanks for experimenting with bagging, refrigerating and reheating. Very useful information!

  30. Kevin, I was in Job Lot this weekend and found grissini, 4.4 ounce boxes for $1 each. Way back in the corner, left side as you walk in. Valatie.

  31. I made these for my Superbowl party…they never made it off of the baking sheet!! Amazing!!

  32. Kip Morrissette says:

    You say, chipotle pepper powder, you are not talking about Chiplotle Chili Powder, right? That’s all I’ve been able to find. Bummer! I was planning to make these for tomorrow night but if I can’t find chipotle pepper powder I think I should wait until I do because I don’t want to waste my other ingredients I have ready. Before I give up, I’ll check at Publix as they MIGHT have it.

  33. Kip Morrissette says:

    Kevin, I still haven’t found the Chipotle Pepper Powder. The info I have found comparing it to Chiplotle Chili Powder says the two are very different.
    I see you have a Question section for the garden section but not for the Recipe section, at least I haven’t found it. I’m saving the Grissini to make Bacon-wrapped Grissini one of these days. PLEASE help me on this one. ALSO, while I’m at it, the picture of the brown sugar looks like you used the DARK brown, right? My email is [email protected] if you or someone out there reading this can help me. Thank you.

  34. This is perfect for our scouting event. Only problem is I’ll need to make them a day in advance. Do they freeze well or if it’s just a day refrigerate and then warm them up before the party?

  35. Is there anything wrapped in bacon that people won’t eat?

  36. I love bacon! Thanks

  37. I think Zim and socks will love these too. Got to try them, just to give another Angel wings!

  38. You are a lifesaver. I was asked to bring appetizers on New Years Eve and there you were with the ideas and the instructions! Once again you are my hero. Wishing you happy times and quiet contentment in 2014.

  39. Awesome! Both the tomato pie which I will try as soon as the tomatoes are ripe in July and the Bacon Wrapped Grissini. I can already taste the Pinot Noir – err, I mean the tomato pie and Bacon Wrapped Grissini with the Pinot Noir at the GARDEN PARTY next summer. Thanks a million for these awesome recipes. By the way, your local butcher will gladly slice a cold slab of bacon (that is stacked and sliced) through the center – just ask – makes it much quicker. Or if you have a electric slicer at home – stand a slab of very cold sliced bacon on its side and slice through the center – voila!

  40. I made the same thing with ham and they taste great too. 😀

  41. mrs.rabbit says:

    Meat candy!

Speak Your Mind