Appetizers & Snacks/

Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Crusted Shrimp

Camarones Rellenos de Queso, Envueltos en Tocino
From Season 8,  Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 4


  • 20large (about 1 1/4 pounds total) shrimp, peeled (leaving the final shell segment and tail intact)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2ounces not-too-assertive cheese like brick, Jack, Manchego, mild cheddar, shredded
  • 4ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 thin slices of bacon, cut in half
  • Salsa, everything from bottled Mexican hot sauce to roasted tomato or tomatillo salsa are great with these shrimp


Cut a 1/2-inch deep incision (without cutting through the shrimp) down the inside of each of the peeled shrimp. Scrape out the (usually dark) vein—the intestinal tract.

Roast the garlic in a dry skillet over medium, turning frequently, until soft and blotchy black in spots, about 15 minutes. Cool and peel off the papery skin. In a medium bowl, mash the garlic with a fork until it is nearly smooth, then add the cilantro, black pepper and 2 cheeses. Mix, mashing everything together, until thoroughly blended and homogeneous. Taste and work in a little salt if you think necessary.

Scoop out a generous teaspoon of the filling and press it evenly over the butterflied part of a shrimp. Wrap the shrimp in a piece of bacon—to ensure that the bacon crisps, make sure it overlaps no more than an inch. Continue until all the shrimp are stuffed and wrapped.

Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. When thoroughly heated, lay the shrimp in the pan, overlap-side down. Cook until crisp underneath, about 1 minute, then turn each piece a quarter of a turn cook another minute. Continue until all 4 sides are browned in the same manner. The bacon needs to be thin enough that it can crisp in the same time it takes for the shrimp to cook: you’ll know the shrimp are perfect when only a hint of pink translucency remains deep in the butterfly.



  1. Followed recipe & directions to a T.. no salt required. Wife says Best homemade stuffed shrimp ever. Thanks a million.

  2. One of the best flavor combinations! Great on the grill too. I wrap my bacon in a spiral so the filling doesn’t ooze out. Excellent as a filling for Pablano rellenos, baked, no batter.

  3. Think you have a great show. I realy appreicate you giving the recipes of the dishes you cook on your shows. That is very generous of you. I bought one of your books, the recipes are outstanding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *