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!

  4. This sounds great? A Lot like my grilled jalepeno poppers. Think I’ll try stuffing these into jalepenos before wrapping them in bacon. Of course I’ll make these too (not everyone can abide jalepenos).
    Love your shows!

  5. I was so glad when I found this recipe again. I made these stuffed shrimp some time ago. They were sooo good. I had to have them for my Mexican inspired Labor Day menu. I’m so happy!

  6. I found it hard for me to find you, love you’re show. My mom and love mexican food.. I made chili reanios? they turned out great. please dont go off the air.

  7. Haven’t seen your show in quite a few years. Tucson is where we reside maybe lm missing it somehow? If not are the disc available to purchase?

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