Tasty Bacon Bites Appetizer (Cheater Rumaki)

Crisp and smoky, this bacon bites appetizer is tasty like Rumaki, but easier.  With just bread, cream cheese and bacon, you might even have everything on hand!

Bacon Bites

During the holidays—and in fact anytime—I like to have a few simple recipes up my sleeve.  Like this Bacon Bread Bites Appetizer.  I figure it’s important to have an easy answer if it’s New Year’s Eve and you decide you need just one more appetizer.

I first tried Bacon Bites at a bridal shower where it was making a big impression.  Yes, trays were disappearing as soon as they came out of the oven!

When I researched it online later, I found a fair amount of variation in how this is made. For one, some people use a cube of bread spread with cream cheese while others fold (or roll) the bread around the cream cheese.  Some use an herbed cream cheese while others use plain. 

I experimented quite a bit (it’s a tough job) and decided that the folded bread was best, because the bread got all nice and crispy!  And I concluded that the extra flavor from an herbed cheese was mostly drowned out by the bacon flavor, so plain is just fine

Bacon Bites

What are Bacon Bites and Rumaki?

You’ll see Bacon Bites called by a variety of names including bacon roll-ups, bacon-wrapped bread bites and more. They are a cousin to the popular rumaki appetizer which consists of water chestnuts (or other ingredients), wrapped in bacon and baked,. 

Per Wikipedia, “Rumaki or rumake is an hors d’oeuvre of tiki culture origin… Rumaki’s ingredients and method of preparation vary, but usually it consists of water chestnuts and pieces of chicken liver wrapped in bacon and marinated in soy sauce and either ginger or brown sugar, then fried or baked.”

It’s an appetizer that’s always popular and now it’s even easier and in this new form!

bacon bites

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  Creaminess sandwiched between crunch from both the bread and smoky bacon.  How good is that!

Easy.  With no marinade (which would make the bread soggy), and simple preparation, this is a perfect recipe for any busy occasion.

Convenient. Since this uses ordinary ingredients, you might already have everything you need.  Even if you forgot to plan in advance!  And I didn’t even pre-soften my cream cheese!

Scalable.  Since this recipe uses common ingredients, it’s really easy to make more or less of these.  This means you can make a big batch for your New Year’s Eve party and please a crowd.  Or a small batch for the Superbowl and save your New Year’s resolutions! 

Bacon bites

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Bread.  This adds crunch and holds the cream cheese.  I have used French bread and thinly sliced store bakery bread.
  • Cream cheese.  This provides a creamy filling and helps keep the bacon bites from being too dry.
  • Bacon.  This provides your main flavor.  Yum!

Special Tools

  • Depending on the length of your bacon, toothpicks can help you keep these together as they cook.  Plus they are great for serving.  I have made with and without toothpicks, but I prefer using them.

Step by Step Directions

Remove bread crusts and cut bread into approximately 1/4” x 1” x 2-3” pieces.  

cut bread

Spread one side of the bread with cream cheese and fold over.

spread with cream cheese

Wrap ½ piece of bacon around the bread and set in a baking pan.  (Consider lining with parchment for easier cleanup.)

wrap with bacon

Bake until both bacon and bread are crisp and browned.

baked!

How to Serve

Bacon Bites are a popular and versatile appetizer.  They fall into the category of finger foods, which are bite-sized treats that are perfect everywhere from cocktail party to football party to well, bridal shower!

And because bacon always feels special, they’ll fit in beautifully for a more elegant holiday like Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Finally, don’t forget Game Day, where anything with bacon is always a hit!  And these are easy and scalable so perfect even if it’s just you and your spouse in front of the TV!

Bacon Bites

Variations and Special Diets

I tried making Bacon Bites with an herbed cheese thinking that the subtle flavor notes would be lovely.  But ultimately the bacon flavor dominated, and the herbal flavors never came through.  But I have heard that stronger flavors like pepper cheese are delicious.   So horseradish is on my list to try next time—doesn’t that sound like a kick!

Of course, the classic rumaki is always an option.  Just wrap water chestnuts in bacon is very common as is chicken liver.  Sometimes a marinade such as soy sauce mixed with brown sugar and a pinch of ginger is used as well.

And some other good “finger food” appetizers you might add to your tray include Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms and Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers. Or take a look at the other suggestions right before the recipe.

Bacon Bites

Leftovers

Nope, no way, no how.  I have never seen a bacon bite left on a tray. 

On the odd chance something was left—just for argument’s sake, let’s say a tornado came through and everyone ran for the basement—I’d try refrigerating covered, then re-crisping in the oven.  Yes, after the tornado blew through and the power came back, ahem.

holding bacon bite

Tips & FAQs

If your bacon is cut thicker than mine, you may need more than a pound to get 24 bacon bites, since there will be fewer slices per pound.  The opposite will be true for thinner cut bacon.

Don’t fuss too much with the exact dimensions of the bread pieces you cut—this is quick and easy, remember!

Use the crusts and any of the remaining bread you won’t use to make some tasty Italian Breadcrumbs.  Those are always nice to have on hand!

If you want to make this (a little) healthier, you can use organic, nitrate-free bacon.  I admit I went conventional this time figuring this was for an occasional appetizer.  But if I made these weekly, I’d surely go more natural. 

Finger Foods for New Years

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Bacon Bites

Bacon Bites Appetizer

Crisp and smoky, this bacon bread bites appetizer is tasty like Rumaki, only easier. With just bread, cream cheese and bacon, you might have everything on hand!
Author: Inger
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 24
Calories 121 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 slices bread thinly cut (~ 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese approximate
  • 1 pound bacon

Instructions
 

  • Remove bread crusts then cut bread into approximately 1/4” x 1” x 2-3” pieces.
  • Spread one side of the bread with cream cheese and fold over.
  • Wrap ½ piece of bacon around the bread and set in a baking pan
  • Bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes until both bacon and bread are crisp and browned. Some of the bacon grease will soak into the bread, and you want it to cook until toasty, not soggy. Pour off bacon grease part way through cooking if needed.
  • Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 pieceCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 184mgPotassium: 57mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 71IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.4mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from original, published on Aug 30, 2018.

8 thoughts on “Tasty Bacon Bites Appetizer (Cheater Rumaki)

  1. Lisa

    Bacon and leftovers?! In what universe does that happen? I know not in my house. These bites are perfect for any party or just because you want bacon!

  2. David

    My favorite version of rumaki is with chicken livers, but I am one of the few that loves them! This version sounds amazing, Inger – and what’s not to like! Can’t wait to try them.

    1. Inger Post author

      I like the chicken liver version too David! Pretty tough to get this wrong 😉

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