Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Classic cocktail smokies are wrapped in smoky bacon, coated with a spicy brown sugar rub, and baked until crispy and oh so addicting!

Party food recipes like these bacon wrapped little smokies are great for game days, holidays, and pretty much any gathering.  Party guests love finger foods and dips!  We LOVE easy, family-favorite recipes like my Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball and this Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket.  This is one of my Appetizer recipes you’ll definitely want in your collection!

Classic cocktail smokies are wrapped in smoky bacon, coated with a spicy brown sugar rub, and baked until crispy and oh so addicting!  Perfect for game day, tailgating, a party, or a fun night at home! #partyfood #appetizer #gameday #lilsmokies #cocktailsmokies #cocktailweiners #bacon

LITTLE SMOKIES RECIPE

No party would be complete without the deliciousness of bacon-wrapped little smokies… but I’ve taken that one step further with a spiced brown sugar rub that renders them absolutely mouthwatering!  Bake them for game day, a cocktail party, or just a casual night in!  Just 5 ingredients!

Game day foods are just the best aren’t they?  They’re so comforting and fun!  It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite, but one that ranks pretty high on the list are these little smokies!

Most people have had little smokies at some point in their lives.. whether they’ve been wrapped in bacon or simmered in bbq sauce in the slow cooker.

I decided that my love of all things sweet/spicy needed to extend to these!  And of course, everything is better with bacon right?!

HOW TO MAKE LITTLE SMOKIES

  1. Prepare baking sheet by lining with 2 sheets of aluminum foil or 1 layer of heavy duty foil.
  2. Pat the smokies dry, then wrap in a piece of bacon.  Secure with a toothpick.
  3. Add sugar and spices to a large plastic bag, then add smokies in batches, shaking gently to coat.  Repeat with all smokies.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes, and if desired, broil for extra crispness.

Picking up a bacon wrapped little smokies

COOKING TIPS FOR COCKTAIL SMOKIES

  • FOIL – make sure you line the baking sheet with 2 layers of regular foil (or one layer of heavy duty foil).  When sugars caramelize, they can be a giant pain to clean off a baking sheet.  Save yourself the time and trouble!
  • SAUSAGE VARIETY – I like to use Hillshire Farms brand, but even within that brand, there are several types.  Little Smokies, Beef Little Smokies, Turkey Little Smokies, Little Weiners, Cheddar Little Weiners, etc.  My preferred type is the original little smokies, but feel free to try other varieties if you’d like.
  • BACON VARIETY – I like to use center cut bacon for this recipe, so you get more “meat” and less fat, but go with whichever brand and type of bacon you like best.  We’re using simple ingredients here, so you want to use the best.

VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE

  • BBQ – bake as directed, then baste with your favorite bbq sauce and broil for several minutes, until smokies are sticky and caramelized.
  • SPICIER – feel free to use more cayenne pepper if you prefer.  You could also slather the bacon wrapped smokies in sriracha or a spicy bbq sauce before coating them in the brown sugar mixture.  A pickled jalapeno slice wrapped with the sausage would be amazing as well.
  • MILDER – omit the cayenne and black pepper all together.

BBQ baked little smokies

MAKING LIL SMOKIES AHEAD OF TIME

I like to assemble these smokies a day ahead of time (just drying the sausage, wrapping in bacon, and securing with toothpick), then keep them covered in the refrigerator.  I also mix up the sugar and spices mixture in a bag, and keep it sealed on the counter.

When I want to serve them, I just coat them and bake!

** You can assemble these completely ahead of time (coating them in sugar and everything), keeping them covered and refrigerated, a day ahead of time.  Several readers noticed that when using this method, the brown sugar had mixed with the natural juices of the sausage and bacon and looked “melted”.  They bake up just fine, but if this bothers you, use the make ahead method I’ve detailed above.

STORAGE

Leftovers should be kept refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 days.

Plate of bacon wrapped little smokies (cocktail sausages)

KEEPING WARM FOR A PARTY

Whenever I make these, they’re gone within the first 20 minutes of a party, but if you want them to stay warm for longer, several readers have mentioned they put the baked smokies in the crockpot on warm and it’s worked out well.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Half Sheet Pan – this is my most used sheet pan, it holds up so well!
  • Toothpicks – if you get lucky, the bacon can stick to itself and seal, but to be safe… I always use these.

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Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies | Mouthwatering, and incredibly simple to make, these little smokies are loaded with sweet, savory and spicy flavors!  Perfect for game day, tailgating, a party, or a fun night at home! | https://www.thechunkychef.com | #party #appetizer #gameday #lilsmokies #bacon

Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Classic cocktail smokies are wrapped in smoky bacon, coated with a spicy brown sugar rub, and baked until crispy and oh so addicting!  
4.96 from 21 votes
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 421
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef

Ingredients

  • 16 oz package of little smokies (or small cooked sausages) I use Hillshire Farm brand
  • 15 slices bacon, each cut into 3 smaller sections
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper more or less, according to your tastes
  • pinch of black pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Prepare a jelly roll pan (or large baking sheet with a rim), with a layer of aluminum foil, lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • Pat sausages dry with a paper towel and wrap each individual sausage with a piece of the cut bacon.  Secure with a toothpick.
  • Add brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper to a large resealable plastic bag.  Use a spoon to combine the sugar with seasonings.  Add several bacon wrapped sausages, seal bag and shake gently to coat.  Repeat with all remaining sausages.
  • Line sugar rubbed sausages on prepared baking sheet and bake 30 -35 minutes, until bacon is browned.  For some extra crispness, broil for a couple of minutes after baking.

Video

Notes

For a bbq version, bake as directed, then baste with bbq sauce and broil on high until sausages are sticky, approximately 3-4 minutes.
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Classic cocktail smokies are wrapped in smoky bacon, coated with a spicy brown sugar rub, and baked until crispy and oh so addicting!  Perfect for game day, tailgating, a party, or a fun night at home! #partyfood #appetizer #gameday #lilsmokies #cocktailsmokies #cocktailweiners #bacon

 

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57 comments on “Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies”

  1. For a little change have you tried chipotle chili powder instead of cayenne, different kind of heat with a hint of smoke.

  2. I just put them in the oven and realized I. Forgot to spray the foil with none stick spray hopefully the bacon grease will coat the pan enough results are coming wish me luck. 

  3. Thank you so much!!❤️❤️❤️

  4. What temperature do I set the oven on? If it’s in the article I must have missed it.

  5. These look AMAZING! These were always one of my favorites growing up. Thanks so much for the simple recipe. Putting these on the list for my next gathering!

  6. Hi these look amazing! My local store has really nice pepper bacon – do you think the pepper taste would be too strong? I would only put the cayenne and brown sugar in the mix and eliminate the ground pepper.

  7. I made these so many times during the football season! Everyone loves them!

  8. These look divine! Will be perfect on my Super Bowl menu! Delish!

  9. Holy smokes (no pun intended) This is one delicious appetizer that will be going down on Super Bowl Sunday! I can’t wait to start wrapping these in bacon.

  10. These have the BEST flavor!!

  11. These bacon wrapped little smokies would disappear in our house!

  12. I pre-cook the bacon before wrapping. I put the smokies on a cooling rack with a jelly roll pan underneath then bake. The smokies don’t burn😃

  13. Amanda, your Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Smokies will be perfect for BBQ’s this weekend or tailgating all through the season. Thanks so much! 🙂 Pinning

  14. Family loved this recipe! Only problem the kids has was I did not make enough! Followed recipe exact. 

  15. I’ll start off just saying these are great and not too spicy as set up in the recipe. Would be kid friendly as is. This was for the people who don’t want to read too much. Make em, you’ll love em!
    Now I made these for my COWBOYS vs Seahawks post season wildcard game. I’m pretty sure that between this and me wearing my lucky COWBOYS shirt, this is the reason they won. The proof being that I did not make these or my shirt for the round 1 playoff game and my Cowboys lost.
    I’m making them again today for some folks coming over to watch the Chiefs spank the patriots. As a displaced Cowboys fan living in Kansas City, I’m a pseudo fan of the Chiefs. I’m pretty sure that this will get them to their next superbowl!
    Seriously tasty snack that everyone will love.
    I broke my batch up into three types. Well two parts for little smokies. I made half just as describes. I made the other half as described but added a slice of pickled jalapeno beneath the wrap of bacon. For the other third, I substituted the smokies with a hunk of chicken tender that I had chopped up. In all cases I used a stroke of BBQ sauce as described because…well because Texas and Kansas City, BBQ is a given.
    Enjoy, you will love this.

  16. A friend gave this recipe can’t wait till New Year’s Eve to try it

  17. Can I make them without the spicy part? Just regular paper

  18. There in the oven now can’t whit to try them they look amazing

    • I am making these now. I never thought ti add spice. The sugar mix was yum yum. I decided to grease some oven racks over foiled baking sheet. Hoping prevents the burning on bottom. Will follow up o. Results. Very excited to try them.. in oven now

  19. Too avoid the brown sugar burning, could you add the brown sugar half way through the cooking process?

  20. How do you keep the bottoms from burning? Absolutely love this recipe but I seem to always burn the bottoms. I assume from the combo of brown sugar and bacon grease. 

  21. Can these be put together and frozen ahead of time?

  22. Hiya😊 These look fabulous and I want to include them in the hot appetizers that I’m planning for my parents 50th anniversary (surprise) party. The surprise makes the planning a little more stealth mode.😎
    So, my question is….can I make these a few hours in advance & keep them warm? Then place into a buffet table (using a Sterno to keep it warm) type presentation? Sorry, I know this is long but I’m getting in the crazy territory here! 😉

    • Hi Christa 🙂 I’ve only made them about an hour in advance, and just kept them covered with foil, and they were still great… but I think keeping them covered and then in a sterno buffet should work just fine! Wow, 50 years… that’s awesome, congrats to them!

      • I make them a lot but I wrap the bacon on them put toothpick in them line them tightly in a large cake pan cover well with brown sugar , bake about 35 to 40 min until bacon is crisp, never had the sugar burn . After baking I put them in a crockpot an keep them on warm for hrs. , also have wrapped them the day before put in pan & add the brow sugar when I’m ready to bake them

  23. I made these and they were the biggest hit!!! I highly recommend them!!!

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  27. I went to a friend’s church potluck luncheon and one of the guys brought a tray of these. OMG! First of all, that he made them himself, and second, they were delicious! (Yes, I know, men DO cook, but this one in particular stunned me! 😁) Of course I had to get the recipe and was happily surprised that they were easy enough to throw together for any gathering. Can’t wait to try them with the cayenne though!

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  29. These look like a winner! Curious if anyone has kept them warm in a crockpot after baking first as directed? Or other ideas to keep warm for “grazing”? Thanks!

    • I make them a lot but I wrap the bacon on them put toothpick in them line them tightly in a large cake pan cover well with brown sugar , bake about 35 to 40 min until bacon is crisp, never had the sugar burn . After baking I put them in a crockpot an keep them on warm for hrs. , also have wrapped them the day before put in pan & add the brow sugar when I’m ready to bake them Erin, I keep them in the crockpot on warm

  30. Great snack. I couldn’t find the smokies so I just cut up little pieces of sausage, which worked just as well. I might kick up the spice a little more next time — and make a lot more of them because they vanished at my party pretty quickly! Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Can I make these before baking a day ahead

  32. I make these little bits on game day an they were a big hit just like my team Thanks☺☺☺

  33. Yes, everything is better with bacon! These are perfect game day food! I’m sure they disappear fast!

  34. Adding brown sugar is such a clever idea! Need to try it, too!

  35. Oh man! I can only imagine how crispy and delicious these are! Perfect little appetizers for game day!

  36. Oh wow! Look at these beauties. You’re right when you say these are perfect for game day or any day if you ask me. Thanks for sharing these smokies!

  37. Oh BEHAVE! I’m seriously drooling just looking at these. The perfect poppable snack!

  38. I could eat so many of these little appetizers!

  39. I absolutely love this appetizer!

  40. I’m only interested in football for the food and I’m not sure I’d really want to share these with other party goers, lol! They look too good!!

  41. These look so AMAZING!!! Loving the pictures! Will definitely be making these!

  42. HOLY smokes!! ( Or should I say, SMOKIES, BAHAHA.)….. anyway, this is MY favorite time of year TOO, and these are so perfect for all of those football games that my hubs is getting ready to watch all season long. I’m putting this on my appetizer list PRONTO. He’ll be thanking you soon! 😉