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holiday appetizers phyllo cups five ways garlic shrimp with bacon bits and lemony breadcrumbs and garnished with parsely

Shrimp, Bacon & Lemony Breadcrumbs

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  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 phyllo cups 1x


Looking for some snacky crunchy things to serve your guests? I've got holiday appetizers: phyllo cups five ways and you are going to love them


Units Scale

  • 15 medium shrimp (MORE DETAIL ON SIZE - note #1)
  • 15 phyllo cups (one package)
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced garlic (1 medium clove)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon wedge (to squeeze over shrimp)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, more if needed


Lemony breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • zest from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley


  1. This recipe calls for 4 strips of cooked bacon. You can cook the bacon the day before or at the beginning of preparing this recipe. Plan your time. (see note#2)
  2. Melt butter and olive oil in a pan on medium heat, then add the panko crumbs. Toss the panko until everything is coated in the butter and olive oil. Turn heat to low-to-medium and cook until golden brown – stirring when needed.
  3. While keeping an eye on the panko and stirring it, finely dice the onion.
  4. After dicing onions, check and stir the breadcrumbs again.
  5. Finely dice the garlic.
  6. By the time you chop the onion and garlic the panko should be golden brown. Give one final stir and remove from heat.
  7. Using a microplane or the finest side of a box grater – zest one half of a lemon.
  8. Chop the parsley for the breadcrumbs plus a little extra for garnishing the serving plate later.
  9. Chop the cooled bacon into tiny bacon bits. I cooked mine a few hours earlier so I was ready to go at this point. Plan your time with that one. If you cooked bacon earlier, chop it now and you can reheat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before assembling the phyllo cups.
  10. Spread out the phyllo cups on a small sheet pan and cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. For this appetizer, we are cooking the phyllo cups alone and adding hot ingredients to them when they come out of the oven.
  11. Peel 15 shrimp. Try to remember the pinch, pull, peel method here. Gently pinch the tail and pull it from the shrimp. There is meat in the tail and we don’t want to pull that off when removing the tail. The rest of the shell will peel away very easily. Do this for all the shrimp. Should only take a few minutes. I put the peeled shrimp in a large bowl.
  12. Spread out shrimp in bottom of bowl and season with salt and pepper on one side only.
  13. Add the lemon zest and parsley to the cooled down panko bread crumbs and toss to combine. Make sure to break up the lemon zest so its evenly distributed.
  14. Add canola oil to a pan and heat on medium and let the oil get hot. Then add the shrimp and lay each shrimp flat on one side. Cook for two minutes without touching.
  15. Turn each shrimp over and clear a small circle in middle of pan for the diced onions, then add the onions and a splash more oil. Cook for one minute and mix the onions only with a small spatula.
  16. Add the garlic to the center with the onions and let cook one minute – stir with the onions.
  17. Combine shrimp, garlic and onions together and toss a few times. Squeeze one lemon wedge over the shrimp, one final mix and remove from heat.
  18. To assemble, place one piece of shrimp (make sure to get some of the onion and garlic too) in each cup. I placed them on one side of the phyllo cup so that the thicker end was popping out of the top a bit. Next, spoon in some bacon bits on the other side of the phyllo cup. Lastly, spoon on a little lemony bread crumbs.
  19. Arrange on a serving plate or platter and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley if you want.


  1. I used frozen medium, raw shrimp/41-50 per pound/e-z peel/deveined/tail on. I found this was the best size to fit in the phyllo cup. Remove 15 shrimp from the bag (more if you want to have a few extra on hand) and keep the rest in the freezer/ Leave refrigerator overnight to defrost.
  2. It’s fine to cook and chop the bacon the day before and might work better if you’re making this at the holidays when kitchen space can get tight. Simply put the bacon bits in a small ramekin or bowl and cover in plastic wrap. Before assembling the appetizer, microwave for 10-15 seconds to re-heat. Longer if needed but don’t microwave for more than 15 seconds at a time. Weird things might happen to the bacon.