Angels on Horseback Recipe - A Delicious Oyster and Bacon Dish from the UK

Angels on Horseback

Angels on Horseback Recipe - A Delicious Oyster and Bacon Dish from the UK
Region / culture: United Kingdom | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 8 minutes | Servings: 6


Angels on Horseback
Angels on Horseback

Angels on Horseback is a classic appetizer that combines the delicate flavors of oysters with the rich, smoky taste of bacon, all served on a crisp piece of toast. This dish is perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life and are looking for an elegant starter that is sure to impress guests at any dinner party or special occasion. The combination of textures and flavors makes this recipe a timeless favorite.


The origins of Angels on Horseback can be traced back to 19th century England, where it first appeared as a popular hors d'oeuvre at Victorian banquets. The name itself is thought to be a playful take on the dish's composition, with the oysters representing "angels" due to their delicate nature, wrapped in "horseback" slices of bacon. Over the years, this dish has evolved and been embraced by various cultures, each adding their own twist to the classic recipe.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas 6.
  2. Stretch the bacon so it doesn't shrink when it's cooked.
  3. Using the back of a knife, cut each rasher in half.
  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around each oyster and place them on a baking sheet.
  5. Make sure to pack them tightly to prevent unraveling.
  6. Bake for approximately 8 minutes.
  7. Butter the toast.
  8. Arrange 2 angels on each piece of toast and garnish the dish with watercress.


  • There are several variations of this classic recipe, including using different types of shellfish such as scallops or shrimp. Some versions also incorporate a glaze or sauce, such as a balsamic reduction or a spicy sriracha mayo, to add an extra layer of flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when making Angels on Horseback, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh oysters for the best flavor and texture.

- Stretching the bacon before wrapping it around the oysters helps prevent it from shrinking too much during cooking.

- Secure the bacon-wrapped oysters with toothpicks if necessary to keep them wrapped tightly.

- Watch the oysters closely while baking to avoid overcooking, as this can make them tough.

Serving Suggestions

Angels on Horseback can be served as an elegant appetizer or a sophisticated addition to a brunch menu. They are best enjoyed immediately after cooking, while the bacon is still crispy and the oysters are tender.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Angels on Horseback is wrapping the oysters in bacon and baking them to perfection. Ensuring the bacon is stretched and secured properly will result in a dish where the textures and flavors are beautifully balanced.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those who do not eat pork, turkey bacon can be used as a substitute. Vegetarian versions can be made by wrapping the oysters in a smoky vegetarian bacon alternative. Gluten-free toast can be used to accommodate those with gluten sensitivities.

Make Ahead Tips

While Angels on Horseback are best served fresh, you can prepare the bacon-wrapped oysters ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to bake. This can save time when preparing for a party or gathering.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Angels on Horseback on a platter garnished with fresh watercress or parsley for a touch of color. For an extra elegant presentation, arrange them on individual spoons or small plates for easy serving.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a dry sparkling wine, which can complement the richness of the bacon and the brininess of the oysters.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Angels on Horseback can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F for a few minutes until warmed through. However, for the best texture and flavor, it is recommended to enjoy them freshly made.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Angels on Horseback typically contains a moderate amount of calories, with the majority coming from the bacon and oysters. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the size of the oysters and the type of bacon used.


Each serving of Angels on Horseback contains a minimal amount of carbohydrates, primarily coming from the small slices of toast. The exact carbohydrate content can vary depending on the type of bread used, but it is generally low.


The majority of the fat in this dish comes from the bacon, contributing to its rich flavor. While bacon does contain saturated fats, it also provides a source of monounsaturated fats. The overall fat content can be managed by choosing leaner cuts of bacon or adjusting the portion size.


Oysters are an excellent source of high-quality protein, making Angels on Horseback a dish that can contribute to your daily protein intake. The bacon also adds additional protein to the dish, though it is less significant compared to the oysters.

Vitamins and minerals

Oysters are rich in several important vitamins and minerals, including zinc, vitamin B12, and selenium. These nutrients contribute to various health benefits, such as supporting immune function and energy production. The watercress garnish also adds a nutritional boost, providing vitamins A, C, and K.


This recipe contains common allergens such as shellfish (oysters) and gluten (toast). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this dish or seek suitable substitutions.


Angels on Horseback is a relatively balanced dish, offering a good source of protein and essential nutrients from the oysters, while the bacon adds richness and flavor. The overall calorie and fat content can be managed by making mindful choices regarding the ingredients used.


Angels on Horseback is a luxurious appetizer that combines the delicate taste of oysters with the savory flavor of bacon, all served on a crisp piece of toast. This dish not only offers a delightful culinary experience but also provides nutritional benefits from the oysters. With its rich history and versatility, Angels on Horseback remains a beloved choice for special occasions and gourmet dining.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young bride, eager to impress my new husband with my cooking skills. I had always loved to cook, but I was still learning my way around the kitchen and trying out new recipes.

One day, I was flipping through an old cookbook that had belonged to my mother. As I turned the pages, a recipe caught my eye - Angels on Horseback. The name intrigued me, and as I read the ingredients and instructions, I knew I had to give it a try.

I had never heard of Angels on Horseback before, but the combination of oysters wrapped in bacon sounded delicious. I had always loved seafood, and the idea of pairing it with the smoky flavor of bacon was too tempting to resist.

I set to work gathering the ingredients - fresh oysters, thick slices of bacon, and a few other simple components. As I began to prepare the dish, I found myself lost in the rhythm of chopping, wrapping, and seasoning. The kitchen was filled with the savory aroma of bacon sizzling in the pan, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished product.

When I finally took my first bite of Angels on Horseback, I was blown away by the flavors. The briny oysters contrasted perfectly with the salty, crispy bacon, creating a harmony of tastes and textures that was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special.

I served the dish to my husband that evening, watching eagerly as he took his first bite. His eyes lit up with delight, and he declared it the best thing I had ever cooked. I felt a swell of pride in my chest, knowing that I had created something truly delicious.

From that day on, Angels on Horseback became a staple in our household. I made it for special occasions, family gatherings, and even just for a quiet dinner at home. Each time I cooked it, I found myself falling more and more in love with the recipe.

Over the years, I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing it down through the generations. I have tweaked it and experimented with different variations, always striving to perfect the dish.

But no matter how many times I make Angels on Horseback, it always brings me back to that first time I discovered it in my mother's cookbook. It reminds me of the joy of cooking, the pleasure of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones, and the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with my own hands.

As I sit here now, years later, reminiscing about that moment, I can't help but feel grateful for the simple pleasure of cooking. It has brought me so much joy and fulfillment over the years, and I know that it will continue to do so for as long as I am able to stand in front of a stove.

So here's to Angels on Horseback, a recipe that has brought me so much happiness and deliciousness over the years. May it continue to delight and inspire all who taste it, just as it has done for me. And may we all remember the simple joys of cooking, sharing, and savoring good food with those we love.


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