Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Please meet my new favorite appetizer. Main dish. Snack. Whatever. Simply fabulous, these bacon-wrapped chicken bites are perfect anytime, anywhere you want to serve them.

Not just bacon and chicken, these tasty morsels are first seasoned with a zesty mix of herbs and spices and then the entire wrapped package is dredged in a mix of chili powder and brown sugar…and…I mean, you see where I’m going with this, right? It’s like the most brilliant and delicious marriage of sweet and savory and a little heat and lots of flavor. And bacon, too, of course.

We ate these (ok, devoured these) one night for dinner. I don’t honestly remember what I even served them with. Everything else paled in comparison.

As Sally says (my sweet blogger friend who inspired me with these), this recipe quite possibly could be the key to winning just about anyone over. I actually know real, live people who’ve eaten this amazing bacon-wrapped chicken at Sally’s house and I tell you, I’ve never heard anyone gush over food like they do when asked about the bacon chicken thingies. I admit to kind of rolling my eyes until I actually made them myself. Gush. You’ll gush. I promise.

PS: If you didn’t see the post yesterday, be sure to check out the two new video tips I added just in time for all the chocolate being melted around the world this time of year.Β 

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

One Year Ago: Licorice Caramels and a Simple Step-by-Step Paper Cone {Sugar Rush Gift Edition #5}
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Shortbread Fingers
Three Years Ago: Hot Pizza Dip Bites

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

Yield: Serves 6 (or more as an appetizer)

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

One of the keys to this chicken being incredible is making sure the chicken itself is good and seasoned before wrapping the bacon around it so don't skimp on the seasonings you add to the chicken in the bowl, especially the salt and pepper. I may even consider adding a light sprinkle of salt and pepper over the chicken/bacon right before it bakes next time.


  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 16-ounce package sliced bacon, thick cut or regular
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you have it, place an uncoated metal cooling rack inside a foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. If not, line a baking pan or broiling pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-sized pieces. If using chicken tenders, cut them in half (you can fold over the chicken tender pieces when wrapping so they'll be thicker). Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl and toss with the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and red pepper. Let it hang out while preparing the rest of the ingredients (you can cover and refrigerate up to a day).
  3. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and chili powder together. Cut the entire slab of bacon into thirds.
  4. Wrap each chicken piece with small strip of bacon and holding tightly, dredge them in the brown sugar/chili powder mixture. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet (or rack set inside the baking sheet). If the bacon isn’t staying put, you can secure with a toothpick.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Flip it once if the chicken is laying directly on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Sally at Good Dinner Mom

59 Responses to Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites {Main Dish or Appetizer!}

  1. Andrea L. says:

    Hey there, Mel – Happy New Year! I’ve been flirting with the idea of trying this, something that I normally jump into whole-heartedly when it comes to your stuff, however I have a slight conundrum. One of my little ones is pretty sensative to heat, so I am a little hesitant about the chili powder and red pepper flakes. In reading the comments, I did not see anyone mention it being very spicy. However, I was wondering how your kiddos fared? Would you suggest trying it as-is with little ones (and a big cup of milk waiting in the wings) or recommend pairing back the heat?

  2. Andrea L. says:

    Hey there, Mel – Happy New Year! I’ve been flirting with the idea of trying this out, a venture I normally jump into whole-heartedly when it comes to your stuff, but I’m a little reluctant due to a slight heat conundrum. One of my little ones is pretty sensative to spice, thus making me uncertain about the chili powder and red pepper flakes. Reading through the comments, I didn’t find anyone mentioning it being very spicy, however I was wondering how your kiddos fared? Would you recommend trying it as-is with little ones (and a large cup of milk waiting in the wings) or scaling back the heat?

    • Mel says:

      A lot depends on the variety of chili powder you use because each brand differs in spiciness but you could make cut the chili powder in half and leave out the crushed red pepper flakes. As is, my kids gobble these up – we haven’t found them overly spicy at all.

  3. Elisa says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I originally got introduced to this recipe at a work function for Thanksgiving. One of the girls brought this in and when I first tried it I was in “heaven”…I now make this every a Christmas for brunch with my family. It’s super DELICIOUS!!!! Thank you for posting the recipe here!

  4. Sabina says:

    These are amazing, i halved the chilli the second time i made these as they were very full on first time around. Husbands fave

  5. evony says:

    Have you ever tried this with turkey bacon?

  6. KS says:

    These look so yummy!! We are feeding the missionaries and I’m looking for something they might enjoy and something they may not get often. This looks like a perfect fit. One question though, my husband is avoiding sugar (*gasp*!!) and was wondering if I could make it with honey instead of brown sugar? Any thoughts? If it comes down to it, I’ll just make some for him without the sugar and the rest for us in all the goodness. Thanks for all the yumminess you bring to our home!

  7. connie reading says:

    I just made these and they are scrumptious to say the very least…yummae.!

  8. Amanda N. says:

    Omg… I’m making this now and just took them out to see how they were cooking and the taste is blowing my mind!!!! Whoa!!!!!!!

    I seasoned my chicken well. Added Herbs de Provence and Cajun spice In addition to the seasonings shown here. I didn’t measure the seasonings because I’m a seasoned cook πŸ˜‰ (pun intended). No need to measure seasonings , you can’t really mess up chicken breast. But if you are new to cooking in general, use this recipe as your guide, since you dont have a cooking conscience yet lol

  9. Melissa L. says:

    These are delicious, but I felt the temp had to be at 450 F, to get the bacon a bit closer to crispy (I used fattier bacon). I agree with Jeanne (July 4) – using bacon with a more even meat-to-fat ratio will make a huge difference in how yummy these are. With that better bacon I’m sure 350 F would be fine.

  10. Jeanne says:

    Delicious perfection! I should have tripled the batch! Next time I’m going to splurge and buy the nicer, more expensive bacon. I think it will make a difference. We don’t have a rack so we just use the broiler pan. Worked fabulously, even though we didn’t use foil the clean up was really pretty easy…soaked for a few minutes and all the bacon caramel-y goodness came right off!

  11. Kristen says:

    These were flavorful, and the chicken was wonderfully tender, but is the bacon supposed to get crisp? I thought it would, but it did not turn out that way.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kristen – the bacon crisps up a little better if it bakes on a rack inside a baking sheet but even then, I wouldn’t say it’s super crisp. Kind of in between soft and crisp.

  12. Colleen says:

    Hubby makes these for the kids for dinner on his cook nights except he calls them caterpillars they love them!

  13. Kristen B says:

    These are soooooo good! Any idea what would go well with these? I want to make them as a main dish but am at a loss for what would work well for sides? They are just so tasty and unique I don’t know what would compliment them. Thank you!

  14. Desiree says:

    Oh my gosh! Delicious! We’ve had them as our main course for dinner about 5 times since I was emailed the recipe in December. Love them!
    I intentionally make extra (there are only 3 at my dinner table) because we actually don’t mind them reheated. My daughter loves to get home from school, zap a few and snack!
    My question Mel (or other fans)….could I prep these, wrap with bacon and then freeze. Basically have them all built and ready to go. I’m assuming I would not cook from frozen. I’d have to thaw them before use, but hmmmm…….thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried the frozen step but I think it stands a good chance of working – maybe thaw them in the refrigerator before popping them in the oven?

    • LeeAnne says:

      Yes, they work great! I’ve made these a few times (holy cow they’re so good), and I always end up with a few extras so I just pop them in a freezer bag. My husband thawed them and baked them for himself while I was out of town, and he said they turned out just as good πŸ™‚

      • Desiree says:

        Thank you so much for answering! I’ll try to freeze half next time I make them. They aren’t all that hard to whip up but it sure would be nice to have them on hand.

  15. Natasha says:

    Wowsers! These were fantastic! The perfect football party food or anytime food.

  16. Kimberly says:

    Made these yesterday for the NFL games at a friends house…HUGE hit!! We served them with your best bbq sauce and it was amazing!

  17. Nicole H says:

    I made this last Sunday and my husband, who is pretty sure that sweet and savory should not go together in one bite for dinner, LOVED this, and so did my brother in law who came over last minute. We had it as the main course with some herb roasted russet and sweet potatoes and some grean beans. Delicious! Thanks for this recipe!

  18. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel,

    Could I make this with boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts to cut up in bite size pieces?

  19. Alison says:

    I made these for a birthday party this weekend (about 30 attended) and they were gone in 10 minutes! Rave reviews from everyone and really easy to make. I think this dish will be a request anytime I’m assigned an appetizer.

    Thanks Mel πŸ™‚

  20. Monica says:

    Just made these tonight for dinner. It was super easy and fun to make as well as to eat. Love the combination of flavors and how moist the chicken stays. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. patti says:

    this sounds really good, but I think I’ll try it without the sugar . what do you think

  22. Quintin says:

    Ok these look delicious, I think I will make them for my husbands work Christmas party since the lovely man I married signed me up to make an entree….thanks hunny!!! πŸ™‚ Any tips on how to travel these? (my husbands work is about 25 minutes away)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Quintin – my husband does that to me all the time, too. πŸ™‚ For travel, I’d make and bake these and then either put them in a smaller slow cooker or even just a 9X13-inch pan and cover with foil. They are fine if they are at room temperature or only slightly warm. The one thing to avoid is to have baked them, refrigerated and then reheated. They don’t reheat super well.

      • Quintin says:

        thanks!! that’s what i was thinking, just wanted to make sure, PS you are my Go-to for any recipe because I know it’s stellar, my family loves the Unbelievable Chocolate Cake ( I do my own chocolate buttercream with it) it’s everyone’s “birthday” cake request πŸ™‚ Thanks for always coming through for recipes πŸ™‚

    • Shellie says:

      I made these last night for dinner, they were amazing. I added smoked paprika as well because I was a bit short on chili powder. My family has decided they want these for Christmas dinner this year, talk about easy, peasy! Thanks Mel! πŸ™‚

  23. Amanda says:

    It’s me! It’s me! I’m the lucky “mutual friend”! Love you ladies and I love this dish. It’s my husband’s all time number one favorite thing ever!

  24. Those look amazing! That combination sounds absolutely fantastic. These are definitely going on the list of things to make soon!

  25. Tracey says:

    Would this travel well for a potluck event? Or would they get soggy/dried out?

    • Janiece says:

      Along this line, any tips on taking them to a potluck appetizer event to keep them from getting soggy or drying out? I was going to take Chicken Satay but BACON, come on. There is never enough protein at appetizer events, ya know? It is all dips and crackers. I know these will be super popular.

      • Mel says:

        I haven’t stored these for any length of time but my guess is that after they are baked, you could probably put them in a slow cooker or a pan covered with foil and serve them that way. They are ok at room temperature or slightly warm – they just don’t do well being made, refrigerated and reheated (in my opinion).

    • Mel says:

      I think this would work fine – I’d probably bake the chicken bites and then toss them in a slow cooker to keep warm.

  26. Ha! I’ve heard Jim Gaffigan’s bacon bit…hysterical! This is one of those appetizers that goes bite and everyone wants more…Delicious recipe!

  27. Tanya M. says:

    This is so timely! πŸ™‚ I was watching the comedian Jim Gaffigan yesterday while I was on the treadmill (makes an hour exercising zip by.. if you can laugh and run at the same time!?) and he joked about bacon for like 10 minutes. Hilarious! Anyway, I have a pound of bacon in my fridge waiting to be turned into something fabulous… and this looks like just the thing! My boys love anything bacon. Thanks!

  28. Diane says:

    These look amazing!

  29. Haha! I know just who you’re talking about – “I actually know people who have had these at Sally’s house”. I have a friend FOR LIFE in our mutual friend thanks to the bacon wrapped chicken “thingies” alone! I just had someone ask on my blog if they could be made with chicken tenders, so I’ve added the link in my reply. Love your version, Mel. Thanks for making them. These are a true party favorite… every year. Love you! <3

  30. Sarah says:

    This is perfect! For our family Christmas party, we always do appetizers for dinner. Basically, everyone brings an appetizer and we just graze all night. Everyone else always brings frozen stuff, like poppers or pizza bites, etc. I would be the star if I brought these, especially since they’re covered in bacon. I am also curious if I could make ahead, or if they really do need to be served right out of the oven, since, chances are, the oven will be taken with the aforementioned frozen crap. Thanks!

  31. Amanda says:

    Yay I have been looking for a recipe like this! My friend makes one similar and she uses the juice leftover in the pan and pours it over rice. So I’m wondering is there a lot of liquid left in the pan when this is finished baking? I was just trying to figure out if she adds something else to make so much leftover liquid.

  32. Linda | Brunch with Joy says:

    Yum! What can I say about these delicious bites….fabulicious! I can totally dig them for appetizer to main entree, and perhaps dessert? πŸ™‚

  33. Meghan says:

    We have two Christmas parties this weekend and I would like to bring something. These look fabulous….. Do you think I could make them ahead and then bring them? Do you think they would be ok at room temp or should they really be served warm? (I’m always hesitant to bring something to a potluck that requires “heating up” since I assume that the hosts need their oven). Thanks, Meghan.

    • Mel says:

      I think these are definitely fine if they’ve lost a little warmth and are at room temp. The one thing I’d stay away from is making them and baking them a few days in advance and then reheating the day of. I think they could be assembled and ready to bake ahead of time but try to bake them within a couple hours of serving.

  34. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! These would be the perfect appetizer for any occasion!

  35. Sweet + Savory + Bacon! These look absolutely amazing! I love that they can be a main dish or appetizer. Can’t wait to try them!

  36. Cammee says:

    My boys will love these!

  37. Charlotte Moore says:

    Tried to save the recipe to the Epicurious Clipper and it wouldn’t work.

  38. Amy W. says:

    Now I know what to serve for dinner tonight! These look fantastic! Thanks, Mel! πŸ™‚

  39. Hmmm. I think I know what to make for dinner tonight. Thanx!

  40. Sheila says:

    I love these! I make them every year for our family New Year’s Eve party. Found them in a newspaper article about 10 year ago. The small clipping is now yellowed and marred from years of use. They are every bit as delicious as you describe. Ummm . . .never thought about having them as a fun supper. Thanks, Mel.

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