This bacon wrapped chicken tenders recipe makes the most delicious juicy chicken bites. Use chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins, season them with my amazing spice blend, wrap them in bacon, then put them in the air fryer or the oven. That's all there is to it!
Whenever I want an easy and delicious dinner that I know my whole family will eat, I make something wrapped in bacon. It's one of our favorite ways to get dinner on the table on busy weeknights. In fact, I made these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders last night as the main dish.
This easy recipe can be ready in about 30 minutes (less time if you use your air fryer) and then the leftovers can be used for a quick lunch the next day. I love to eat them with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing.
Down below I will also give instructions on how to easily remove the tough white tendon from boneless chicken tenders.
This easy bacon wrapped chicken tenders recipe uses simple ingredients, but I provide swap options incase you want to make them your own. The full recipe card with exact measurements is toward the bottom of the page.
Chicken tenders or chicken breasts: If you use chicken tenders, it is advisable to remove the tendon so they are easier to eat (I give instructions for that down below). I prefer to use chicken breasts cut into 4 pieces to make my chicken tenders. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half again to make 4 pieces of chicken that resemble a tender.
This yummy chicken recipe also works with other pieces of chicken like boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Bacon: You want your strips of bacon to not be thick cut, just regular bacon. This is to make sure you get crispy bacon before the chicken overcooks.
Seasoning mixture: This contains salt, black pepper, smoked paprika (or whichever you have), garlic powder, dried oregano, and onion powder. This mix really gives the bacon-wrapped tenders a flavor explosion!
Bacon wrapped chicken tenders in the air fryer
Here are step-by-step with photos and helpful tips for this easy chicken recipe. You can also find the full recipe on the recipe card down below.
Have your air fryer basket standing by while you prepare the bacon wrapped tenders.
Start by prepping the tenders by removing the tendon (optional) or cutting your chicken breasts into tender size pieces.
In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings.
Place the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle the seasoning over top. Mix well with tongs.
Grab a slice of bacon and a chicken tender and wrap the bacon around the tender from tip to tip, then place chicken in the air fryer basket. Continue with the rest of the chicken tenders and place them in a single layer in the air fryer.
Air fry for 10-12 minutes at 400F, flipping halfway through. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken. Use an internal temperature meat thermometer to make sure each piece of chicken is cooked to 165F.
Cooking bacon wrapped tenders in the oven
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a rimmed baking sheet or cookie sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat, if desired. Please do not use parchment paper as it can ignite under the broiler. I think the best way is to use foil so you can discard it with the bacon grease.
Season with the spice mix and wrap each chicken tender with a piece of bacon, just as in the air fryer instructions. Place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Carefully move the oven rack under the broiler and turn the broiler on low. Continue to cook the bacon wrapped chicken tenders under the broiler until the bacon is crisp. Flip each piece to the other side and continue to broil until the bacon slice is crispy on the second side. The whole cooking process will take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
I like this method of finishing off at high temperatures so you get crispier bacon without over-cooking your chicken.
Removing the tendon
The tendon is usually hanging out of one end of the chicken tenderloin. Grab the tendon firmly with a small piece of a paper towel and place the tendon between the tines of a fork. In one motion, pull the tendon up with one hand and push the fork down with the other hand. This will pull the tendon right out.
Side dishes to make this a full meal
- Easy Parmesan Green Beans
- Keto cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Air Fryer Asparagus
- Loaded Cauliflower Rice Casserole
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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe - Air Fryer or Baked
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 8-10 chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into tenders
- 8-10 slices of bacon (not thick cut)
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, if desired.
- Combine the seasonings in a small bowl. Add all of the tenders to a large bowl and sprinkle the seasonings on top. Toss to coat.
- Grab a slice of bacon and a chicken tender. Wrap the chicken tender from end to end with the bacon. Place on the baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the chicken and bacon and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake them in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully move the rack under the broiler. Heat the broiler on low. Broil the chicken tenders on each side until the bacon is crisp, this will take only a few minutes per side so keep an eye on it.
- Air fryer: Place each wrapped tender in the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce such as bbq sauce, honey mustard, or ranch!
- Store leftover tenders for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.