Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders are a quick and easy meal or appetizer. Juicy seasoned chicken tenderloins are wrapped in bacon and air-fried, creating delicious chicken strips that are made for dipping. With so many ways to enjoy them, they are perfect for the whole family.
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What are Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders?
Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders are seasoned chicken tenderloins wrapped in bacon and air-fried.
Just like chicken strips, these tasty bacon-wrapped tenders can be enjoyed as an appetizer or meal. They come together easily with just a few simple ingredients and take just 15 minutes to cook.
They are something that can be enjoyed by the entire family and are a perfect quick meal for busy weeknights. Because you don’t have to worry about exact measurements, it’s an easy recipe to make with whatever you happen to have on-hand.
Serve them alongside your favourite dipping sauce, such as BBQ sauce, ranch, honey mustard, or sweet chili sauce.
If you don’t have chicken tenderloins available, you can cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into strips instead.
They can also be prepared ahead of time and popped in the air fryer when you are ready to serve. Leftovers can be enjoyed cold, or reheated, making them perfect for a quick lunch.
Ingredients & Substitutions
For a complete list of ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Chicken tenderloins – Chicken tenderloins work perfectly for this recipe as they are just the right size to wrap a piece of bacon around; they are juicy and tender and cook quickly. If you can’t find tenderloins, you can cut chicken breasts into small strips instead.
Bacon – You will want half a slice of bacon for each chicken strip. We recommend thin-sliced bacon as it is easier to wrap and cooks faster than thick bacon. You can use regular bacon or turkey bacon if you prefer.
Seasonings – This recipe uses a seasoning blend of brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard and smoked paprika. The flavors are simple but go well with the chicken and smoky bacon. However, you can add other seasonings, such as chili powder or black pepper, or use your favourite spice mix, such as ranch or bbq seasoning.
Step by Step Instructions
Mix the seasoning in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the chicken pieces, turning them to coat them fully.
Unless your chicken tenders are extremely large, cut the slices of bacon in half, then wrap each half around one chicken tender.
Place the wrapped chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Then place the basket in the air fryer and set it to 350°F.
Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the bacon is crispy, flipping the tenders at the halfway point.
Chicken is done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Pro Tip: It’s ok if the chicken tender isn’t completely covered in bacon. You want to avoid overlapping it to much, as it will take longer to cook and will be harder to achieve crispy bacon.
Pro Tip: Because this is cooked in an airfryer, most of the bacon grease should drip below the basket, but if the chicken is too greasy when you take it out of the air fryer you can move it to a paper towel to absorb some of the bacon grease before serving.
Our favorite dipping sauce is honey mustard or ranch, but they are also delicious with barbecue sauce or chili sauce.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
They can also be frozen for several months.
Top Tips & FAQS
- Choose thin-cut bacon for this recipe rather than thick. Thick bacon will be harder to wrap and take longer to cook, resulting in over-cooked chicken.
- If you can’t find chicken tenderloins, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips.
- Try to avoid overlapping the bacon too much when wrapping the chicken, as it will not cook through or crisp as nicely.
If you prefer turkey bacon instead of pork, that is perfectly fine.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the oven, microwave or air fryer. In the air fryer, they should take just a few minutes at 350°F.
More Easy Air Fried Chicken Recipes
Air Fried Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders
- 12 chicken tenderloins
- 6 slices bacon thin cut
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- Mix the brown sugar, smoked paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, and dry mustard in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the chicken pieces, turning to ensure they are fully coated.
- Cut the bacon slices in half, then wrap half of a slice of bacon around each tender.
- Lay the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Set the air fryer to 350°F and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through. They are done when the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is slightly crisp.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.Click here to join our Facebook group : Air Fryer & Instant Pot Recipes and Cooking Tips