If you’ve been harboring resentment against boneless, skinless chicken breasts, today is the day of reconciliation. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast is everything this versatile protein should be, yet too often isn’t: marvelously juicy, temptingly tender, and anything but a throwaway to be eaten in the name of being “healthy.”
Also, did I mention it’s wrapped in bacon?
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have the (often justified) reputation for being mouth-suckingly dry and bland.
I’ve even had ones that are weirdly rubbery!
It’s a shame because chicken breasts are inexpensive, widely available, and a healthy source of protein.
They are also mild enough to appeal to picky eaters and versatile enough to take on just about any flavor profile.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on Mission Chicken Redemption.
My goal: to find ways to cook chicken breasts that are juicy—certainly not dry and not tough—and legitimately delicious.
Yes, yes, these chicken breast recipes are healthy, but I promise, they are satisfying and scrumptious too!
There are a variety of methods you can use to make your chicken breast not dry.
- Brining locks in the chicken’s juices. My Baked Chicken Breast and Air Fryer Chicken Breast take advantage of this easy, game-changing option.
- Marinading both tenderizes and flavors the meat. This easy Chicken Marinade and Chicken Thigh Marinade are my go-tos.
- Stuffing insulates the chicken from within. Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast uses this method (try wrapping this recipe in bacon for a scrumptious stuffed bacon wrapped chicken breast).
- Wrapping insulates the chicken from the outside, and bacon is especially effective (pecans are also a hit in my Pecan Crusted Chicken recipe). The bacon’s fat helps keep the chicken juicy.
It also doesn’t hurt that anything wrapped in bacon tastes uhhh-mazing. Case(s) in point: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus and Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
As the bacon cooks, it makes the chicken mouth-wateringly moist and turns addictively crispy.
The contrast of the bacon’s crunch with the chicken’s juicy interior is a thing of beauty.
Add the smokiness of the quick spice rub we have happening here, and you have an easy chicken dinner worth craving.
- Chicken Breast. Tender, lean, protein-packed chicken breasts are scrumptious when seasoned and wrapped in bacon.
- Spice Mixture. A mixture of smoked paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper adds bold flavor to the chicken breast and pairs well with the bacon. The mixture almost makes this taste like smoked bacon wrapped chicken breast.
- Bacon. The ultimate crowd-pleaser! Wrapping the chicken breasts in bacon makes them incredibly flavorful, adds a spectacular crispy element, and takes them from boring to brilliant.
- Maple Syrup. Making bacon wrapped chicken breast with maple syrup provides natural sweetness and caramelization.
- Red Wine Vinegar. Adds brightness and makes this chicken breast recipe anything but one note.
- Stir the spice mixture together.
- Dry the chicken breasts, then coat them in the spice mixture.
- Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each chicken breast.
- Lay the chicken seam-side down in a greased baking dish.
- Stir together the maple syrup and vinegar.
- Brush the vinegar mixture over the chicken breasts. Bake bacon wrapped chicken at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, brushing the tops of the chicken breasts with the pan sauce halfway through. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes (if you’d like to crisp the bacon). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, let rest for a few minutes, then DIG IN!
What Goes Well With Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast?
- Salad. Enjoy bacon wrapped chicken with a side of Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado and Tomato or Pesto Potato Salad.
- Rice. Serve this chicken over a bed of Lemon Rice or Broccoli Rice Casserole.
- Mac and Cheese. Bacon wrapped chicken breast with cheese is amazing! Pair this dish with Instant Pot Mac and Cheese for a meal the entire family will enjoy! The Ultimate Creamy Mac & Cheese (4 Ways!) in my cookbook is delicious too.
- Vegetables. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Crockpot Carrots would be scrumptious with this chicken.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, season the chicken breasts and wrap them in bacon. Cover and refrigerate them in an airtight container until you’re ready to cook. Brush with the maple syrup mixture just before baking.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making bacon wrapped chicken breast recipes.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to tell when your chicken is cooked through.
- Mixing Bowls. This set has ideal sizes for mixing spices, sauces, and more.
Thanks to bacon, tough, dry chicken breasts are an issue no more. If only every problem were this easy to solve!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can cook raw chicken with bacon. The two cooking together is what creates such wonderful flavor. If your chicken is already cooked, make Air Fryer Bacon or Oven Baked Bacon, then crumble it over the top.
Dice bacon wrapped chicken breast and use it to top your favorite salads (like Quinoa Chickpea Salad or Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons) and pastas (like Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese or Cavatelli and Broccoli). It would also be tasty added to a sandwich or wrap.
While I’ve never tested this exact recipe with chicken thighs, I think they would be delicious. I’d recommend following one of my simple chicken thighs recipes and adding bacon to it. Try Grilled Chicken Thighs, Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, or Baked Chicken Thighs.
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 8 ounces each
- 8 bacon slices not thick cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Cracked black pepper optional
- Chopped fresh chives for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the smoked paprika, thyme, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle the chicken evenly on both sides with thyme mixture, rubbing to coat.
- Wrap 2 bacon slices around each breast, covering it as evenly as you can.
- Place the chicken breast, seam-side down, in the prepared dish.
- To the same bowl you used for the seasonings, add the maple syrup and vinegar and stir to combine.
- Brush the tops of the chicken with the maple syrup mixture. If desired, crack black pepper over the top.
- Bake the bacon wrapped chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, until a thermometer inserted at the thickest part registers 165 degrees F (I typically pull my chicken a few degrees early, then let the carryover cooking finish the rest). Brush the chicken with the liquid that has collected at the bottom of the pan halfway through.
- If you’d like to crisp the top of the bacon, switch the oven to broil. Broil the chicken for 1 to 3 minutes, until it is crisped to your liking.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of additional salt. Let rest at least 5 minutes to allow the juices to reincorporate into the chicken. Sprinkle with chives. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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Did you really mean 145F or is that a typo?
Hi Brigitte! Thanks for letting me know, it should read 165F. Thank you!
Absolutely delicious! The chicken breast was perfectly moist and we loved the additon of the maple syrup.
Hi Ana! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Really tasty. The smoked paprika really adds interest to the dish.
Hi Nonny! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
This is a go to in our home and so easy to serve guests! We always finish it off under the broiler for a minute. Paired with “easy baked beans” and “potato zucchini fritters” for a delicious plate!
Hi Beth! Thank you for your feedback and so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
This was excellent. Very easy to make and the chicken was very juicy. Thanks!
Hi Andrea! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for this kind review!
Ok, Erin… I was blown away with this super simple recipe. Amazing flavors!! I had to substitute honey and balsamic vinegar for the maple syrup and red wine vinegar, but it was delicious! My husband agreed that we should add this to our rotation of recipes, and our toddler LOVED the bacon. Thank you for sharing this mouth watering recipe!
Hi Carrie! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Thx for sharing this recipe, it looks fab! I am planning to try it tonight but don’t have red wine vinegar on hand. Do you think apple cider or a bit of regular vinegar would do? Thank you :)
Hi Rachel! I’ve only tested the recipe as written so it would be hard to say. I wouldn’t recommend white distilled or balsamic vinegar but the apple cider might work. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!
OMGOOOODNESS!!! I used every ingredient listed (I didn’t substitute anything), I marinated the chicken overnight in the fridge, cooked them on 425* for 25mins and then broiled them on high for 2mins and OMGOOOODNESS THEY WERE DELICIOUS 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼! This might be my signature dish and easy to do!
Hi Shedana! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Sooo good!! The chicken was moist and tasty! Really easy to put together and looks fancy enough for a dinner party
Hi Dorian! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Hi Carol! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Made as recipe stated. It was good, but way too salty.
If using regular bacon and not low sodium, then I would not add any salt to the rub or ‘garnish’. The bacon itself is salty enough in our opinion.
And I would change the Red Wine vinegar for Balsamic.
Oh, and even though I had the overhead oven fan ON, the smoke detectors still went OFF. The Maple syrup or the Bacon, one of them (or both) smoked a wee bit too much!
Hi Barb! Did you happen to use table salt instead of kosher salt?
No, I used Kosher Salt as per recipe.
Maybe the brand of bacon was overly salty? First time using that particular brand. Next time will try with our regular brand!
This is a really good recipe for the moistest chicken I’ve ever had I did it in the air fryer but the only issue Is that instead of a teaspoon of dried thyme maybe a half or less it’s just too over powering other than that it’s a really good recipe I recommend and this coming from a chef
Hi Adam! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and feedback!