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 is my go-to.
- Stuffing insulates the chicken from within. Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast uses this method.
- 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.
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 a 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.
- 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. Natural sweetness and caramelization that pairs perfectly with the bacon.
- 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 bacon slices 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 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!
Side Dishes That Go Well With Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- 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. Pair this dish with mac and cheese for a meal the entire family will enjoy! The Ultimate Creamy Mac & Cheese (4 Ways!) in my cookbook is the absolute best-ever.
- 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.
- 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 until you’re ready to cook. Brush with the maple syrup mixture just before baking.
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.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making this chicken.
- 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!
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
- 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.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.Register