Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe: Your Ultimate Guide to a Savory Delight

Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe: Your Ultimate Guide to a Savory Delight

Bacon wrapped chicken tenders combine two popular ingredients into a single, delectable dish. This culinary creation emerged from a fusion of American barbecue culture and the universally adored bacon craze. Backyard chefs and food enthusiasts quickly embraced the recipe for its simplicity and robust flavor. Whether served at parties, casual gatherings, or family dinners, bacon wrapped chicken tenders have become a staple among home-cooked appetizers.

Nutritional Overview

Bacon wrapped chicken tenders offer a mix of protein and fat. On average, a single serving (one tender) contains approximately 150-200 calories, 10-15 grams of protein, and 10-12 grams of fat, depending on the bacon’s thickness and the chicken’s portion size. While the dish is rich in flavor, it’s also high in sodium and saturated fats due to the bacon. Moderation is key if you want to enjoy these tasty bites without overindulging in less healthy components. Cooking methods like baking or grilling can further help in reducing excess fat compared to frying.

Essential Ingredients and Substitutes

Types of Bacon Best Suited for Wrapping

Thick-cut bacon works best for wrapping chicken tenders. It holds together well during cooking. Avoid thin-sliced bacon, as it tends to break and doesn’t provide a sturdy wrap. Smoke-flavored bacon adds a depth of flavor that enhances the dish. You might consider turkey bacon if you’re looking for a lower-fat option. Ensure it’s thick enough to stay intact during cooking.

Best Chicken Selections for Tenderness

Use chicken breast tenders for the best texture and tenderness. These cuts cook evenly and stay juicy. For a budget-friendly option, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cutting them into strips. Organic or free-range chicken provides superior flavor and texture, although at a higher cost. Ensure any chicken used is fresh for optimum taste and quality.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Chicken

Begin by selecting fresh chicken breast tenders for the best texture. If you’re using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut them into strips approximately 1 inch wide. Ensure the chicken is patted dry using paper towels to remove excess moisture; this helps the bacon adhere better. Lightly season the chicken strips with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika for a balanced flavor profile.

Wrapping with Bacon

Choose thick-cut bacon for optimal wrapping coverage and flavor absorption. Place a strip of bacon on a clean surface and lay one seasoned chicken tender at one end. Start wrapping the bacon around the chicken, ensuring a tight wrap for even cooking. Overlap slightly to secure the wrap. If needed, use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place. Continue this process for all chicken tenders.

Cooking Techniques and Times

Baking: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange the bacon-wrapped chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they are spaced evenly apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even browning. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 375°F. Place the tenders on the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes per side, turning regularly to avoid burning. Watch for flare-ups due to bacon fat.

Air Frying: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Place the tenders in the basket in a single layer. Air fry for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through for uniform crispiness.

Broiling: Place the chicken tenders on a broiler pan and position them under the broiler set to high. Broil for 10-15 minutes, turning once. Monitor closely to prevent overcooking.

Use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature of 165°F across all methods. Adjust the cooking time if needed based on the thickness of the chicken and bacon.

Serving Suggestions

Pair bacon-wrapped chicken tenders with side dishes to create a full meal. Serve roasted vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or Brussels sprouts for a nutrient boost. Opt for a fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette to balance the rich flavors. For a starch option, consider mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, or a quinoa salad. Each of these sides complements the savory taste of bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, offering variety in texture and flavor.

Sauce Pairings

Enhance the taste of bacon-wrapped chicken tenders with complementary sauces. Barbecue sauce provides a sweet and smoky flavor, while honey mustard adds a tangy and slightly sweet contrast. For a bit of heat, use sriracha mayo or a spicy buffalo sauce. Ranch or blue cheese dressing pairs well if you prefer a creamy dip. Offer multiple options to cater to different taste preferences, making your meal more enjoyable for everyone.

Health Considerations

Caloric and Fat Content Analysis

Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders are high in calories and fat. Depending on portion size, one serving can contain 300-400 calories. The bacon adds significant fat, particularly saturated fat. One tender has about 20-25 grams of fat, with 7-9 grams of that being saturated. While chicken is a lean protein, the bacon changes the nutritional profile. To manage intake, balance this dish with lower-fat sides like salads or steamed vegetables.

Dietary Modifications

To fit different dietary needs, modify the recipe ingredients. Use turkey bacon instead of pork bacon to reduce fat and calories; turkey bacon contains 7-9 grams less fat per serving. For a lower sodium option, choose low-sodium bacon. If avoiding red meat, substitute with plant-based bacon alternatives. These swaps can help make bacon-wrapped chicken tenders align more closely with various diets.


Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders offer a delicious and versatile meal option, perfect for any occasion. By focusing on quality ingredients and mindful preparation, you can enjoy this flavorful dish while keeping health considerations in check. Whether you choose to pair it with roasted vegetables, a fresh salad, or creamy mashed potatoes, the result is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t forget to experiment with different sauce options and consider healthier modifications like turkey bacon to suit your dietary preferences. Enjoy the savory blend of chicken and bacon in every bite!

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