Bacon/ Chicken/ Finger Food

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

May 14, 2020 by Chris Collins

These bacon wrapped chicken tenders are perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Better still, they truly couldn’t be easier to make!

closeup shot of chicken tender resting on small white pot of dipping sauce

Chicken Tenders

I mean sure, chicken tenders are great, but realistically is anything wrapped in bacon not just infinitly better?! Any disagreement with that statement may mean you’re on the wrong blog 🤣Anywho, let’s talk tenders.

Contrary to popular belief, chicken tenders aren’t just sliced chicken breast. The tender is actually the strip of meat directly under the breast meat, and as the name suggests, is often more ‘tender’ than the breast itself.

Can I use Chicken Breast for this recipe?

Yes, for all intents and purposes the breast sliced into strips works just fine.

To get things going there’s 2 steps to ensure you prep the tenders right:

  1. Ensure they’re taken out the fridge around 15mins before using. Cooking meat straight from the fridge causes it to seize up and go chewy.
  2. Season them well! Here I use smoked paprika, onion & garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

How to season chicken tenders - 3 step by step photos

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Right, chicken prepped, let’s talk bacon.

I find 1 rasher of bacon per tender works perfectly. If your tenders are particularly chunky you can use 1.5, but I can’t see you needing to. Here in the UK I use what we call ‘streaky bacon’ of which I’m continually reminded by my US followers this is just regular bacon 😂

To wrap the tenders, simply start at one end, work your way to the other end and tuck in the bacon at the end. This will stop them unraveling.

Can I prep these ahead of time?

Absolutely! Just tightly cover and store in the fridge (up to 24 hours). Or you can actually freeze them (up to one month) then just thaw in the fridge.

How to make bacon wrapped chicken tenders - 3 step by step photos

How to cook Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Most recipes bake the tenders. Here I actually pan fry them.

I find that when you bake them, to achieve crispy bacon, because of how much smaller tenders are than the actual breast, you have to slightly sacrifice the juiciness of the chicken. When you pan fry over medium heat you can render down the fat of the bacon easier, leaving the outside crispy. The direct heat of the pan will crisp up the bacon nicely without drying out the chicken.

So, can I bake them?

You can, and honestly difference isn’t huge (I’m just a food snob). I do recommend switching on the grill and broiling for a few mins at the end if the bacon isn’t quite crispy enough though. The difference between tenders wrapped in crispy bacon and tenders wrapped in cooked bacon IS huge.

How to fry bacon chicken tenders - 2 step by step photos

How to serve Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

One of my favourite ways to serve these tenders is with a dip. You can really use any dip you fancy – I do have a whole category dedicated to Delicious Dips if you need some inspo ๐Ÿ™‚

Honey Mustard Dip

Here I serve them with a honey mustard dip. At it’s heart, honey mustard dip is simply equal parts mayo, mustard and honey. I also add in a dollop of sour cream for some extra creaminess and a dash of lemon juice, just to cut through the sweetness of the honey.

You could also serve them with a side salad and French Fries or Wedges!

hand dunking tender into dip in small white pot

And there we have it! They really are that easy to make.

If you’re after more tender goodness then definitely make sure you check out my Crispy Oven Baked Tenders and Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders!

If you’re looking for more bacon wrapped recipes then check out my Pigs in Blankets!

Alrighty, that’s all the tips I’ve got for you on this one. Let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?!

closeup over head shot of chicken tender

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How to make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tendersย (Full Recipe & Video)

hand dunking tender into dip in small white pot

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

These bacon wrapped chicken tenders are perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Better still, they truly couldn't be easier to make! Recipe will make approx 12 tenders.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Finger Food / Side Dish
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 12 tenders
Calories: 104kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ1.50 / $2

Equipment:

  • Large Frying Pan & Tongs
  • Small Pot (for spice mix)
  • Small Pot (for dipping sauce)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

  • 1lb / 500g Chicken Tenders (see notes)
  • 12 single rashers of Streaky Bacon, or as needed
  • 1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar (optional - leave out for keto)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or to preference)
  • Olive Oil, as needed

Honey Mustard Dip (optional)

  • 1/4 cup / 60g Mayo (full fat)
  • 1/4 cup / 60g Dijon Mustard (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup / 60g Honey
  • 1 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice (see notes)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Ensure you take your meats out 15mins before they're needed. Frying cold meat will cause it to seize up and go chewy. You want them close to room temp before they hit the pan.
  • In a small pot combine 1.5tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, garlic powder and sugar (optional), 1/4-1/2tsp salt and 1/4tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste).
  • Lay out your tenders and sprinkle over half your spice mix. Rub into meat, flip then repeat.
  • Take one rasher of bacon and starting at one tip of the tender, wrap around until you meet the other end, ensuring you tuck in the bacon at the end to stop in unfolding. Repeat with all the tenders.
  • Heat up a good glug of oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add your tenders (depending on pan size you may need to work in batches). Fry until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered down, and the chicken is completely white through the centre. Depending on the size of your tenders this could take between 8-12mins.
  • It's important to keep the heat no higher than a medium. This will draw out the bacon fat nicely. Cooking any higher will just char the bacon, leaving the bacon fat soft and the chicken potentially uncooked. See notes for baking options.

Honey Mustard Dip

  • Combine 1/4cup/60g mayo, honey and dijon mustard with 1 tbsp sour cream and 1 tsp lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. See notes for subs.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Chicken Tenders - If you can can your hands on actual tenders then great. If not just slice up chicken breast into strips. I find using 3 breasts works out to around 1lb/500g, each breast sliced into 4 tenders which is 12 in total (as recipe states).
b) Room Temp Meat - Another reminder to make sure you don't fry these cold straight out the fridge. They'll release a tonne of moisture and the bacon won't go crispy.
c) Baking Option - You can bake these, however I find they crisp up better in the pan and also come out slightly less dry. However, if you were to bake them I recommend placing them on a wire rack (so they crisp up all round) and bake at 200C/390F for 20-25mins or until piping hot through the centre and crispy on the outside. I usually go for 20mins and switch on the grill and broil at the end just to crisp the bacon up.
d) Make Ahead - These are perfect to prep ahead. No need to get them out the fridge early (because they'll be going straight back in). Just wrap them up and tightly cover in the fridge for up to 24hours, then take them out 15mins before cooking and follow recipe. You can also tightly cover and FREEZE them, just thaw in the fridge overnight and continue recipe.
e) Honey Mustard Dip - I like my honey mustard fairly mustardy. This dip will give you a good punch of flavour - enough to make your tongue tingle. But adjust as necessary after mix all the ingredients. Lemon juice cuts through the sweetness, but you can sub white wine vinegar or white vinegar if that's what you have.
f) Calories - per tender (based on 12) using 1 tbsp olive oil and without the dip:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104 Calories from Fat 60
% Daily Value*
Fat 6.69g10%
Saturated Fat 0.302g2%
Trans Fat 0.001g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.293g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.007g
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 127mg5%
Potassium 166mg5%
Carbohydrates 0.53g0%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 0.33g0%
Protein 10.01g20%
Vitamin A 154IU3%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.46mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandy Sanders
    September 5, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Made these this evening! Took a while to work out how to wrap the bacon around the chicken properly. Having done that everything else went smoothly. The dip is to die for. Will definitely be making these again. (with a little less cayenne pepper i think} so looking forward to the next recipe….

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      That’s awesome to hear, Sandy! Glad they went down well! Thanks for popping back and sharing your feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Cookilicious
    May 16, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Love your photography! The food stands out..beautiful

  • Reply
    Irina
    May 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    5 stars
    Love your chicken creation wrapped in bacon. OMG! I cannot wait to go shopping and then to make it!

  • Reply
    Patty at Spoonabilities
    May 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    5 stars
    OMG these bacon wrapped chicken tenders are amazing! The only problem is, is that I end up eating them all! lol Such a great recipe idea for an amazing appetizer!

  • Reply
    veenaazmanov
    May 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    5 stars
    Definitely a cute and creative snack for my guest. Love the combination of chicken and Bacon to making this amazing snack.

  • Reply
    Nicole Tingwall
    May 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    5 stars
    This was such a delicious and easy dinner for our family! I’ll definitely be making them again!

  • Leave a Reply

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