Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast

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Bacon-wrapped chicken breast brings excitement back to the dinner table. The recipe is easy, just season the meat, cover it with slices of cured pork, and roast until tender and juicy.

Four bacon wrapped chicken breasts on a white plate.
Table of Contents
  1. Chicken selection
  2. Bacon selection
  3. Season the chicken
  4. Wrap the chicken
  5. Add some sweetness
  6. Roast the chicken
  7. Testing for doneness
  8. Serve this with
  9. FAQ
  10. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast Recipe

Serving chicken breast can get boring and sometimes unbearable if dried out and bland every week. The solution is to wrap it in smokey, cured pork, which renders its flavor onto the chicken. The bonus- each serving stays super juicy when covered with the bacon layer.

A savory seasoning blend coats the chicken, and then the bacon is glazed with maple syrup for a caramelized crust. The key is thoroughly cooking the bacon and poultry at the same time. The size of the chicken and the thickness of the pork is crucial for optimal doneness.

Ingredients to make bacon wrapped chicken.

Chicken selection

Use boneless skinless chicken breasts about 8 ounces in size. They are a leaner cut and benefit from being wrapped in fatty bacon. They must be similar in weight and thickness for even cooking. 

I notice that grocery stores often sell jumbo pieces, so I usually trim off the tenders to get closer to half a pound. You can always use them later to make crispy chicken tenders. If desired, you can use chicken thighs, but keep an eye on the cooking time as they are much smaller.

Recipe Resources

Bacon selection

Grab your favorite type of bacon, but make sure it’s not thick cut. Otherwise, it will take too long to render the fat and thoroughly cook. American-style bacon has a high fat-to-meat ratio, which yields crispy sections full of flavor.

The slices of bacon are thin and pliable, making it easy to stretch and wrap. The fat coats the chicken, creating a protective layer to lock in the moisture.

Season the chicken

It’s essential to season the chicken to add dimension to the dish. I use my go-to savory blend; a mixture of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried Italian seasoning. I often sprinkle it onto my baked chicken breast to make it instantly more flavorful. 

It’s easy to modify the seasoning with sweet or spicy paprika and any other dried herb you have on hand like herbs de Provence, basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme. If you have fresh herbs, feel free to use that instead. Dry the surface of the chicken with paper towels, so it’s easier for the seasoning to stick.

Wrap the chicken

Depending on the size, you’ll need at least two or three pieces of bacon. Start at the widest and thickest part of the breast, wrapping around and down until it reaches the tapered end. The bacon slices will be slightly stretchy, so try your best to cover it with just two strips, so it’s not too greasy. 

Slightly overlap the edges and make sure the ends of the bacon are covered so they don’t unravel during the roasting process. To save time, you can do this prep a few days ahead and cover it until you’re ready to cook.

Add some sweetness

Brush on maple syrup to balance the bacon’s super smokey and savory flavor. The sweetener is sticky, and as it cooks, it concentrates and caramelizes, creating a delicious glaze. You can even add a little more syrup right before serving. 

Honey and brown sugar make good swaps. You can sprinkle on dark brown sugar for extra molasses flavor and let it dissolve on top of the bacon. If you prefer an unsweetened dish, it’s okay to skip this step.

Brushing maple syrup over bacon wrapped chicken breasts.

Roast the chicken

Place the bacon-wrapped chicken pieces on a foil-lined sheet pan. I find this is the most straightforward clean-up. I typically roast bacon at 375ºF (190ºC), but I increased it to 400ºF (204ºC) for this recipe. The chicken will release moisture as it cooks, so slightly elevating the oven temperature ensures that the bacon will not steam. We want a nice browned, slightly crisp surface.

Testing for doneness

The chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature between 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC). I like to use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat to test. 

The bacon will have rendered most of the fat, and the meat will be a deep, brownish-red color. If you want the bacon more crispy, once the chicken reaches 160ºF (71ºC), broil it on high for about 2 to 4 minutes. But don’t overcook!

Chicken pieces on a roasting pan.

Serve this with

FAQ

How do you make the bottom of the bacon more crispy?

If you like a more crispy bottom, you can cook the bacon-wrapped chicken on a wire rack set on top of the pan. This process helps the fat and juices drip down, not directly contacting the moisture.

Can chicken and bacon be cooked together?

Yes! Just make sure to use regular-cut bacon for wrapping the poultry. Thick-cut products will take too long to cook, causing potential dried-out chicken if done before. If needed, you can broil the pieces at the end of cooking to render more fat and create more crisp bacon if thick-cut is your only option.

Can I stuff the chicken then wrap it in bacon?

Sure! Just don’t overfill the center with stuffing so that it stays inside instead of oozing out. You may need a longer cook time to cook through into the center since the filling will be cooler. Make sure to test both the top and bottom of the chicken for doneness.

Chicken cut in half showing the white meat interior.

Why is the fully cooked chicken still pink?

If you notice a slight pink hue of the chicken and juices after cooking, it can be caused by a few things. When hemoglobin in the muscle proteins reacts with oxygen in the environment, this can cause a pinkish tint. The nitrites and nitrates in most bacon products, used for curing and a preservative, can slightly color the meat as it cooks.

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast

This bacon-wrapped chicken breast recipe is easy, just season the meat, cover it with slices of cured pork, and roast until tender and juicy.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, 8-ounce pieces
  • 8 slices bacon, not thick-cut
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 400ºF (204ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Make the Seasoning – In a small bowl, combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Season the Chicken – Thoroughly dry each chicken breast with a paper towel. Evenly sprinkle both sides with the seasoning mixture.
  • Wrap with Bacon – Start at the wider end of the chicken. Gently stretch and wrap a piece of bacon around and down towards the middle. Slightly overlap the edges to secure it on the chicken. Use the second piece of bacon to finish wrapping down towards the tapered end.
    A third piece may be needed if the chicken is large. The seams should be beneath the breast to prevent unraveling. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan.
  • Glaze (optional) – Brush the surface of the bacon-wrapped chicken with maple syrup if using. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.
  • Roast – Cook until the internal temperature reaches between 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness. The bacon should be fully cooked. If desired, brush with the rendered bacon grease and maple syrup.
  • Serve – Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease on the bottom. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Equipment

Notes

  • For a Crispier Surface: Broil on high after the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF (71ºC) until the surface is crisp, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Large Chicken Breasts: Three pieces of bacon may be needed for wrapping. 
  • Storing: Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave on high in 30-second intervals until hot. Alternatively, bake on a foil-lined sheet pan at 350ºF (177ºC) until warm.
Nutrition Facts
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 1005mg42%
Potassium 547mg16%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 179IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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8 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Becki says

    Hi Jessica! I made this with a big, bone in turkey breast. Just adjusted the cook time and OMG, it came out so juicy and absolutely delish. A new favorite for sure.

    Thank you, Becki Mazzola
    Deer Park, Texas

  2. Stephanie says

    This recipe is AMAZING!! The chicken comes out so moist and yummy! My husband loved it tonight!
    Thank you!

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