Bacon wrapped chicken breast is a family favorite baked chicken dinner, and it comes together in just 40 minutes. Crisp bacon and tangy BBQ sauce take dry chicken to juicy perfection!
It’s no secret that chicken breasts are a lean protein that makes a great addition to a healthy diet. BUT, it’s also no secret that chicken dinners are notorious for being dry and boring. My solution for juicy, flavor perfection is wrapping the poultry with crispy bacon!
Healthy baked chicken breasts wrapped in crispy bacon and smothered in a thick, sticky BBQ sauce makes this a dish that is just bursting with flavor!
Bacon wrapped chicken breast
This recipe can be made with either bone-in or boneless skinless chicken breasts. My choice is bone-in chicken breasts, because the bones create moisture and give additional flavor to the meat.
Do bone-in chicken breasts take longer to cook? Yes, but unless they’re huge, it’s just 3-4 minutes longer; the trade-off of time for extra flavor is worth it in my mind.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Chicken breasts– bone-in or boneless. I recommend removing the skin because it won’t become crispy.
- Ground chili powder – Any brand of chili powder is fine, or you can make my homemade chili seasoning.
- Garlic powder or onion powder
- Bacon – The crispy bacon is my favorite part of this dinner! For the extra crispy slices, use thin-cut bacon. If you want to use thick cut bacon, you’ll need to partially cook it first. Just wrap the slices in paper toweling and microwave on high power for a minute or so.
- BBQ sauce – You can use any BBQ sauce that you have on hand for this recipe, but the dish is always better when you use your favorite.
If you’d like to try your hand at homemade BBQ sauce, I highly recommend you make my Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce. This BBQ sauce has a brown sugar base, but the sweetness is nicely balanced with the heat from chili powder and ground black pepper.
Making bacon wrapped chicken breasts isn’t difficult at all, but some people find it tricky to keep the bacon attached. To see the process from start to finish, watch the video located in the recipe card a the bottom of this post.
Making bacon wrapped chicken breast
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. This may seem hot, but that high heat helps to crisp up the bacon.
- Remove any chicken skin from each breast and discard.
- Sprinkle the chili and garlic (or onion) powder evenly over the chicken breasts.
- Wrap a slice of bacon over the top of each breast, tucking the ends of the bacon underneath the sides of the chicken.
NOTE: Don’t wrap the bacon all the way around the chicken breast. Instead, wrap the bacon slices over the top of each breast, then tuck each end of the bacon underneath. I find that one slice of bacon cut in half horizontally is perfect for wrapping one large chicken breast.
- Place the bundles in a greased 13×9” baking dish. Brush each chicken breast with BBQ sauce.
- Bake the chicken uncovered for 35-40 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast. Baste once if desired while it bakes.
Recipe tips and FAQ
- For the crispiest bacon: If you want to wrap bacon completely around each chicken breast, keep in mind that the bacon underneath the chicken may not cook completely. If you choose this option, I also suggest partially cooking the bacon before wrapping it around the chicken. This should ensure that the bacon is crisp and cooked all over.
Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about baked bacon wrapped chicken breast:
The calories in one bone-in, bacon wrapped chicken breast can vary depending on the size of the breast. On average, each piece has 465 calories, when made with the ingredients shown in this recipe.
If the bacon you use for the chicken contains nitrates, it may give the meat a slight pink or reddish color. As long as the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F, it is considered safe to eat.
Even fully cooked chicken can still have a pink tinge to it. This is especially true of younger chickens, as they have more pigment in the bone marrow. This pigment can color the surrounding tissue and make the bones themselves look very dark.
Overcooking is a common reason for rubbery chicken. Using bone-in chicken and covering it with bacon and bbq sauce should help to keep it juicy. If you’re using boneless chicken breasts, cook them for a few minutes less than the recipe time stated and then check the internal temperature to ensure that it reaches 165°F.
And if you’re in the mood for another delicious baked chicken dish, then you should try this easy, one-pan Baked Honey Mustard Chicken.
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Oct. 7, 2016, was last updated with new content on Jan. 7, 2022.
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast + Video
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove any chicken skin from each breast and discard. Sprinkle the chili and garlic (or onion) powder evenly over all four chicken breasts. Wrap a slice of bacon over the top of each breast, tucking the ends underneath. (See Note 1)
- Place the chicken in a greased 13×9” baking dish. Brush each chicken breast with BBQ sauce.
- Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes depending on size of chicken. Baste once if desired while it bakes. Chicken should be done when thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast meat reads 165°F.
- This recipe was tested with bone-in chicken breasts. If using boneless, check for doneness at 25 minutes. Chicken is properly cooked when an instant read cooking thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the meat registers 165°F.
- The chicken breasts I used were large, so I cut each slice of bacon in half and wrapped the two pieces over the top of each breast, tucking the ends under. Feel free to wrap completely around chicken breast, though I find it does not cook completely. If you want to wrap each piece of chicken, partially cook the bacon and then wrap it completely. That way the bacon is crisp and cooked all over. If wrapped underneath, it tends to steam and not cook completely.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.