What’s our favorite thing about baked Bacon Wrapped Chicken? Maybe it’s the protein-packed dinner. Or perhaps it’s that it’s an easy and economical dish that’s also super kid-friendly and versatile. How about that it’s Keto and Whole30 compliant with minimal effort? Nah. It’s the bacon.
Y’all… I try to keep story-time as timeless as possible but we need to talk about something timely (and fingers crossed we don’t have to talk about this every single year), but chicken shortages are no joke.
I would love to be the kind of person who had the kind of money (and arteries) that would allow me to toss a steak on the grill every day and not fret. Hell, I’d love to be the kind of person whose kids did not only accept Captain Gorton, and Captain Gorton only, as their seafood messiah so I could just bake some snapper and be done. But we rely on chicken. A lot.
So thank goodness I AM the kind of person that both regularly uses and looooves chicken thighs. I have spent years on the “dark side” and let me tell you – it is tasty; it is cost effective; and it has turned me into one of those weird hoarders who “stocks up” when something is on sale. Thankfully, I have enough frozen thighs to last until the spring thaw. So since this winterscape is cold and bleak, let’s wrap our chicken in something cozy…
For a shorter post with just the ingredients and step-by-step instructions, click here to view the web story for this recipe!
Bacon Really Does Make Everything Better
Now yes, bacon adds a TON of flavor to everything it touches, but bonus points for also making the meat more tender and locking in those juices for never-dry-chicken.
These bacon wrapped chicken thighs are a great way to mix things up and turn your chicken into a “cheat meal” while keeping it simple (and compliant). It’s kind of the ultimate meal for anyone balancing high protein and high fat with low carbs. And making keto bacon wrapped chicken is as easy as omitting the maple glaze, or even just using a stevia-sweetened (or other compliant) syrup substitute.
NOTE: For this bacon wrapped chicken recipe, only use regular sliced bacon – thick cut bacon won’t cook through by the time the chicken is done.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Make this low carb Bacon Wrapped Chicken with thighs, breasts, or even tenderloins. Season first and then lock in the flavor (and moisture) with smoky bacon. This easy main dish is a total crowd pleaser that pairs with just about anything, so keep the ingredients on hand – you’re gonna want a repeat performance!
- PREP. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line your baking sheet.
- “Unwrap” chicken thighs so they lay flat. Trim excess fat, then pat very dry.
- SEASON. Combine dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season chicken all over with the mixture.
- WRAP. Wrap two pieces of bacon around each piece of chicken. Start one end on the underside and try to wrap the other around to the underside as well – you want each of the ends on the same side to create a “seam side.”
- Arrange chicken seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of wrapped chicken with maple syrup (optional).
- COOK. Bake 25 minutes. Once done, set oven to High Broil and cook 3 minutes more to fully crisp the bacon. Internal temperature should be 165°F.
- FINISH. Brush chicken with pan juices, then rest 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired, and serve.
- Feel free to make bacon wrapped chicken breasts instead – they’re equally as good. Gently pound the chicken first to create an even thickness; this will ensure the chicken cook evenly and you don’t have any over-cooked pieces.
- Alternatively, you can use chicken tenderloins! Use just one piece of bacon per tenderloin.
- Wrap the chicken snugly with the bacon. Both the chicken and the bacon will shrink as they cook, and by wrapping fairly tightly around the chicken, you’ll ensure a nice wrap once the chicken is fully cooked through.
- Broil the chicken for just a few minutes to crisp up the bacon.
- Check that temp! We always suggest using an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats, especially chicken. The chicken is ready when it reads at least 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
Make it Your Way
- Glaze with BBQ sauce instead of maple syrup. Add BBQ sauce in the last 5 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of brown sugar or coconut sugar to the dry rub for a sweeter finish.
- Use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika for a smokier finish.
- Season with ranch seasoning and serve with ranch dipping sauce (this pairs great with chicken tenderloins, and kids love it!). Need paleo or Whole30 ranch? We’ve got you covered.
Keto and Whole30 Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Keto: While the maple syrup glaze adds a nice touch, it isn’t necessary. To keep it keto, omit all together or use a compliant substitute.
Whole30: For paleo or Whole30 bacon wrapped chicken, just make sure your bacon is compliant. If you’re paleo, you can keep the maple syrup. If you’re on a Whole30, omit the syrup or use a tiny amount of date syrup instead.
Can I Make this in the Air Fryer?
Yes! Program your air fryer to 370°F and cook for 15-18 minutes, flipping once, halfway through the cycle.
What to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Chicken
This chicken is rich! Opt for lighter sides with an acidic finish for the perfect pairing. Consider:
- Easy veggies like Asparagus and Broccoli are perfect with a hint of citrus.
- Take your veggie side to the next level with Lemon Garlic Asparagus or Garlicky Grean Beans with Crispy Shallots
- Try a flavorful cauliflower rice like Mexican or Cilantro Lime
- Slap a slaw on the side, like Apple Vinegar Coleslaw or Crunchy Kale Slaw.
- Leafy green sides like Winter Chopped Salad or our Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad are scrumptious and seasonal!
More (Flavor) Bomb Boneless Thigh Recipes
- Balsamic Chicken Thighs *Most Popular*
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- Chicken Street Tacos
- Pomegranate Chicken Bowls *Super Seasonal*
- Chicken Shawarma Salad
Did you make this bacon wrapped chicken? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breasts
- 12 slices regular sliced bacon, do not use thick cut
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, optional
- fresh chopped parsley, or basil
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika, regular or smoked
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs, then pat very dry. Be sure to “unwrap” the chicken thighs so they lay flat.
- Combine the dry rub in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Season the chicken all over with the dry rub mixture.
- Wrap two pieces of bacon around each piece of chicken. Start one end on the underside and try to wrap the other piece around to the underside as well – you’ll want to try to have each of the ends on the same side of the chicken to create a “seam side” and a non-seam side.
- Arrange the chicken seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the chicken and bacon with the maple syrup, if using.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 25 minutes. Flip the oven to the High Broil setting and cook 3 minutes more, just long enough to fully crisp the bacon. Check to make sure the internal temperature reads 165°F.
- Brush the chicken with the pan juices, then rest 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired, and serve.
[…] a kid-friendlier chicken dinner, pair with bacon wrapped chicken thighs or sticky honey garlic […]