We used the air fryer for this bacon wrapped chicken tender recipe. The tenders are perfectly cooked and juicy, wrapped in crispy bacon, and seasoned with a mix of sweet and spicy flavors!
My entire life has been a love affair with chicken tenders! I have eaten chicken tenders and waffle fries, or chicken tenders and cheese sticks more times than I care to admit!
One of my friends recently suggested that I do a recipe for chicken strips wrapped in bacon. Did you pick that up? WRAPPED IN BACON!
Who am I to say no to that?
We’ve made these bacon wrapped chicken bites, coated in a homemade BBQ sauce before, but we’d never done full-on chicken tenders so it was an obvious must make! We skipped the BBQ sauce and did a simple seasoning blend instead. So good!
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Chicken – We will use a pound and a half of chicken tenderloin. My grocer is often out of chicken tenderloin so I buy chicken breasts and cut them into strips when needed. Not quite as easy, but the recipe works the same either way.
Bacon – Use a thinner cut of bacon for this recipe. Thick cut won’t crisp up as nicely.
Seasonings- We’re making the flavorful rub out of ground mustard, chili powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
Most chili powders are not very spicy at all. To add extra spice, add in cayenne pepper!
To make this recipe low carb, use your favorite brown sugar replacement. We like Lakanto or Swerve.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer:
- Seasoning – Stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, ground mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. This will be your seasoning blend. To make it spicy, add a pinch of cayenne or chipotle powder.
- Season the tenders– Dry your chicken tenders with a paper towel and sprinkle the seasoning blend over the chicken. Save about a 1/4 of the seasoning for the bacon.
- Wrap in bacon– Next wrap each piece of seasoned chicken in bacon and tuck the ends of the bacon under the chicken so it stays wrapped. Rub your remaining seasoning over/into the bacon to coat.
- Air fry your tenders– Spritz the air fryer basket with nonstick spray and arrange your chicken in a single layer in the basket. Cook in batches if there isn’t enough room for all your chicken. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F and flip halfway through cooking.
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These Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders are very flavorful on their own, but we never pass up an opportunity for dip!
Try these tenders with the following dips:
- BBQ Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Honey Mustard
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
The internal temperature of your chicken tender should be 165 degrees F before serving.
I love these tenders served with honey mustard dip! BBQ sauce would also work well for this blend of seasoning and the chicken tenders.
To add extra spice, add in cayenne pepper.
You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days if you keep them in an air tight container.
When it is time to reheat, just pop them in your air fryer at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
Other Popular Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 pound bacon
- Ranch dressing for dipping
- Use a paper towel to pat dry the chicken tenders.
- Add the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, pepper, and mustard to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle about ¾’s of the seasoning blend over the chicken and rub it in to coat both sides.
- Wrap each piece of chicken in a strip of bacon, tucking the ends under so that the bacon stays wrapped around the chicken nicely.
- Rub the remaining spices over the bacon to coat.
- Spritz the air fryer basket with non-stick spray and arrange chicken in an even layer with a bit of space between each piece for air to flow. You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. If that basket is overcrowded, the bacon will not crisp up.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Serve with ranch dressing as a dip.
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