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Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Air fryer bacon wrapped chicken tenders are packed with so much flavor you won’t want to stop eating.

This chicken dish will quickly become a favorite of your entire family—either for a snack, appetizer, or main dish for dinner. I also show how you can make an oven baked version.

platter of chicken tenders wrapped in bacon.

I highly recommend reading this entire post before you begin preparing the recipe. However, if all you want is the list of ingredients with full directions, please either click on the jump-to-recipe button above or scroll to the bottom of this post.

It’s amazing what you can do with a few slices of bacon and boneless skinless chicken breasts. Or you can use skinless chicken thighs if that’s what you have.

On a side note, if you enjoy chicken, try these deliciously crispy air fryer chicken thighs. It doesn’t take much effort to deliver some amazing chicken.

The outside is perfectly crisp, while the inside stays moist wit a flavor explosion. second to none. Air frying is fun, and the results are wonderful.

Chicken cooked in an air fryer is yummy. And air fryer bacon is amazing. Put the two together, and you have eye-popping, out-of-this-world deliciousness that’s hard to match.

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders Ingredients

You’ll love how easy it is to make something that’s better than anything you can get in a restaurant. And the ingredients list is flexible, so you can substitute or add items you like.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these chicken tenders:

  • Boneless skinless chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into strips)
  • Bacon slices
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Prepared mustard
  • Ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

You can use chicken tenderloins already cut. Or you can purchase chicken breasts and cut them yourself. I’ve done both, and they both turn out the same.

Other ingredients you can use include garlic powder, ranch dressing mix, wing sauce, and soy sauce. If there’s something else you’d like to try, go for it.

You can cut back on the brown sugar to make this a low carb dish. Or you can use a sugar substitute, but it’s really not necessary because it will still be very good.

How to Make Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Preheat your air fryer to 400˚ F. While it’s heating up, get to work on preparing the chicken pieces.

Combine some brown sugar, mustard, and ground cayenne. Now add the barbecue sauce to the brown sugar mixture. I like the blend of sweet and spicy, but you can adjust to suit your personal taste.

Either start with already cut chicken tenders or cut the chicken into strips. Cut each slice of bacon in half.

Wrap a half piece of bacon around a piece of chicken. You can use toothpicks to secure the bacon, but I’ve found that it’s not necessary.

strips of meat wrapped in bacon.

Lay them out on a dish or board in a single layer. Now it’s time to add more flavor.

Using a pastry brush, coat the chicken with the sauce you just mixed. I like to cover both sides of the bacon wrapped chicken.

brushing barbecue sauce over each piece

The air fryer should have reached the desired temperature by now. Get your air fryer basket ready by spritzing it with olive oil or your favorite cooking oil.

Carefully place chicken pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer with a little bit of space between each one.

raw meat in a single layer in the basket.

Air fry the chicken and bacon for 5 minutes. Remove the basket from the air fryer.

Turn each piece of chicken over and return to the air fryer for another 5 minutes.

That makes 10 minutes total time in the air fryer.

Turning the meat halfway through cooking

If you’re not sure it’s done, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken.

The internal temperature should be 165˚ F.

I used a standard thickness of bacon. If you use thick bacon, you can partially cook it for about 2 minutes in the air fryer before wrapping the chicken so it will be crispy.

cooked bacon wrapped chicken in the air fryer basket

Oven Baked Option

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can make these in your oven. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and prepare the chicken with the basic recipe as you would for the air fryer. 

Place them in a single layer on a greased sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are done. Turn them halfway through to make sure you have crispy bacon all the way around each piece of chicken.

cooked bacon wrapped chicken on a plate

Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Ever since I got my air fryer, I’ve worked on learning and developing new recipes to share with my readers. So far, they’ve all been good—even those I wasn’t sure about.

Here are some of our favorites:

Ranch Air Fryer Chickpeas – This is a fun, crunchy treat that you’ll want to make for movies or game night. Bet you can’t eat just one! That’s why you need to make more than one batch of them.

Air Fryer “Boiled” Eggs – Cooking eggs has never been so easy. And they’re much easier to peel!

Zucchini Fries Cooked in an Air Fryer – Here’s proof that nutritious food can taste wonderful!

Air Fryer French Fries – If you like fried potatoes, watch out! These are totally addictive!

Chicken Handling

When you cook chicken, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure you clean any surface before and after you put raw chicken on it.

Secondly, any chicken you don’t use should be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated immediately. Make sure you use it within a couple of days.

The thickness of the chicken dictates how long you should cook it. Regardless of your cooking method, it should be 165˚ F all the way through.

If you’d like more information about chicken, take a look at these frequently asked questions about chicken.

bacon wrapped chicken tenders on a platter and in an air fryer basket.

Common Questions About Cooking Chicken in an Air Fryer

Q: Can you put chicken with a wet batter in an air fryer?

A: It’s best not to use a wet batter when cooking chicken in an air fryer because there’s nothing to hold it on. The batter will slide off the chicken and run off to the bottom beneath the basket.

Q: Can you line your air fryer basket with foil or parchment paper?

A: The beauty of using an air fryer is that air circulates around all of the pieces of chicken. If you use foil, you may not get the same excellent results. If you use parchment paper, I recommend getting some that is specifically designed for air fryers. It is cut to the size and shape you need, and it has holes for the air to circulate.

Q: Is it okay to use silicone liners in an air fryer?

A: As long as you don’t cook your food over 400˚ F, a silicone liner made specifically for an air fryer is fine. In fact, I often use silicone liners when I’m cooking something messy (i.e., with cheese). It helps make cleanup easy. I just toss the silicone liner in the dishwasher and wipe out the bottom of the air fryer.

Q: Can you cook frozen bacon wrapped chicken in your air fryer?

A: Yes, you can start with frozen bacon wrapped chicken. Start out with a lower temperature, around 350˚ F, to prevent the outside of the chicken from burning before the inside is done. You can increase the temperature after about 5 minutes. Keep in mind that it will take longer to cook chicken that starts out frozen. Once the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚ F, it is done.

More Chicken Thigh and Chicken Breast Recipes

We’re big fans of chicken around here, so I have a bunch of recipes to share. Here are some of our favorites:

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken – Every bit of this delightful tropical chicken recipe is like a mouthful of sunshine! It is delicious!

plate of Hawaiian chicken over rice with a side of steamed broccoli

Chicken Pot Pie – Anyone who loves comfort food and one-pan meals will love this dish. It will become a family favorite.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu – This recipe from Plowing Through Life is a delicious dish that will make everyone think they’re eating at a fancy restaurant. And it’s not difficult to make!

Crock Pot Catalina Chicken – You’ll have flavor in abundance with this one. In fact, “Yum!” is the best way to describe it!

Pesto Chicken – This scrumptious recipe from my friend Julie who has this Back to My Southern Roots blog is one we’ve had many times. It’s pretty wonderful!

Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken – With a hint of Mediterranean goodness, this lemon pepper chicken is as easy to make as it is delicious!

lemon chicken on a plate with rice and vegetables

Air Fryer Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks – If you want the delicious flavors of barbecue chicken but don’t want a huge mess, make this super easy recipe. Everyone will appreciate how good it is, and you’ll love that it cleans up quickly.

Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

bacon wrapped chicken tenders on a plate

These air fryer bacon wrapped chicken tenders are perfect for a main dish, snack, or appetizer!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 8 boneless skinless chicken tenders (or breasts that you cut into strips)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400˚ F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and ground cayenne. Mix well.
  3. If you haven’t already cut the chicken into strips, do it now. Cut the bacon slices in half.
  4. Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each chicken strip.
  5. Brush the bacon-wrapped chicken with the barbecue sauce mixture.
  6. If you want to add salt and pepper, do it now.
  7. Spray the inside of the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent the chicken and bacon from sticking.
  8. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket. Make sure the end of the bacon is secure on all of the chicken. You may use toothpicks, but it’s not necessary.
  9. Air fry the bacon-wrapped chicken for 5 minutes. Open the fryer and flip all of the chicken. Return it to the air fryer for another 5 minutes.
  10. It should be done and ready to eat. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should be 165˚ F.


You can adjust any of the ingredients to suit your personal taste. For example, if you like more heat, add more cayenne. Or if you want it sweeter, add more brown sugar.

If you don’t have an air fryer, you may cook these bacon wrapped chicken tenders in the oven. Bake them in a 350˚ oven on a shallow pan for approximately 20-25 minutes or until they are done.

I used a standard thickness of bacon. If you use thick bacon, you can partially cook it for about 2 minutes in the air fryer before wrapping the chicken so it will be crispy.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 679Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 265mgSodium 678mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 87g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 6th of March 2024

During my catering days, I made these in the oven (in a Demarle silicone pan). The chicken was cut into bite-sized pieces, wrapped with bacon, and lightly coated with a brown sugar/cayenne or guajillo pepper coating. It was so delicious!


Wednesday 6th of March 2024

Hi Jane. Your recipe sounds absolutely wonderful! I'll have to try it next time.

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