Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders in the air fryer will undoubtedly become one of your favorite recipes ever. If you love bacon and you love chicken and you love EASY…you will love this family-friendly air fryer recipe.
WHY MAKE THESE IN THE AIR FRYER?
If you know me very well, you know I love using my air fryer. So much…that I even wrote a whole cookbook about it, LOL.
There are a lot of foods that come out better (in my opinion) in the air fryer. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders are a recipe that really performs well in the air fryer.
The air fryer crisping pad allows excess grease and fat to drip down away from the food. Since this recipe includes bacon, that is a big plus!
This is a recipe that you want to get nice and crispy. The air fryer is the perfect kitchen appliance for getting foods crisp…it is really the whole point of the air fryer, LOL.
INGREDIENTS FOR AIR FRYER BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN
This recipe was inspired by one I saw over on Divas Can Cook. I am thankful that I ran across her recipe because it is one of our favorites.
- Chicken tenderloins (thawed)
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Brown Sugar
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Pepper (optional)
HOW TO MAKE BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN TENDERS IN THE AIR FRYER
This recipe has a few steps but isn't difficult. Some recipes are worth a little extra time because they taste so very good. I definitely think these bacon wrapped chicken tenders are worth a few more steps.
STEP ONE: COMBINE SPICES
The first step is to get a small bowl and combine these spices together: salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder. Stir to combine the spices. If you like a little extra heat in your food then be sure to add in the cayenne pepper! YUM!
STEP TWO: COAT CHICKEN
Take the thawed chicken tenders and coat the chicken in the spice mixture. Be generous with the spices because you will love the result. Press the spices into the chicken so it really sticks well.
STEP THREE: WRAP CHICKEN
Cut each slice of bacon in half lengthwise.
Wrap two slices of bacon around each coated tenderloin so that they cover the whole tenderloin. To keep the bacon on the chicken it is easy to tuck the ends under the wrapped part or use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place.
STEP FOUR: COAT WRAPPED CHICKEN
Now you need to mix up the brown sugar and chili powder in a small bowl.
Coat the bacon wrapped chicken tenderloins in the sugar mixture and really press the mixture into the bacon so it sticks and coats it completely on all sides.
STEP FIVE: AIR FRY
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Place the tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving a little room in between each tender to allow for air flow around the tenders.
Air fry for 10 to 13 minutes depending on how thick the chicken tenders you are using are. It will take about 10 minutes for thinner tenders and 11 to 13 minutes for thicker tenders.
Remember you want the chicken to reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F at the thickest part.
The key is to keep an eye on the food. Open the air fryer and check the food. Each air fryer will cook a little bit differently!
HOW TO MAKE BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN IN THE OVEN
If you don't have an air fryer…I think you should run out and buy one. But if you don't want to…no biggie. You can definitely make these in the oven by following these tips.
- Cook these at 350°F in a preheated oven.
- You need to use a pan with a rack so the bacon grease can drip down. This will allow the chicken and bacon to crisp up.
- Cook for 25-35 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crisp and the chicken reaches 165°F internal temperature. You can also broil for the last few minutes if preferred.
NUWAVE OVEN INSTRUCTIONS
Before I became obsessed with the air fryer, I loved my Nuwave Oven. It is a great small appliance and I cooked with mine for many years.
These bacon wrapped chicken tenders turn out great in the Nuwave Oven.
- Put the seasoned and wrapped chicken tenders on the grill rack in the Nuwave.
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on EACH side. Cook time can vary based on the thickness of the chicken you are using.
One way to save time on this recipe is to mix up the seasonings beforehand and keep a jar in the pantry on hand.
This seasoning mix is great on lots of meats and it is easier to mix it up in a larger quantity once a month instead of every time you make the recipe! (I know you will be making this bacon wrapped chicken tenders recipe a LOT once you try it!)
I love making homemade seasoning mixes and putting them in cute jars!
BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN TENDERS RECIPE FOR THE AIR FRYER
You can print off the complete ingredients and instructions for this wonderful Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders recipe via the recipe card below.
If you make this recipe and love it, I would REALLY appreciate if you could leave me a 5-star rating!
Bacon wrapped chicken tenders are packed with flavor and come out crispy and delicious in the air fryer.
- 1 lb. chicken tenderloins thawed, about 10 tenders
- 10 strips bacon sliced in half length-wise
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper optional
Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
Mix together salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken on all sides. Coat them generously in the spice mixture and press it down so it sticks well.
Wrap two slices (one slice that was cut in half) of the bacon strips around each chicken tenderloin and tuck in the loose ends. You can use toothpicks if needed to keep the bacon in place.
Mix together the brown sugar and chili powder in another small bowl.
Sprinkle this mixture generously over the bacon wrapped chicken. Press the brown sugar mixture into the bacon on the chicken to pack it on. Put the mixture on all sides of the chicken.
Place chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Leave a little space between each tenderloin.
Cook for 10 to 13 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F at it's thickest part. Smaller tenderloins may not need as long to cook. Just keep an eye on the food as each air fryer cooks a little bit differently.
Serve hot for best results!
To make in the oven: cook at 350°F for 25-35 minutes. Best to use a pan with a wire rack that the chicken can sit on so the grease can drip down.
To make in the nuwave oven: cook for 8 to 10 minutes on each side.
Adapted from Divas Can Cook
If you want to expand your air fryer recipes be sure to check these out:
- Air Fryer Zucchini Boats
- Greek Chicken Kebobs
- Tender and Juicy Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Breaded Bell Pepper Strips
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Sandy Proctor says
Can you use fresh chicken tenderloins?
So husband and I are trying to diet (more so me than him ha ha) but I wanted to do something apart from air fryer breaded chicken. I am glad I found this recipe as it was good. I tried a little piece and it was awesome. Husband loved it and ate it all up. I will make again.