Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites are the perfect party dish. It's easy to make with bacon-wrapped chicken, coated with brown sugar and spices, and baked to golden brown.
These Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bacon wraps have a skill level of 3/10 (easy)—a great finger food for "bring a dish" or game day parties.
It is always the first dish to be finished off at the party. Take copies of the recipe with you.
The chili powder and cumin add spiciness but not much heat. Add the optional cayenne pepper for heat. It is easy to double or triple if needed.
Don't forget to check out some other party recipes, like Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings, Lemon Bars, Candied Nuts, Cheesecake Bars, and Candied Bacon.
Adapted from a Food Network Paula Deen recipe.
- Chicken—skinless boneless chicken breasts
- Pantry ingredients—Brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper-optional
👨🍳How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites
- Mix coating of brown sugar, chili powder, and cumin.
- Cut chicken breast into approx 1-inch cubes.
- Roll the half strips of bacon around the chicken cubes, and secure with a toothpick.
- Roll the pieces in the brown sugar mixture.
- Bake until golden brown and temperature over 165°—about 35 minutes.
Yes, assemble but do not coat with spices or bake. Cover airtight and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Keeping them warm for serving could be a challenge. Electric griddles usually have a warm setting and will work well. I have an old heated serving tray that works.
A large crock pot will work with crumpled-up aluminum foil in the bottom, so the bottom layer does not set in drained liquid. Use a low setting.
For food safety, keep the temperature above 140° if they are out for more than 2 hours (they will not last that long at most parties).
Store airtight in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze for 2 months. Freeze on a tray to freeze individually for several hours, then transfer to an airtight container.
To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Note: Images are for a triple batch. The discussion and recipe are for a single batch.
Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional. In a large mixing bowl, combine ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder, and ½ teaspoon cumin. Mix well.
Clean and trim about 1 ¼ pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast. Cut into approx 1-inch cubes.
If using thick-cut bacon, thin the strips of bacon with the back edge of a chef's knife. Cut the bacon slices into half-size pieces.
Cut the bacon in half, roll around the chicken cubes, and secure with a toothpick. This is the point to cover and refrigerate for better timing. You can keep it tightly covered and refrigerated for up to a day.
Prep a sheet pan with aluminum foil and a rack–spray with PAM.
Roll the pieces in the brown sugar mixture. Be sure to pack some in the ends. Place on the rack.
Bake until golden brown and at a 165° internal temperature for about 35 minutes.
Cover with foil on a heavy dish to keep warm until served. See the above discussion about options to stay warm safely.
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites—Sweet & Spicy
- 1 ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts - cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 pounds bacon - buy good quality and thinner cut
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
- Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional. In a large mixing bowl, combine ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder, and ½ teaspoon cumin. Mix well.
- Clean and trim about 1 ¼ pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast. Cut into approx 1-inch cubes.
- If using thick-cut bacon, thin the strips of bacon with the back edge of a chef's knife.
- Cut the bacon in half, roll around the chicken cubes, and secure with a toothpick. This is the point to cover and refrigerate for better timing. You can keep it tightly covered and refrigerated for up to a day.
- Prep a sheet pan with aluminum foil and a rack–spray with PAM.
- Roll the pieces in the brown sugar mixture. Be sure to pack some in the ends. Place on the rack.
- Bake until golden brown and at a 165° internal temperature for about 35 minutes.
- Cover with foil on a heavy dish to keep warm until served.
Your Own Private Notes
- If you are using thicker bacon, you will need to flatten it a bit with the flat edge of a knife. Thinner bacon is up to you.
- Chicken thighs work fine or substitute in small sausages or other things.
- The cayenne pepper is optional. It adds some heat.
- It can be made up a day ahead after covering the chicken in bacon but before coating it with sugar and spice mix.
- Serve warm. A griddle or crock pot will work nicely. See the post for discussion about food safety.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor note: Originally published June 15, 2012. This is my most pinned recipe on Pinterest and is one of our go-to recipes for gatherings. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Do u think you could cook these and then keep warm in lower cooker or would they dry out?
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
Not on low which works itself to 212°-215° over time, so very drying. The warm setting should be about 165°, while still drying, it is much better. The caveat on all that is cheap crock pots use cheap thermostats and also put their heating element on the bottom of the crock pot instead of around the crock pot. So if you have a good newer crock pot, it will work ok.
Roasters are much more reliable if you have one or a serving tray.
This sounds like a good recipe if spices are kicked up. But, as a Latina I’ve got to say there’s NO heat in Cumin. None. I’ll make it using some Ancho Chile and Chipotle Chile powders for kick with cumin for that distinctive Mexican flavor.
I wonder if the chicken wrapped with bacon could be frozen and thawed later. Then add the spices and cook.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
I have never done it but I see no reason it wouldn't work well. The chicken and bacon will both freeze will.
Is it okay to make this a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake?
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
That is how I usually do this. I like to serve them shortly after baking but I make a bit of a mess. So I tend to make them in the morning and cook before the party later in the day.
I make this, however, I do 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp Mccormick's Brown Sugar Bourbon seasoning. I also add several dashes of crushed red pepper and garlic powder. They have excellent flavor and the right amount of spiciness. I recommend cutting the bacon into thirds au they crisp nicely. I highly recommend trying them this way!
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I have 'followed' it with these variations: using only chipolte pepper for a wonderful burn, baking them in a pan allowing them to sizzle in the bacon grease, making them on skewers (like shishkabob) for serving as a main dish. Baking layers of chicken, precooked bacon, spicey sugar when I do not have time to wrap the bits or if I have too many to make. I think all variations of bacon, chicken, sugar, and chipolte will make many tastebuds happy.
I make a similar wrap a LOT. To help get the bacon crispy when the chicken is at it's optimal doneness I give the bacon a head start before wrapping. Using thin bacon, cut the pack into thirds or halves. Wrap the third in two paper towels and nuke in the microwave for 55 seconds. If using bacon halves, nuke for 80 seconds. This gives the bacon a head start towards the finish line.
Hi . I made this yesterday using small sausages instead of chicken. BUT I only used 1 teaspoon of chilli. Here in Kenya (and the UK too) chilli is just about the hottest spice available. Cumin on the other hand is mild. So either you guys have mouths lined with steel or US chilli is something else.
As I get older, I'm more of a wimp when it comes to heat.
You are definitely correct. In America "chili powder" is a spice mix of ancho chile powder, paprika, cumin, and oregano. There might be a few other spices added.
Mary Anne H
I just made these. They tasted good but not very spicy and the bacon, having cut the strips in half left the bacon in the middle under cooked and chewy. Next time I will add a little more spice maybe some creole seasoning and cut the bacon strips in thirds so the bacon just covers the chicken once so its all crispy.
Don't double roll the bacon I find that solves the uncooked bacon problem