Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites-you can never make enough of these smoky and mildly spicy appetizers

Add bacon to anything and it will fly off the table.  That’s what a caterer once told me and I believe it. Certainly applies here.

Whether you’re planning a cookout this weekend or cooking indoors (rain predicted here in Texas), grill up a few of these sizzling treats for a quick appetizer or serve as an entree.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a big plate of  these spicy and cheesy, smoky and crispy chicken nuggets.

If you don’t like hot, leave out the jalapenos or skimp a bit.  I definitely prefer fresh jalapenos over the canned or pickled ones traditionally used with nachos.  They are milder and prettier too.

bacon-wrapped chicken bites process


Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites
Serves: 16 bite-size
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Chicken spread with cream cheese and jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon, then grilled
  • 8 chicken tenders, flattened and cut in two
  • 3-ounce package softened cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cut in half
  1. Dab ½ teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant ¼ teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience. For reference, if you are substituting for the chicken tenders (i.e. dark meat, large pieces of chicken breast, game meat), the size of the tenders I used were 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide before flattening and cutting in half. Try flattening meat inside a zip-lock bag as pictured above. No flying pieces, no contamination on your cutting board from the chicken, and cleanup is super easy.


Related Posts:

Crispy Jalapeno Cheese Snacks
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
Hearty Baked Beans
Cheesy Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

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shari hodge March 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

looks yummy!

CindyAnn February 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I just made these and they were good but not very spicy at all. I was hoping for a little bit more heat from the peppers but they were super mild. It is a good appetizer for a party and I will be making them again.

Paula February 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm

A couple of thoughts Cindy, Jalapeno peppers vary wildly in amount of heat so you may have gotten a mild pepper. Also, you could use chopped pickled jalapenos out of jar and get a lot more spice if that’s what you’re after. Glad you liked them anyway.

Renee (Kudos Kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

Oh my goodness! This is a terriffic idea! I’ll be trying your recipe just as soon as possible! Thank you so much for sharing it!!! BTW, cute, cute, cute header. Would make an adorable trivet! Hope you don’t mind me saying that 😉

Meredith February 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Can anything be used besides jalapenos?

Judy January 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

Think I’m gonna try these for our Super Bowl gathering 🙂

Joe January 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

there turning out great but is there anyway i can cook em like half and when i go to the party later just pop em in the oven to cook the rest of the way. just so they are hot when people eat em

Joe January 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks so much… makin em tonight for a party, probably will be the life of the party!!!

Neil December 13, 2010 at 10:54 am

Try using a spice rub on the chicken to add depth to the flavors. Let me know what you think and
I post the info.

Mike November 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

Can You toss them in the oven instead of frying? I live in an apartment with a crappy electric stove.

Stephen October 11, 2010 at 12:46 am

I made these last night and they were amazing. You don’t need a grill either, I just did it on the frying pan. If you keep a careful eye on them the bacon wont burn and they were oh so delicious.

This is coming from a 20-year old guy in college who really doesnt have the time to make anything special. It’s easy and SO GOOD.

Jan October 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Hey I know this recipe says grill but is it possible to do this in oven? And in what temperature?

seth October 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm

yes they do look delicious and such a great idea but wouldnt the middle wit the cream cheese being there be rare because the bacon cooks fast,but idk i guess if you tenderized the pieces enough..

Paula October 6, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Seth, You don’t use much cream cheese and the chicken is thin so there’s not a problem. Try it. I think you’ll really like them.

Roy October 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

This sound like something we do here in Texas, except I use quail breast instead of chicken. They are great. Like your site Paula, I will check back from time to time.

Bryan September 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I made these last night after stumbling across your site. The wife was concerned that she may not like them because of the jalapenos, but she loved em and so did I. Even my teenage daughter loved them.

Clint September 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Replace the Chicken with Shrimp and use deli Havarti Cheese. Throw them on the grill just till the cheese melts and Shrimp turns white. I guarantee you will never taste anything like it. They sell these at restaurants for $14.00 a half dozen. I make them at home for about $4.00 a dozen. They never stick around long.

Paula September 23, 2010 at 5:54 am

Thanks for sharing Clint. That sounds fantastic. Will definitely give it a try.

Evelyn September 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I love that there are four ingredients for such a delicious appetizer. Totally doable–and delicious! Thanks!

Also, great photo spread. What program did you use to make that? So simple, clear, and space-saving.

Paula September 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for your kind words Evelyn. I use Photoshop for single pictures but I construct the storyboards in Photoshop Elements–only because I haven’t figured out how to do it yet in Photoshop.

hank September 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm


Dia September 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

MMMMMMMMMMM!!!!! those look yummy! i bet my dad would love ’em

Annie September 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm

My mom has made a similar recipe for years- without the cream cheese and substituting tenderized deer roast marinated in italian dressing for the chicken.
I’ve seen huge platters full disappear in minutes.
It’s the best deer recipe you’ll ever try.

Foley September 15, 2010 at 1:40 am

My girl and i made these one night. They were DELICIOUS!

Andy September 13, 2010 at 10:24 pm

A friend of mine makes something very similar. He’s on the BBQ circuit. He calls them Armadillo Eggs. Same ingredients, but instead he puts the chicken in tiny cubes with the cheese inside a cored jalapeno shell. Wrap the bacon and grill. I’ve made them too, and I found that boiling the jalapeno’s first to soften them a bit helps before grilling. Anyway, I’ll try this variation for our family reunion in two weeks. Thanks for the post.

C-fer September 6, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Made these yesterday and they were amazing. I didn’t de-seed the jalapenos though (I like spicy food), and used a whole strip of bacon for each.

J August 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

I mix shredded cheddar and jack with the cream cheese. You should try it. It’s better.

Paula August 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I will try. Sounds fabulous!

Joanne K. August 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Wow! My son found this recipe and forwarded it to me. I made them tonight and they are fabulous!! They will definitely be a repeat. I used fresh jalapenos and the heat was just right. Mine came out a big big for a one bite appetizer so I will adjust them the next time. I could see mixing some Colby Jack shredded cheese in softened cream cheese for an alternative. Wide open for interpretation! Thank you for a great recipe and a great web site. Salad in a jar – that’s my next try.

Paula August 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Colby Jack would be wonderful.

Can’t wait to hear if you try the Salad in a Jar.

Creepy Friendly July 29, 2010 at 4:01 am

I’m currently cooking these cant wait to see how they turn out!

Marassaya July 25, 2010 at 2:14 am

had these last weekend but without the cream cheese. also used strips of jalapeno, not diced. and they used rabbit. OMG!!!! it was wonderful. there is an Australian restaurant near Gilbert, Arizona that we went to. they served them.

baobabs July 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

love this creative variation. I’m usually boring and use wrap asparagus with bacon… but the jalapeno idea is great!

WV Chica July 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

These were awesome! We just made them for dinner (I prepped them and my boyfriend grilled them). The next time, I will add a bit of seasoning to the chicken and/or cream cheese. Maybe a bit of pepper, garlic and onion powder.

Romaine July 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm

The extra seasoning seems like a wonderful idea!

tamara o'pry July 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

we smoked ours and then finished them off in the oven. YUM!!!

Petalbelles July 17, 2010 at 8:39 am

Jalapeno poppers meet chicken with bacon on the side? I am shivering with anticipation. I’m picking up the fixins’ tonight.

Demetrius July 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I make pretty much the same dish, but with shrimp. Preparation can be a little time consuming, but they are great. We dip them in ranch dressing. Fresh jalapenos are the best.

Romaine July 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Shrimp sounds absolutely fantastic!

Kristen July 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

I make these without the chicken. I use the half a jalp for each one and put the cream cheese in the pepper shell and then wrap in bacon. I’m sure its delicious with the chicken added.

They are definitely my favorite appetizer.

Mike S. July 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Just curious, how would this taste without cream cheese? Family is not big on it!!!!

Romaine July 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Seems like it would change the character of the dish dramatically. Do they like “spicy”? Perhaps you could roll a strip of jalapeno up inside the chicken and then wrap with bacon. Let me know if you try it.

Scott January 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Maybe try mixing a chipotle dressing and shredded cheddar in place of the cream cheese? Personally, I like the cream cheese

e July 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

maybe you could mix some shredded cheddar-jack in the cream cheese.. the bacon-jalapeno marriage needs something creamy to make it dreamy. unless you don’t do dairy at all, in which case i send my condolences.

we cannot all scream for ice cream.

Craig Michael July 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I stumbled across your Awesome Web page!!!!!
I can’t wait to be able to start cooking!!!!!!

Andy July 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

saw this today and so will be eating them!:)

rachel July 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

This is just beautiful! I’m going to make it this week!

lettucefan278 July 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

the jar of lettuce looks good

Beverly July 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Really like the thought of making the chicken bites for appetizers at our next gathering!

Dan July 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Heed the warning about being careful of chili oils…anyone who works in the industry will tell you that it’s not the eyes you really have to worry about, but pretty much any sensitive areas or mucous membranes. It’s easy to cripple yourself with pain for a while.

Adding bacon does make everything go quickly, but so does frying. I’m wondering how these would be with a tempura batter and a cilantro lime chili aioli.

Joel July 8, 2010 at 3:38 am

We’ve been making something similar for awhile… but we use pheasant and stuff the bits inside the jalapeno halves. Then drizzle honey over them after baking them in the oven.

Romaine July 8, 2010 at 5:17 am

Honey? M-m-m-m. Sounds good. We also like to dip them in barbecue sauce.

Carrie July 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Wow, those look crazy good! And what a fun appetizer for a summer party!

mike July 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm

These look like they might be fattening. Where can I find more? 🙂 I agree – I read “bacon-wrapped” and had to get the recipe. These look so wonderful – you have a knack with making non-baked goods look quite appetizing – I’d hate to see what mine looked like. This looks like a real winner in my family (cept for mom) – but peppers aren’t for everyone! Oh – 64 was the high today, cloudy and sprinkles. Welcome to the club – and Happy 4th!

bonnie July 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Mmmm–very appealing appetizer for my next BBQ!

Annie July 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

Wow, these look so so good! I will definitely make them sometime, I know everyone will love them!

TheKitchenWitch July 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

Those suckers would be gone in about 2 seconds at my house! I am definitely making these–we love our spicy food!

sandy July 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm

These chicken bites look wonderful. I may have to make these for my sister when she comes back from CA. I will tell her I am making them for her but I agree with Kyle. I want some!!! I am printing this out now! Thanks so much.

Sue July 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I miss the Texana restaurant and their Joe-Bob’s chicken. This looks like a good substitute. Thanks.

Romaine July 4, 2010 at 7:32 am

I miss that place too!

Crystal's Cozy Kitchen July 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Those look absolutely delicious!

Paula July 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

I`d like to tase such little and delicious bites 🙂

Kyle July 2, 2010 at 8:20 am

Yum. I want some.

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