Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs are a super easy and flavorful weeknight dinner.
I first created this recipe in 2013 when I lived in Glasgow. One thing that continually fascinated me was how it was virtually impossible to get American-style bacon.
Sure, there were rashers and even streaky bacon (which looks like American bacon) but nothing tasted quite the same. It doesn’t have any of the sugar normally added to the bacon in the States and is pretty salty. No matter, I wanted to make baked chicken thighs and decided to make them a bit more special.
Update 5/8/2018: In the interest of continual improvement, I updated this post by adding some tips and new photography, plus retesting and slightly modifying the recipe. Enjoy!
Why I Love Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are my go-to weeknight protein.
They’re more flavorful and juicy than chicken breasts because they have a bit more fat. That keeps the meat from drying out and becoming like, well, a dry piece of cardboard. Plus, chicken thighs are usually a lot less expensive than chicken breasts.
Can You Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs?
Generally, I like skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs best (I mean, Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs with crispy skin, anyone?!). But for this recipe, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs which makes the wrapping with bacon part a bit easier. Use what’s available to you, and just know that this recipe is pretty flexible.
If you’re frugal, you could always buy bone-in chicken thighs and remove the bones yourself. (Hint: I save the bones in the freezer for making bone broth.) Nevertheless, this recipe is packed with flavor thanks to smoked paprika, garlic, and of course, bacon.
Smoked paprika – one of my favorite spices – adds another layer of smoky flavor to the mix. If you can’t find smoked paprika, you could use sweet paprika instead. It won’t be quite the same, but pretty close.
Make These Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs for Meal Prep
Roast up a double batch, eating some for dinner and saving the rest for lunches throughout your week.
This recipe is very simple to make. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the boneless chicken thighs on it. If there are big chunks of fat, you may want to trim it off.
Then, season both sides of the meat with the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I usually play it chill on salt because the bacon will add a bit of salt on its own.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
Next, lightly roll the chicken thighs up. Try not to roll them too tightly or it’ll take longer to cook. You just want to make sure that the bacon strips will fit most of the way around.
Lastly, wrap a piece of bacon around each chicken thigh. It’s okay if it pops off a little bit during baking. You could also prepare the chicken thighs as above and roast them in a cast iron skillet (see the one I use and recommend).
For a complete meal, you may want to serve these Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs with:
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Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs are a delicious way to elevate chicken to a new level. Season with smoked paprika, wrap with bacon, and bake. These are paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30-friendly.
- 2 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 8 oz bacon (or 1 piece per thigh)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Trim any skin and excess fat from the chicken thighs. Season the chicken with smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Wrap one piece of bacon around each chicken thigh and place on the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.
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