If you’re looking for a delicious and easy appetizer to make for your next gathering, look no further than our Chicken Jalapeno Bites! These bites are made with seasoned chicken breast cubes that are wrapped in bacon, filled with cream cheese and jalapeno peppers, and cooked to perfection in an air fryer. Not only are they delicious, but they are also a healthier alternative to traditional fried appetizers. I will also let you know how to cook the chicken jalapeno bites in the oven. If these sound good to you, be sure to also try my Bacon Jalapeno Poppers.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Chicken: I used chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could also use chicken thighs if preferred.
Bacon: Stick to thin-cut bacon (not thick-cut) for the best results. If you use thick-cut bacon, it will not get crispy by the time the chicken has cooked through, causing dry chicken.
Seasonings & Spices: The seasoning mixture that goes on both the chicken and bacon is made up of brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Cream Cheese: You will need 24 pieces of cream cheese. When placing it on top of the chicken, press it down a bit to flatten each piece of cheese.
Jalapeno Peppers: There is no need to seed the jalapeno peppers when cutting them into rounds. In fact, leaving the seeds and membrane in the peppers will give a little more of a kick. However, you can certainly remove the seeds and membrane before cutting into rounds if preferred.
Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can easily get a head start on these bites by preparing them in advance and storing them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To ensure that they stay fresh, be sure to store them in an airtight container or wrap them securely in plastic wrap.
Baking Chicken Jalapeno Bites in the Oven
If your air fryer is being used for another tasty appetizer like my Jalapeno Popper Wontons, get perfectly crispy chicken jalapeno bites by baking them in the oven. To bake in the oven, get the bites wrapped and placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°F, flipping halfway through cooking time. The bacon should be crispy and the internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F.
Safely Store and Reheat Chicken Jalapeno Bites
If you have any leftovers, it’s easy to store them in the refrigerator or freeze them.
- Refrigerator: To store in the refrigerator, place the bites in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. They will last 3-4 days. Reheat the bites in the oven or air fryer.
- To Freeze: If freezing leftover chicken jalapeno bites, first, let them cool. Next, place the bites on a baking sheet and transfer them to the freezer for an hour or two, or until solid. Once frozen, store them in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before warming them up in the oven or air fryer.
Chicken Jalapeno Bites
- 12 slices thin-cut bacon, each slice cut in half
- ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound, cut into 24 cubes about 1 ½ inches in size
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 24 pieces
- 1-2 medium jalapeno peppers, cut into 24 thin rounds
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Divide the mixture evenly between two bowls.
- Toss the chicken cubes into one-half of the brown sugar mixture, coating all sides. Set aside.
- Place the bacon halves vertically onto a clean work surface. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the tops of the bacon. Then, flip over each bacon piece.
- Place one cube of chicken on the end of a bacon piece.
- Top each chicken cube with one piece of cream cheese and one jalapeno round.
- Wrap the bacon around the chicken, cream cheese, and jalapeno, securing with a toothpick.
- Place the bacon-wrapped chicken bites into the basket of your air fryer*, leaving space in between the bites. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
- Cook at 390°F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the bacon is crispy and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove the chicken bites from the air fryer. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.