Let’s face it: boneless, skinless chicken breast can be super blah. But it’s also an easy and quick protein to cook making it the perfect solution for fast weeknight meals. Enter bacon crusted BBQ chicken breast. This recipe keeps the cooking extremely simple while adding a few key ingredients to up the flavor ante: cheese, BBQ sauce, and of course, bacon.
♥ Related: BBQ Chicken & Peach Salad
I really like the pepper jack cheese here to add a little heat which balances the sweet, but if you don’t like it, use a regular jack or colby jack cheese which will melt really well in the oven.
This recipe comes together with about 40 minutes of total time. It’s a recipe that has plenty of hands off cooking time too, which will allow you to use that time to whip up a quick side dish or two.
♥ Related: BBQ Pork & Bean Stew
I like serving this with a simple cole slaw. It’s also super on a sub roll or large sandwich bun which I also like to pile slaw on top. Double the recipe to have a quick sandwich lunch later in the week. This is absolutely sure to be a new family fave.
Bacon Crusted BBQ Chicken Breast
BBQ Crusted BBQ Chicken Breasts
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- ¼ cup BBQ rub homemade (see recipe below) or store bought
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ~1-1 ½ pounds
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce your favorite
- 3 oz pepper jack cheese grated
- 6 tbsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 ½ tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If not using a jarred BBQ rub seasoning, mix together all of the ingredients listed above. Whisk together to combine well. This makes more than you will need. Store remaining rub in an airtight jar or container.
- Evenly sprinkle the BBQ rub on all sides of the chicken breasts. If you can, do this up to 4 hours ahead of time and let sit in the refrigerator uncovered on a baking rack on a baking sheet. Otherwise, do this step first to allow the rub to season the chicken while you are doing other prep work.
- In a large cast iron skillet or heat-proof skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat letting most of the fat render, but don't cook the bacon all the way. The bacon should be just slightly browning and chewy (it will crisp up more in the oven.)Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.
- Drain all but about 1 tbsp of bacon fat from the skillet. Over medium heat, brown each side of the chicken. This should take about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Roughly chop the bacon into about 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Use a silicone pastry brush or spoon to spread the top of the chicken breasts evenly with BBQ sauce. Then sprinkle evenly with grated cheese and then the bacon.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the thickest chicken breast reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a probe thermometer. Serve.
Things You Might Need For This Recipe
BBQ Spice Rub
Cast Iron Skillet
Silicone Pastry Brush
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