Maple mustard bacon chicken bites with an easy 2-ingredient dipping sauce makes a terrific appetizer for game day or any day. Be prepared to watch them disappear!
When I was asked to participate in a recipe sharing group of foodie football fans (see the other recipes here and here), I said yes right away – even though I’m not a huge football fan. Huh? Let me just say that growing up with a brother who is a sports fanatic (like, over-the-top) and then marrying someone who enjoys football means that football and me go way back.
I can follow the game, and I enjoy great catches and amazing plays with the rest of them. But you know what I like the most? I love the sound of the game on the television – it makes me feel warm and cozy and it’s oddly comforting, probably because I’ve heard it on fall and winter Sundays my entire life.
What, did you think it was the food I liked best about game day? Well, that, too! And especially on the big game day because we always have a large spread of finger foods, no matter who is watching with us. It’s a fun tradition we enjoy every year.
Real food onion dip makes an appearance with potato chips and veggies, along with a warm dip with bread like this skillet cheesy chicken artichoke dip and guacamole with chips or hummus with pita. I’ll add more cut veggies and an easy snack like this nut mix and then bring out a plate of cookies for the last quarter. So yeah, there is food.
But you know what we’ve been missing? These bacon chicken bites. They are SO good – we demolished the platter the first time I made them. And while they’re good on their own, it’s the dipping sauce that really makes them shine.
I developed these based on a couple of our family’s favorite recipes, overnight peppered maple-mustard bacon and maple-mustard chicken, using the simple but super flavorful combination of maple and mustard to marinate the chicken as well as brush it on the bites before baking. I hope you like this as much as we do!
Make Maple Mustard Chicken Bites
The first step to make these – or any recipe where you’ll need to bake or grill with wood skewers – is to soak the toothpick skewers. It’s easy to do it while making the recipe – that’s plenty of time for them to soak.
Partially cooking the bacon helps it to crisp more after wrapping the chicken without overcooking the chicken.
I thought I’d pass along my favorite tip for cutting chicken in small pieces – kitchen scissors! I find it easier to cut squishy raw chicken with scissors than a knife. Try it and see if you like it, too.
Wrap the chicken pieces with bacon, brush with more sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake until the bacon is brown and crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Mix up the 2-ingredient dipping sauce while the bites bake.
Serve and watch them disappear!
- 20-24 round toothpicks
- 3 chicken thighs or 1 breast (about 1 lb.)
- ¼ c. Dijon mustard
- 2 TB. pure maple syrup
- 10-12 slices bacon, cut in half*
- coarse-ground black pepper (optional)
- DIPPING SAUCE:
- 2 TB. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- Place toothpicks in a small bowl of water to soak while preparing the recipe.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon halves on a baking sheet and bake until partially cooked, about 5 minutes for regular bacon, 8-10 for thick (depending on how thick the slices). Remove from oven and lower temperature to 375 degrees.
- Meanwhile, mix the ¼ cup mustard with 2 tablespoons syrup in the bottom of a medium-sized bowl.
- Cut chicken into pieces (about ¾-inch) and add to bowl; stir well to coat.**
- Wrap each piece of chicken with one bacon half, securing with a wet toothpick and placing the bites on a lined baking sheet. When all pieces are wrapped, brush the bites with the remaining sauce in the bowl and sprinkle with black pepper on all sides.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until done, turning the bites over at the 10 minute mark.
- While the bites are baking, mix up the sauce in a small bowl (you can heat it if desired or serve at room temperature).
- When bites are browned and cooked through (160 degrees), place them on a platter with the bowl of dipping sauce and serve immediately.
**At this point, you can leave the chicken to marinate for a few hours or overnight, if you wish. Refrigerate the partially cooked bacon along with the chicken and assemble shortly before you want to serve the bites.
I’ve teamed up with my football blogger friends in one final collaboration to bring you some brilliant Big Game recipe ideas. We’ve made appetizers, entrees, desserts and even drinks. Prepare to be inspired, and be sure to check out their links below!
Classic Potato Salad by Celebrating Family
Chili Cheese Burritos by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Fruit Spring Rolls with Key Lime Cheesecake Dip by Body Rebooted
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders by Dash of Herbs
Mediterranean Seven Layer Dip by The Culinary Compass
Chicks in a Blanket with Apricot Sauce by Mom’s Messy Miracles
Jalapeno Pale Ale Chili by Beer Girl Cooks
Jalapeno Popper Pull Apart Bread by The Life Jolie
Sausage Pepperoni Pizza Dip by Feast + West
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls by Family Food on the Table
Mini Bacon Ranch Cheese Balls by Honey & Birch
Cookie Dough Cheese Ball by Bread Booze Bacon
Hawaiian Pizza Jalapeno Poppers by Love & Flour
Meatloaf Sliders by Foodtastic Mom
Wonton Taco Cups by A Mind Full Mom
Pancetta and Smoked Mozzarella Arancini by The Secret Ingredient Is
Bean and Cheese Taco Bites by The BakerMama
Monte Cristo Poppers by See Aimee Cook
Chile Beer Sangria by Cake ‘n Knife
Low Carb Stuffed Crust Pizza by Sustaining the Powers
Puff Pastry Pizza Bites by The Mexitalian
No Churn Pistachio Baklava Ice Cream by Club Narwhal
Roasted Jalapeno Poppers by Off the Eaten Path
Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese by Hello Little Home
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Wings by Around My Family Table
Gluten Free Bread Sticks by What A Girl Eats
Cheesy Beef Dip by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs by The Crumby Cupcake
Greek Meatballs by Two Places at Once
Baked Taco Empanadas by Simplify, Live, Love
Cheese Sticks by Coffee Love Travel
Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese Meatballs by West via Midwest
Puff Pastry Bacon Pizza Twists by 2 Cookin Mamas
Skillet Chicken Queso Dip by foodbyjonister
Spicy Sausage Rolls by Peanut Blossom
Protein Dark Chocolate Truffles by The Creative Bite
Chickpea Pepper Cheese Poppers by Bucket List Tummy
Maple Cranberry Apple Sangria by Order in the Kitchen
Meyer Lemon Shandies by The Speckled Palate
Game Day Fried Deviled Eggs with Chow Chow Relish by For the Love of Food
Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls by Simple and Savory
Pastrami Nachos by A Little Gathering
Shrimp Ceviche Dip by Glisten and Grace
Football Bourbon Balls + Boozy Lemonade by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Apple Cider Mimosas With A Sparkly Sugar Rim by And She Cooks
Pulled Pork Stuffed Corn Dogs by Nik Snacks
Easy Pepperoni Rolls by Me and My Pink Mixer
Real Boneless Chicken Wings by Macheesmo
Califlower Tater Tots by Living Well Kitchen
Cheeseburger Naan Pizza by Shaws Simple Swaps
Red Velvet Ginger Rum Balls by Cafe Terra
Crab Rangoon by Brunch-n-Bites
Sweet n’ Spicy BBQ Popcorn by Life’s Ambrosia
Buffalo Chicken Rolls by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Crowd Pleasing Steak Fajita Dip by Lizzy is Dizzy
Sriracha Hummus Pinwheel Sandwiches by Casa de Crews
Simlple Meatball Sub Sliders by Loaves & Dishes
Maple-Mustard Bacon Chicken Bites by An Oregon Cottage
Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese & Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces by A Simpler Grace
Ricotta Stuffed Sausage Meatballs by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen