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Armadillo Eggs with Chicken and Bacon: Great on the Grill

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Preview: Armadillo Eggs with Chicken and Bacon are flattened chicken tenders stuffed with cream cheese, laced with chopped jalapeño pieces, then wrapped with bacon.

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

Whether you’re planning a cookout this weekend or cooking indoors, 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, cheesy, smoky, and crispy chicken nuggets.

Whether you call them Armadillo Eggs with Chicken, Chicken Grenades, Jalapeño Chicken Poppers, or Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Jalapeño Bites, they will make the men in your life go crazy. I promise.


Is there a substitute for the jalapeños?

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

Can I freeze jalapeños:

Did you know you can freeze whole fresh jalapeño peppers? Throw the washed peppers into a small plastic bag and freeze. When ready to use, thaw the peppers under running water, and prepare for your recipe.

Can I cook these in an air-fryer?

Yes. I’ve only experimented with the new air-fryer attachment sold for the Instant Pot. Preheat to 400˚ F. That’s important. Then cook one layer for 12 minutes, turning half-way through.

I like to line the original stainless steel pot insert that comes with the Instant Pot with aluminum foil. This facilitates cleanup and keeps any drippings from burning.

How to assemble Armadillo Eggs with Chicken and Bacon:

Pounding chicken tenders in Ziploc bags
Pound chicken breast tenders.
Chopped fresh jalapeños
Seed and chop fresh jalapeño peppers.
chicken tenders with cream cheese and jalapeños on top
Smear cream cheese on top of each tender and sprinkle with peppers.
 Chicken Bites wrapped in bacon
Roll bacon around the folded chicken tender and secure with a toothpick.

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Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Yield: 16 bite-size pieces

Armadillo Eggs with Chicken and Bacon Recipe Recipe

Armadillo Eggs with Chicken and Bacon Recipe Recipe

Chicken spread with cream cheese and jalapeños, rolled and wrapped with bacon, then grilled

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 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 1/2 teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant 1/4 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 jalapeños. 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.

Nutrition Information:


16 bite size servings

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Recipe slightly adapted from “Warren’s Chicken Bites” published in Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.

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