Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps

By Rachel Tiemeyer
January 25, 2021

Marinated chicken, crispy bacon, and a creamy southwest ranch sauce all wrapped up in a warm tortilla make for a delicious Southwest Chicken Wrap. These grilled chicken wraps are a great meal for groups of people or to make ahead and freeze.

Southwest Chicken Wraps cut in half, face up

This recipe began with an attempt to recreate one of our family’s favorite dishes from one of our favorite local restaurants.  We were pretty excited to discover that it holds its own with our local fave. Look how easy they come together!

A One Minute Video on How to Make Southwest Chicken Wraps

What’s in These Tasty Wraps?

A wrap is only as good as its ingredients so these are worth elaborating on a bit.

Grilled Chicken Tenders

Of all the marinades in the world, THIS Southwest Chicken Marinade is the one I make the most. Hands down. My kids love it. All adults love it. And it can be served any way you dream up–a la carte, in tacos or quesadillas, on top of a burrito bowl or salad. It has SO much flavor

Southwest Chicken Marinade in a jar and in a freezer bag with chicken.

For this recipe though, we are using chicken tenders. The longer you marinate the chicken, the better in my opinion. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done. Chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally or has no more pink inside. Let chicken rest on a cutting board and then dice into bite-sized pieces.

A few other ways to cook your chicken tenders:

  • Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until done.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken and marinade in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out. We have written a whole post about how long to cook chicken in the slow cooker here if you are interested in more information.
  • Instant Pot: Place chicken, marinade, and 1/3 cup chicken broth in a 6 quart Instant Pot. (Note: If using an 8 quart, double the marinade and broth amount.) Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. Snag our FREE Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet here.
Southwest Grilled Chicken Tenders

Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce

This sauce is what takes the chicken wraps from good to great in my opinion. We have a homemade Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce recipe here. If you’re looking for a short cut, combine 1:1 ratio of salsa and store-bought ranch dressing. I do this all the time!

Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce

Bacon

I mean, bacon makes everything better, right? Use this no-fail way of cooking bacon in the oven to avoid all the mess of cooking on the stove!

Bacon after being baked in the oven

Toppings

After these main ingredients, you’ll want to add your optional toppings. Some ideas include:

  • Shredded cheese (Cheddar or a Mexican blend)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomato
  • Avocado slices
  • Diced red onion

Southwest Chicken wraps, cut in half and being held in a hand

Can I Freeze Chicken Wraps?

Another beauty of this recipe is that you can double it and make one a freezer meal SO easily.

Freeze For Later: Package the following items individually in freezer bags and freeze them together as a kit:

Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator overnight. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 2.

I also think this would be a great meal to take to a new mom or someone in need of a dinner.

Southwest chicken wraps packaged as a freezer meal

How to Serve Southwest Chicken Wraps

How to Assemble the Wrap:

To each tortilla, add some grilled chicken, bacon pieces, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce. Roll up like a burrito. Serve more Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce on the side for dipping, if desired.

Kid Tip:  When my younger two kids weren’t into wraps and couldn’t hold onto a wrap yet, I used the cheese, chicken, and bacon and made them a quesadilla instead.  My 5-year-old, however, loved making his own wrap. I just nuked it for about 20 seconds to melt the cheese so it would hold together and not fall into his lap.

Southwest chicken wraps being assembled
Print

Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 14 minutes
  • Yield: 8 wraps 1x
  • Category: Wrap
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Southwest

Description

Southwest Chicken and Bacon Wraps are packed with flavor and a family favorite in the making.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders (or you can use chicken breasts)
  • 1 batch of Southwest Chicken Marinade
  • 8 slices (about a half pound) bacon, fully cooked and crumbled (try our No Fail Bacon method)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (or shredded cheddar)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 batches of Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce (sub: combine 1:1 ratio of salsa and store-bought Ranch Dip)
  • 8 burrito-sized whole wheat tortillas

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, add the chicken to the Southwest Chicken Marinade. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.
  2. Grill the Chicken:  Preheat grill to medium-high heat and clean the grates well. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, maybe longer depending on the thickness, until done. Chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally or has no more pink inside. Let chicken rest on a cutting board and then dice into bite-sized pieces. (See other ways to cook your chicken in notes below.)
  3. Assemble the Wrap: To each tortilla, add some grilled chicken, bacon pieces, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce. Roll up like a burrito. Serve more Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce on the side for dipping, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Package the following items individually in freezer bags and freeze them together as a kit:

Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator overnight. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 2.

 

COOKING NOTES:

How to Know If Chicken Is Done: Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature. (A digital meat thermometer is a must to help cook chicken perfectly.)

Other Ways to Cook Chicken Tenders:

  • Bake in Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, until done.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken and marinade in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Really! That’s all it takes to get it done, otherwise you’ll overcook and dry it out.
  • Instant Pot: Place chicken, marinade, and 1/3 cup chicken broth in a 6 quart Instant Pot. (Note: If using an 8 quart, double the marinade and broth amount.) Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release of the pressure when the cook time is up. (Note: It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.)

Notes

If using chicken breasts, pound out chicken breasts to about 3/4 inch thick (or cut it in half lengthwise) to help with fast and even grilling.

We get our meat from ButcherBox. The bacon is uncured, contains no sugar, and is absolutely delicious! The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat and have used it for years ourselves.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8 wraps
Southwest chicken wraps cut open and face up

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17 replies
  1. Morgan says:

    Simple and delicious! This was my first time making this recipe. I let the chicken marinate overnight and cooked on the stove tonight. The chicken was moist and had a nice flavor. The addition of bacon gave it just the right amount of salt. The ranch mixture was nummy on top of all of it. This one is going in the rotation!

    Reply
    • Polly says:

      You could do either. We like to freeze it in the marinade uncooked. That way it is fresh after you thaw it and then cook it. But you could also cook it up, freeze it and then just warm it up when you want to eat it. Does that help?

      Reply
  2. Shana says:

    These were great! We added avocado to ours and left out the tomatoes. Thanks! I love doubling these and saving half for a busy night. We have tried the Chicken Veggie Rice Casserole, the Burrito Pie, Asian Wraps, and Herb Chicken Burgers, and all were delicious. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      I’m honored you tried so many of my recipes. The ones you mentioned are all staples for our Freezer Club. My kids especially love these and the Chicken Burgers (which we had last night). So happy to be able to help another home cook!

      Reply
  3. Lily of the Valley says:

    Flat Branch. Oh the memories. That's the last place we consumed a meal; my dissertation adviser treated after I passed my defense. Mmmmm.

    Reply