Sweetness? Check. Spiciness? Check. Buffalo sauce….not so much. These chipotle lime chicken wings are everything you love about my classic wings, with an unexpected sucker punch of southwestern flavors.
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Weak Wings Won’t Fly
If there’s one thing that southwestern cuisine is known for, it’s big, bold flavors. If there’s one thing my wings are known for, it’s beating the pants off of other people’s recipes.
Combine the two, and you’ve got the people’s champion of chicken wings.
Why You’ll Love These Wings: Poultry That Packs a Punch.
- Bold, complex, and unexpected flavors meet the crispy & tender texture my wings are known for.
- A “saucier” sauce means the chicken stays coated in sweet, luscious, peppery perfection. Credit: puréed adobo.
- Fresh citrus brings a zesty balance to an otherwise heavyweight list of flavors.
What You’ll Need
Here, the perfect balance of zesty, crispy, and juicy meets sweet, sweet spiciness in the form of chili pepper in adobo, cilantro, honey, and lime juice. And while the flavor is certainly full-bodied, don’t worry: the heat is nothing you can’t handle.
Besides, why not try something new? Seriously. Don’t be chicken.
Baked Chicken Wings:
- Chicken wings: I’m a huge fan of party wings, which have already been separated into smaller pieces. If that’s not an option, use a sharp knife to slice at the joint between the drummette and the flat (aka wingette). Do the same to slice and discard the tip. Video tutorial here.
- Baking powder is highly acidic, and dries out the skin of the chicken wings, making them crazy crunchy and eliminating the need for a fryer. Baking soda is not a substitute! You can also toss your wings in oil for similar results.
Chipotle Lime Sauce:
- Lime Juice: a touch of acidity to round out the sauce.
- Garlic: fresh garlic adds significantly more flavor than powdered, but garlic powder can work in a pinch.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo: Medium-hot heat with a ridiculously smoky flavor. They add a creaminess to our wing sauce and loads of complexity. You’ll find these in the canned section of your grocery store.
- Kosher Salt: measures differently than table salt, so don’t substitute here, or use about half the table salt.
- Honey: for a lower carb sauce, substitute honey for confectioners Swerve or Lakanto. You can also use a few monk fruit liquid drops.
- Cilantro: we’ll add this at the end so it doesn’t get over processed.
Variations + Tweaks
As in love as I am with this sauce, you may be looking for something slightly different. Here are some ways you can switch it up:
- Make it spicier. I’d rate the heat of this chipotle hot sauce recipe at a medium — not crazy hot (but perfect in my opinion). If you’re looking for spicier chipotle lime chicken wings, add in some hot sauce or cayenne pepper. (Adding more chipotle peppers will change the consistency and is not recommended.)
- Make it sweeter. With more honey or confectioners erythritol.
- Make it zestier. More lime, more seasoning, now is the time to mix them in!
How to Make Chipotle Wings
Not much to it! Here’s how to get crisp and perfectly delicious chipotle wings every time:
1 – Pat wings completely dry.
2 – Combine the salt, pepper, and baking powder in a small bowl.
3 – Sprinkle over the wings and toss to coat.
4 – Spread wings in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven.
5 – Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor.
6 – Add cilantro and pulse to combine.
7 – Toss baked wings in sauce, and enjoy.
How to Reheat Leftovers
Wings are best served as appetizers, lunches, and dinners IMMEDIATELY. But if you must…
- Reheat: in an oven preheated to 400 F for 15 minutes. Cover your heated chipotle lime chicken wings in additional sauce.
- Store your leftovers in a resealable baggie in the fridge.
- Freeze? Not this recipe, sorry friends.
Tips for the Best Wings:
As easy as this chipotle wings recipe is, there are a few important tips to keep in mind:
- Always use a wire rack! This allows the air to circulate around each wing, making them crunchy all over. Make sure your rack is oven-safe — it’s worth the investment to grab a jelly pan/wire rack combo.
- Pat wings completely dry before coating them in baking powder. This will help them crisp even more.
- Don’t overcrowd that pan… like most recipes, these will crisp up most if not overcrowded.
More Zesty Chicken Recipes
- Mexican Chicken Salad
- Peruvian Chicken
- Keto Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken
- Zucchini Enchiladas
Chipotle Lime Chicken WingsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 Pounds Chicken Wings tips removed, drumettes and flats separated (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder (Note 2)
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (Note 3)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Teaspoons Honey or confectioners Swerve or Lakanto (Note 4)
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro chopped
- Prep. Preheat oven the 425 F and prep a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and an oven-safe wire rack.
- Wings. Wrap your chicken wings (3 pounds) in paper towels and remove as much liquid as possible. Place dry wings in a large bowl. Combine baking powder (1 1/2 tablespoons), salt (1 teaspoon) and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon) together in a bowl, then sprinkle over the wings. Toss to coat.
- Bake. Place wings on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.
- Sauce. Place all sauce ingredients (except the cilantro) in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the chopped cilantro (1/4 cup) and pulse the food processor a few more times to incorporate. Taste test and adjust the seasoning to your liking (Note 5 + 6).
- Serve. Once the wings are done baking, place them in a large (clean) bowl. Pour sauce over the wings and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Separate the chicken wings with a sharp knife by slicing at the joint between the drummette, flat, and tip. Discard the tip. Highly suggested: buy party wings which have already been separated.
- Baking powder is a must! Baking soda is not a substitute here.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo can be found in the canned section of your grocery store. If you aren’t familiar, they have an incredible smoky flavor and are considered medium-hot on the spice scale.
- Honey + low carb/keto substitutes. Honey adds 8.5 g carbs per serving — feel free to use confections Swerve/Lakanto in its place. If you choose to skip the honey know that your sauce will be thinner and won’t coat the wings as well.
- Taste the sauce! Before coating the wings so you can adjust to your liking.
- Looking for more spice? Add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce.