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.
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.
Poultry That Packs a Punch
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?
Don’t be chicken.
Why They’re Tough to Beat
- 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.
Your Chicken Wing Questions, Answered
- How do I break apart 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.
- Why use baking powder on chicken wings? 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!
- Do I need a wire rack to bake this chili lime chicken? YES! 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.
- How do I combine the chicken wing sauce? Toss all honey chipotle sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy. TASTE! And adjust the seasoning to your liking. Since there isn’t a ton of sauce, I use a mini food processor for this.
- Why chipotle peppers in adobo? Have you had them before?! 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.
- Can I skip the honey? Honey does 2 things here: 1. helps to thicken the sauce so it better coats the wings, and 2. adds a mild sweetness. If you’re worried about the carbs in wings with the addition of honey, (honey adds about 8.5 g carbs per serving) use confections erythritol in its place. Or, skip the honey, knowing that the sauce will be a little less thick.
Should you have leftovers…
Wings are best served as low carb appetizers, lunches, and dinners IMMEDIATELY. But if you must reheat, do so 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.
To dip? Or not to dip?
Truthfully, I don’t think a dipping sauce is necessary here — the chipotle lime combo will curb your saucy cravings without needing an additional mixing bowl. But if you NEED a chicken wing sauce, try something like blue cheese or homemade ranch dressing.
As mentioned, after blending, you’ll want to taste test and adjust the chili lime chicken wings sauce to your liking. Here are some potential adjustments you may consider:
- 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!
More Mexican Chicken Recipes
- Mexican Chicken Salad
- Low Carb Taco Soup
- 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.