Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
These buffalo wings are so crispy you won’t believe they’re not fried! Baked in the oven then coated in a lip-tingling spicy buffalo sauce. Great game-day grub!
Hey hey it’s football season!
While I might not be much of a football fan (admittedly), I am a HUGE fan of football parties.
I love getting together with friends and watching everybody get so into the game. There’s an electricity in the air, and you just can’t help getting caught up in it!
Um, yes please!
But nothing describes football food better than buffalo wings.
Last year I posted this buffalo chicken dip, and it remains a top favorite for my son and me to this day.
But today I thought it would be great to share my secret for crispy baked buffalo wings!
This recipe is magical. So much easier and healthier than frying, and you won’t believe how crispy the chicken wings come out!
They’re smothered in a spicy, tangy sauce that will make your mouth water. Served alongside crunchy celery sticks and a creamy blue cheese dip, they’re better than anything you can get at a restaurant, pinky promise!
WHAT ARE BUFFALO WINGS?
Buffalo wings are a pub grub staple. I don’t know of any self-respecting sports bar in the country that doesn’t have wings on their menu!
And for good reason! They’re so beloved. Who wouldn’t go crazy for a basket of crispy fried chicken wings, drowned in a tangy, spicy hot sauce and dunked in cool creamy blue cheese or ranch dressing?
They’re saucy and they’re messy and they’ll have you licking your fingers and begging for more. So much fun.
FYI, they’re called “buffalo” wings not because they’re made with buffalo meat, but because the recipe originated in Buffalo, New York.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY BAKED BUFFALO WINGS
Fried is delish but honestly? Most of the time I just don’t have the energy for it. Hot oil is dangerous and messy, and it tends to stink up the whole house. Not to mention fried food is not that good for you.
I’d much prefer baking my chicken wings! Especially when they come out of the oven every bit as brown, crispy, and succulent.
To get that beautiful crispy skin, you first need to make sure your wings are nice and dry. Just pat them down *really* well with paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture.
But the real secret to these crispy baked chicken wings is in the dry rub. The magic ingredient is baking powder!
I know it sounds crazy but baking powder can do magical things. It raises the pH level of the chicken skin, helping it to brown and crisp up. And as it leavens, it increases the skin’s surface area, which creates an extra crunchy texture.
You can read more about the science behind it here: Use Baking Powder to Make Miraculously Crispy Chicken.
Along with the baking powder, I also like to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little chili powder for extra flavor. Just toss the chicken in this rub until it’s all evenly coated, then place the wings on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
This is going into the fridge to chill (uncovered) for 8 hours. I know, you’re going to need to plan ahead a little bit here, but I promise you the results are worth it!
A long chill will allow the outside of the wings to really dry out and it’s going to give the baking powder plenty of time to do its thing.
Once they’ve had a nice nap in the fridge, pop your wings into the oven and roast them at a relatively high temperature, flipping them about halfway through the cooking process.
You won’t believe how crispy these chicken wings come out!
HOW TO MAKE BUFFALO SAUCE
While the wings cook, mix up your buffalo sauce.
It’s really easy. Just whisk together hot sauce, melted butter, tomato paste (it makes the sauce nice and thick and adds a little extra flavor), Worcestershire sauce, a touch of honey to balance the flavors, and garlic powder, until smooth.
When your chicken wings come out of the oven, slather them with this spicy, tangy sauce. It will make your mouth water!
WHAT TO DIP WINGS IN
You need a creamy dip to go with buffalo wings! It cools down the heat and adds even more flavor to the dish.
I know lots of people love ranch, but I am a blue cheese girl through and through. There’s just something so amazing about the combination of tangy, spicy buffalo sauce with rich, sharp blue cheese.
I make a quick blue cheese dip by stirring together mayo, sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, scallions, lemon juice, and salt & pepper.
It’s nice and thick, and the perfect cool, creamy counterbalance to all the heat of the buffalo sauce.
ARE BAKED CHICKEN WINGS HEALTHY?
There are lots of specifics on the nutritional label (found in the recipe card below), but I can tell you that if you omit the blue cheese dip, this crispy baked buffalo wings recipe is ok to have on the keto diet, whole30, and the paleo diet.
It’s also pretty low carb.
If you use clarified butter, aka: ghee, it’s even better, and you could leave out the honey altogether (there’s not much of it to begin with) to make it super low-carb.
It’s also gluten-free, but not dairy-free as it does call for butter.
HOW HOT & SPICY ARE THESE CHICKEN WINGS?
For the recipe you see here, I would compare the heat level to what a restaurant would probably label as “hot.” They aren’t mild but they aren’t super-spicy either. You might even call them medium.
The brand of hot sauce you use could make a big difference in how spicy your baked chicken wings come out. Some brands are hotter than others. But if you use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Crystal Hot Sauce, or Tabasco Sauce, your wings will come out similar to what I’ve made here. (I used Frank’s!)
HOW TO MAKE MILD BUFFALO SAUCE
If you’d like to make a milder version, just decrease the amount of hot sauce and add more melted butter in its place.
HOW TO MAKE EXTRA-SPICY BUFFALO SAUCE
HOW LONG WILL BUFFALO WINGS LAST?
These baked buffalo wings are at their absolute best when they’re fresh from the oven and just-sauced.
As they sit, the liquid in the buffalo sauce will absorb into the chicken wings and they will lose their crunch over time.
They can however be crisped back up, so if you have any leftovers, re-warm them in a low oven until heated through.
Leftover baked chicken wings will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
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These buffalo wings are so crispy you won't believe they're not fried! Baked in the oven then coated in a lip-tingling spicy buffalo sauce. Great game-day grub!
- celery sticks
Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels, then add the baking powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.
Place the chicken wings on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and bake the wings for 20 minutes, then flip them over and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through and very crispy.
Brush the crispy chicken wings with the buffalo sauce and serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
Whisk the hot sauce, melted butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and garlic powder together until smooth.
Stir the mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, scallions, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together until well-blended.
For a milder buffalo sauce, cut back on the hot sauce and substitute it with an equal amount of melted butter.
For an even spicier buffalo sauce, add 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.