Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings

Crispy, slightly charred chicken wings packed with Mexican flare! They’re loaded with cilantro, lime & garlicky flavors making them the perfect finger-licking game day appetizer!

Crispy cilantro lime chicken wings served on a white plate with a dipping sauce on the side

Looking for a game day appetizer for the start of football season? Or just tired of the same old chicken wings? Then you HAVE to try these easy cilantro lime chicken wings! Charlie and I love chicken wings…or should I say Charlie loves chicken wings. (Which he made undoubtly clear during first few days of dating him.😂) So therefore I grew to love them too and now they’re a staple in our house. Especially during football season! But what I love the most about these wings is that with a few simple swaps they’re made a little healthier for you while still being jam packed with flavor! Plus they’re always a huge hit at every get-together too!

Ingredients used to make cilantro lime chicken wings in the oven

Ingredients for cilantro lime chicken wings

  • Chicken wings: I prefer using wings where the drum and wingette are already seperated. (I haven’t tested this recipe using whole chicken wings yet – where the drum and wing are still attached.)
  • Cilantro: Gives your chicken wings their bright, zesty & fresh flavor!
  • Fresh lime juice: I wouldn’t suggest using bottled lime juice. It tends to be much sweeter than real lime juice and will change with the flavor of your chicken wings.
  • Avocado oil: Has a higher smoking point which helps your wings to crisp up more in the oven. (Extra virgin olive oil can be used as a substitute too.)
  • Garlic: Who doesn’t love fresh garlic right?!
  • Spices: Chili powder, salt and pepper and just a pinch of cayenne really help to elevate your chicken wings. (Cayenne is optional if you don’t want a little kick to them!)
Freshly baked chicken wings on a metal wired rack

What makes these wings healthier?

Chicken wings get a bad rap for being “unhealthy”, but with a few simple swaps you can easily lightened them up! For example, these chicken wings are baked instead of fried so there’s no oily or greasy residue like most fried recipes. Plus there’s no butter, no flour and no breading in these babies too! That’s because we’re marinating the chicken wings in a simple homemade mariande to really lock in those juices and let those natural flavors shine. Then by baking them in the oven we still get a nice crispy outside with tender juicy meat in the middle.

How to make cilantro lime chicken wings

  1. First add all the marinade ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Then pat your chicken wings dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Place the wings and your marinade in a large plastic bag and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  3. Once the wings are done marinating, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a large metal wire baking rack and pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Place your wings on the rack and spread them out far enough so none are touching each other. Then place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. (Optional: Once the wings are done, you can broil them for 2-3 minutes for extra crispiness. Just make sure to watch them so they don’t burn!)
  5. Serve your wings immediately with extra lime wedges or with your favorite dipping sauce!
Baked chicken wings on a serving tray surrounded by fresh cilantro, lime wedges and extra plates

FAQ’s for making cilantro lime chicken wings

  • Do I have to marinate my wings? Technically no. But marinating does infuse your wings with so much flavor. If you don’t have time to marinate your wings, I’d suggest reserving some of your marinade and using it as a dipping sauce for your cooked wings.
  • How long do chicken wings cook in the oven? Usually 30-35 minutes. All ovens operately differently though so some ovens might run hotter than others. I’d suggest checking your wings at 25 minutes and determine from there how much longer they need to cook.
  • Do I have to flip my wings half way through? NO! Whatever you do, DO NOT FLIP your wings! I’ve found that when you do, both sides of your wings sty limp and don’t crisp up at all. Just set your wings on your metall rack and let them go the whoel time.
  • How do I know when my chicken wings are cooked? Chicken wings are done when they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The best way to tell is to grab a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the wing.

Tips for making the best crispy cilantro lime chicken wings

  • Pat your wings with a paper towel before adding them to your marinade! This removes any excess moisture from your chicken wings & helps them to crisp up in the ove.
  • Bake on a metal wired rack for the best results! Any drippings from your wings will fall to the bottom pan while they’re cooking, leaving your wings crispy on the outside and tender in the middle!
  • Broil for extra crispiness! Wings not crispy enough after they’re done baking? No problem! Just turn your oven to a high broil and let them cook for 2-3 more minutes (or until they reach your desired crispiness). Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn though!

Need them gluten free? Great news, they already are!

Need them dairy free? Great news, they already are!

More chicken recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]

Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings

Easy, healthy and full of Mexican flare! These zesty wings are baked instead of fried, perfectly crispy and pack a punch of flavor!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main dish
Cuisine: Dairy free, Gluten free, Mexican
Keyword: chicken wings, cilantro, dairy free, gluten free, healthier, lime, oven baked chicken wings
Servings: 24 wings
Author: Caitlin Monson

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings (drums and wingettes)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped (leaves & steams are ok)
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (can be replaced with extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)

Instructions

  • Add your cilantro, lime juice, garlic, oil, chili powder, salt, pepper & cayenne to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Then pat your chicken wings dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Place the wings and your marinade in a large plastic bag and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Once the wings are done marinating, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a large metal wire baking rack and pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place your wings on the rack and spread them out far enough so none are touching each other. Then place your wings in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. (DO NOT FLIP YOUR WINGS HALF WAY THROUGH.) Optional: Once the wings are done, you can broil them for 2-3 minutes for extra crispiness. Just make sure to watch them so they don't burn!
  • Serve your wings immediately with extra lime wedges or with your favorite dipping sauce!

Notes

*Optional: If you don’t have time to marinate your wings, reserve 1/4 of your marinade and make the wings as directed. Then use your reserved mariande as a dipping sauce for the wings.

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