The BEST lemon garlic chicken wings! Tender chicken wings are marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon, lots of garlic & spices then air fried until crispy! You can serve them as an appetizer for game day or make a meal out of them!
According to my husband, chicken wings are a MUST when it comes to football snacks. (So we make a lot of them during this time of year!😉) He’s always partial to buffalo wings, but I love testing out new flavors! These lemon garlic chicken wings are an older recipe that I remade a few weeks ago and OMG I forgot how good they are! I tweaked them just a little bit and now I think they’re better than ever!
They’re made by blending a simple lemon garlic marinade together, marinating the wings for a 30 minutes, then tossing them in the air fryer until they’re super crispy & delicious! (Honestly, if you’ve never made chicken wings in the air fryer before… This is your sign to start NOW!)
Ingredients For Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
- Chicken wings: Look for wings that have the “wing” and “drumette” already separated. (They take much less time to cook and are much easier to prepare!)
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice works the best for this recipe. (You can use bottled juice if you’re in a pinch but it has a very different flavor profile than fresh juice. It’s a little sweeter in my opinion.
- Lemon zest: Helps to really bring out that lemon flavor!
- Avocado oil: Makes your wings nice and crispy! (I LOVE using avocado oil for wing recipes because it makes them super crispy due to it’s high smoking point. A high smoke point simply means that the oil can cook ingredients at a higher temperature without burning so easily, ie. HELLO CRISPINESS!)
- Garlic: You’ll need 4-5 garlic cloves!
- Seasonings: Garlic salt, black pepper & paprika give these wings so much flavor!
How To Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
Chicken wings in the air fryer are my absolute favorite! They’re crispy on the outside, tender in the center and use wayy less oil than traditional frying methods. (Aka it’s the best way to make chicken wings!)
1. Make your marinade. Add your marinade ingredients to a food processor and blend them together until “smooth.”
2. Marinate your chicken wings. Place your wings in a large plastic bag or bowl and add your marinade. Then seal the bag or cover the bowl and let them to marinate for 1 hour – 4 hours.
3. Air fry. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees. Once it’s ready, remove your chicken wings from the marinade and place them in the air fryer basket in a single layer. (It’s ok to do this in batches if needed.) Then air fry your wings for 18-20 minutes flipping halfway through (around the 9-10 minute mark.)
4. (Optional) Make a dipping sauce. While the wings are cooking, make another half recipe of the marinade to dip your wings in later or brush over the top after they’re done cooking. (A completely optional step but it adds so much flavor!)
5. Serve! Serve your wings immediately with extra lemon wedges and your dipping sauce!
*Note: Every air fryer is different so your cooking time may vary slightly. I’d suggest checking the wings occasionally to make sure they’re not burning. (We have a Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Grill and love it!)
Help – I don’t have an air fryer! Can I bake these wings instead? Absolutely! Crispy baked lemon garlic chicken wings are just as good! Below are directions for baking:
- Place a large wired rack on a rimmed cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Then add your chicken wings and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- (For crispier wings – Broil for 3-5 minutes after they’re done baking!)
I personally love making a little extra marinade to dip or brush over the wings when they’re done. But if you’re like Charlie and NEED a different dipping sauce – we got you! Here are a few of our favorite dips:
- Lemon Ranch Dressing: Mix your favorite ranch dressing and a squeeze of lemon together.
- Healthier Lemon Ranch Dip: Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning (1 packet) + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Charlie’s “Secret Sauce”: Mix together your favorite blue cheese dressing + ranch dressing (He swears by it!😉)
Why you’ll love this chicken wing recipe!
- SO. MUCH. FLAVOR! Lots of lemon juice & zest! These wings are definitely for the lemon lover in your life!
- Better for you! Most chicken wing recipes call for frying the wings in A TON of oil – not this one! Air frying requires minimal oil yet still crisps them up perfectly!
- Perfectly cooked every time! Crispy on the outside yet tender & moist in the center!
- A crowd favorite! Lemon seems to be a flavor everyone loves so these wings are always the first to go at parties!
Need them gluten free? Great news, they already are!
Need them dairy free? Great news, they already are!
More chicken wing recipes you might like:
- Baked Cajun Chicken Wings with Avocado Lime Sauce
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
- Spicy Mango BBQ Chicken Wings
- Baked Balsamic Chicken with Caprese Salsa
- Apple & Brie Stuffed Chicken
[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments! I love seeing what you create!]
Crispy Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs. chicken wings
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Add your marinade ingredients to a food processor and blend them together until "smooth."
- Then place your chicken wings in a large plastic bag or bowl and add your marinade. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and let them to marinate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Next preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees. Once it’s ready, remove your wings from the marinade and place them in the air fryer basket in a single layer. (It’s ok to do this in batches if needed.) Air fry for 18-20 minutes flipping halfway through (around the 9-10 minute mark.)
- (Optional) While the wings are cooking, make another half recipe of the marinade to dip your wings in later or brush over the top after they're done cooking. (This step is completely optional but adds so much flavor to your wings!)
- Serve your wings immediately with extra lemon wedges on the side.