Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings

The BEST lemon garlic chicken wings! Tender chicken wings are marinated in a mix of lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic & spices then air fried until crispy! Serve them as an appetizer or turn them into a meal with your favorite sides!

A close up photo of lemon garlic chicken wings sitting next to a small bowl of marinade that doubles as a dipping sauce.

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 the recipe just a 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 used to make lemon garlic chicken wings

Ingredients For Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings

Chicken wings: Look for wings that have the “wing” and “drumette” already separated. (Some grocery stores also call them “party wings”.) You’ll need at least 2 lbs. of chicken wings for this recipe!

Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice works the best for this recipe. (Bottled lemon juice can be used if you’re in a hurry but it has a very different flavor than fresh lemon juice. It’s a little sweeter in my opinion.)

Lemon zest: Helps to bring out that lemon flavor! You’ll need the 2 teaspoons of lemon zest (about 1 lemon).

Avocado oil: 2 tablespoons of avocado oil are tossed with your wings to make them super crispy! (I LOVE using avocado oil for wing recipes because it makes them so 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 for your marinade!

Seasonings: Garlic salt, black pepper & paprika give these wings so much flavor!

A food processor filled with lemon garlic marinade for chicken wings
A large clear bowl filled with chicken wings marinating in a lemon garlic mixture
A close up photo of crispy marinated lemon garlic chicken wings in an air fry basket

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 way 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 1-4 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. (This step is 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 over a rimmed cookie sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray. Then add your chicken wings and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. (DO NOT flip your wings!)
  • For crispier wings – Broil for 3-5 minutes after they’re done baking!
A large baking tray filled with lemon garlic chicken wings sitting next to a bowl of lemon garlic marinade

Dipping Sauces!

I personally love making a little extra marinade to dip or brush over the wings once 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 + a squeeze of lemon!
  • Healthier Lemon Ranch Dip: Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning (1 packet) + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Lemon garlic chicken wings sitting on a serving tray with fresh lemon wedges garnished with chopped parsley

Why you’ll love this chicken wing recipe!

  • SO. MUCH. FLAVOR! Lots of lemon juice + lemon 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!

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments! I love seeing what you create!]

Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings

Tender chicken wings are marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic & spices then air fried until crispy! These are BEST lemon garlic chicken wings! Serve them as an appetizer or turn them into a meal with your favorite sides!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, chicken wings recipe, game day appetizers, lemon garlic chicken wings
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Make your marinade. Add your lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oil, garlic salt, paprika and black pepper to a food processor and blend them together until "smooth."
  • Marinate your chicken wings. 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.
  • Air fry. 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. (See Notes section for the "Half Batch Dipping Sauce" measurements.)
  • Serve. Serve your wings immediately with extra lemon wedges on the side.

Notes

Half Batch Dipping Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
 
 

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