Marinated in a blend of fresh cilantro, lime juice, lots of garlic & Mexican spices then cooked until crispy & tender! These zesty cilantro lime chicken wings are full of flavor & perfect for an easy dinner or served as an appetizer! (Air fryer AND baking directions are included!)
Chicken wings are a staple in our house so I’m constantly looking for new flavors to try. We have our tried and true favorites (like cajun chicken wings and lemon garlic wings) but these cilantro lime chicken wings are on a whole other level! They’re zesty, tangy, crispy on the outside while tender in the center and so easy to make!
Plus you can make them in the air fryer or bake them in the oven – they’re sooo good either way! We love serving them as an a game day appetizer or snack and friends and family can never get enough of them!
Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
- Chicken wings: Look for “party wings” or “wingettes” for the best results. (These have the “drums” and “flats” already seperated.)
- Cilantro: Use the leaves AND stems for maximum flavor! (The stems are where all the flavor is at!)
- Lime juice: Always use fresh lime juice for this recipe! (Store-bought lime juice tends to have additives that can alter the flavor of your marinade.)
- Avocado oil: Has a higher smoking point which helps to crisp your wings without burning them. (Olive oil can be used instead.)
- Garlic: You’ll need 2 garlic cloves for this recipe.
- Spices: Chili powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne are used in your marinade! (You can leave out the cayenne if you don’t want your wings too spicy.)
How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings In The Air Fryer
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 ro bowl and add your marinade. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and allow them to marinate for 1 hour – 4 hours.
3. Air fry. Then 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 do 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 your dipping sauce. While the wings are cooking, make another half recipe of your marinade and reserve it to dip your wings in later. (This step is completely optional but it adds so much flavor to your wings!)
5. Serve! Serve your wings immediately with extra lime wedges and your reserved dipping sauce!
*Note: Every air fryer is different so your wings may take more or less time depending. If you’re unsure then I’d suggest checking them every so often to make sure they aren’t burning.
Baking Method For Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
1. Marinate your chicken wings. Marinate your chicken wings the same as you would for the air fryer method.
2. Prepare your oven. Once your wings are done marinating, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then place a large wire rack on a rimmed baking pan and spray the rack and pan with cooking spray.
3. Bake. Place your wings on the rack and spread them out so they’re not overlapping each other. Then place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes without flipping them. (For extra crispiness, try broiling your wings for 2-3 minutes after they’re done baking. Make sure to watch them so they don’t burn!)
4. Serve! Serve your wings immediately with extra lime wedges and your reserved dipping sauce (from air fryer method).
Chicken wings aren’t just an appetizer anymore – we love serving them as the main course for dinner too! (There’s just something so fun about digging into a plate full of wings.🤗) And if you’re anything like my family, you’ll need a few side dishes to help round out your meal. Here are a few of our favorite sides dishes:
- Potato wedges/fries
- Spanish rice
- Roasted veggies
- Raw carrots & celery (The classic “side dishes” for chicken wings!😉)
- Can I prep any ingredients beforehand? Absolutely! The marinade can be made up to 1 week in advance.
- Do I have to marinate my chicken wings? Yes…and no. It technically isn’t required that you marinate the wings but it does give them so much more flavor! They longer they marinate the more flavorful they’ll be! (If you choose to not marinate your wings, I strongly suggest making another batch of marinade to serve as a “sauce” on the side.)
- How do I know when my chicken wings are cooked? Chicken wings are done when they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Grab a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the wing to get an accurate reading.
- How do I store my lefotver chicken wings? Place your chicken wings in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
- How long will my leftover cilantro lime chicken wings stay good in the fridge? They should last for 3-4 days if stored correctly.
- What is the best way to reheat my chicken wings? We always reheat them in the oven! To do this, place your chicken wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and heat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they reach your desired temperature.
Why you’ll love this cilantro lime chicken wing recipe!
- So easy! The marinade takes minutes to make then cook your wings using whichever method you prefer! This is a no-fuss chicken wing recipe that’s perfect for any occasion!
- Healthier & packed with flavor! Most chicken wing recipes call for frying your wings in a ton of oil… Not this one! Only a small amount is needed in your marinade to crisp them up perfectly!
- Air fry or bake! Don’t have an air fryer? No problem! These wings can easily be made in the oven & they taste just as delicious!
Need them gluten free? Great news, they already are!
Need them dairy free? Great news, they already are!
More chicken recipes you might like:
- Chimichurri Chicken Bowls
- Balsamic Chicken with Strawberries & Feta
- Lemon Oregano Chicken with Avocado Greek Salsa
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs. chicken wings (drums and wingettes)
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped (leaves & steams are ok)
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (can be replaced with olive oil)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
To marinate your chicken:
- Add your cilantro, lime juice, garlic, oil, chili powder, salt, pepper & cayenne to a food processor and blend 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 allow them to marinate for 30 minutes – 4 hours.
- Optional: While the wings are marinating, make another half recipe of your marinade and reserve it to dip your wings in later. (This step is completely optional but it adds so much flavor to your wings!)
Air Fryer Method:
- 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.)
- Air fry your wings for 18-20 minutes flipping halfway through (around the 9-10 minute mark.)
- Serve your wings immediately with lime wedges and your extra sauce for dipping.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a large wire rack on a rimmed baking pan. Then spray the rack and pan with cooking spray.
- Next remove your chicken wings from the marinade and place them on the rack in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. (Do not flip your wings!)For extra crispiness: Broil your wings for 2-3 minutes after they're done baking.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges and your extra sauce for dipping.