Marinated chicken wings aren't just party food. Here they are tossed in an easy-to-make and super flavorful homemade sauce and then oven-baked until golden brown and slightly crispy. When paired with a hearty salad or side dish, you'll have one satisfying dinner.
I am sharing today one of my mom's old recipes. These marinated chicken wings are always a winner whether I prepare them for guests as an appetizer or serve them as a meal paired with a delicious vegetable side dish.
It's a no-fuss tasty chicken wings recipe with a finger-licking sweet and savory sauce—gluten-free and Paleo-friendly.
They are also oven-baked, of course. And I am keeping it simple here. All you need is a prepared baking sheet. Don't worry; you'll still get that hint of flavorful crispiness on the outside while the chicken stays juicy on the inside.
Sauce Ingredients and alternatives
To get that beautiful orange glaze and deep flavors, here is what I use for the base:
- Raw honey—I am adding a little to get that natural sweet flavor. It's easier if you use liquid honey to stir in with the rest of the ingredients. But creamed honey will do the job as well. Just make sure to blend it well with the rest.
- Olive oil—you can also use avocado oil.
- Tomato paste—It's going to give that beautiful reddish color and add natural, sweet flavors. A great alternative is unsweetened ketchup.
- Dijon mustard or any medium-strong regular mustard—Yellow or spicy brown mustard are great alternatives.
- Apple cider vinegar—or white vinegar
- Cayenne pepper—will nicely balance the sweet flavors. Want a spicier kick at the end, then double up on this spice. If you serve these oven-baked chicken wings to kids or want to keep the flavors mild, choose paprika powder instead.
- Egg—it is used as an emulsifier (binder) in this sauce to combine fat and ingredients like apple cider vinegar.
How to marinate the wings
- So, you've made the sauce.
- Immediately reserve about ¼ cup of the sauce in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
- Pat-dry the chicken wings (don't skip this). I use a paper towel to remove thoroughly any moisture from the wings.
- Then season the wings liberally with salt on both sides.
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken in the sauce.
Note: The reserved ¼ cup raw marinade is used to give the chicken wings an extra lovely glaze before it goes into the oven.
Now it is time to let the wings marinate. And here you have some options.
- Cover the bowl with syringe wrap, or place them with the sauce in an airtight container.
- Let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Have more time, then go for one to two hours—long enough for the meat to soak up the flavor.
- It has happened though that I had to prepare the wings the evening before and let them marinate overnight. It's an option for those days when all you have time for is to pop the chicken wings in the oven.
Notes on how to bake the wings
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). I have played around with higher oven temperatures, but this is the magic number to keep the chicken tender inside and keep the maximum flavors of the marinade.
- Don't forget to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. You'll thank me when cleaning up.
- Toss each wing liberally through the marinade before placing them on the sheet. I use up every last drop of the sauce.
- Spread the wings out into a single layer.
- Brush the reserved ¼ cup marinade evenly over the wings. It'll give the wings a beautiful glaze and extra flavor.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the wings are golden brown. I always check after 35 minutes of baking time.
- Don't forget to turn them over halfway through.
- When the wings are golden brown, I switch the oven to broil.
- Broil for another 2 minutes, or until the wings are slightly crispy on top.
- Keep a close eye on the wings when under the broil. Every oven is different. My broil heats up immediately and can quickly burn the chicken wings if I keep them in too long.
Note: Don't broil the wings for too long. You want a slightly crispy exterior while still taste the juicy sweet and spicy flavors of the marinade.
Side dish suggestions
This recipe is a great party appetizer. Fresh sliced veggies such as celery, carrots, cucumbers, or crunchy red bell peppers always go well with these chicken wings.
Want something more exciting to share at your table, then pair them with Fennel-Cucumber bites with Creamy Tuna, Savory Veggie Fritters with Cilantro Lime Sauce or the Healthy Egg Salad (Mediterranean-style)
And if you are looking to serve them for lunch or dinner, then here are some other healthy suggestions that work well as a side dish. Like the
- Nourishing Mango-Avocado Salad
- Sweet Kale-Apple Salad with Creamy Avocado Pesto
- Or the Creamiest Healthy Mashed Cauliflower
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- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (or any medium-strong regular mustard)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (double the ingredients if you prefer a spicier kick at the end)
- 1 beaten egg
- 3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed and drumettes separated (about 30 - 33 chicken wings
- Salt to taste
Make the sauce
- Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Separate and reserve about ¼ cup of the marinade into an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Set aside the bowl with the rest of the marinade.
Prepare the chicken
- Use a paper towel to remove any moisture from the chicken wings.
- Season the wings liberally with salt on both sides.
- Add them to the bowl with the reserved marinade.
- Toss the wings in the sauce and make sure that they are well coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
- Half-way through the marinating time, give them a good stir and turn the wings.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius.
- Spread out the wings on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss each wing liberally through the marinade before placing them on the sheet.
- Brush the reserved ¼ cup marinade evenly over the wings.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the wings are golden brown, turning them over halfway through.
- Then turn the oven to broil, broil for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the wings are slightly crispy on top.
- Instead of tomato paste, you can also use sugar-free ketchup.
- When I set the oven to broil, I keep the wings on the same oven rack (in the middle.) Stay with the wings, and check after a minute into broiling because some broilers run hotter than others. I don't recommend longer than 3 minutes of broiling, because you don't want all that delicious sauce to dry up.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 24.3gSaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 325mgCarbohydrates: 11.6gFiber: 0.8gSugar: 10.3gProtein: 67g
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.