These Baked Tequila Lime Bone-In Chicken Wings are the best way to elevate your game day snacks! These tangy, crispy wings, with a tequila-infused lime sauce, are perfect for any party, and they'll quickly become your new favorite appetizer. These tequila lime wings are perfect for your next party!
We love making chicken wings at our house. They're a weekend favorite and just as perfect for movie night as they are for watching the big game. As usual, I used my favorite method for making crispy wings using baking powder, and gave these a zesty flavor by using a tequila lime marinade that makes these a nice alternative to traditional buffalo wings.
Why this Recipe Works
Tequila Lime Chicken Wings combine the classic deliciousness of chicken wings with a zesty and slightly spicy tequila lime sauce. The magic happens when the chicken wings are seasoned with baking powder, allowing them to achieve an extra level of crispiness in the oven (my absolute favorite way to make baked wings). Then, they are tossed in a flavorful sauce that includes a blend of fresh lime juice, tequila, garlic, and a touch of agave syrup for sweetness. This recipe works for a variety of reasons:
- Crispy perfection: Coating the wings with baking powder ensures a golden brown, crispy skin that's irresistible.
- Tangy and spicy sauce: The tequila lime sauce offers a burst of tangy and spicy flavors - great served alongside a pitcher of margaritas!
- Easy preparation: Baking these in the oven is easy, but you could also grill them if you'd rather not turn your oven on.
- Versatile: Tequila Lime Chicken Wings are a fantastic choice for game day gatherings, parties, or even a casual family dinner.
- Unique twist: These wings stand out with their margarita-inspired flavors, making them a conversation starter at any event.
There are just a few ingredients needed for these zesty wings. Here are the main players:
- Chicken wings. You'll want about 2 pounds of chicken wings here. This is about 10 wings. You can choose if you'd like to remove the wing tips - they typically don't really contain any meat, but can be fun to nibble on when crispy and salty.
- Baking powder. The secret ingredient that makes baked wings super crispy!
- Lime juice and zest.
- Tequila. You only need a small amount of tequila for these wings (about ⅛ cup). A good quality silver or reposado tequila work well here, or use your favorite.
- Garlic cloves, minced.
- Agave syrup. this counters the tequila and lime juice and adds a touch of sweetness to the sauce.
- Spice. Some ground cumin and adobo sauce give these wings a spicy kick and some additional flavor.
- Fresh, chopped cilantro. The perfect garnish!
How To Make Tequila Lime Chicken Wings
Preheat and prepare. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of it. Tip: Spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Prepare the chicken wings. Start by drying the chicken wings with paper towels to remove excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine salt, black pepper, and baking powder. Toss the mixture with the chicken wings to evenly coat them. (This method truly makes great chicken wings if you're baking them!) Note - you can also easily coat the wings in the baking powder mixture by adding everything to a large plastic bag, then shaking well to make sure all the chicken wing sections are well coated.)
Bake. Arrange the seasoned chicken wings skin side up in a single layer on the prepared wire rack. Bake for 25 minutes, turning the wings once halfway through the cooking time.
Make the Tequila Lime Sauce. While the wings are baking, prepare the tequila lime sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the grated lime zest, fresh lime juice, tequila, minced garlic, agave syrup, ground cumin, adobo sauce, salt, and black pepper. Stir well.
Add the sauce. Once the wings are done baking, remove them from the oven and toss them in the wing sauce. Allow the wings to sit in the delicious sauce for about 5 minutes to soak up the flavors. Return the wings to the sheet pan and drizzle with more of the tequila lime sauce.
Finish. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. For extra crispiness, switch the oven to broil for 2 minutes (watch closely to make sure they don't burn!)
Garnish and serve. Once the wings are crispy and golden, remove them from the oven. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness.
Variations and Substitutions
While this Tequila Lime Chicken Wings recipe is fantastic as it is, you can always experiment with different ingredients to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are some variations and substitutions to consider (while still turning out a great recipe):
- Adjust the spice. Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less adobo sauce or using a milder hot sauce.
- Agave substitutes. If you don't have agave on hand, you can easily substitute honey or maple syrup for these tasty wings.
- Vegetarian option. Substitute the chicken wings with cauliflower florets or tofu for a tasty vegetarian version.
- Use garlic powder. Fresh garlic works best here, but in a pinch, you could just add a ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder to the sauce instead of the minced garlic.
To make your Tequila Lime Chicken Wings turn out perfectly, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind:
- Dry the wings: Drying the chicken wings thoroughly before seasoning is essential for achieving crispy skin. You really don't want any excess moisture, or the baking powder mixture won't stick well to the outside of the wings.
- Don't bake the wings directly on the pan. Using a baking rack on top of your baking sheet helps the air to circulate around the entire wing, making them crispier. Be sure to spray the baking rack with oil to help prevent the wings from sticking to the rack.
- Don't overcrowd the wings when baking. Ensure that the wings are arranged in a single layer with some space in between to allow for even cooking.
- Monitor temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken wings reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are fully cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
I like using a reposado (aged tequila) or silver tequila (aka blanco tequila) for the best flavor, but feel free to experiment with other types of tequila to find your favorite tasting tequila for this sauce. Just be sure to use a good quality tequila for the best flavor.
These wings pair wonderfully with a side of fresh guacamole, salsa, spanish rice, seasoned black beans, or even some crispy tortilla chips.
Yes, you can deep fry the wings for a different texture. Just be sure to drain excess oil on paper towels.
Yes! If you're grilling the wings, they'll naturally take on a crispier exterior, so omit the baking powder. Grill the wings for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping them every five minutes to ensure they cook evenly. Then drizzle with the sauce (or toss the wings with sauce) and serve.
Yes! To make these in the air fryer, set the temperature to 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Then just toss with the sauce when they're fully cooked.
Absolutely! Tequila Lime Chicken Wings are perfect for any game day gathering and add a unique twist to your menu.
If you happen to have leftover wings, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer for the best results.
Tequila Lime Chicken Wings are a fantastic way to change up your chicken wing game. I love these zesty wings for game day, parties, or even a casual movie night. If you make these delicious wings, let me know what you think in the comments below. And don't forget to tag me on Instagram @frontrangefed so I can see your masterpiece!
More Delicious Game-Day Appetizers!
- Baked Spanish Chicken Wings Recipe With Garlic
- Loaded Skillet Steak Fajita Nachos
- Homemade Yukon Gold Potato Chips
- Cheesy Crescent Roll Garlic Knots With Parmesan
- Hot Cajun Crab Dip With Cream Cheese
- Mediterranean Charcuterie Board
- Jalapeno Deviled Eggs With Bacon
Crispy, Baked Tequila Lime Bone-In Chicken Wings
For The Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
For The Tequila Lime Sauce
- 2 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- ⅛ cup tequila
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon agave syrup (honey or maple syrup also work well)
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon adobo sauce (for super spicy wings, add in one of the adobo peppers)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅔ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Heat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on the top. Spray with non-stick cooking spray to help prevent the wings from sticking to the rack when baking.
- Thoroughly dry the chicken wings and place them in a large bowl, or a large plastic bag.
- Combine the salt, pepper, and baking powder then toss the mixture with the chicken wings so that the wings are fully coated.
- Remove the wings from the baking powder mixture and shake any excess coating from them. Arrange the wings evenly, skin side up in a single layer on the rack.
- Bake the chicken wings for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- While the wings are baking, make the sauce. To make the sauce, combine the lime juice and zest, the tequila, garlic cloves, agave syrup, cumin, adobo sauce, and salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir well.
- Once the wings are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and toss them with the tequila lime sauce. Allow the wings to sit in the sauce for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavor of the sauce.
- Return the wings to the sheet pan, and drizzle with more of the sauce. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, then switch the oven to broil for 2 minutes to make the wings crispy.
- Spray the baking rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the rack.
- For ultimate crispy wings, don't crowd the chicken pieces when baking.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Broil the wings for the last 2 minutes to get them extra crispy (although be sure to watch the wings carefully during this stage so they don't burn!).