Wings are the ultimate game day recipe, but all too often, they fall short of expectation with rubbery skin and dry meat on the bones. This is not that kind of wing recipe. Crispy baked Lemon Pepper Wings are juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside and come fully packed with flavor thanks to real lemon zest, cracked black pepper, and a brush of buttery goodness.
Want to know the secret to making seriously crispy wings? We’ll give you a hint — it’s not the deep fryer. These baked Lemon Pepper Wings are an easy appetizer, and you can rest assured knowing you’ll be leaving the oil, the thermometers, and most importantly, the mess behind.
Need more baked wings in your life? Try crispy baked wings with a Traditional Buffalo Wings Sauce!
WHAT ARE LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS?
Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings are a popular flavor amongst wing connoisseurs. They can be made baked or fried, but regardless, they will come doused in butter and heavily seasoned with lemon pepper.
WHAT IS LEMON PEPPER SEASONING MADE OF?
Lemon pepper is a vibrant seasoning mix made from lemon zest and black pepper.
LEMON PEPPER WINGS INGREDIENTS
- Chicken Wings – You can use chicken wings, drummettes, or a combination of the two. If you buy your wings whole, find the joint and use a sharp knife to cut the wing portion from the drumette. You may also remove the wingtip and discard of it.
- Lemon Zest – The natural oils found in lemon zest provide a punch of vibrant, fresh lemony quality to Baked Lemon Pepper Wings. It’s also got far more lemony flavor to it than you would get from a dry lemon pepper seasoning mix.
- Seasoning – You can’t have Lemon Pepper Wings without the pepper — black pepper to be specific. In addition to the pepper, you’ll also need Kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder for your seasoning mix.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder may seem like a strange ingredient in a chicken wing recipe, but it is actually somewhat of a miracle ingredient when it comes to chicken skin, helping your wings bake up extra crispy.
- Butter – Regardless of whether or not wings are baked or fried, one thing should absolutely remain the same — they should be buttery. Once the wings finish baking, brush them with butter and sprinkle them with fresh parsley. The parsley is optional, but it’ll add a nice little pop of color. Note, this recipe calls for unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter, you’ll need to cut the salt called for in the seasoning mix down by half.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON PEPPER WINGS
- Make the Seasoning Mix – These wings start with big flavor right off the bat! The seasoning mix comes together in a small bowl with freshly grated lemon zest, Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. You’ll rub the mixture together with your fingers to mix, and then add the baking powder to the spices and zest and transfer all of it to a gallon-sized ziptop bag.
- Pat the Wings Dry and Coat In Seasoning – Before you coat the wings with the spice mixture, pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, add them to the bag, secure the top closed and shake until the wings are all evenly coated.
- Bake – Next, it’s time to bake! You’ll want to take care not to overcrowd the pan during the baking process or the wings will steam — the perfect environment for creating rubbery chicken wings. No thanks. To avoid this, place the wings on two rimmed baking sheets if necessary. Bake the Lemon Pepper Wings for 30 minutes at 400°F, then remove the wings from the oven, flip each wing over and return to the oven to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Brush With Butter – The wings end on a bright note with a fresh brush of lemony butter. You’ll melt the butter and stir in the zest of one lemon. If you’re using parsley, add that to the butter as well. Then, brush the wings with the butter mixture, serve, and enjoy!
HOW TO ZEST A LEMON
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN LEMON PEPPER WINGS?
There are about 400 calories in a single serving of Baked Lemon Pepper Wings. One serving is about a half-pound of wings per person, which comes out to approximately 6-8 wings.
CAN THESE BE MADE IN ADVANCE?
If you want to serve up crispy, baked Lemon Pepper Wings, it’s best to make them fresh and serve them hot out of the oven. They can be made in advance — they just won’t be as good.
HOW LONG ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
Chicken wings will keep in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
HOW LONG CAN WINGS BE LEFT OUT?
Cooked chicken should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
CAN I FREEZE CHICKEN WINGS?
Yes! You can freeze chicken wings. To freeze leftover wings, simply allow them to cool completely, bundle them tightly in wax paper and store them in a freezer-safe, airtight container. You could also freeze your wings in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Consume within 3 months for best quality.
TIPS FOR MAKING LEMON PEPPER WINGS
- Pat the wings dry before shaking them in seasoned flour for extra-crispy results.
- Use baking powder! Baking powder is the secret to crispy wings.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Use two baking sheets if necessary!
5 MORE FINGER FOOD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
The secret to seriously crispy, baked Lemon Pepper Wings! Fully loaded with flavor thanks to lemon zest, black pepper, and a brush of buttery goodness.
- Zest of 4 lemons, separated
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 4 pounds thawed chicken wings (drummettes, wing portions, or both)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (optional)
If your wings are whole, using a sharp knife, find the joint and cut the wing portion from the drumette, remove the wing tip and discard.
Place 2 racks in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°. Have ready two rimmed baking sheets lined with either nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Parchment paper works best.
In a small bowl, add the zest of 3 lemons, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and rub together with your fingers to mix. Then, add the baking powder to the spice mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to a gallon-sized zip-top bag.
Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and add them to the bag. Secure closed and shake until the wings are evenly coated in the baking powder/spice mixture.
Place the wings on the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each wing and return to the oven to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Melt the butter and stir in the zest of 1 lemon as well as the parsley. Brush the wings with the butter mixture, serve, and enjoy!
TIP: In most cases, parchment paper will work best for baking wings. If you used nonstick aluminum foil and your wings are sticking to the pan, allow them to sit for 5 minutes, then try to turn or remove them. The heat from the wing will allow condensation to build underneath, making removal easier.