Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

5.0
(1)

Warning: Once these wings are out of the fryer, expect guests to gobble them up fast.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
4

Would you believe us if we told you that you're just five ingredients away from homemade Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings? It's true! Even better, this recipe is made with the help of your favorite new kitchen tool, the air fryer.

The perfect combination of saucy and crispy, these Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings have a butter base that creates just the right amount of sauce to pair with the tangy flavor from lemon pepper seasoning. It's almost impossible to just eat one.

You're free to choose the dipping sauce you prefer, but we're partial to honey mustard to add a boost of sweetness these lemon pepper wings love. The air fryer gives a wonderfully crispy crust while leaving the inside meat tender. We will give you a warning, though. Once they're out of the fryer, expect everyone to gobble them up fast. You might want to bake two batches!

What's to Love About Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Deep-frying at home can be a mess, even if you have a home deep fryer. These wings on the other hand, made in the air fryer, couldn't be easier. Thanks to the air fryer's fan, heat circulates evenly for the same crispy skin as fried wings without the added mess of frying oil. A great appetizer or gameday snack, this simple recipe also works as an easy, kid-friendly dinner with a side salad or some veggies, too.

Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings Ingredients

These wings require only a handful of ingredients. Aside from the chicken wings, trimmed, separated, and wing tips discarded (all of which the butcher can help you with), you'll need basics like salt, pepper, and olive oil.

ingredients for lemon pepper chicken wings
Caitlin Bensel

For the sauce you'll need butter and the star of these wings, lemon pepper seasoning. For the unfamiliar, lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of dried lemon zest, pepper, and salt. Some brands contain garlic and/or onion powder as well. This zesty and slightly spicy seasoning makes these wings irresistible.

Although optional, honey mustard for dipping is the perfect sauce to balance the tang of the lemon pepper!

How to Prep Chicken Wings for the Air Fryer

Dry skin will crisp up faster and better in the air fryer, so before you take the step of seasoning your chicken wings, give them a quick pat dry.

This rule applies to turkeys and other skin-on poultry, too, so don't forget this the next time you're making a roast chicken.

a paper towel patting dry chicken wings
Caitlin Bensel

How to Make Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

You won't have many dishes to clean up after you make these easy wings.

Step 1. Season the wings

Preheat the basket of an air fryer to 425°F for 15 minutes. Toss together wings with olive oil and half of the lemon pepper and salt in a medium bowl.

chicken wings in seasoning in a bowl
Caitlin Bensel

Step 2. Load the air fryer

Place wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and cook for 8 minutes.

chicken wings in air fryer
Caitlin Bensel

Turn wings over, and cook until golden brown and mostly cooked, about 8 minutes.

chicken wings in air fryer
Caitlin Bensel

Step 3. Toss with sauce

Remove wings from the air fryer to a clean bowl; toss with melted butter and remaining lemon pepper and salt.

tossing chicken wings in sauce
Caitlin Bensel

Return wings to the air fryer and cook until deep golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes, being careful to not burn the wings. Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce, if desired.

chicken wings in air fryer
Caitlin Bensel

Other Dipping Sauces for Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

If honey mustard isn't your thing, try one of these sauces instead:

- Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing- A refreshing homemade ranch is the perfect creamy sauce to tame the pepper in these wings.

- Nashville Hot Chicken Dip- If you would rather turn the heat up a notch, try this spicy dip that packs quite a kick.

- Blue Cheese Dressing - This sauce is a classic pairing with chicken wings for a reason. Tangy and slightly funky from the cheese, it will cut through the heat with a lot of savory flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put foil in an air fryer?

Yes, you can, but it's not the best option.

Just like an oven, aluminum foil is safe to use in an air fryer and can be used to minimize mess. That said, there are a few rules to follow: Never preheat the air fryer with a foil-lined basket, you need the food to weigh down the foil so it holds in place; if dislodged it could get stuck in the heating element and start a fire.

Better option? Perforated parchment sold for air fryers. Unlike foil, which blocks the holes in the air fryer basket and doesn't allow the air to circulate properly, these breathable slips of parchments allow air to circulate and minimize mess. There are also reusable silicone air fryer liners that work simerly to parchment paper.

Can I put sauced wings in an air fryer?

Yes! It is best to cook the wings almost all the way through without sauce first, as this crisps up the skin. Then return the wings, sauced, to the air fryer, so the sauce can adhere to the wings and caramelize slightly—if left on the entire cook time, the sauce would likely burn.

Do you have to preheat an air fryer?

It's always a good idea to preheat your air fryer. Here's why: It helps what you're cooking get crispy. Without preheating, it will take longer for your recipe to cook, may cook less evenly, and the final result won't be as crispy, and nobody wants that. Think of your air fryer like an oven. You always preheat your oven, so do the same with an air fryer.

Can you stack chicken wings in an air fryer?

You can, but this is not advised. Stacking will lead to uneven cooking, browning, and crisping. For best results go with a single layer of wings. Work in batches if you have to—it's better than soggy wings.

How do I make my air fryer wings crispy?

The key is much of what is said above. Sauce the wings towards the end. If you line the basket of your air fryer with something, make sure it's perforated. Preheat the air fryer, and place the wings in a single layer inside the basket. Follow these rules, and your wings will be crispy every time.

Editorial Contributions by: Alana Al-Hatlani.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings, trimmed, separated, and wing tips discarded

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon Honey mustard, for dipping (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat basket of an air fryer to 425°F for 15 minutes. Pat chicken wings dry. Toss together wings, olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the lemon pepper, and 1/2 of the teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Place wings in a single layer in preheated air fryer basket and cook 8 minutes. Turn wings over, and cook until golden brown and mostly cooked, about 8 minutes.

  2. Remove wings from air fryer to a clean bowl; toss with melted butter and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return wings to air fryer basket, and cook at 400°F until deep golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce, if desired.

    Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
    Caitlin Bensel
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