These Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings are perfectly seasoned, with extra crispy skin. Watch out Wingstop, this copycat recipe is the perfect game day snack, or for any occasion. If you love chicken wings, you can't miss this simple recipe.
There's almost nothing we love more than crispy chicken wings. These wings are packed with flavor. They start with a lemon pepper dry rub, then are tossed in a luscious garlicky melted butter sauce with layers of lemony flavor!
❤️Why you'll love this
- Simple ingredients: Only 9 ingredients needed for this recipe, including the seasonings and parsley if you'd like to use it. You probably have already what you need on hand, or you can easily get anything you don't have at any local grocery store.
- Low carb & gluten free: Nothing funky in this recipe, and it's naturally gluten free, low carb, and perfect for the keto diet. This recipe can also be modified to be dairy free as well.
- Quick & easy recipe: Minimal prep time and effort are the way to go. These can be made with fresh or frozen wings. No need to worry about defrosting with your air fryer! These delicious wings are nice and crispy without deep frying, or baking powder.
- Packed with flavor: We meant what we said, these are better than Wingstop, and absolutely finger-lickin' good! Make these for your next big game day party, but be warned, people won't stop requesting them after that!
Here are the ingredients you will need, plus a few extras we recommend.
Here's the ingredient list with a few notes. You can find the quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
- Chicken wings - Both frozen and fresh chicken wings work perfectly fine.
- Lemon pepper seasoning - Either homemade or your favorite store-bought. Basically, a mix of dried lemon zest, black pepper, garlic, and onion powder is what you're looking for!
- Garlic powder
- Oil - To help keep the wings get nice and crispy, we use a little oil. We prefer avocado oil since it has a high smoke point, but olive oil or olive oil spray can also work here.
- Unsalted butter - We prefer for the butter to be unsalted, so we don't accidentally make the lemon pepper sauce too salty!
- Fresh garlic - Technically optional, but we highly recommend it.
- Lemon juice and zest - Trust us when we say, both components add such amazing flavor.
- Fresh parsley - Optional, but yummy.
- Serve with: celery sticks, carrots, lemon wedges, and your favorite dipping sauces. We love some ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- If you're using fresh chicken wings, be sure to dry the wings off well with paper towel before seasoning to get your wings nice and crispy.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Some air fryers baskets or trays may need to be sprayed with a little nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
🍗Prepare the chicken wings
Place wings in a large bowl, then toss with the garlic powder, then some of the salt and lemon pepper seasoning. Add avocado oil and toss to coat completely.
*Pro-tip: keep the salt separate from other seasonings, and keep a small bowl of it for when the wings are done and coated in sauce. This just allows you to control the salt level better!
Place wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket or trays for best results.
Tip - Use a baking sheet to transfer air fryer trays with wings on them to avoid any spills.
Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook the wings in a few batches.
Air fry for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F and the chicken wings are golden brown and crispy. For crispier wings, continue air frying until your desired level of crispiness is reached.
🧄Make the buttery garlic lemon pepper sauce
Meanwhile, while the wings are in the air fryer, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add in garlic, and lower the heat to low, cooking and stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn't burn. You want to constantly move it around for about 7-10 minutes, so cook the garlic gently. After 7 minutes or so, stir in fresh parsley, then remove from the heat.
Add the garlic butter sauce mixture to a bowl, then stir in fresh lemon juice, some salt, and the remaining lemon pepper seasoning.
🧈Toss wings & assemble!
Add your crispy cooked chicken wings to a separate large mixing bowl. Zest one whole lemon over top of the wings.
Pour the buttery garlic sauce over top, and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, veggies, and more!
Yes, no problem! Simply replace the regular butter with your favorite vegan butter substitute.
Here are a few variations we can suggest for these delicious wings.
- Lemon pepper wet - Want to spice it up? Mix in your favorite hot sauce with the buttery garlic lemon pepper sauce.
- Hot honey - Try these wings with a little bit of honey, or hot honey sauce added for even more delicious flavor!
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Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F.
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Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings
- air fryer (use what you have of course, just adjust cooking times accordingly!)
- 2.5 pounds split chicken wings (fresh or frozen, we used frozen)
- 4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning, divided (use any seasoning blend you prefer, just be mindful of the salt content)
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (if you are using a lemon pepper seasoning with no salt added, use 2.5 teaspoons of salt)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
- Serve with: more fresh parsley, lemon slices or wedges, dipping sauce and veggies.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, and prepare your air fryer basket or trays. In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with 2 teaspoons of lemon pepper seasoning, about half of the salt, and all of the garlic powder, followed by all of the avocado oil. Make sure to coat well.
- Add wings in a single layer to the air fryer basket or trays. Air fry for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F and the chicken wings are golden brown and crispy. For crispier wings, continue air frying until your desired level of crispiness is reached.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and add in the garlic. Stir constantly to cook the garlic for 7-10 minutes, then stir in minced parsley and remove from heat.
- In a bowl, combine the garlic butter sauce with fresh squeezed lemon juice, the remaining salt, and lemon pepper seasoning.
- In a separate large bowl, add the wings, and zest 1 whole lemon over top. Then, add the buttery garlic lemon pepper sauce to the wings, and toss to coat.
- Serve with lemon wedges, your favorite dipping sauces, and veggies. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat in the air fryer at 350°F.
- Salt slowly and to taste. Depending on the lemon pepper seasoning you use, you may need to add more or less.
- Both fresh and frozen wings work well here. We used frozen, there's no need to defrost!
- If you're using fresh chicken wings, be sure to dry the wings off really well with a paper towel before seasoning them.
- You can probably skip the avocado oil (or olive oil) if you're using fresh wings if your air fryer has a non-stick tray or basket.
- Your air fryer basket or trays may need to be sprayed with oil to prevent sticking.
- Be mindful that cooking times will vary. The time needed to cook the wings is based on the model of your air fryer and your personal preference. Our air fryer is 1500 watts. It is a good idea to check the wattage of your air fryer before cooking. Higher wattage may want to use a lower temperature/shorter cooking time.