These oven baked lemon pepper chicken wings are coated with a lemon pepper dry rub then baked until they're super crispy. Finally, they're finished with a flavorful lemon butter sauce. They're the perfect game day appetizer or a tasty meal on their own!
Why this recipe works
There are generally two styles of lemon pepper chicken wings; wet or dry. Wet lemon pepper wings are finished with a lemon pepper wing sauce made of butter, lemon juice, and lemon pepper seasoning. Dry lemon pepper wings have a dry lemon pepper seasoning rub and no sauce.
But why have one when you can have both? The secret to the this recipe for lemon pepper chicken wings is using both a dry rub and a lemon pepper wing sauce to get maximum flavor!
And if you want another layer of flavor, try hot lemon pepper wings by adding 1 tablespoon on Frank's Red Hot sauce to the lemon pepper wing sauce to make it a lemon pepper buffalo wing sauce.
How to prepare chicken wings
Most of the time fresh chicken wings come whole with the wing, flat and wing tip all together. It's best to separate them to make the chicken wings easier to eat.
Before cooking the wings, split the drums and flats by spreading them apart and cutting between them with a chef's knife. I also like to cut the wing tips off the flats, but you can leave them on if you prefer.
Season with lemon pepper dry rub
One of the keys to getting crispy baked chicken wings is to make sure you dry them very thoroughly with paper towels to remove as much moisture from the skin as possible.
Next, combine the lemon pepper seasoning and aluminum free baking powder in a large resealable plastic bag or a large mixing bowl. Then add the wings and toss until well coated.
This lemon pepper dry rub will help flavor the wings as they cook and the baking powder will make the skin super crispy.
How to cook crispy lemon pepper chicken wings in an oven
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack inside. Spray the rack with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Put your wings on the rack leaving about an inch of space between each one.
- Bake the wings at 450ºF for 20 minutes, then flip them. They will still be pretty pale at this time but don't worry if they don't look too good yet! Let them bake for another 20 minutes then flip again. Finally bake for about 5 more minutes.
- Remove the wings and let cool for around 5 minutes. While they cool, melt the butter in a microwave safe dish. Add to a large bowl with the remaining lemon pepper seasoning and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then stir to combine.
- Add the wings to the bowl with the sauce and toss until thoroughly coated
Tips for making crispy baked chicken wings
- Dry the wings thoroughly with paper towels to remove the moisture from the skin. If you have time you can allow them to air dry overnight in the fridge.
- The baking powder is key, it will raise the pH level of the skin helping it get super crispy
- Another key to crispy skin is to use a wire rack for baked chicken wings. Without a rack the wings will sit in the fat that renders out during cooking and you will have soggy chicken skin.
- Use a lemon pepper dry rub and a lemon pepper wing sauce for the most flavor.
- Despite the small size chicken wings take a while to cook. You'll need about 45 minutes to get them really crispy.
FAQs for the best lemon pepper wings
You can't go wrong with the classic side of celery and carrots and, of course ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. If I'm serving them as a main dish I like to serve them with tater tots!
Yes, you will want to flip the wings twice while baking to ensure even cooking and crispy skin all around.
Absolutely, an air fryer is perfect for wings. To make lemon pepper chicken wings in an air fryer follow the recipe instructions through step 4. Then place the wings in your air fryer basket and cook at 425ºF for 20 to 25 minutes until crispy and cooked through. Toss in the lemon butter sauce to finish.
If you're making wings ahead and need to keep your chicken wings crispy place them on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and place them in a 200ºF oven.
The seasoning you use will greatly impact the flavor of the wings and can be way too salty. I use Lawry's brand lemon pepper seasoning. There are tons of options and many salt free varieties as well, so i recommend sampling a few before making these wings to find your favorite.
More chicken wing recipes
Crispy Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings Recipe
- 3 pounds whole chicken wings
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning, divided
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil then set a wire rack inside and spray rack with cooking spray.
- Dry chicken wings thoroughly with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Mix baking powder and 1 Tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning in a large bowl or zip top plastic bag, then add chicken wings and toss to coat.
- Place wings on the wire rack leaving about 1 inch of space in between each wing.
- Bake the wings for 20 minutes then flip and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Flip again and bake for about 5 more minutes until the wings are cooked through and skin is crispy and golden brown.
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish. Add to a large bowl with the remaining lemon pepper seasoning and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice then stir to combine.
- Add the wings to the bowl with the sauce and toss until thoroughly coated.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.