Chicken wings have a wonderful way of making any occasion feel like a party. Today’s easy oven baked Lemon Pepper Wings have all the finger-licking fun you love!
These chicken wings are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. The moment they hit your table, everyone in the room is guaranteed a good time.
Unless you are at our house, in which case the wings never make it to the table—we eat them right off the sheet pan (adios, Black Pepper Garlic Chicken Wings!).
The last few times I’ve made homemade chicken wings (Korean Air Fryer Chicken Wings were the most recent), Ben has quietly devoured the entire batch right in the middle of our kitchen.
Chicken wings give off the vibe that in order to taste great, they need to be ordered at a restaurant or bar. You’d think they would be too fussy or indulgent to make a decent batch at home.
Not true (especially Air Fryer Chicken Wings… wow!).
With all due respect to the establishments (ahem Buffalo Wild Wings I am looking at you), forget the restaurant lemon pepper wings.
Just like my easy baked Lemon Pepper Salmon (another great recipe if you love that flavor combo!) these easy wings come together with just 10 minutes of prep, will be on your table in 30, and bake up surprisingly crisp and juicy, no deep fry required.
The best part of all? These lemon pepper wings are G-O-O-D.
How to Make Restaurant-Worthy Wings at Home
You have three basic options to cook chicken wings at home: deep fry, bake, or grill.
- Deep Fry. This is how most restaurants cook their wings. Honestly, I think it is a mess to do yourself (the vat of leftover oil! the splatters!), and you can get excellent results without deep frying.
- Air Fryer. I have not yet experimented with air fryer lemon pepper wings, but think this would work well. My best suggestion is to prep the wings as directed, then place them in a single layer in an air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes per side. Make sure you spray the basket with nonstick spray before adding the wings. Remove the wings, and add the honey mixture. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Finish with the lemon pepper sauce.
- Grill. I haven’t tried making grilled lemon pepper wings yet but think it could be a worthwhile experiment! It would still be tidy and reasonably healthy, and the grill will give you a nice crispy skin too.
- Bake. Like my Honey Garlic Chicken Wings, they’re EASY, delicious, and what we’re doing for this wings recipe. You’ll be so pleased with the results, especially once you’ve tossed the wings in a dynamite lemon pepper wing sauce.
For ultimate, year-round ease, baked chicken wings like these are the way to go.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Wings from Scratch
For the best flavor, we’re hitting these wings with the lemon pepper combo not once, but twice.
First, the wings are baked in a mix of canola oil (great for crisping), lemon pepper seasoning (duh), and honey (for caramelization and because honey is delicious, especially with lemon).
Second, after baking, the wings are tossed with a wet lemon pepper sauce. It’s easy, and the results produce spectacular flavor without the need for a lemon pepper wings marinade.
- Chicken Wings. Juicy, tender, and easy to coat in crowd-pleasing flavors. They make an ideal appetizer, main dish, or game day party snack.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Widely available in most grocery stores, lemon pepper seasoning is made of salt, pepper, dried lemon zest, and a few other additions like garlic, onion powder, and sometimes sugar. A few brands may add a celery salt too.
- Butter. Part of what makes restaurant wings so darn delicious is that they are often tossed in a melted butter wet sauce after cooking. We’ll be doing the same in a more moderate, though still super satisfying, amount.
- Honey. Prior to baking, I tossed the wings in a bit of honey. It caramelized in the oven and makes the wings extra sticky and delicious.
- Fresh Lemon Juice + Black Pepper. Because this recipe should live up to its name!
- Dry the wings, trim the tips, and separate the drumette from the flat part.
- Toss the wings with the oil, honey, and part of the lemon pepper seasoning in a bowl. Bake at 450 degrees F for 12 to 18 minutes, then broil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Melt the butter. Stir the wings and remaining wet sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with green onions and ENJOY!
As written, these are brightly but not overtly lemony, and the black pepper kick is present but not overpowering.
- For Extra Lemon Flavor. To up the lemon factor, top the wings with an extra squeeze of fresh lemon juice or add an extra lemon’s worth of zest to the wing sauce.
- Hot Lemon Pepper Wings. Add additional black pepper and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can also sprinkle on more black pepper to taste prior to serving.
Serving Lemon Pepper Wings
- For an Appetizer. I like to serve these wings with a simple sprinkle of green onions for color and a bit of extra bite.
- For a Main. These wings pair wonderfully alongside a big green salad like this easy Arugula Salad.
- For a Party. Try complementing them with a grain-based salad that can stand at room temperature, such as this Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad, or this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.
- Dipping Sauce. For any course, I love to make a lemon pepper wings dipping sauce by stirring together Greek yogurt, honey, and Dijon mustard, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover wings in an airtight storage container for up to 1 day.
- To Reheat. Let the wings come to room temperature, then arrange them, skin-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Warm in a 350 degree F oven until heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. To perk their flavor back up, squeeze additional fresh lemon juice over the top just before serving.
- To Freeze. Freeze wings in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Sheet. Perfect for making these keto lemon pepper wings.
- Citrus Juicer. I’ll never juice a lemon or lime without this tool.
- Mixing Bowls. These bowls are microwave-safe, so they’re ideal for melting the butter.
Lemon Pepper Wings
- Place one rack in the center of the oven and one in the upper third. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat the rack with nonstick spray. Set a large mixing bowl on the counter.
- With a paper towel, pat the wings dry. Trim off the wing tips and separate the drumette from the flat part of the wing: Start by cutting off the wing tip by wiggling your knife edge at the joint “soft spot.” It should separate fairly easily, but if not, put the blade in place, then carefully but firmly hit the top of your knife to apply extra pressure. Discard the trimmed tip. Cut the wing again, this time at the second wing joint, slicing down through the skin to separate the small drumstick (drumette) from the flat portion of the wing. Again, feel for the “soft spot” and wiggle your knife as needed. Place the divided wings in the mixing bowl as you go.
- Top the wings with the canola oil, honey, and 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning. Stir to coat, then arrange the wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the wings are cooked through. The skin will start to shrink away from the ends of the bones, and the wing juices will run clear when pierced with a fork.
- Move the pan to the upper third of the oven and turn the oven to broil. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wings darken and crisp a bit more. Do not walk away to make sure the wings do not burn.
- While the wings bake, in a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the wings to a large bowl, then top with the melted butter, lemon juice, black pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper. Stir to coat. Transfer the wings to a serving plate and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Store leftover wings in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- TO REHEAT: To reheat, let the wings come to room temperature, then arrange them, skin-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Warm in a 350 degree F oven until heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes. To perk their flavor back up, squeeze additional fresh lemon juice over the top just before serving.
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