Honey lemon pepper wings with zesty, pepper, garlic sauce are tangy, sharp, and finger-licking good! 

They’re the perfect appetizer for a party or game-day or a delicious protein option for any meal!

Several pieces of honey lemon pepper chicken in a white bowl with celery sticks on a marble table

 

Chicken wings are a great appetizer because they’re mostly protein – a very satiating nutrient. Compared to chips, popcorn, or bread-based snacks which are high in carbohydrates and can spike blood sugar, these wings will keep you more balanced and satisfied so you can enjoy yourself more at the party and enjoy some chips on the side.

As a California native, it’s introduced to me that lemon pepper wings are an iconic part of the culture in Atlanta. I’ve never been to Atlanta, but it’s on my list to visit where these chicken wings got so popular.

 

Why this recipe is good for your health:

This recipe is a perfect example of how flavor can be not only delicious but also nutritious!

Processed foods get their flavor from excess sugar, inflammatory seed oils, and processed natural flavors to trick your taste buds into enjoying ultra-processed foods.

But this recipe uses unprocessed, whole ingredients that you’ll have in your kitchen that will add so much nutrient value to your diet.

Not only are some of these ingredients in the dry rub for the wings, but they’re also in the honey lemon pepper sauce that gets dapped on the wings too.

  • Lemon peel contains limonene, a powerful antioxidant that gives lemon its yellow pigment. It’s been studied to reduce inflammation and have very beneficial to your health.
  • Fresh cracked black pepper is also rich in antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Freshly cracked black pepper is not only WAY more flavorful, but it’ll be richer in these nutrients and is the easiest way to add more antioxidants to your plate.
  • Garlic is also very common in many types of cooking and is a great source of allicin. Benefits of garlic include its antibacterials and anti-cancerous properties and support the cardiovascular, immune, and detoxification systems. So don’t be afraid of garlic breath!
  • Butter has several health benefits including its fatty acid profile including a short chain fatty acid called butyrate – a type of fat that supports gut health, energy production, decreases inflammation, and balances cholesterol. 
  • Honey is a delicious natural sweetener. Because it’s unprocessed it retains minerals and antioxidants that can support health.
  • Chicken is a great source of protein, which is essential for blood sugar balance. Ample protein is extremely satiating, keeping you full, focused, and satisfied for hours when combined with a balanced meal. I recommend organic chicken whenever possible to avoid additives like hormones and antibiotics that can cause inflammation. 

 

Raw ingredients for honey lemon pepper chicken wings: a bowl of raw chicken wings, two lemons, a head of garlic, a small bowl of honey, a jar of black pepper and a stick of butter.

Why you’ll love these Honey Lemon Pepper Wings:

  • These are the perfect wet chicken wings with an amazing honey lemon pepper sauce. They are finger-licking good, literally!
  • These wings are gluten-free, paleo, and have no refined sugar. 
  • Who doesn’t love a perfectly crispy wing!? These wings are baked to perfection and coated with a saucy honey lemon pepper glaze.
  • Even though there is honey, it’s still relatively low in sugar. A little goes a long way.
  • This recipe will be a crowd-pleaser for a backyard barbecue, game-day appetizer, or even a kid-friendly snack. Going to a work party or holiday event? You’re sure to impress!

*Want a tip for extra crispy wings? Place the chicken in a bowl, season it with ½ teaspoon sea salt and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This will season and dry out the wings. If it’s still wet, pat dry before dry seasoning.

 

Swaps & tips for the honey lemon pepper sauce:

  • If you want to avoid the sugar, leave out the honey, or use less. This can be helpful if you are sensitive to sugars or you’re working to heal SIBO, candida, or IBS. 
  • If you prefer a dairy-free chicken wing, substitute butter for Miyoko’s dairy-free cultured butter made with whole food ingredients, olive oil or avocado oil.  
  • This rub isn’t limited to only chicken wings. Feel free to add a spin to the recipe by instead making honey, garlic, lemon pepper chicken thigh, or drumstick!
  • Have an air fryer? You can definitely make these in the air fryer basket, just remember to toss halfway through.
  • You can use lemon pepper seasoning in place of lemon zest and pepper, however I recommend the recipe as is. Lemon pepper seasoning often has added sugars or stabilizers while this lemon pepper wings recipe really lets the lemon and pepper stand out!
  • Feel free to use frozen chicken wings!  The quality is just as good as a fresh chicken wing! To defrost them, place them in a strainer over a bowl, uncovered overnight. This’ll let them dry out so when you bake them, they’re the best super crispy chicken wings!

 

5 pieces of healthy baked honey lemon pepper chicken on a sheet tray

How to make baked honey lemon pepper wings:

  1. Season your chicken wings with a teaspoon of sea salt and let them sit in the fridge overnight.  (This step is optional, but highly recommended if you want a super crispy wing!)
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toss the chicken wings with the marinade ingredients. Make sure each wing is evenly coated then place them on a sheet pan spacing each wing about 1 inch apart.
  4. Place the sheet pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 
  5. Flip the return the wings to cook for another 20 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is cooking make the sauce.
  7. Start by adding the butter and minced garlic to a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes to soften the garlic, but don’t let it burn.
  8. Add the honey, pepper, lemon juice, zest, paprika, and salt to the garlic butter and stir until it’s combined. Let it come to a boil and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes to reduce, constantly stirring to avoid burning.
  9. When the wings are cooked, remove them from the oven, coat them with the sauce, and enjoy!

 

A white bowl of glazed honey lemon pepper chicken wings

FAQ

Q: How can I bake my chicken wings so they come out crispy?

A: The trick to crispy baked chicken wings is to season the raw wings with a teaspoon sea salt per pound of chicken and let them sit in the fridge overnight. This will draw out excess moisture and leave you with a delicious, extra crispy baked wing.

 

Q: Can I bake the wings ahead of time? 

A: Sure! Bake according to the recipe, then when you’re ready to eat, just reheat and coat with the sauce.

 

Q: How do I store and reheat the wings?

A: Store the cooked chicken wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  To reheat chicken wings, bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

 

Several pieces of honey lemon pepper chicken in a white bowl with celery sticks and a beige napkin

 

Delicious side dishes for your wings:

Cashew Kale “Caesar” Salad

Potato Salad with Spring Onion

Zucchini and Mushroom Salad

 

Other recipes to serve for game day or a party

Butternut Squash Hummus

Strawberry Peach Salsa

One Pot Sweet Potato & Bacon Chili

 

ENJOY!

For more inspiration for balancing, allergy-friendly recipes and nutrition tips, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or sign up to receive my newsletter to get all the latest updates on every new recipe!

If you make these Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings, please share a photo with me! It would make my day! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @alannadesalvonutrition or email me directly at hi@alannadesalvo.com

 

 

A white bowl of glazed honey lemon pepper chicken wings
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Honey Lemon Pepper Wings

Baked honey lemon pepper chicken wings with a tangy garlic sauce are finger-licking good! The best appetizer for any party, game-day or any gluten free meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time48 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free, Paleo
Keyword: Dinner, Fast & Easy, Gluten Free, Lunch, Paleo
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 226kcal
Author: admin

Ingredients

Rub

  • 1 ½ lb chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 ½ teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • If you want really crispy wings, place them in a bowl, season the chicken with ½ teaspoon sea salt and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This will season and dry out the chicken. But if it’s still wet, pat dry before dry seasoning.
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the chicken wings with the marinade ingredients. Make sure each wing is evenly coated then place them on a sheet pan in a single layer spacing each wing about 1 inch apart.
  • Place the sheet pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the return the wings to cook for another 20 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking make the sauce.
  • Start by adding the butter and minced garlic to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes to soften the garlic, but don’t let it burn.
  • Add the honey, pepper, lemon juice, zest, paprika, and salt to the garlic butter and stir until it’s combined. Let it come to a boil and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes to reduce, constantly stirring to avoid burning.
  • When the wings are cooked, remove them from the oven, coat them with the sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.6g | Protein: 19.1g | Fat: 12.9g | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 6.9g

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