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These spicy dry rub chicken wings are a low-carb option that everyone will love. They’re perfect as an appetizer or entree for your family, or as a dish to bring to a party or potluck. Everyone loves wings, and these are some of the best!
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t love wings. They’re a nearly perfect food! The wings you get at a restaurant or bar are pretty unhealthy though, as they’re usually deep fried. But this recipe for spicy dry rub chicken wings has all the flavor of a restaurant version, while being healthy! They’re just chicken and a whole bunch of amazing seasonings. It’s that simple.
You might have already tried my crispy oven baked chicken wings. This recipe is a little different because it has more seasonings for a more complex taste, and it doesn’t have baking powder, which means it’s Whole30 compliant.
Why Make Spicy Dry Rub Chicken Wings?
There are a ton of reasons why you’ll want to make this recipe. Here are a few of them.
- Super flavorful. This recipe is seasoned with my go-to chicken dry rub. The rub is so flavorful, and goes perfectly with chicken. I recommend making a large batch of the dry rub when you make these wings, so that you have the seasoning around anytime you need it.
- Multiple ways to make it. I love a recipe that has some flexibility to it. While I make these spicy dry rub chicken wings in the oven, you can easily make them on the grill, or in an air fryer. With so many different ways to make these wings, you’ll be able to find the method that’s most convenient and delicious to you.
- So easy. There’s nothing better than a simple recipe that doesn’t have simple flavors. These wings require a little advance planning, because you need to marinate them in the dry rub. But the actual time that you have to spend working on these wings is basically nonexistent. They’ll spend time marinating and cooking, but you won’t spend time working.
Here are the ingredients that you’ll need to make these juicy and spicy wings. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article to see the exact amount for each ingredient.
- Chicken wings – For best results, use fresh wings that are already cut. You can use frozen wings if you want, but you’ll need to thaw them fully before making the recipe. And you can use uncut wings, but make sure to cut them before starting cooking.
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper – This is an optional ingredient, but I strongly recommend using it if you like heat.
- Chili powder
- Black pepper – I recommend using freshly-ground black pepper.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning – This spice blend is made up of dried basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can use any combination of those ingredients.
- Dried thyme
- Avocado oil – This is an optional ingredient.
You can get the full list of ingredient amounts and instructions from the full recipe card at the end of the post.
How to Make Spicy Dry Rub Chicken Wings
Here’s how to make these tasty and tender wings. They’re super simple!
- Make the spice rub. Put all of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Season the chicken. Place the chicken in a ziplock bag and add some of the dry rub. Make sure to save any leftover rub for later use! Seal the bag and shake it until the chicken is coated with the spicy rub. If using the avocado oil, drizzle a little in the bag as well.
- Marinate (Dry Brine the Wings). Place the bag of chicken in the fridge, and let it sit there for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Prep. 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge so it can come up to temperature. During this time, preheat the oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake. Place the chicken wings on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Flip the wings over, and cook for another 20-25 minutes, then remove from the oven and serve.
Tips and Variations
Here are a few tricks, tips, and possible variations for making these spicy, juicy wings.
- Cook them in the air fryer. If you want the convenience of using an air fryer, you can easily make these dry rub chicken wings with one. Set the fryer to 400F, and cook the wings for 15 minutes on each side. Adding the optional avocado oil will really help the wings brown.
- Cook them on the grill. If you’re a fan of grilling, and want to get a smoky flavor on these spicy wings, you can cook them outside. Set the grill to 400F, add a little bit of olive oil to the wings to keep them from sticking, and cook them for 12-15 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn them!
- Dry the wings. Before adding the spice rub to your chicken wings, thoroughly dry them with paper towels or a kitchen towel. The dryer the wings, the more flavor they’ll absorb, and the crisper they’ll be after baking.
- Increase the marinade time. This recipe calls for marinating the wings in the fridge for at least 4 hours. But if you marinate them longer, they’ll become even more flavorful. For the best results, let your dry rub-coated chicken wings sit in the fridge overnight.
- Adjust the heat. One of the best things about wings is that you can have them at any spice level, from entirely mild to painfully hot. Adjust the cayenne pepper and chili powder in the recipe depending on how spicy you like your chicken.
- Make extra rub. When in doubt, make more dry rub than you need. It’s great to have around for the next time you cook chicken, and it’s also delicious on other meats or vegetables.
What to Serve With Spicy Dry Rub Chicken Wings
When it comes to eating wings, I like to keep it classic. For me, that means serving it with some carrots, celery, and traditional sauces and dips. Here are some of my go-tos.
I also love to serve these wings with some traditional American sides. Here are a few of my favorites:
How to Store and Reheat
You can keep these spicy dry rub chicken wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes, or until hot all the way through.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
These wings are definitely best fresh. If you want to freeze them though, they’ll last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Wings to Make
If you love these spicy dry rub chicken wings, then I’ve got good news for you: I have some more wing recipes for you to try! Here are some more favorites of mine.
- Air fryer cajun wings
- Crockpot BBQ chicken wings
- Air fryer ranch chicken wings
- Air fryer lemon pepper wings
- Oven baked BBQ wings
- Crispy air fryer old bay chicken wings
Spicy Dry Rub Chicken Wings
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To Marinate (or Dry Brine) the Wings:
- Add all the seasonings to a bowl, and mix to combine.
- Place chicken in a ziploc bag with 1/4 cup of the spicy dry rub. You can store the rest in a mason jar. Add the avocado oil if you're using it.
- Shake the bag so that the mix coats the chicken evenly.
- Store in the refrigerator for at least four hours, ideally overnight.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow to come near room temperature (30 minutes).
Cooking in the Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the chicken wings on the paper and space them evenly.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes per side.
Cooking in the Air Fryer:
- Place the chicken wings in the air fryer basket.
- Turn the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees.
- Cook for 15 minutes per side.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!