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Air Fryer Tequila Lime Wings

Air fryer tequila lime wings are zesty and flavorful chicken wings coated in a sticky, savory sweet sauce. The wings are seasoned and air fried, creating an extra crispy skin that is perfect for holding onto the sticky tequila lime sauce. Serve these up as an appetizer, on a wing platter, or when gathering for game day.

A plate of air fried tequila lime wings with cilantro dipping sauce.
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If you love crispy, flavorful chicken wings, these air-fryer tequila lime chicken wings may become your new favourite.

These wings are zesty and flavorful. The combination of fresh lime, honey and tequila creates a delicious, sticky delicious sauce that is both savory and sweet.

They are one of our favorite wings because, just like the traditional buffalo wing, they are saucy and full of flavor, but because they are not spicy, they are a great alternative for people who want a crispy, saucy wing but don’t like a lot of heat.

The wings are coated in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and spices before being tossed into the air fryer. The coating on these wings makes them extra crispy and helps give the sauce something to stick to.

These wings make a great appetizer, snack, or meal. They are perfect for serving on an appetizer or wing platter or with friends gathered around the table for game day.

A platter of wings with lime wedges and dipping sauce.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For the Wings

Split Chicken Wings – You will want about 2 pounds of chicken wings, with the wing tips removed. In our family, we do a mixture of flats and drumettes, but you can do all drumettes or all flats if you prefer.

You can leave them whole if you don’t want to do chicken wing sections. We also like to do chicken drumsticks if you want a more substantial meal.

For the Seasoning

These wings are coated in a mixture of flour, cornstarch, baking powder and seasonings. The combination of these ingredients will give your wings that extra crispy texture you are after.

For the Tequila Lime Sauce

This zesty tequila lime sauce is made with fresh ingredients and has exceptional flavour. You will need the following:

Blanco Tequila – This recipe has the best results with Blanco tequila or silver tequila. You can use any brand you like. Because it is being cooked down it doesn’t need to be top shelf, but choose one you enjoy drinking as the flavour will come through in the sauce.

Lime – Fresh lime juice is essential in this recipe. Depending on their size, you will use both the lime zest and juice from 3-4 limes. When zesting limes, you want to get only the bright green layer and avoid the white pith, which will give your sauce a bitter taste.

Honey – Creates the sweet and sticky glaze that sticks to the crispy wings. You can substitute this with Agave syrup if you prefer.

Corn starch – A bit of corn starch thickens the sauce, which will help it stick to the wings better. If you have a corn allergy, leave this out; however, the sauce will be thinner. We do not recommend flour as it binds differently than corn starch and can result in a thick, gravy-like sauce.

Fresh cilantro – Cilantro is a fresh, pungent herb that goes extremely well with tequila and lime. It adds a delicious, fresh element to the sauce. Look for cilantro that is fragrant with bright green leaves. If you don’t like cilantro, go ahead and leave this out.

You will also need the following:

  • Fresh garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
Ingredients for tequila lime wings.

Step by Step Instructions

Season and Cook the Wings

Step One – In a small bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt.

Place the wings in a large bowl and toss with half of the flour mixture. Wait 5 minutes, then add the rest of the flour mixture and toss again.

Seasoning split chicken wings in a large mixing bowl.

Step Two – Place the seasoned wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook the wings at 380°F for 23-25 minutes, shaking or turning the wings halfway through.

Uncooked seasoned chicken wings in a single layer in an air fryer basket.

The wings are done when they are golden brown and crispy. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 165°F when inserted into the thickest drumette.

Crispy cooked chicken wings in an air fryer basket.

Pro Tip: The double flouring of the wings takes a bit more time, but this is my favorite method because it is what makes the wings extra crispy and delicious. The extra crispiness is worth the extra five minutes!

Make the Tequilla Lime Sauce

Step three – While the wings are cooking, make the tequila lime sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

A pot of tequila lime sauce with fresh chopped cilantro.

Sauce the Wings

Step Four – When the wings have finished cooking, transfer them to a large bowl. Pour the tequila lime wing sauce over the wings and toss to coat. Add as much or as little sauce as you like. Then, transfer the wings to a platter and serve.

Cooked chicken wings in a mixing bowl tossed with sauce.

Pro Tip: If you want to caramelize the wings a bit, you can place them back in the air fryer for about five minutes after you have tossed them in the sauce. This will make them extra sticky, but keep an eye on them as the honey in the sauce may cause them to burn.

Chicken wings on a plate with cilantro dip and lime wedges.

Serving Suggestions

These are tequila lime wings are great on an appetizer platter, can be eaten as a snack, or they can serve as the protein portion of your meal.

They are delicious party wings and perfect for game day. Serve them on a wing platter along with buffalo wings, garlic parmesan wings or habanero hot wings for a nice variety of flavors and heat levels.

They also go great with other crispy appetizers such as jalapeno popper wontons, buffalo chicken wontons, or cheeseburger eggrolls.

When served as part of a meal, then you can’t go wrong with a simple salad, baked potato, or even some creamy mac & cheese.

I always like to serve wings with a side of dip, and the best way to enjoy these zesty wings is with a dish of cilantro mayo dip, creamy garlic dip, or your favourite ranch dressing.

A glazed chicken wing in a dish of dipping sauce.

Top Tips & FAQS

  • The double flouring takes a bit more time, but is 100% worth the wait for extra crispy chicken wings.
  • Don’t stack the air fryer basket too full. A bit of overlap is fine, but a full basket will prevent the wings from crisping and they may stick together.
Can you reheat air-fried chicken wings?

You can reheat these wings in the microwave, oven or air fryer. To reheat in the air fryer, set the temperature to 350°F and heat the wings for 5-6 minutes or until they reach the temperature you prefer. If they have been previously coated in sauce, keep an eye on them, as the honey in the sauce will burn if heated too long.

Printable Recipe

Air Fryer Tequila Lime Chicken Wings

Air fryer tequila lime wings are zesty and flavorful, coated in a sticky, savory sweet sauce. They are extra crispy, perfect for holding onto the sticky tequila lime sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 682kcal
Author: Deanna

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken wings flats and drums, split
  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Tequila Lime Wing Sauce

  • ½ cup tequila blanco or silver
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice fresh, 3-4 limes
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • ¼ cup cilantro loosly packed and chopped

Instructions

  • Place the chicken wings in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, granulated garlic, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Sprinkle half the flour mixture over the wings and toss to coat. Let rest for 5 minutes, then add the remaining flour and toss again.
  • Place the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket and place the basket in the air fryer. Set the temperature to 380°F and cook the wings for 23-25 minutes until crisp and cooked through. Shake the basket a couple of times during the cooking process to ensure even cooking.
  • Avoid crowding the basket and work in batches if necessary.
  • While the wings are cooking, make the sauce.

For the Wing Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, add the tequila, honey, lime juic and zest, garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 teaspoon corn starch.
  • Wisk to combine, then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Redcuce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, wisking occassionally, until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.

Sauce the Wings

  • Remove the cooked wings from the air fryer and place them in a large bowl.
  • Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat.
  • Move the wings to a platter to serve, garnishing with extra cilantro, if desired.

Nutrition

Estimated Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Tequila Lime Chicken Wings
Amount per Serving
Calories
682
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
37
g
57
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
0.4
g
Sodium
 
825
mg
36
%
Carbohydrates
 
28
g
9
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
18
g
20
%
Protein
 
43
g
86
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Storage

We recommend that these wings are eaten the same day they are made. But if you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for about three days.

Leftovers can be enjoyed cold, or you can pop them in the air fryer at 350°F for 5-6 minutes to warm them up.

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