Lemon Pepper Air Fryer Wings

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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Besides being absolutely delicious, these crispy lemon pepper chicken wings are super quick to make thanks to the air fryer!

White plate with cooked lemon pepper wings.

Lemon Pepper Wings Air Fryer Recipe

Chicken wings don’t have to be something that you only enjoy at a restaurant! They’re such a delicious main protein to make at home, and they’re especially quick to execute if you’re using an air fryer. If you’ve got littles at home or anyone who is sensitive to spice, these lemon pepper wings are an excellent alternative to a more traditional buffalo hot wing!

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings (Air Fryer) Ingredients

The ingredients here are pretty minimal. You’ll need chicken wings (of course), salt and pepper, and a few sauce ingredients. Here’s the full list:

White plate with raw buffalo wings and small prep bowls with lemon pepper sauce ingredients--olive oil, buffalo sauce, melted butter, lemon juice, and dry spice mixture.
  • Chicken Wings – to start, you’ll need 1.5–2 pounds of chicken wings.
  • Sea Salt + Black Pepper – before the wings head into the air fryer, you’ll need to season them with a ½ teaspoon of sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Melted Butter – for the sauce, you’ll need 1 ½ tablespoons of melted butter.
  • Lemon Juice – in addition to the butter, you’ll also need a ½ tablespoon of lemon juice (the juice from about a ¼ of a large lemon).
  • Honey – 1 teaspoon of honey sweetens the sauce perfectly.
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning – a ½ tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning brings all of the classic lemon pepper flavors to the sauce.
  • Hot Pepper Sauce – though this ingredient is optional, a ½ teaspoon of hot pepper sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot) can be added to the sauce for a kick of spice.

Ingredient Modifications

Though the ingredients are super simple and minimal, you can absolutely adapt this recipe to your preferences. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use a different sauce: don’t love the idea of lemon pepper? No problem! We have recipes for buffalo, honey BBQ, and teriyaki wings too!
  • Skip the hot sauce: sensitive to spice? Skip the sauce! The wings will still be really delicious without the added hot pepper sauce.
  • Make them dairy-free: if you’re looking to make this lemon pepper sauce dairy-free, simply swap the melted butter for dairy-free melted butter (Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter is a great option). 

Should wings be fresh or frozen before cooking in the Air Fryer?

My preference is fresh wings (I find that the salt and pepper stick to them better + the cooking time is slightly shorter) but you can absolutely use frozen if you’d like. Keep in mind that frozen chicken wings will take slightly longer to cook than fresh, so you’ll want to add anywhere from 6-10 minutes onto the cooking time.

Supplies Needed to Make This Recipe

How To Make Lemon Pepper Wings in an Air Fryer

The process is super quick and simple! Here’s how you’ll do it:

  1. Preheat the air fryer – if your air fryer requires it (some do, some don’t), go ahead and preheat it to 400°F.
  2. Season the wings – pat the wings dry and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Air fry – place the seasoned wings in the air fryer pretty-side up (being careful not to overlap them — work in batches if needed!) and cook at 400°F for 10 minutes.
  4. Flip and continue cooking – once 10 minutes are up, flip the wings and let them cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Flip and cook once more – to give the wings an extra crisp, flip them one more time (so that the pretty-side is face-up) and air fry for 5 more minutes.
  6. Make the sauce – while the wings are in the air fryer, add the melted butter, lemon juice, honey, lemon pepper seasoning, and (optional) hot pepper sauce to a large bowl and whisk until combined. Note: the bowl will seem way too big for the amount of sauce you’re making, but using a large bowl now will keep you from having more dirty dishes later! 
  7. Toss the wings in the sauce – once the wings are out of the air fryer, add them to the large bowl of sauce, and toss the wings in the sauce until fully coated!
  8. Serve and enjoy!
White plate with raw chicken wings, sea salt jar, and pepper grinder.
Pyrex, glass measuring cup with lemon pepper sauce ingredients combined.
Air fryer drawer with air fried chicken wings.
White plate with cooked lemon pepper wings.

How Long Do You Cook Wings in an Air Fryer

Fresh chicken wings cook really quickly in the air fryer! This recipe calls for 15 minutes of cooking time, but the wings will actually be cooked in less than that — the extra time helps them to get nice and crispy, as all chicken wings should be!

How do you get crispy wings in the air fryer?

There are a few key steps to keep in mind when it comes to getting crispy wings in the air fryer. The first is to make sure that the wings aren’t overlapping in the air fryer basket — the air fryer works by circulating super-hot air around the food, so stacking wings on top of each other will compromise the process. The second key here is the amount of time you cook the wings — while they’ll likely be cooked in less than 15 minutes, that last 5-minute flip is necessary in order to get the wings nice and crispy. 

White plate with cooked lemon pepper wings.

Do wings need to be in a single layer in the air fryer?

They do! It’s important not to overlap your wings in the air fryer — this will compromise the cooking process and cause the finished wings to be less than crispy.

Serving Suggestions for Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings

I personally love chowing down on wings + french fries (let’s be honest, french fries are a pretty perfect side for almost everything). If you’re looking for a green veggie option, though, this simple arugula salad is really yummy next to a plate of hot, crispy wings.

More Chicken Wing Recipes

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Lemon Pepper Wings in Air Fryer

Besides being absolutely delicious, these crispy lemon pepper chicken wings are super quick to make thanks to the air fryer!

  • Author: Cassy Joy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.52 pounds chicken wings
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice (the juice from about a ¼ of a large lemon)
  • ½ tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot), optional

Instructions

  1. If your air fryer requires it (some do, some don’t), go ahead and preheat it to 400°F.
  2. Pat the wings dry and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the seasoned wings in the air fryer basket pretty-side up, being careful not to overlap them (work in batches if needed!) and cook at 400°F for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the 10 minutes are up, flip the wings and let them cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. To give the wings an extra crisp, flip them one more time (so that the pretty-side is face-up again) and air fry for 5 more minutes.
  6. While the wings are in the air fryer, add the melted butter, lemon juice, honey, lemon pepper seasoning, and (optional) hot pepper sauce to a large bowl and whisk until combined. Note: the bowl will seem way too big for the amount of sauce you’re making, but using a large bowl now will keep you from having more dirty dishes later!
  7. Once the wings are out of the air fryer, add them to the large bowl of sauce, and toss the wings in the sauce until fully coated!
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: lemon pepper chicken wings

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