These lemon pepper air fryer wings are tender and juicy, but perfectly crispy on the outside. I use a three-ingredient buttery lemon pepper sauce and other simple ingredients. Learn how to make the best air fried lemon pepper chicken wings without flour or breading using this easy recipe.
Why Make Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings
There are so many reasons to love lemon pepper air fryer wings. Here are some of my top reasons:
- Easy Recipe: these lemon pepper air fryer wings only take about 5 minutes of prep before they are cooked in an air fryer. Plus, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry and spice cabinet. Make this easy air fryer recipe as a main dish or game day snack
- Crispy and Air Fried: Many lemon pepper wing recipes call for deep frying your chicken wings. I’ll show you how to make lemon pepper wings with extra crispy skin in your air fryer without flour, breading or cornstarch.
- Healthier option: making lemon pepper wings in the air fryer requires less oil than cooking them in the deep fryer.
- Less time than baking: if you’ve make my lemon pepper wet wings, then you know it takes closer to 50 minutes to make them. By cooking lemon pepper chicken wings in the air fryer, you they can be ready in about 30 minutes.
Here are all the ingredients that you need to make air fryer lemon pepper chicken wings.
See the full recipe card at the bottom for ingredient amounts and step-by-step instructions.
For the Wings:
- Fresh Chicken wings – I am using pre-cut party wings from the grocery store, but if you have whole chicken wings, you can learn how to cut chicken wings into the flat, drum, and wing tips with my tutorial.
- Baking powder: this allows the chicken wing skin to become crisp without causing the meat to dry out.
- Black pepper – For best results, use freshly-cracked black pepper.
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Olive Oil: or avocado oil, this is helpful for drizzling over the wings before air frying
For the Lemon Pepper Sauce:
- Lemon pepper seasoning: I use a salt-free lemon pepper seasoning to be able to adjust the salt to taste. I get mine from the store, but you can also use this homemade lemon pepper seasoning blend that uses lemon zest.
- Butter – I use unsalted melted butter
- Lemon juice – I’m using fresh lemon juice.
How to Make Air Fried Lemon Pepper Wings
- Prep the wings: Remove the wings from the fridge, and pat them dry with paper towels. I mix the spice rub in a small bowl and toss the wings in it until they are evenly coated.
- Add the wings to your air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Air Fry. This takes about 12-15 minutes per side for them to become golden brown
- Make the sauce & toss the crispy wings in it. Add all the sauce ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. When the wings come out of the oven, toss them with the sauce. Serve while hot.
Tips and Variations
Here are a few tricks and variations to make the best air fryer crispy lemon pepper wings.
- Use room temperature wings: For best results, remove the wings from the fridge about 30 minutes before using them. Using room temperature wings will make them even juicier when you bake them.
- Thoroughly dry the wings: When drying the wings, make sure to do a very thorough job. Use a paper towel to dry every nook and cranny. The more dry the wings, the crispier they’ll get in the air fryer.
- Don’t crowd the wings: Make sure that the wings are not crowded in the basket of your air fryer. They should not be touching each other. If the wings are touching, the hot air cannot circulate as much, which will keep them from getting crispy. If you have too many wings for your air fryer model, cook in batches.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover lemon pepper air fryer wings can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat them in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes.
One of the most common reasons for soft wings in the air fryer is not having enough space. Be sure to place your wings in the air fryer in a single layer and cook in batches if they don’t all fit. You can also help with crisping by adding some oil to the top of your wings before air frying.
20-25 minutes. Chicken wings are cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. I cook to cook mine a bit more to get them crispy.
You can cook marinated chicken wings in an air fryer. You just need to cook them for a shorter cooking time. If you have sauced wings (with a sugar based sauce like bbq wings or my sweet chili wings, I would only reheat pre-sauced wings in an air fryer. The sauce will burn if left in the air fryer for too long.
They are overcooked. One way to “fix” this problem is to cover the wings with sauce.
You can add flour to your wings before cooking them in the air fryer, but this recipe does not use breading. If you do use a flour based breading, be sure to coat them generously with cooking spray or oil like I do in my air fryer frozen chicken tenders and air fryer frozen chicken nuggets recipes.
More Lemon Pepper Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Lemon Pepper Air Fryer Wings
- Air Fryer
- 1 lb Chicken Wings whole chicken wings or drumettes work
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil for drizzling over the wings before air frying
Lemon Pepper Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and pat dry (removing as much moisture as possible helps to have a crispy wing skin)
- Mix the black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and baking powder in a small dish or ramekin.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on the wings and toss to coat (getting the wings evenly coated helps them to get crispy)
- Place the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Drizzle olive oil on the chicken wings.
- Use the Air Fryer setting on 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes per side – the goal is for them to get crispy and browned.
- Add the lemon pepper sauce ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
- Pour the sauce on the crisped wings and Toss the wings in it to coat.
- Top with more lemon pepper seasoning, lemon wedges and parsley