Cooking Light

Just in time for game day, we’ve rounded up our favorite baked, air-fried, and vegan wing recipes.

Karla Walsh
January 31, 2019

Americans love football. Too bad not every football snack loves us back. The average fried chicken wing adds 179 calories and 8g of fat to your daily tally, but let’s get real: who eats just one? Luckily, you need not chow down on crudites alone. Creative bloggers have slimmed down the big game favorite in nine brilliant ways.

Whether you’ve vowed yourself vegan or are obsessed with your air fryer, we have a snack that will surely score with your home team.

Baked

A couple pro tips can help oven-roasted wings just get just as crunchy as their fried cousins:

  • Pat them dry with a paper towel before seasoning.
  • Cook on a wire rack placed on a sheet pan to elevate them off the sheet pan.

The Very Best Baked Buffalo Wings

“The very best” is a lofty claim, but the Pinterest popularity—and the four-item ingredient list—certainly have our interest piqued. While they’re not exactly health food, the fat used (butter) is in the sauce so you can actually taste it, rather than in the cooking method (frying oil).

Get the recipe here.

Epic Dry-Rubbed Baked Chicken Wings

Blue cheese dressing from a bottle will have a hard time competing with a DIY garlicky gorgonzola sauce. Pair it with the dry-rubbed wings to tame the heat from the chili powder, ancho chile pepper, and cayenne.

Get the recipe here.

Sticky Honey Garlic Wings

Sesame, soy and ginger flavors join forces with the namesake ingredients in the Asian-inspired sauce for these wings. Bake them up on a sheet pan lined with parchment to make cleanup a breeze.

Get the recipe here.

Want even more recipes for game day? Try these next:

Air Fryer

Even faster than oven-frying, the high convection heat flows around the basket of bites you’re baking. “All you need is a spritz of oil and you get the crunchy, crispy coating that traditional fried food has without any of the added fat. Everyone should invest in one, I think,” says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy.

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Wings With Parmesan

Parmesan, paprika and herbes de Provence lend loads of flavor to these gluten-free wings. No air fryer? No problem. The recipe also includes instructions for the Instant Pot or oven.

Get the recipe here.

Air-Fried Barbecue Wings

Chicken, salt, pepper and your favorite barbecue drizzle are the only ingredients required to fly into the party with a batch of finger-licking wings. Choose a no-sugar-added sauce and this snack is Whole30-, keto- and paleo-friendly.

Get the recipe here.

Crispy Chicken Wings Made in the Air Fryer

This method calls for flipping halfway through and allowing for ample breathing room for just-like-fried texture. Just before serving, toss with your sauce of choice (such as buffalo, barbecue or teriyaki).

Get the recipe here.

Vegan

Don’t give a cluck about chicken? Try one of these veggie-forward wing swaps instead. For the dunking sauce, try a bottled vegan ranch dressing (we like this one from Thrive Market.)

Baked Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Not only are these vegan, but if you use almond flour or meal instead of all-purpose flour, they’re also paleo, Whole30, gluten-free and keto-compliant. Whew! That nutty addition gives these cauli wings a surprising amount of protein per serving: 9 grams. That’s as much as an egg and a half!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Garlic Buffalo Brussels Sprouts

Spicy, tangy and a doppelganger for boneless chicken wings, these baked Brussels get their “fried” consistency from a dusting of cornstarch and panko breadcrumbs. Opt for Earth Balance or another dairy-free butter in the garlic buffalo sauce to keep these 100 percent free of animal products.

Get the recipe here.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings

Like it hot? Set your taste buds ablaze by sprinkling a half teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes into the coating for these sesame veggie wings. While you can skip the sauce, the savory-sweet combo of liquid aminos and maple syrup sounds downright irresistible.

Get the recipe here.

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