Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

sweet and spicy chicken wings on a platter ready for serving, surrounded by multiple dipping sauces

Sweet and spicy chicken wings are packed full of mouthwatering flavors. Personalize your spice level and pair it with the perfect combination of sweet and savory to make these the ultimate gluten free chicken wings! Did I mention how easy these are? Perfect for a fun and easy finger food favorite or party appetizer…now time to pull out the napkins!

How to Make Hot Wing Sauce From Scratch

Chicken wings can come with pre-packaged sauces and flavors making them easy and convenient, but not always gluten free-friendly. This easy hot wing sauce comes together in minutes to add all the flavor you want to your own chicken wings.

  • Combine ketchup, sweet chili sauce and gluten free soy sauce in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Next add the seasonings, orange juice and brown sugar.

Stir to combine.

  • Adjust Cayenne pepper to taste for personal spice preference.

Do Fried Wings Have Gluten?

Many varieties of fried chicken wings are also breaded. Unless they are specifically stated gluten free, then assume any breaded wings do indeed contain gluten.

Additionally, even if fried wings are not breaded, many are cooked in a fryer that is shared with the breaded wings. This means that if you are sensitive to gluten you should avoid fried wings unless you fry them yourself or are sure they are fried, bread-less, in a dedicated fryer.

Are Chicken Wings Better Fried or Baked?

That being said, if you are not breading your wings, the decision as to whether fried or baked wings are better comes down to personal preference.

Personally, I think baked wings are the way to go as you can pack them full of flavor by turning them and slathering them with sauce multiple times as they cook. 

Frying the chicken wings typically gets them done faster and keeps them moist but adds additional calories as well as much more mess… (interpreted more cleanup!). If you have a fryer that needs some love, then by all means pull it out and deep fry your wings!

Do you Put Sauce on Wings Before or After Cooking?

chicken wings being brushed with barbecue sauce

Many people wonder when the ideal time to put the sauce on your sweet and spicy chicken wings is. Should I put it on before? Should I put it on after?

The answer is both!

  • After I make my sauce then I portion off about a third of the sauce for after they are done cooking. This keeps this portion form being tainted by any raw meat juices that could introduce bacteria after cooking.
  • The remainder of the sauce gets brushed on the top of the chicken wings initially before baking, again once you flip the chicken wings, and one last time before they finish cooking. 
  • Once they are done cooking, before serving, then brush them one last time with the reserved sauce for the ultimate flavor!

How To Cook A Lot of Wings

These easy, spicy sticky chicken wings are the perfect finger food for a fun family dinner, as well as the perfect appetizer for any party. This means that if you have more than a couple people, chances are you will be wanting to make a lot of wings so there is plenty to go around!

sweet and spicy chicken wing about to be dipped in ranch dressing

To cook multiple batches of wings at once:

Heat the oven to 400° F 

Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment or foil

Divide wings between the baking sheets and spread on initial sauce.

Place the wings in the oven, alternating each pan on different side of the oven and on a different oven rack.

Every 20 minutes cycle the pans of wings to a different side of the oven and switching them between oven racks so they all get evenly cooked.

When you switch the pans, then also spread an additional layer of sauce and flip the wings.

Continue this cycle until the wings reach 180°F, about 1 hour 

How to Keep Wings From Drying Out

You can choose to cook your wings from frozen, or thaw them first. If cooking from frozen then you will need to allow 20-30 minutes of additional cooking time to bring them up to temperature.

The key to keeping your wings from drying out is to spread them with sauce multiple times while cooking, as well as not let them pass that 180° F temperature. If you go much beyond this then they will begin to dry out. A meat thermometer is huge help! 

Frying your wings instead of baking them also keeps them more moist, and you will then just put your sauce on after frying.

Serve these easy gluten free chicken wings with any remaining sauce, ranch dip, or any other favorite dipping sauce!

Need Some More Finger Food Ideas? Try:

Yield: 6

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

recipe card image for sweet and spicy chicken wings on a platter ready to be served with dipping suace

Sweet and spicy chicken wings are packed full of mouthwatering flavors. Personalize your spice level and pair it with the perfect combination of sweet and savory to make these the ultimate gluten free chicken wings! Did I mention how easy these are? Perfect for a fun and easy finger food favorite or party appetizer

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2lb Chicken Wings
  • 1/2 C. Ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Gluten Free or Tamari)
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar (or Honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 - 1/2teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the chicken wings in a small bowl to make the sauce. Stir well to combine and adjust heat level as desired with more pepper of choice, a little at a time.
  3. Set aside 1/3 Cup of the sauce for after the wings have been cooked.
  4. Spread the chicken wings out onto the lined baking sheet, keeping them from touching each other.
  5. Using a basting brush, spread a layer of sauce onto the exposed side of each chicken piece.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes then flip the wings, rotate the pan and spread with another layer of sauce.
  7. After about 10 more minutes then spread with one more layer of sauce and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes until the wings have reached 180° F. If you started the wings from frozen then they will take 20-30 minutes extra time.
  8. After the wings are cooked through then remove them from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Brush with the reserved sauce.
  9. Serve and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces!

Notes

See blog post for additional tips for frying the chicken wings instead of baking them, or for making chicken wings in multiple batches.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

4 wings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 945mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 14g

*Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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7 thoughts on “Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings”

  1. I love all of the spices you added to these chicken wings!! They made the dish super flavorful and satisfying!!

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