Marinated chicken wings cooked on the grill are tangy and sweet with a little bit of heat. They are coated in a chili lime honey glaze, offering a delicious twist on a game day classic.
I use a gas grill, but charcoal is fine. If you don’t have a grill, I included instructions in the recipe card for baking and broiling the wings instead.
The honey-lime-chili glaze is what sets this chicken wings recipe apart from others. It’s added at the end because of the sugar content which makes it burn easily, so be careful during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you manage to have any leftovers, which I doubt, the wings are great – even cold – the next day.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Chicken wings: I usually grill whole wings because it’s less work to turn on the grill. Split wings are fine too, of course. In fact, they’re easier to eat as appetizers. Just reduce the cooking time a bit.
Marinade: The 6 simple ingredients include brown sugar, fresh lime juice, mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic, and Dijon (plus salt). Marinate for up to 2 hours (**see tip below**).
- Marinade substitutions: Feel free to substitute honey or maple syrup for the brown sugar. You can also add other ingredients like soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce to deepen the flavors. If you like heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Glaze: The glaze ingredients are similar to the marinade ingredients. The key difference is using lime juice and lime zest to boost the tang factor, plus honey, lime, chili powder and garlic.
Garnish: I like to use cilantro or other fresh herbs like thyme or oregano for garnish. You can also add a pop of color with chopped green onions.
Tip about marinating
Do not marinate the wings for more than 2 hours if you’re using lime juice as the acid will break down the meat and change its texture.
If you want to marinate for longer (e.g overnight), use the zest of one lime instead, not the juice.
Marinate the wings at room temperature (instead of the fridge) for 30 minutes. Or skip the marinating step altogether (the flavors won’t be as intense though).
- The marinated chicken wings can be made ahead and either kept in a warm oven for up to an hour (covered) in the oven or served at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Wings can be frozen for up to 2 months, defrosted, then warmed in a moderate oven, covered, for 10 minutes.
Sure! You can use leg, thigh, or chicken breast meat for this recipe. Just keep in mind the cooking times will be different. To make sure you cook it to a safe temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C) to be considered fully cooked.
Most of the time chicken tips are removed when making chicken wing recipes. You can freeze them to make homemade chicken stock or broth.
What to serve with marinated chicken wings
These wings are the perfect appetizer or finger food for parties, but I mostly serve them as a main course with a side or two. Here are a few great sides and salads to serve with grilled chicken wings:
- Herb Potato Salad
- Panzanella Salad Recipe with Peaches
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad
- Grilled Honey-Lime Sweet Potato Apple Salad.
- coconut Jasmine rice with chili crisps
More grilled chicken recipes
- spicy honey-lime chicken
- chicken bulgogi recipe (Korean)
- Panzanella salad recipe with grilled chicken
- sweet and spicy chicken wings
- Mediterranean marinated grilled chicken
- grilled chicken burgers with mango salsa
- grilled BBQ chicken
- Thai grilled chicken
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Marinated Chicken Wings With Chili Lime Honey Glaze
- 3 pounds chicken wings, wing tips removed (whole or split) about 12-15
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, Note 1 (about 1 lime)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or 1-2 teaspoons of sriracha sauce if you like heat
- 3 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 tablespoon honey
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- optional: 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp dried coriander)
- chopped fresh cilantro and/or green onions
- MARINATE WINGS: Place marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag and massage to blend well (or mix in medium bowl). Add wings and coat will with marinade. Let site at room temperature to marinate for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- MIX GLAZE: In the meantime, combine ingredients for the glaze with a fork or whisk in a small bowl.
- GRILL WINGS: Spray grill with oil (or use a little olive oil on some paper towels to oil the grills) and heat grill to High. Tip: I also spray the wings with oil to avoid sticking. Lower burners on half of grill to medium low heat (about 325F/163C). Leave other half on medium-high heat. Place wings on side with low heat. Cover and grill for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the wings, turning once or twice. Note 2 to bake.
- FINISH WINGS: Increase heat under wings to medium-high and brush glaze on top of wings with a pastry brush. Continue grilling for a few minutes on each side, brushing with chili lime sauce until you get a golden skin with grill marks on the wings. Watch carefully as the honey in the glaze can burn easily. The internal temperature should be 160F/71C with an instant-read meat thermometer. Rest for 5-10 minutes (temperature will rise 5 degrees f). If you have a little glaze left over, brush it over the wings before serving. Garnish with cilantro, fresh lime wedges or chopped green onions. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- To marinate longer: Do not marinate the wings for more than 2 hours if you’re using lime juice as the acid will break down the meat and change its texture. If you want to marinate for longer (e.g overnight), use the zest of one lime instead, not the juice.
- To bake wings (instead of grilling): Heat oven to 400F/204C. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place wire rack on top and spray with oil for easy cleanup. Put wings on rack in single layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on size of wings. Increase heat to 425F/218C, brush glaze on the wings and bake another 10 minutes or until slightly charred and golden. If not browned enough, broil for 2-3 minutes.
- Make Ahead:
- The wings can be made ahead and either kept in a warm oven for up to an hour (covered) in the oven or served at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Wings can be frozen for up to 2 months, defrosted, then warmed in a moderate oven, covered for 10 minutes.