Baked seasoned chicken wings tossed in a lemon pepper butter sauce perfect for serving a crowd on game day.
Lemon pepper wings are subtle but have a really great flavor. These chicken wings are baked rather than fried. They’re first marinated in a spice mixture made from black pepper, garlic, onion, mustard and cayenne for a good flavor base. Then the wings are baked and served tossed in a lemon butter sauce and finished with grated Pecorino Romano cheese. The lemon butter negates the need for any additional dipping sauces. Because they are baked rather than fried they are easy to make for a crowd in larger batches.
Chicken wings – You can serve a lot of people cheaply with chicken wings. They are such an inexpensive cut of meat. While there isn’t much meat on chicken wings, the flavor of the skin more than makes up for the small amount of meat! I recommend planning about 4 wings per person as an appetizer and doubling it as an entrée.
Spices – The wings are marinated in a homemade lemon pepper seasoning mixture of freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard and cayenne.
Lemon zest – The lemon zest is the grated outer skin from the lemon. Use a zester or microplane to remove the zest. If you don’t have a zester use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the rind and finely chop it.
Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice brightens the wings and adds an acidic flavor. I like to serve with additional lemon wedges so additional juice can be added if desired plus it adds a nice garnish.
Pecorino Romano – Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. While I like the flavor of the combination of both cheeses in this recipe, it can easily be made with one or another.
How to Make Baked Lemon Pepper Wings
Step 1: Mix the spices.
In a small bowl stir together the kosher, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder and cayenne.
Step 2: Mix the wings with the spices.
Add the wings, oil and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl, tossing with your hands to coat evenly. Next, add the spices, tossing to coat once again.
Step 3: Marinate.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
Step 4: Bake the wings.
Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). First place a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Next, arrange the wings in an even single layer and bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes.
Step 5: Broil the wings.
Heat the oven to broil high and broil until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side.
Step 6: Make the lemon pepper sauce.
Melt the butter in a small bowl and stir in half the lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper. Add the wings to a large bowl and toss with the sauce.
Step 7: Assemble and serve.
Arrange on a large platter and sprinkle with the cheese and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
How to Reheat Chicken Wings
In the oven. I recommend either baking the wings at 350ºF (180ºC) until they are heated through, about 15 minutes or broil on high until the wings are heated through and crispy on the outside, about 2 minutes on each side.
In the air fryer. Heat air fryer to 350ºF (180ºC). Woking in small batches add wings to the air fryer basket and cook until heated through, about 6 minutes.
How to Prepare Wings in Advance
To prepare wings in advance, marinate and bake the wings then reheat and toss in the lemon butter sauce just prior to serving.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this lemon pepper wing recipe, I recommend checking out some of these chicken wing recipes perfect for game day: