Dinner

April 27, 2021

Mexican Chicken Wings (Air Fryer)

This post was originally published in 2020 and has since been updated with photos and a different dip for the wings.

If you love chicken wings, especially crispy ones and Mexican food and flavours, you're gonna love these Mexican chicken wings. Made with a simple dry rub and then air fried until perfectly crispy, they're actual heaven. I highly suggest pairing these crispy air fryer wings with some guac and a marg (preferably on a sunny day) but honestly, you could eat these in the dead of winter (I have numerous times) and just blast the heat and pretend you're somewhere warm. I do this ALL the time ;)

mexican chicken wings

Like most people, I'm definitely missing traveling. It's been two years since I went anywhere and honestly at this point, I'd travel pretty much anywhere. But since that won't be happening, I've been making an effort to make the most of things. And if I can't physically travel, at least I can make delicious food and pretend I'm travelling to that country of origin. With that being said, one of my favourite places to "travel" is Mexico. I love the food SO much, it's one of my fav cuisines and I do my best to keep things authentic while still being accessible. I've been making  plenty of tacos, burritos, carnitas and even birria tacos and each and every time, I've done something a little silly (but so fun). My fiancé (Shayne) and I pretend we're in Mexico and turn up the heat in the condo. We make margaritas and joke that we're going to margaritaville (it's always the first stop on the way to Mexico). So yeah, it's silly, but honestly makes us laugh and lightens the mood. Which we can all use right now.

So whether or not you do the same, I do hope you love these Mexican chicken wings.

Ingredients

These Mexican chicken wings are SO easy to make. Here's everything you need to make them!

  • Chicken wings: you'll need about 2 pounds of chicken wings. I like keeping them whole, but split or whole will work here.
  • Dry rub seasoning blend: to make this Mexican inspired dry rub, you'll use smoked paprika, ancho chile powder, cumin, garlic and salt.
  • Avocado oil spray: this helps to get the wings crispy, I recommend using either avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil cooking spray.

For the dip and toppings:

Lime juice: to add some acidity to the dip, you'll use the lime zest as well.

Greek yogurt: to add some creamy goodness to the dip and cool things off. You could use sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Cilantro: to add colour and flavour, if you hate it, leave it off.

Cotija Cheese: I love the saltiness and creaminess that cotija adds. See substitutions for other options.  

Serrano pepper: the dry rub isn't spicy at all, and because I love heat, I like adding in some thinly sliced serrano pepper which is similar to a jalapeño pepper but spicier.

Mexican chicken wings

How to make chicken wings in the air fryer

Making crispy air fryer chicken wings is actually the easiest thing ever. Here is exactly how to make them.

Pat your chicken wings with some paper towel first to get them nice and dry. This will help make them crispier.

chicken wings with dry rub

Now, pour the spices into a large bowl and mix with a spoon. Add your chicken wings one at a time and toss well to coat, making sure that each one is very well seasoned and coated. This is important to ensure maximum flavour. Look at the photo below to see how well these are coated.

dry rub on chicken wings

Preheat the airy fryer to 400 degrees.

Add a layer of chicken wings to your air fryer, bottom part up first (skin side down), it's ok if they touch a little, but don't completely overlap them. My air fryer does about 6 whole chicken wings (or about 10-12 split chicken wings) at a time. Spray with avocado oil.

Place in your air fryer and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and flip them over and spray with a little more avocado oil and air fry for an additional 8 minutes.

crispy chicken wings in air fryer

Place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Heat your oven to 250 degrees and add the air fried chicken wings to the baking sheet. Then place this in the oven to keep the cooked ones warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken wings until all are done.

chicken wings on wire rack

How to make the Cooling Dip  

Making the lime and cotija dip is easy and will only take a minute or so.

In a small bowl, add all ingredients. Mix with a spoon until well combined and then set aside.

mexican chicken wings

Can you make these in the oven

Absolutely you can!

To do this, pat your chicken wings very well with paper towel. Add the seasoning to a large bowl along with 1 tbsp baking powder (this helps get them crispy in the oven) and then add the wings, working in small batches to coat them all very well.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with avocado oil spray.  Arrange on the rack in a single layer. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, turning every 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and serve with the dip and toppings.

How to make extra crispy air fryer wings

  • Pat the chicken wings dry: this helps make sure they get crispy
  • Don't overcrowd the air fryer: you want to be sure to space them out in one layer, it's ok if they touch a little, but don't put them on top of one another or overcrowd. It's best to work in batches.
  • Keep them warm in the oven: this is the best option when you're working in batches. I like using a wire rack over top of a baking sheet to keep them crispy. You can also reheat them all in your air fryer when you're done with all the batches.

Substitutions

  • Spices: I recommend smoked paprika over regular paprika because it has more flavour. Of course if all you have is regular paprika, that'll work. As for the ancho chili powder, I really like it, but you can use regular chili powder if that's what you have.
  • Dairy-free: if you can't have Greek yogurt, you can use another plain yogurt such as cashew or coconut.
  • Cotija cheese: I love using cotija because it tastes great and crumbles perfectly, plus it's a Mexican cheese. You can use feta or omit it altogether if you need.
  • No heat: omit the serrano pepper on top, or use a milder pepper like seeded jalapeño.
mexican chicken wings

Which Air Fryer Do I Use and Recommend

The air fryer I use and really enjoy and recommend is this T-Fal Easy Air Fryer. I like the size of it for cooking for 1 to 2 people. Plus, I think it's fairly affordable as well and doesn't take up too much room.

What to serve with these Mexican chicken wings

  • Guac and chips is my go-to choice because it's delicious and fits with the Mexican theme. Again, a margarita would also be delicious too!
  • Mexican street corn: check out my lightened up version here!
  • Any salad: a simple green salad would be great with this too.
guacamole and chips

Other Air Fryer And Chicken Recipes:

Ready to make this? Let's get to it!

If you make these Mexican chicken wings please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Mexican Chicken Wings (Air Fryer)

Crispy air fryer Mexican chicken wings made in 20 minutes! These are packed with flavour from a simple dry rub and served with a cotija (or feta) cilantro dip.

Prep:
5
min
cook:
32
min
total:
40
min
servings:
4
Author:

Jaclyn

Ingredients

For the Wings:

For the cotija dip

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice and zest from one lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 small serrano pepper, sliced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or use feta)
  • pinch of salt, to taste
Instructions

Air Fry the Wings

  1. Dry your chicken wings with some paper towel first to get them nice and dry.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF.
  3. Pour the spices and salt into a large bowl and mix with a spoon. Add your chicken wings one at a time and toss well to coat, making sure that each one is very well seasoned and coated. This is important to ensure maximum flavour.
  4. Add a layer of chicken wings to your air fryer, bottom part up first (skin side down), it's ok if they touch a little, but don't completely overlap them. My air fryer does about 6 whole chicken wings at a time. Spray with avocado oil.
  5. Place in your air fryer and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and flip them over and spray with a little more avocado oil and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Heat your oven to 250ºF and add the air fried chicken wings to the baking sheet. Then place this in the oven to keep the cooked ones warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken wings until all are done.

Make the dip

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix with a spoon until well combined and then set aside.

Notes

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Anya
April 14, 2022
Don’t sleep on this wing recipe. It is soooo good! I can see this being a staple for game days, casual dinners or honestly…any day. Such a crowd pleaser as well. Oh and please don’t skip the dip. It’s unreal stuff! I was grabbing random things in my kitchen to eat it with once the wings were done.