Ready for super flavorful chicken wings without a saucy mess? You have to try this Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings recipe!! 🤩 Fry it to believe it!
Cilantro and lime is a classic flavor pairing of two ingredients that truly complement each other. We love cilantro and lime with so many things, and chicken wings are no exception.
The air fryer cilantro lime chicken wings makes for a juicy, tender and ultra flavorful treat with a zesty kick of lime and subtle hit of spice that keep you coming back for more!
I personally love cilantro! I think it’s the most delicious of all the herbs.
🤩 Fun Fact: Did you know that the cilantro stems have even more flavor than the leaves?
We don’t use the stems in this recipe, but definitely don’t discard them!
Pulse them in a food processor with olive oil and freeze in an ice cube tray to make cilantro ice cubes for the next time you want a little cilantro flavor in your dish!
This recipe is easy and most of the ingredients are things you probably have on-hand.
First, we’ll season up the wings and get them into a lime-y garlicky marinade to hang out for a little while. Then, we’ll pop them into the air fryer and less than 30 minutes later, you’ve got a fantastically delicious plate of wings.
Trust us, you’re going to love them.
Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings Ingredients
Here are all you need to make those zesty air fried cilantro lime wings.
- Chicken wings
- Lime juice
- Canola oil
- Chili flakes
- Salt and pepper
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
We always prefer to use fresh lime juice over the pre-bottled stuff. It has a better flavor that results in better-tasting wings, so if you can, use fresh limes!
To get more juice out of your limes, roll them (uncut) on the counter, pressing them to break up the fibers on the inside and help free up the juice.
😎 Pro Tip: Chop some extra cilantro and save it on the side for a garnish at the end!
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Cilantro Lime Wings
Don’t have time to read? Here’s a short recipe video we made just for you. 😉
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Cook Cilantro Lime Chicken wings in the Air Fryer?
This air fryer wings has something that we don’t usually include in our wing recipes—a marinade!
Letting the chicken sit with the ingredients really helps the meat absorb all the delicious flavor.
You could do the first three steps of the recipe a few hours or even a day ahead of time. Just be sure not to marinate the chicken for longer than 24 hours or the lime juice could start to break down the chicken and alter the texture.
Even with the (minimum) marinating time, this recipe is still ready in about an hour from start to finish!
1. Get your chicken wings ready.
If starting with frozen wings, thaw them before continuing.
The best way to thaw wings is in the refrigerator overnight. To thaw them faster, put them in a sealed container or bag into a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until they are fully defrosted.
Once the wings are thawed (or if you’re using fresh), add the wings to a large bowl and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Season the chicken wings with cilantro lime marinade.
Sprinkle the wings with salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the lime juice, canola oil, chopped cilantro, cumin, garlic and chili flakes. Using your (clean) hands, toss the wings well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Either transfer the wings to a zip-top bag or cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap before transferring to the refrigerator.
3. Marinate the wings for 30 minutes.
Marinate the wings for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Do not marinate the wings longer than 24 hours or the texture of the meat will be affected by the long-term exposure to lime juice. (You don’t want to turn it into chicken ceviche….. 😵)
4. Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (193°C).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it run without food for 5 minutes.
Please don’t skip this step. Shorter cooking time makes for a juicier chicken wings.
5. Air fry the chicken wings for 20-25 minutes.
When the air fryer is preheated, add the wings in a single layer and cook, flipping once halfway-through, until the wings are fully cooked and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
To check if the wings are done, insert a meat thermometer into the largest wing: the internal temperature should be at least 165°F (74°C).
📝 Note: I used a 6-quart air fryer to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
6. Serve and enjoy your air fried cilantro lime chicken wings!
When the wings are fully cooked and golden, transfer to a plate and serve immediately.
If you have/chopped some extra cilantro, sprinkle over the top of the plate for a nice presentation and pop of fresh cilantro flavor!!
If you’re craving a creamy dip for the wings, try a simple lime crema: combine 1 cup sour cream, zest and juice of one lime, 1 garlic clove, crushed, and a pinch of salt.
Now you have a delicious, creamy and zesty sauce to complement the wings!
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a freezer-style zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the instructions below.
Fridge: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: To reheat wings, add to an air fryer preheated to 350°F and air fry for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Do not overcook to avoid drying out the wings.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings Air Fryer FAQs
How to air fry cilantro lime chicken wings?
To air fry cilantro lime chicken wings, first marinate your wings with cilantro lime seasoning for 30 minutes. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C) and cook it for 20-25 minutes.
Zesty Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
- 1 pound chicken wings 10-12 pieces
Cilantro Lime Marinade
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Get your chicken wings ready. If you don’t have fresh ones, thaw them overnight. Then pat the wings dry with paper towels.
- Afterwards, season the chicken drumettes and wingettes with lime juice, canola oil, chili flakes, ground cumin, crushed garlic, roughly chopped cilantro leaves, salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken wings with cilantro-lime marinade in a ziplock bag. Remove the excess air, and then marinate them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (193°C).
- Once the air fryer is preheated, place the chicken wings inside and cook them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden. For even cooking, be sure to space the wings out and flip them halfway.
- Top the air fried cilantro lime chicken wings with cilantro leaves. Serve and enjoy with a side of carrots, cucumber, ranch dipping sauce!
- Fresh chicken wings will yield the best results.
- The best way to thaw your chicken wings is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight.
- Another effective method for thawing wings is to place them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. It typically takes 2-4 hours for the wings to fully defrost.
- We do not recommend defrosting them in the microwave as it may dry out the meat and potentially make it unsafe to eat.
- Should you choose to air fry wings from frozen, it will have a dry texture and require a longer cooking time.
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Preheating and thawing your chicken wings properly will yield juicier results. Based on our tests, the longer you cook your chicken wings, the drier they will become.
- It’s not ideal to wash your chicken wings as it may contaminate your kitchen.
- Chicken wings are considered as white meat and should be cooked to a temperature of 165°F or 74°C or higher.
- Don’t marinate for more than 24 hours, the lime juice will break down the chicken wings and alter the texture.
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer cilantro lime chicken wings recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings being prepared. For best results, start with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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