This Air Fryer Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken Wings recipe has the perfect balance of spiciness in every juicy and crunchy bite! Bonus: It’s super easy to make! 🤯 Fry, it to believe it!
There are few snacks as addicting as the Air Fryer Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken Wings. Each crispy bite is spicy and loaded with bold flavor. They’re so good that you’ll find yourself licking the orange-red dust off your fingers, no matter how hard you try not to.
When we added these Cheetos to our air-fried chicken wing breading, we were HOOKED! The resulting wings were not just good; they were some of the best wings we had ever tasted! Imagine your favorite Buffalo wing, but leveled-up tenfold.
We promise that even if you’re not a Cheetos fan, you’ll be a fan of these wings.
Hot Cheeto wings get their next-level crunch from a 3 step breading process. First, we dip the wings into a combo of cornstarch and spice. Then, the wings go into an egg wash before finally being rolled in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs.
They are air fried until crunchy and voila, you’ve got show-stopping wings.
Hot Cheeto Chicken Wings Ingredients
The ingredients in this recipe are mostly pantry items, so there’s a good chance you don’t have to buy much to make these awesome wings!
- Chicken wings
- Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
- Baking powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Ground black pepper
- Avocado oil spray or any cooking oil spray
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
💡Pro Tip: Cooking sprays often contain propellants that are harmful to the baskets and trays of air fryers. Be sure to use a cooking spray that only contains the cooking oil when possible.
A note about wings: Chicken wings come whole and pre-cut. We always prefer to buy the pre-cut option (sometimes labeled party wings) because then you can avoid the additional prep of having to cut them before cooking.
Not into spice? You can make these wings with ANY type of Cheetos! We prefer the Flamin’ Hot variety, but feel free to use your favorite flavor in place of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in this recipe
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Flamin’
Don’t have time to read? We made this short recipe video just for you. 😉
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Air Fry Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Wings?
This recipe is pretty simple so don’t be intimated! The wings you’ll create have layers of flavor in every bite. The recipe will take about 40 minutes or less- perfectly in time to watch the big game!!
1. Get your chicken wings ready.
If your wings are frozen, defrost them before continuing with the recipe. The best way to defrost wings is in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you could submerge the package of wings in a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until the wings are defrosted.
Add the wings to a medium bowl and thoroughly pat them dry with a paper towel.
2. Make the Cheetos crumbs.
Using a food processor, crush the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into fine crumbs.
Alternatively, add the Cheetos to a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin (or large glass jar). Keep rolling over the Cheetos, shaking the bag to ensure they’re all getting crushed, until they are the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
3. Prepare the dry batter.
In a shallow, medium bowl, combine the cornstarch, cayenne pepper and baking powder. Whisk to completely combine and set aside.
4. Make an egg wash.
In another shallow, medium bowl, beat an egg with a tablespoon of water until the yellow and white of the egg are smooth and combined. Set aside.
5. 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 for 4-5 minutes without food.
Please don’t skip this step. One of the keys to juicy chicken wings is accurate cooking time. The longer you cook them, the drier they become.
6. Season the chicken wings.
Add salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to the chicken wings and toss to evenly coat all the wings in the spices.
If you want to bump up the level of spiciness, just double or triple the amount of cayenne pepper.
7. Bread the chicken wings.
Bread one wing at a time: First, dip the wing into the dry cornstarch mixture, rolling to ensure the whole wing is coated. Then, dip the wing into the egg wash, turning to coat and allowing any excess to drip off.
Finally, transfer the wing to the Cheeto crumbs, rolling to cover the whole wing in crumbs. Set onto a clean plate and repeat with the remaining wings.
🤩 Pro Tip: If you have a large container with a lid, you could add the dry mixture (only the dry mixture, not the egg or Cheetos) to the wings and shake to evenly coat all the wings in the mixture, rather than dipping each one!
8. Air fry breaded wings for 20-25 minutes.
When the air fryer is fully preheated, add the wings into a single layer in the basket and air fryer, flipping halfway, until the wings are crispy and golden, about 20-25 minutes.
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.
9. Serve and enjoy your air fried Flamin’ Hot Cheetos wings!
When the Cheeto chicken wings are crispy and fully-cooked, transfer to a plate and serve immediately!
While we absolutely love these wings on their own, we also really love them dipped in ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and even just sour cream!
The spicy flavor is nicely balanced by a creamy dip. If you’re looking to up the spice even more, serve with hot sauce or Buffalo sauce on the side (woah 🔥).
Just for the record, we also think these would be fun to pair with margaritas 😉.
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: Once the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos 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 without sauce, add to an air fryer preheated to 350°F and air fry for 3-4 minutes or until heated through and crispy again.
Air Fryer Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken Wings FAQs
How to make Flamin’ Hot Cheetos chicken wings?
To make Flamin’ Hot Cheetos chicken wings like Applebee’s, first, you need fresh or properly thawed chicken wings. Then, prepare the crust by crushing Cheetos finely, preparing dry batter and egg wash. Next, season your wings with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and coat them with the breading mixture. Preheat your air fryer to 380°F or 193°C, and cook the wings for 20-25 minutes flipping halfway. Alternatively, you can deep fry them for 10-12 minutes at 375°F (191°C).
Mind-Blowing Air Fryer Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken Wings
- 1 pound chicken wings 10-12 pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Avocado oil spray or any cooking oil spray
- 2 cups Flamin' Hot Cheetos crushed (½ 8.5-oz. bag)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- Get your chicken wings ready. If you don’t have fresh ones, thaw them overnight. Then, pat the wings dry with paper towels.
- Place the Flaming Hot Cheetos into a large zip-top bag and crush them finely by applying pressure with a rolling pin until they are uniform in size, ideally as fine as breadcrumbs. Then, place the crushed Cheetos in a baking dish for assembly.
- Now, prepare the dry batter by combining cornstarch, cayenne pepper, and baking powder.
- Next, get the egg wash ready. Crack an egg into a medium bowl, then beat it until it becomes runny.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (193°C).
- While preheating, season the chicken wings with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Toss until all the wingettes and drumettes are fully coated with the spice mixture.
- After seasoning, dredge the wings with the dry batter, then dip them in the egg wash, and finally coat them with the Cheetos crumbs we made earlier. Apply pressure while adding the Cheetos crumbs, then shake off any excess breading. Repeat until all the chicken wings have been crusted.
- Carefully place the breaded wings in the preheated air fryer, and cook them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Flip them over halfway through for an even finish, and make sure that the internal temperature of the thickest chicken wing reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher.
- Serve and enjoy your crispy air fryer Flamin' Hot Cheetos chicken wings with a sour cream or yogurt-based sauce on the side!
- Fresh or properly thawed chicken wings will yield the juiciest and most tender results.
- 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 4- 5 minutes without food.
- 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.
- A flat container, such as a dish or tray, will work best for breading chicken.
- The Cheetos should be crushed finely to evenly coat the chicken wings.
- If you want a spicier Flamin’ Hot Cheeto wings, double or even triple the amount of cayenne pepper when seasoning your wingettes and drumettes.
- On the contrary, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, use regular Cheetos.
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer Flamin’ Hot Cheetos 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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