These Baked Crispy Cajun Chicken Wings are super crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and, since they’re not fried, are actually pretty virtuous. Featuring a bold Louisiana chicken wing seasoning and tossed a sweet n’ spicy honey chipotle glaze, these Cajun crispy chicken wings are packed with flavor! With half the fat, but ALL the crispy, glorious taste you crave, these wings NEED to be part of your regular appetizer rotation.
Bonus, since this recipe for cajun chicken wings is baked and not fried, you can devour at least twice what you’d normally eat — all with no judgment and no guilt. Just crispy deliciousness minus all the calories. 🎉 YOU’RE WELCOME.
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About this recipe for cajun wings
If Cajun hot wings are your idea of a good time, you’re going to love this lightened-up version of the classic. My exceptionally tasty honey Cajun wings are crispy on the outside and succulent n’ tender on the inside. Dry-rubbed with a potent mix of savory-piquant herbs & spices, baked to crispy perfection, then coated in a spicy, sweet and smoky glaze, these chicken wings are straight-up FIRE. 🔥
Why you’ll love this cajun wing recipe
Aside from being a flavor-packed pile of crispy deliciousness, this New Orleans chicken wings recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy – You’ll only need to spend 15 minutes worth of active prep time, then the oven does all the rest.
- Made With Only 13 Simple Ingredients – Chances are, you already have at least half of what you need on hand.
- Better For You – Since these Cajun-style wings are baked, not fried, they’re a way healthier option. But, don’t worry — they’re not some lackluster, watered-down version of the good stuff (I’m lookin’ at YOU fat-free “sour cream”). They’re every bit as finger-lickin’ good as the kind from your favorite bar, and THEN some.
Ingredients for a crispy cajun wing
As promised, you only need a short list of easy-to-find ingredients to make the best dang Cajun chicken wings you’ve ever tasted. Here’s what to grab:
- Chicken Wings – You can save yourself a bit of $$$ by buying whole chicken wings and breaking them down into drumettes and flats yourself. Or, go the easy route and use pre-butchered chicken.
- Cajun Seasoning & Kosher Salt – I prefer making my own seasoning blends so I can control how much salt goes into what I’m eating. That said, feel free to use a store-bought brand like Slap Yo’ Mama or Tony Chachere’s to save time. Just make sure it includes paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and celery salt. Also, you’ll want to taste it before using — chances are, you’re not going to need the kosher salt if you opt for a pre-made blend.
- Baking Powder – I know this sounds like a weird addition to a Cajun wing recipe, but hear me out. Baking powder increases the surface area of the chicken wings by creating carbon dioxide gas (like in your favorite baking recipes) that makes the skin bubble up. It also slightly increases the pH, which helps to speed up the Maillard reaction and increase browning. Science is neat.
- Honey – The thrill of eating chicken wings is the contrast of hyper-crunchy skin and a sticky-sweet glaze. Honey helps achieves the second piece of that magnificent equation.
- Substitutions: Swap in your choice of liquid sweetener. Maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup are all acceptable substitutions.
- Pineapple – Pineapple adds a lovely tangy-sweet layer of deliciousness to the honey chipotle glaze. Feel free to use either fresh pineapple or canned pineapple packed in juice (not syrup).
- Substitution: Feel free to swap in straight-up pineapple juice if needed.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – A can of these spicy, smoky flavor boosters is always lurking in my pantry. (Pro Tip: If you’re not using the whole can, they freeze beautifully. I like to chop ‘em up and toss them in my food-dedicated ice cube tray – so my ice doesn’t taste like all the flavorful things I freeze lol – so I can always pop out just what I need when I need it.)
- Substitution: In a pinch, you can swap in a mix of ground chipotles and smoked paprika.
- Onion & Garlic – For some sweet allium complexity in the sauce. Feel free to use any color onion (or shallot) that you have on hand.
- Substitutions: Onion powder and garlic powder can be used as stand-ins if needed!
- Ketchup – For another layer of sweet, sticky goodness.
- Dijon Mustard – For a touch of tang.
- Substitutions: Yellow mustard, spicy brown mustard, or mustard powder are acceptable substitutes.
- Lime Juice – Adding a splash of extra acidity helps to balance out the honey chipotle glaze. I prefer using fresh citrus whenever possible, but in a pinch, Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice is the closest bottled alternative around.
- Granulated Sugar – You only need a mere teaspoon to finish off the sauce.
- Substitutions: Brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar, jaggery, piloncillo, or agave nectar are all good swaps here.
New Orleans wing variations
- Optional Garnishes – If you’re going for hosting gold, don’t forget to add some pretty, colorful, and flavorful garnishes. My favorites are Cilantro, Lime Wedges, and Finely Diced Pineapple. YUM.
- Go bigger! Feel free to swap in bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs & drumsticks for more of an entrée than an app.
- Dip them in cajun sauce! Creamy louisiana remoulade sauce is the perfect dipper for a crispy cajun chicken wing.
- Serve them with salsa! Personally, I love these slightly spicy Louisiana chicken wings with a side of fresh pineapple salsa or mango salsa.
How to make cajun wings
- Prepare chicken wings: Pat the wings dry with paper towels and then place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cajun spice, baking powder, and kosher salt over the chicken wings and toss to evenly coat. Then, set aside.
- Preheat oven: Adjust your oven racks to the upper and lower third positions. Then preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Arrange wings on baking pan: Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay a wire rack directly on top. Lightly spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray. Next, place the chicken wings on the wire rack, arranging them so they are skin-side-up and in a single layer.
- Bake TWICE: Place the wings into the oven on the LOWER third rack and bake for 30 minutes. Quickly open the oven door and move the chicken wings to the UPPER third rack. Close the door to the oven and increase the temperature to 425-degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to bake the chicken wings for 40-50 minutes, rotating them halfway through baking.
- While the wings are baking, make the glaze: Add all the ingredients for the sauce to a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the glaze to a slow boil while whisking. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 10-12 minutes, or until the glaze is thick. Remove the glaze from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce; or carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and puree. Taste and adjust the glaze for seasoning.
- Glaze the cajun wings: Transfer the wings to a mixing bowl. Pour some of the glaze over the wings and toss to coat.
- Serve crispy glazed cajun chicken wings with the remaining glaze on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
Expert tips for the best cajun dry rub wings
- You can purchase your wings already cut into drumettes and flats, or you can cut them yourself. It’s really easy – just divide them at the joints. Check out the picture at the beginning of this post to see exactly where to cut (you will not need the wing tip, but you can save them to make chicken broth with). OR you can make these leaving the wings completely intact – drumette, flat and wing tip all connected.
- To ensure CRISPY wings, there are THREE steps you should NOT skip:
- Drying the wings THOROUGHLY,
- Coating them EVENLY in the seasoning/baking powder mixture, and
- Baking them on a RACK insert. Do those three things and you (and your baked Cajun chicken wings) are golden.
- When baking chicken wings, there will be a bit of smoke in the oven. Wings have fat and as they bake the fat will render, creating smoke. Don’t freak out — this is totally normal.
- You can either purchase Cajun seasoning or make your own. I highly recommend making your own spice mix. It’s simple to make, you probably already have all the spices, and you can control the amount of salt.
- There are a few ways you can make the glaze.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, but do have a food processor, I recommend you puree all the ingredients together in the processor first, and then cook the glaze. This way you can avoid transferring the glaze to a stand blender after it is cooked.
- If you do have an immersion blender, just follow the recipe as instructed.
- The same goes if you don’t have an immersion blender or a food processor, as you will just puree the glaze using a stand blender.
- The glaze can be made up to 3 days in advance. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature to remove the chill while the wings are baking. You can substitute dried seasonings for some of the fresh ingredients in the glaze, so be sure to check out the notes section of the recipe!
FAQs: cajun chicken wings
Are these honey Cajun chicken wings spicy?
They’re a perfect balance of sweet, smoky heat — not blow your head off spicy.
How long can you leave cooked Cajun baked chicken wings out at room temp?
Generally speaking, food safety guidelines indicate that you shouldn’t leave any perishable food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Luckily, these tasty little nuggets of deliciousness are so yummy, they’ll likely get scarfed down within minutes of you putting them out.
Should these baked cajun wings be cooked on a roasting rack or a baking sheet?
Trick question! They should be baked on a baking sheet with the roasting rack insert. This allows greater airflow around the entire wing, resulting in a perfectly crisp result without deep frying. Do yourself a favor and place some foil or parchment under the rack insert to make cleanup a snap!
Serving New Orleans chicken wing
When it comes to serving these oven-baked Cajun chicken wings, the options are endless, and you can get really creative. Here are some yummy wing pairings to make your wings shine:
- Get saucy: Offer a variety of dipping sauces like tangy barbecue, zesty honey mustard, hot sauce, or even a spicy sriracha mayo. Let your guests mix and match to find their perfect flavor combo!
- Sweet and spicy: Serve your wings with a side of pineapple salsa for a tropical twist.
- Tater tots: Who can resist crispy tater tots? Of course, you could also opt for other crispy spud options like smashed potatoes or sweet potato fries.
Wondering when to serve them? This New Orleans chicken wing recipe is a favorite for:
- Game night munchies: Whether you’re hosting a sports viewing party or having a casual game night with friends, Cajun chicken wings are a crowd-pleaser that will keep everyone satisfied.
- Movie night feast: Turn your movie night into a feast by serving Cajun chicken wings alongside some buttery popcorn and a variety of other finger foods.
- Potluck parties: These crowd-pleasing baked wings are easy to transport and always disappear quickly.
Storing cajun rub wings
- Allow the cooked wings to cool down to room temperature for about 30 minutes before storing to prevent any trapped condensation from making them soggy. Place the wings in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge for up to four days.
As far as reheating goes, you have a few options:
- Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and reheat for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through. This method helps to retain their crispiness.
- Air fryer method: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat for about 5-8 minutes, or until they are heated evenly.
- Microwave method: This method is quicker but may result in slightly less crispy wings. Place the wings on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in 30-second intervals, flipping them and checking for doneness in between.
Keep these additional tips in mind:
- Remember to always check the internal temperature of the wings with a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C) before consuming.
- For the best results, reheat the wings in smaller batches rather than all at once, especially if using the oven or air fryer.
- To revive any lost crispiness, you can place the reheated wings under the broiler for a minute or two, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning.
Alright, friends! Whether you’re winging it at a game day gathering or spreading your wings at a backyard BBQ, I hope this delectable Cajun chicken wings recipe makes your tastebuds take flight. Until next time, stay cluckin’ amazing and laissez les bon temps rouler!
More cajun recipes!
More recipes for chicken wings!
How to make Easy Baked Crispy Cajun Chicken Wings at home👇
Cajun Chicken Wings with Honey Chipotle Glaze
- 1 Large Bowl (for seasoning wings)
- 1 Large Rimmed Sheet Pan (baking sheet) (for baking wings)
- 1 Immersion or Stand Blender (for pureeing glaze)
Cajun Rub Wings
Spicy Honey Glaze
- 1/3 Heaping Cup Honey
- ½ Cup Pineapple (and its juices) – coarsely chopped (SEE NOTES)
- 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – coarsely chopped
- ½ small Onion – coarsely chopped (SEE NOTES)
- 2 TBS Ketchup
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Lime Juice
- 4 small cloves Garlic (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
- Optional Garnishes: Cilantro, Lime Wedges, Finely Diced Pineapple
- Prepare the chicken wings: Place the chicken wings on a clean work surface and use paper towels to pat the wings completely dry. Then transfer wings to a large mixing bowl or into a resealable bag. Sprinkle the cajun spice rub, baking powder, and kosher salt all over the chicken wings. Toss or seal the bag and shake to evenly coat the wings in the seasonings. Then, set the cajun rubbed wings aside.
- Preheat oven: Adjust your oven racks to the upper and lower third positions. Then preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Arrange wings on baking pan: Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay a wire rack directly on top. Lightly spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the wings from sticking. Next, place the chicken wings on the wire rack, arranging them so they are skin-side-up and in a single, non-overlapping layer.
- Bake TWICE: Place the wings into the oven on the LOWER third rack and bake for 30 minutes. Quickly open the oven door and move the chicken wings to the upper third rack. Close the door to the oven and increase the temperature to 425-degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to bake the wings for 40-50 minutes, rotating the wings halfway through baking.
- While wings are baking, make the chicken wing glaze: Add all the ingredients for the sauce to a medium saucepan and season with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the glaze to a slow boil while whisking frequently. Once slow boiling, immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the glaze from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce; or carefully transfer the sauce to a high powered blender and puree. Taste and adjust the glaze for seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
- Glaze the cajun wings: When the wings are done baking, place the baking sheet onto a cooling rack and let the wings cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes are up, transfer the wings from the baking rack to a large mixing bowl. Pour some or all of the glaze over the wings and toss to coat.
- Serve: Top the crispy glazed cajun chicken wings with your favorite garnishes and serve with the remaining glaze on the side for dipping. Enjoy immediately.
*You can substitute ½ cup of pineapple juice if desired for the pineapple.
*You can substitute 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder for chopped onion.
*You can substitute ½ tsp Garlic Powder for cloves of garlic. Nutritional information is an estimate based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.