I love making these Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings for game day! A savory and cheesy sauce perfect for tailgating appetizers. Make them in the air fryer in less than 30 minutes!
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Homemade Chicken Wings
Making homemade chicken wings is one of my favorite things to do when we are hosting tailgate parties. And this flavor is a fan favorite!
Inspired by the classic flavor combination of Parmesan cheese and garlic, these wings are a mild, savory flavor that everyone will love.
Want to kick up the heat a little? You can add some cayenne or hot sauce to the butter when melting as desired.
Ingredients Needed for Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings
Here is what you need to make these game day wings:
- Chicken Wings
- Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated is best!)
- Garlic Powder
Yes, both fresh garlic and garlic powder! I love using both because the fresh garlic brings an element of freshness in flavor plus little pockets of bursting garlic flavor.
And the garlic powder is an amazing way to really bring that garlic flavor through the entire sauce.
First you want to pat the wings dry with a paper towel or clean towel. This will help the skins crisp up.
Sprinkle them with cornstarch (if using), salt, and pepper and then cook per the directions.
Meanwhile, make the sauce.
Cooking Methods for Chicken Wings
You can either air fry or bake these wings.
I like to use an air fryer because it is fast and gives a great fried texture to the wings without the oil.
To cook in an air fryer, air fry at 400F for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
If cooking in an oven, bake at 425F for 40 minutes, flipping half way through.
How do you throw wings in sauce?
You want to use a large bowl and have your wings in the bowl ready to pour the sauce on top of.
Then I switch between swirling the bowl so the wings move in a circle and doing mini flips where you move the bowl upward to flip the wings around, like you see people do with pancakes in a skillet.
If this worries you, simply move them around with tongs until everything is coated. Just be gentle to not tear the wings.
Can I use frozen wings?
Yes! Frozen wings can be cooked the exact same method, just for a longer cook time. Typically around 30 minutes in an air fryer.
The cook time regardless of fresh or frozen will vary with the size of the wings. The larger the wings, the longer they take.
This is why I like to use a digital thermometer to read the internal temperature of the wings and make sure they are cooked through.
Do you put sauce on chicken wings before or after you cook them?
After, especially since this sauce uses honey.
The sugars in a sauce will burn if cooked too long. And adding sauce right away means that you will not get a crispy wing.
You can keep the wings warm by holding them in an oven set to low (130 to 150F) and wrapped in foil for up to 90 minutes.
I would recommend not tossing them in the sauce until you are ready to serve so that the sauce does not dry up while waiting.
Picking an Air Fryer
There are a lot of air fryer options out there. Many air fryers are designed as single-use appliances, as in they air fry and not much else.
If you are looking at purchasing an air fryer, you want to consider how you will likely be using it.
Not only does the batch size vary with how large the air fryer is, but some have small and deep baskets while other have shallow and wide frying baskets.
I prefer and recommend something that has a wide and shallow basket because you can fit more in it without the food overlapping on itself, which especially matters sometimes such as chicken wings.
I have the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven which is wonderful because it also bakes, toasts, and more all in one appliance. With the shallow and wide basket.
And it works FAST which means chicken nuggets for the kiddos are ready in a flash!
- Pat your chicken wings dry. Toss them with the cornstarch (if using, see note), 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Arrange the wings in a single layer.
- Air fry at 400°F for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. Make sure the wings are cooked through, registering 165°F.(Or if baking in the oven, bake at 425°F for 40-45 minutes until cooked through.)
- While the wings are cooking, make the sauce.
- Heat a small pot over medium heat. Add the butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, continue to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When the wings are done, place them in a large bowl with the sauce and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine and let them sit for one minute.
- Serve warm with leftover sauce and dipping sauces. Garnish with additional cheese if desired.