Unbelievably easy to make, these keto chicken wings are baked to crispy perfection then smothered with an OMG IT’S SO TASTY buffalo glaze. The wings take only a few minutes to prep – the oven does the rest.
Buffalo wings are deep fried chicken wings which are slathered in a spicy, red, hot pepper sauce and served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
Unlike chicken wings, buffalo wings are unique in that the wings are cut into a flat and drumette. This makes the wings very easy to eat and a perfect finger food. A popular pub food, buffalo wings come in mild to spicy flavors. The classic accompaniments of celery sticks and blue cheese dressing act as a cooling agent to balance the spiciness of the sauce in addition to adding contrasting texture and flavor.
Why make these keto buffalo wings?
- Better than regular buffalo wings – its literally the best keto buffalo wings that I have eaten EVER!
- Simple recipe – takes only minutes to prepare – the oven does the rest.
- Top game day party recipe – eat one of the top favorite finger foods while watching the game with friends and the whole family and still remain in keto.
This recipe has been a life saver during my months of keto. Its one of the tastiest recipes that I know. So I do hope you give it a try and let me know!
Why are they called buffalo wings?
Buffalo wings are said to have originated in Buffalo, NY where they were first introduced. While several origin stories exist, the general consensus points to a family-owned restaurant called Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY where Terressa Bellissimo first served them in 1964.
At the time, wings were considered scrap and typically used for stock and such, and the finger food of the time – canapes (appetizers served to the rich), was a very much a very formal affair.
Once introduced at the Anchor Bar in 1964, buffalo wings became an instant hit and the original recipe as well as variations became quite popular around the Buffalo area.
By 1982, large franchises like Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters started specializing in buffalo wings. The wings became even more popular when the Buffalo Bills football team played in four Super Bowls starting in 1994. Extensive media coverage of the team’s hometown helped spread the word about this delicious dish, forever linking it as a must-have gameday finger food, while watching the Super Bowl.
Ingredients for Keto Chicken Wings
The ingredients for this keto chicken wing recipe can be broken into two parts, (1) a spice mix which is use to season and coat the chicken and (2) the buffalo sauce.
Spice Mix – The spice mix consists of salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and paprika. Optional ingredients include chili powder and onion powder.
Keto Buffalo Sauce – The keto buffalo sauce consists of hot pepper sauce (I use Frank’s REDHOT Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce), vegetable oil, butter and garlic powder. The butter helps create the signature smooth, silky texture of buffalo sauce. I like using vegetable oil over olive oil or butter only because vegetable oil has a higher smoking point leading to a more crispy chicken wing.
How do you make buffalo wings more spicy?
Adding more chili powder or cayenne powder to the buffalo wing sauce, will make the sauce spicier.
How to make Keto Chicken Wings
This recipe only takes about 15 minutes of prep time – the oven does the rest. Here are the step by step instructions:
Make the Keto Buffalo Wing Sauce
Add all the hot sauce, butter, oil and garlic powder in a medium saucepan and simmer on medium heat until the butter melts. Mix well. Put half the sauce in a separate dipping bowl for serving. Leave the remaining portion in the saucepan and set aside.
Make the Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings
Step One: Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step Two: Make the spice mix – combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Put the spice mix aside.
Step Three: Pat the wings dry and put into a mixing bowl. Toss with vegetable oil.
Step Four: Put a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer on top. Sprinkle the dry rub spice mix on both sides. I have found that this is the best way to season the wings as it allows for better flavor penetration during the baking process while also forming a super crispy crust. The process of baking wings at high heat, naturally renders a lot of fat leading to a super juicy, crispy chicken wing. Elevating the wings with the rack helps ensures that the wings crisp and does not get soaked with the drained fat.
Step Five: Put the chicken wings into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken wings and rotate the pan in case there are hot spots. Bake for another 20 minutes. The wings are ready when they are a golden brown, cooked through and very crispy.
Step Six: Take the chicken wings out of the oven but do not turn off the oven. Toss the crispy oven baked chicken wings in the buffalo sauce in the saucepan. Make sure each wing is fully coated.
Step Seven: Arrange the wings on the rack again and put them into the hot oven for about 2 minutes. No need to flip. To check whether the wings are fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the wings, taking care to avoid the bone. Continue baking the wings are below the minimum safe internal temperature of 165°F. Enjoy!
Tips for making the best, keto chicken wings
- For the crispiest skin bake at 450°F – baking the chicken in a very hot oven helps fully develop the flavors and crisp the skin. If the temperature is not hot enough, the chicken will overcook before it can brown.
- Dry wings crisp better – The raw chicken wings need to be as dry as possible before baking. Any moisture will cause the wings to steam resulting in a soft flabby texture .
- No need to baste – chicken wings naturally baste themselves. The high oven temperature results in the fat of the chicken wing to slowly melt into into the pan leaving exceptionally crispy skin and very juicy meat. In the case of chicken wings, basting with additional oil softens the skin instead of making it crispier.
- Generous seasoning – the spice mix makes a big difference as it seasons the wings while they bake and then also helps create a super crispy crust.
- Wire rack – Allowing air flow all around the wings really helps ensure that the wings are baked evenly. Turning the wings midway helps all sides get an even crisp. The wire rack also elevates the wings away from the rendered fat during the baking process.
- Bake with the sauce for an epic glaze – baking the wings right at the end after it has been slathered with sauce ensures that the flavors melt right into the wings resulting in a lovely, tasty glaze.
- Rotate the pan – some ovens have hot spots. Rotating the pan when you put it in the second time ensures that the chicken is baked evenly.
Should you fry or bake chicken wings?
While classic chicken wings are deep fried, I prefer baking chicken wings because it creates a more flavorful chicken wing, while retaining a moist, juicy interior and a crispy crust.
Compared to using a deep fryer, oven baking works extremely well because of the naturally high fat content in the wings. During high heat baking, the wings literally baste themselves, resulting in the same moist and tender interior and crackly skin.
Oven baked chicken wings also has the additional advantage of allowing the chicken wing more time to slowly absorb the flavors of the spice mix and sauce – something that could never happen if you deep fried the wings.
Finally clean up, especially if you line the baking pan with aluminum foil is a cinch.
How do I make buffalo wings in the oven?
High temperature is critical to replicate the crispy skin and juicy interior texture that is critical to the success of the dish. Using a wire rack on top of a lined baking sheet (lined for easy clean up) helps ensure that the wings are cooked as evenly as possible.
- To bake the wings, first preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Place the wings on a wire rack and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Flip the wings and then bake again for another 20 minutes.
- I like to toss the cooked crispy wings in the buffalo sauce and bake for about 2 minutes for a delicious glaze.
Can I fry buffalo wings?
You can absolutely fry buffalo wings – in fact it is the classic way of cooking the wings. Pour at least 1 inch of a high smoking point vegetable oil like corn, canola or peanut oil. Heat the oil on high heat until it reached at least 375°F. Fry the wings a few at a time in batches until cooked through and deep golden brown – about 15 minutes. Make sure the oil returns to 375°F between batches.
Note: To reduce oil splatters, the wings should always be thoroughly dried with a paper towel before frying. Also, if carbs are not an issue, a tasty variation is to first dredge the dried chicken wings in a mixture of flour and paprika (1 cup of flour to about 1 tablespoon of paprika) prior to frying – this creates a lovely, crispy exterior.
What if I don’t have a rack?
If you don’t have a rack you can drain the rendered fat halfway through the baking process (when flipping). Whenever possible, place the wings on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil to ensure that they are not oily. If you want to glaze the crispy chicken wings by baking the wings for a few minutes with the sauce, simply drain the oil from the tray again.
Serving buffalo wings
How much sauce do you put on buffalo wings?
Use about 1 cup of sauce for about 4 pounds of buffalo wings.
How do you eat buffalo wings?
The ultimate finger food, these low carb chicken wings are dipped in the buffalo sauce and eaten by hand. The classic celery and blue cheese offer a wonderful counterbalance as a cooling agent to the spiciness of the wings. Eating these wings is very messy so having some paper napkins or moist towelettes on hand is very helpful.
What should I serve with buffalo wings?
Buffalo wings are typically served with celery sticks, an individual dipping bowl of buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip.
A quintessential pub food, buffalo wings go very well with icy cold drinks like beer and sodas. Buffalo wings are also often served with other pub food like Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers, onion rings, French fries and loaded potato skins.
You can make a delicious meal with buffalo wings by serving cool contrasting sides like Caesar salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Other popular sides include corn on the cob, oven roasted vegetables and pan roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon. Many folks use the meat from leftover buffalo wings for sandwiches and also toppings for salads and pizzas.
Keto dipping sauces for chicken wings
Keto dipping sauces include the buffalo sauce recipe provided here and low sugar salad dressings (check the label) like Caesar, blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and ranch dressing.
Ranch dressing is the best substitute if you do not like the classic side of blue cheese dressing.
Storage and reheating
Can you reheat crispy buffalo wings?
Make ahead: You can bake the wings ahead of time because they reheat beautifully. Just let the cooked wings cool uncovered, then refrigerate. Chicken wings can last in the fridge for about 3-4 days. When ready to rehear, spread the wings out on a baking sheet (preferably on a rack) and bake for about 10 minutes at 350°F. There is literally no difference in texture or juiciness!
With only 1.6 grams of carbs per serving, these buffalo chicken wings are very low carb and keto friendly. One serving of keto buffalo wings contains about 0.3g of fiber so each serving has about 1.3g of net carbs. Each serving also contains about 26.9 grams of total fat. The recipe yields about 8 servings, and each serving has about 527 calories.
The nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and is intended for informational purposes only and should be used as a general guideline. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should independently verify it using your preferred tool.
Since its introduction, many variations of the classic buffalo wing have gained popularity. However, not all of them are low carb or keto friendly. Boneless buffalo wings for example are typically breaded and deep fried and many variations of chicken wings include dredging the chicken wings in a flour based batter prior to frying. Some sauces may also include sugar. If eating low carb is important to you, it’s a good idea to ask about the actual ingredients.
Popular variations of chicken wings include:
- Pan fried chicken wings
- Chinese chicken wings made with soy sauce
- Thai chicken wings
- Jamaican curry chicken wings
- Curried chicken wings
- Garlic parmesan wings
Buffalo Sauce FAQ
Traditional buffalo sauce is typically made up of hot sauce , butter, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper. The amount of cayenne pepper determines whether the sauce ranges from mild of extra hot
In this keto friendly easy recipe, we make buffalo sauce with hot sauce, vegetable oil, butter and garlic powder.
To make a dairy free buffalo wing sauce, simply substitute the butter with a mild oil like vegetable, corn or canola oil.
FINALLY, IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE
I’d love to hear how it went – please leave a comment and rate this recipe. Above all, I love hearing from all of you and will do my best to answer each and every comment!
OTHER DELICIOUS KETO RECIPES TO TRY
EASY JALAPENO POPPER APPETIZERS – These ultra delicious Jalapeno Popper Appetizers disappear within moments of being served! Creamy, cheesy, wrapped with crispy chewy bacon, its A TRIPLE FLAVOR BOMB! Just make ahead and bake. Let the party begin!
STEAK – MEDIUM RARE RIBEYE – Cook steak like a boss – crispy and salty on the outside, buttery soft on the inside. The type of steak that makes you put your elbows on the table, take a deep breath, close your eyes and smile.
STEAMED MUSSELS IN GARLIC SAUCE – Garlicky steamed mussels with crusty garlic bread .. a super-easy, impressive dinner solution for the impromptu fancy dinner party host or exhausted gourmet who needs to put together a delicious, sophisticated meal in under 30 minutes.
Keto Chicken Wing Recipe
Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- 4 pounds chicken wings
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder optional
- 2 tsp onion powder optional
Keto Buffalo Wing Sauce
- 1/2 cup Frank's Original Hot Pepper Sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Keto Buffalo Wing Sauce
- Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer on medium heat until the butter melts. Mix well. Put half the sauce in a separate dipping bowl for later. Set the remaining portion in the saucepan aside.
Keto Chicken Wings
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Put the spice mix aside.
- Pat the wings dry and put into a mixing bowl. Toss with vegetable oil.
- Put a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken wings on top. Sprinkle the spice mix on both sides.
- Put the chicken wings into the middle rack on the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken wings and rotate the pan in case there are hot spots. Bake for another 20 minutes. The wings are ready when they are a golden brown cooked and very crispy.
- Take the chicken wings out of the oven but do not turn off the oven. Toss the chicken wings in the buffalo sauce in the saucepan. Make sure each wing is fully coated.
- Arrange the wings on the rack again and put them into the over for 3-4 minutes. No need to flip. Enjoy!
- This recipe yields approximately 8 servings. The nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and is intended for informational purposes only and should be used as a general guideline. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should independently verify it using your preferred tool.