These simple easy-to-make baked chicken wings are tossed in an apple cider sauce and make for the coziest fall dinner. They're also the perfect game day appetizer and great for serving a crowd.
Once fall hits, I turn into a full-on apple cider addict. It's serves a permanent place in my fridge and brings me so much seasonal joy as the weather cools and foliage changes.
I love that I can enjoy a nice cold glass when the weather is still warm (like this week when it's been 75 degrees in New England in November!) or heat it up and enjoy warm cider on a chilly fall evening.
I also love that it's so easy to cook and bake with. In addition to making delicious cakes and donuts and adding dimension to cranberry sauce, apple cider is the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of meat.
When you think of apple cider and meat, you probably most closely associate it with pork. But it also goes fabulously with chicken. And these Apple Cider Chicken Wings are solid proof of that!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe takes a pretty common dish- chicken wings- and makes them super unique and fun for fall.
Chicken wings are appropriate all year round, but when you make them with apple cider, they scream cozy fall dinners and fun football games with friends.
Bring these to game watching parties or other fall gatherings and you're sure to have a unique dish nobody else will bring.
Plus they're so easy to make!
The ingredients for these apple cider chicken wings are pretty simple and the bulk of them are spices, you likely already have in your cabinets.
I decided to toss the wings in a simple paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper mixture.
I briefly considered using fall spices like cinnamon and ginger, but I didn't want to go overboard and wanted the wings to keep a savory flavor.
Here's everything you need (but be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Chicken wings (cut into wingettes and drumettes)
- Baking powder
- Garlic powder
- Apple cider
- Apple cider vinegar
- Apple slices: for garnish
- Chives or scallions: for garnish
🍗 How to make apple cider chicken wings
Chicken wings are one of my favorite go-to weeknight dinners because they're so easy to make. Plus, there are a million different ways to make them, which means you don't feel like you're having the same meal over and over again.
This recipe for apple cider chicken wings is incredibly easy and really consists of just a few simple steps:
- Tossing chicken wings in spices
- Baking chicken wings
- Making apple cider sauce
- Tossing chicken wings in the sauce
To start, preheat your oven to 450°F, line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on it. Spray rack lightly with cooking spray. This will keep the wings from sticking while they bake.
I also highly recommend patting the chicken wings with paper towels to try to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Then, place the wings in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine baking powder, paprika, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper.
I always add baking powder to my spice mixtures for wings. When baking chicken wings, baking powder will react with the skin to draw moisture out and help make them crispier.
Sprinkle baking powder and spice mixture over chicken wings and toss to coat.
Arrange wings on prepared wire rack, leaving a little bit of space between them.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and using tongs, flip each wing.
Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until wings are browned and crispy.
While wings are baking, pour apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and honey into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add in cinnamon, remaining ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until sauce reduces and thickens a bit.
Remove chicken wings from oven and place in a large bowl. Pour apple cider sauce over the top and toss to coat.
Place wings on platter and pour any sauce remaining in bowl over them. Top with apple slices and chives or scallions.
Yum! These apple cider chicken wings are best served hot. But if you're bringing them somewhere, you can always bake them, toss them in sauce, put them back on the pan, and then reheat them in the oven when you get to your location.
⏲️ How long to bake chicken wings
Baked chicken wings tend to be crispiest when baked at a high heat. Always place them on a baking rack instead of directly on baking sheet to allow air to circulate.
These apple cider chicken wings are baked at 450 degrees for a total of 45-50 minutes.
Start by baking for 30 minutes. Then flip wings and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until they're golden and crispy.
💡 Tips for making baked chicken wings
- Buy party style wings if you can find them. Party style wings will save you so much time since they come pre-cut (the wingettes and drumettes). I don't like cutting the wings apart myself, so I almost always use party wings.
- Pat chicken wings with paper towels to dry as much as possible before tossing in spices. Any extra water will inhibit the wing's ability to crisp up.
- Toss wings in baking powder before baking to help draw moisture out and make them nice and crispy.
- Always set wings on a baking rack instead of directly on baking sheet. This will allow for better airflow and will result in crispier wings.
- Switch up spices and sauces. once you learn how to bake chicken wings perfectly, you can add variety to your meals by mixing them with different spices and coating them in different sauces.
I might say this with every new chicken wing recipe I make, but these apple cider chicken wings are my new favorites!
The wings are perfectly crispy and the sauce has the perfect amount of sweetness and fall flavor, balanced out a bit by the paprika and black pepper.
You probably wouldn't even be able to guess these are baked (and not fried!) since the skin is so crispy. Muhaha it can be our little secret!
They're also ooey-gooey and finger-licking good. You'll definitely want to have extra napkins while eating these... But isn't that true for all good chicken wings??
While delicious for dinner (with a veggie side), apple cider chicken wings are also fabulous for serving at any fall parties or game watching gatherings!
🎉 Additional chicken wing recipes
If you want to try a different chicken wing recipe every week of the year (basically what I do!), check out a few more of my favorites:
What's your favorite chicken wing sauce?
Apple Cider Chicken Wings
- 2 ½ lbs. chicken wings, cut into drumettes and wingettes (I like to buy them already cut as "party wings")
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp salt, divided
- ¾ tsp pepper, divided
- 2 cups apple cider
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Apple slices, for garnish
- Chopped chives or scallions, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450°F, line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on it. Spray rack lightly with cooking spray.
- Pat chicken wings with paper towels, trying to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Place in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine baking powder, paprika, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper.
- Sprinkle baking powder mixture over chicken wings and toss to coat.
- Arrange wings on prepared wire rack, leaving a little bit of space between them. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and using tongs, flip each wing. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until wings are browned and crispy.
- While wings are baking, pour apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and honey into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in cinnamon, remaining ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until sauce reduces and thickens a bit.
- Remove chicken wings from oven and place in a large bowl. Pour apple cider sauce over the top and toss to coat. Place wings on platter and pour any sauce remaining in bowl over them. Top with apple slices and chives or scallions.