Can you air fry frozen chicken wings? Yes! Follow this recipe to make the best air fryer frozen chicken wings around! These healthy keto Buffalo wings come out crispy without deep frying. This is pretty much the easiest recipe for making Buffalo wings from scratch at home. You and your family will LOVE having these air fryer chicken wings for dinner. They are absolutely mouthwatering!
Have a hankering for some wings? You NEED to air fry Buffalo chicken wings.
This recipe will change your life, my friends. (Ok, ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But you’re going to be amazed at the magic that happens when you cook frozen chicken wings in an air fryer.)
Typically, Buffalo wings are deep-fried into crispy goodness and then bathed in a vinegar-based hot sauce with melted butter. When you air fry chicken wings, you get Buffalo wings that are delightfully crispy without deep-frying. It's a lighter, lower-calorie version of one of the best chicken wing flavors around.
And if you aren’t into the health stuff, no worries. These keto chicken wings are so, so delicious. Between the crispy chicken wing, peppery Buffalo sauce, and cooling dressing, there is layer upon layer of flavor to savor.
This is seriously one of my favorite easy dinner recipes of all time. I am not lying when I say I would buy an air fryer just to make this recipe regularly. It’s just that good.
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Wing Nutrition and Benefits
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings Ingredients
- What is the best hot sauce for Buffalo wings?
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings Temperature
- How to Make Buffalo Wing Sauce (the easy way)
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- What are some good sides for Buffalo wings?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Air Fryer Frozen Food Recipes That You May Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Keto Buffalo Chicken Wing Nutrition and Benefits
Most people don’t need to be convinced to eat chicken wings, as a plate of delicious and well-made wings can be hard to resist! I know I always miss them when we haven’t had them in a while.
But what if you’re a bit of a weirdo and need convincing that chicken wings are good? Haha In that case, here are some reasons why you might fall in love with this low carb Buffalo wings recipe.
- These wings are baked, not fried. Using an air fryer to cook frozen raw chicken wings is kind of like cooking them in a convection oven. The rapid air circulation helps the skin to cook up nice and crispy without deep frying. The resulting chicken wings are lower in calories and added oil than classic Buffalo wings.
- Buffalo wings are keto friendly, which is great news for our low carb friends. Any diet that completely eliminates chicken wings is not a diet worth doing in my book. This recipe might make you feel bummed out for those with other dietary restrictions.
- It’s an easy weeknight dinner idea, perfect for when you are busy. Clean-up is simple; you’ll only need to wash the air fryer trays and a small pot for the Buffalo sauce.
- Your family will love it! Crisp chicken wings smothered in hot Buffalo sauce tend to be a crowd pleaser. If you’re looking for something tasty and comforting, this one’s a great choice.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings Ingredients
Here’s the roundup of what your need to make healthy air fryer Buffalo chicken wings:
- Frozen bone-in chicken wings (don’t miss my recommendations below!)
- Baking powder
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Cooking oil spray of choice
- Frank’s RedHot Sauce (or your favorite wing sauce)
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- No sugar added ranch dressing, for dipping (bleu cheese dressing may also be used)
I get my frozen chicken wings from Trader Joe’s. They are a perfect food to put in your air fryer! The wings come in a 2-pound package, with the calories listed at 210 per 4 ounces.
The label lists 4.5 servings per bag. Thus, they do not appear to be including the bones in their calculations.
I’ve noticed that the wings I’ve purchased from other stores tend to be fattier and include more skin. If you do not have a Trader Joe’s, I recommend trimming some of the fat and skin from your wings. This will reduce the calories of the recipe and help you get delicious results that are similar to mine.
For kitchen equipment, you will need an air fryer or air fryer oven. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven for my air fryer recipes, and I am mildly obsessed with it.
I continue to be amazed at the versatility of dishes that I can create with this nifty kitchen appliance. It is a dream for those of us that love the crispiness of fried food but want to cut back on added oils.
Playing around with new kitchen gadgets is one of the ways I remain motivated to cook more at home. If you haven’t tried air fryer recipes yet, this recipe for air frying frozen chicken wings is a great place to start!
What is the best hot sauce for Buffalo wings?
The best wing sauce will depend on your tastes and what you are looking for! Since I don’t know your taste buds, I’m going to cover wing sauce nutrition here.
You need a vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce for Buffalo wings. There are a lot of choices, many listed as “0” calories.
Frank’s RedHot Original lists zero calories per teaspoon and 190mg of sodium. Here is the ingredients list for this condiment:
- Aged Cayenne Red Peppers
- Distilled Vinegar
- Garlic Powder
There is another product, Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce, that is very similar. This sauce lists zero calories per tablespoon, with 460mg of sodium. Here are the ingredients for this sauce:
- Distilled Vinegar
- Aged Cayenne Red Peppers
- Canola Oil
- Xanthan Gum
- Natural Butter Type Flavor
- Garlic Powder
Neither sauce actually has zero calories, but they are allowed to round down if they contain under five calories per serving. I often see sauces and seasonings with sugar and added oils that are listed as zero calories. (Another example is oil spray, an ingredient in this air fryer recipe.)
Of the two sauces listed above, I’d consider Frank’s RedHot Original the “better” choice. It has no added oil, unlike the wing sauce, and no additives that push it into ultra-processed foods territory.
Canola oil is a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon. I’m thinking the “zero-calorie” wing sauce with added oil must come extremely close to the under 5-calorie cut off. Indeed, Frank’s RedHot Hot Buffalo Wings sauce has an identical ingredients list and is labeled as five calories per serving.
One more option to look into is the Noble Made Buffalo Wing Sauce. Their medium sauce contains extra virgin olive oil and is 15 calories per tablespoon with 400mg sodium. We enjoyed this sauce too!
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Wings in Air Fryer
Here’s how to make keto buffalo wings in the air fryer. It’s a lot less messy than deep frying!
For the best results, I recommend sticking your frozen chicken wings in the refrigerator for a day or two to (mostly) thaw. It’s fine if they are a little icy (mine usually are). However, for more even cooking, you don’t want them stuck frozen together.
For perfectly crispy wings, air needs to be able to circulate around each wing as it air fries. Cooking frozen wings in the air fryer is possible, but make sure your wings are broken apart! (Note: if your wings are completely frozen, that will lengthen the cooking time of this recipe.)
Start by stirring the baking powder with the chili powder and garlic powder. Put your chicken wings in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle the baking powder mixture over the wings, and stir to combine well.
The baking powder is important to help the wings crisp up. I used a similar principle to help the pork belly skin get crispy in my (super delicious!) Air Fryer Pork Belly recipe.
Next, lightly mist your air fryer baking trays with cooking spray. Spread your chicken wings in a single layer on the trays. Mist the wings with the cooking spray.
My air fryer has two racks, and I needed to use both for all of the wings. If you have a smaller air fryer with a basket, you may need to air fry the chicken wings in two batches.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings Temperature
Bake the wings in your air fryer for 15 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Then switch the position of the air fryer racks in your oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, flip all of the chicken wings over and switch the position of the trays in the air fryer once more. Bake an additional 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a moment to admire how crispy and golden your cooked chicken wings are. Ooooooh!
How to Make Buffalo Wing Sauce (the easy way)
While your chicken is air frying, melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Add the Frank’s RedHot sauce (or your sauce of choice) and stir until thoroughly combined.
When your chicken wings are done cooking, use tongs to dip each crispy chicken piece in the wing sauce mixture. Make sure each piece of chicken is entirely coated with the hot sauce.
I usually pour any leftover sauce directly on the dipped wings. It’s messy but delicious!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). A serving of wings, dressing, and veggies makes a nice moderate calorie meal. The downside is that hot sauce is often very high in sodium. As such, this recipe is not a good choice for those on low-sodium diets.
On the other hand, those on keto diets often experience increased electrolyte loss as a side effect of the diet. Some on very low carbohydrate diets may benefit from increasing their sodium intake. This keto buffalo wings recipe can help.
If you don’t have a sodium restriction and are looking to lose weight, this meal is likely lower in calories than Buffalo wings from a restaurant. It’s true that these wings are similar to restaurant chicken wings in terms of sodium. However, they are not deep-fried, and there is not an endless amount of them!
We have some great local restaurants with deals on all-you-can-eat chicken wings. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, I highly recommend staying out of buffets as much as possible. I know I find it difficult to eat reasonable portions in that situation.
I think it may be especially tricky for those of us who are budget conscious. All of that additional food is free, right?!? Woohoo, free!
Unfortunately, the “savings” may not be worth it. I’ve found that visiting buffets makes it far more challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though I’ve saved on food in the short-term, it may end up costing me more (wellness-wise) in the long run.
You can still catch me at a buffet once in a great while on holiday or vacation. Most days, however, you’ll find me making my own meals. Even if it’s not “all-you-can-eat,” the portion sizes in U.S. restaurants are often excessively large.
What are some good sides for Buffalo wings?
Creamy dressing plus carrot and celery sticks are the BEST side dishes for Buffalo wings! This is non-negotiable in our household. Blue cheese or ranch dressing are common dips for chicken wings.
My son doesn’t care for blue cheese dressing, so we tend to stick with ranch. You can make the homemade ranch dressing from my air fryer breaded mushrooms recipe, or try Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch Dressing for a store-bought shortcut. Primal Kitchen Ranch is an option for those who prefer a dressing that is less creamy with more sharpness from vinegar.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many calories in chicken wings?
The calories in a chicken wing will depend on how it is cooked and the dry rub or wing sauce used. There are 418 calories per serving in this Buffalo wing recipe. There are about 70 calories in one Buffalo wing (using this recipe).
How many carbs are in Buffalo wings?
These wings are low-carb, but are these air fryer frozen chicken wings keto? As discussed above, the answer is a giant YES. One serving of these Buffalo chicken wings provides only 0.5 grams of net carbs per serving. This will be a good fit for nearly all very low carb diets or keto diets.
How do you know when air fryer frozen chicken wings are fully cooked?
To determine whether your frozen chicken wings are fully cooked, it’s best to use a food thermometer. Fully cooked chicken should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the wings are not at this temperature, you should keep cooking!
Will chicken wings ruin an air fryer?
No, you should have no problems cooking chicken wings in an air fryer. I have never had any issues cooking chicken wings in the air fryer.
I prefer to use the air fryer to get the wings crispy, and then dunk them in warmed sauce after cooking. Keeping the sauce out of the air fryer minimizes the potential for mess.
I like my chicken wings done extra crispy. Is it extra unhealthy?
The nice thing about air frying is that you can make your wings as crispy as you like without additional oil. Just keep cooking until they reach your ideal version of crisp perfection!
If you’re using batter on the wings or deep frying them to get them extra crispy, those would be less healthy options. I’ve read that chicken wings don’t absorb much oil when deep fried. However, with air frying you don’t need the oil and some fat from the chicken drips away while cooking.
Why are buffalo wings called buffalo wings? Buffalos don’t have wings!
Ha ha! True, true. Buffalo wings are actually named for Buffalo, NY, as the Anchor Bar in Buffalo is home to the original Buffalo wing. My family loves to add food tourism into our travels, and let me tell ya, Anchor Bar wings are the BEST!
Are hot wings and buffalo wings the same thing?
Buffalo wings are traditionally served hot, but you can usually order milder versions if you can’t take the heat. Hot wings, on the other hand, are pretty much always very fiery. With hot wings, you know what you’re getting!
How should Buffalo wings be reheated so they are crispy, crunchy, and saucy?
According to the Buffalo Wild Wings website, you can reheat wings in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Reheating times may vary. The important thing is that the leftover wings reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Some sources say this will take 10-20 minutes.
It’s better if you can reheat wings without sauce. If they already have sauce on them, you may want to toss them with a little additional sauce after heating. Sometimes the sauce on the wings dries out with reheating.
You can also reheat chicken wings in an air fryer. Try air frying the chicken wings at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 minutes. Again, you need to make sure leftover wings reach an internal temperature of 165F.
Other Air Fryer Frozen Food Recipes That You May Enjoy
Air fryers aren’t just for air fryer wings! Try cooking other frozen foods in an air fryer. I think you’re going to be pleased with the results.
But what frozen foods should you air fry? Try starting with these air fryer recipes:
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Frozen Hash Browns
- (This one has low carb options!) Air Fryer Frozen Pizza
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
"Keto" recipes on the web may not be appropriate for those using ketogenic diets as part of their medical nutrition therapy. That includes this recipe.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings | Keto Buffalo Wings
- 2 lbs. frozen bone-in chicken wings, thaw in fridge 1-2 days (907 grams; Trader Joe's brand, or trim some of the fat and skin from your favorite brand)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- cooking oil spray of choice
- ¾ cup Frank's RedHot sauce (or your favorite wing sauce)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 medium carrots, cut into sticks
- 6 stalks celery, cut into sticks
- 6 tablespoons ranch dressing with no added sugar (Homemade, Primal Kitchen brand, or Tessemae's)
- Stir the baking powder together with the chili powder and the garlic powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the (fully or partially thawed) chicken wings, and stir to combine well.
- Lightly mist your air fryer baking racks with the cooking spray. Spread the wings in a single layer on the racks. Mist the wings with the cooking spray.
- Bake the wings in your air fryer oven at 250°F (121°C) for 15 minutes.
- Switch the position of the trays in your oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Flip all of the chicken wings over and switch the position of the trays in the oven again. Bake an additional 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Your wings should have reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). (Use a meat thermometer if you're unsure whether they are done cooking!)
- While the chicken is in the air fryer, melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Add the Frank's RedHot and stir it well until thoroughly combined.
- You should also cut the carrots and celery into sticks while the chicken is air frying.
- Using tongs, dip each crispy chicken piece in the hot sauce mixture. Make sure each piece of chicken is entirely coated with the hot sauce. I usually pour any leftover sauce directly on the dipped wings. Messy and delicious!
- To serve: Each plate gets ⅓ of the chicken, ⅓ of the carrots, ⅓ of the celery, and 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing for dipping. Get out some napkins and enjoy that Buffalo chicken goodness.