These tangy and zesty Chili Lime Chicken Wings are a Whole30-friendly party food that is perfect for game day!

An overhead shot of a plate of Chili Lime Chicken Wings

A confession: I’m not much of a football fan. But this year, I vow to pay closer attention to the Super Bowl – mostly ‘cause the Niners are in it.

I was a kid during the San Francisco 49ers’ heyday in the 1980s, and watched football on TV every Sunday (and Monday night) with my dad and my grandpa. We’d cheer on Joe Montana (who lived nearby) as he lofted perfect spirals to Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice. Our family rooted for the home team in each of their five Super Bowl victories – and why not? I mean, who could possibly root against players who recorded songs like this?

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(I’ll admit it: I bought the cassingle of this song at the supermarket. But I wasn’t the only one, as evidenced by the fact that Henry started serenading aurally assaulting me with this song yesterday. HE STILL REMEMBERS ALL THE LYRICS.)

These days, football’s not exactly top-of-mind. I have a hard time distinguishing between Jim and John Harbaugh, and Ray Lewis’s dancing skills are more interesting to me than his linebacking skills. Henry’s forever rolling his eyes at my lack of pigskin knowledge. Sue me: I don’t know (or care) what a pistol formation is, or when it makes sense to attempt an onside kick. If you start jabbering about a “pick-6,” I’ll assume you’re referring to lottery tickets.

But without fail, at the end of every January:

Platters of food lined up on a kitchen countertop.

During the shindig, I typically keep an eye on the score, and occasionally ask questions that expose my ignorance of the game. But mostly, I’ll chat with friends, pick apart the million-dollar commercials and the halftime show extravaganza, and eat.

You see, football is only a small part of the equation for me. I’m really there to kick back with a bowl of (Paleo) chips, some sliders, and a whole mess ‘o chicken wings.

Specifically: Chili Lime Chicken Wings.

Chili lime chicken wings on a wire rack.

This recipe’s new to this blog, so keep reading for the details!

These tangy, spicy wings are the perfect accompaniment to next Sunday’s festivities. I promise you’ll fall in love with the bright, summery combination of zesty citrus, hot chile peppers, and tender chicken.

Chili lime chicken wings on a plate with cut up limes.

Time to make Chili Lime Chicken Wings!

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (or 1 serrano pepper), ribs and seeds removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup cilantro, tightly packed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Zest from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 6 pounds chicken wings and/or drumsticks
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted fat of choice
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges

Here’s what to do:

Toss the onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, ground pepper, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, and coconut aminos into a blender, and…

Someone putting cilantro in a blender for marinade for chili lime chicken wings.

…blitz everything together until a bright green purée is formed.

A pureé for chili lime chicken wings in a blender.

Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, and add the marinade.

Adding the marinade to a bowl of chicken wings for chili lime chicken.

Mix well with your hands.

Someone mixing the marinade with the chicken in a bowl for chili lime chicken.

Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Don’t marinate the wings longer than 12 hours because the acid will make the meat mushy. Ew.

Take the wings out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to cook them.

Someone putting a bowl of marinated chili lime chicken in the fridge.

You can cook these chicken wings either in the oven or – if you can stand the chilly weather outside – on your backyard grill.

Want to stay indoors? Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 400°F on convection roast (or 425°F on the regular setting). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top. Then, arrange the wings on the greased wire rack, and…

Chili lime chicken on a wire rack ready to be baked.

Chili lime chicken on a wire rack ready to be baked.

…roast ‘em for 30 minutes (flipping midway) or until the wings turn golden brown.

A chili lime chicken on a wire rack baked and cooling.

If you’re grilling the chicken wings, first use long-handled tongs to grease the cooking grate with a wad of paper towels dipped in melted fat. Then, cook the wings over medium-hot coals (or with gas grill burners set to medium) for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the fat has rendered and the skin turns crisp and golden.

A tong grabbing onto a chili lime chicken wing on a grill.

A chili lime chicken wing cooking on a grill.

Serve with lime wedges, and let the feeding frenzy commence.

Chili lime chicken wings on a plate with sliced up lime.

These wings’ll have your Super Bowl party guests sucking on their fingers, licking their lips, and begging for more.

And don’t forget the chips!

(Like what you see? This recipe and 127 others are available on my iOS cooking app!)

Alright, gang: Your turn. What are you going to make and/or eat for the big game?


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Chili Lime Chicken Wings

5 from 10 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10 servings
These tangy and zesty Chili Lime Chicken Wings are a Whole30-friendly party food that is perfect for game day!  

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers or 1 serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • ½ cup cilantro tightly packed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Zest from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce Red Boat!
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 6 pounds chicken wings and/or drumsticks
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted fat of choice
  • 4 limes cut into wedges

Instructions 

  • Toss the onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, ground pepper, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, and coconut aminos into a blender, and blitz everything together until a bright green purée is formed.
  • Place the chicken wings in a large bowl, and add the marinade. Mix well with your hands.
  • Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Don’t marinate the wings longer than 12 hours because the acid will make the meat mushy.  
  • Take the wings out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to cook them. 
  • You can cook these chicken wings either in the oven or – if you can stand the chilly weather outside – on your backyard grill.
  • Want to stay indoors? Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 400°F on convection roast (or 425°F on the regular setting). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top. Then, arrange the wings on the greased wire rack, and roast ‘em for 30 minutes (flipping midway) or until the wings turn golden brown.
  • If you’re grilling the chicken wings, first use long-handled tongs to grease the cooking grate with a wad of paper towels dipped in melted fat. Then, cook the wings over medium-hot coals (or with gas grill burners set to medium) for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the fat has rendered and the skin turns crisp and golden.
  • Serve with lime wedges, and let the feeding frenzy commence.

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 25g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was a huge HIT for dinner! I served it with some rice and a salad. The limes make the dish so don’t skimp or substitute it! I used one large jalapeño and a serrano chili (seeds and all) and it still was not very hot; and I’m pretty wimpy. Great flavor! Will definitely make again! Thanks Michelle!

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t believe I have never reviewed this recipe – these are our FAVORITE wings! We first made this recipe back in 2013 or 2014 and have brought them to countless Super Bowl parties, backyard cookouts, and even made them for our small micro 2020 Covid-Era wedding when our big plans were scrapped. Everyone raves about them! Definitely a staple in our house!