Mexican-Inspired Crispy Chicken Wings

Last modified on March 9th, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Crispy Chicken Wings, inspired by Mexican flavours, oven-baked to perfection, are tossed in lime juice, topped with crumbled cotija cheese, and a bright crema drizzle.

When it comes to chicken wings you can never have enough, and whether you’re feeding two or a game-day crowd, ordering in or making them yourself, chicken wings are always a favourite.

Plate of chicken wings covered in sauce and crumbled cheese next to a cutting board with limes and cotija cheese

In our house, Philip and I have different tastes when it comes to wings. I love crispy chicken wings, oven baked and no sauce, and Philip loves saucy chicken wings, covered in sauce, and did I mention, he likes sauce. 

While two sets of chicken wing flavours isn’t a bad news story, every once in a while we put a Chef Sous Chef spin on two dishes, and combine them into a masterpiece. Enter: Crispy Chicken Wings inspired by Mexican Street Corn

Ingredients for Mexican Chicken Wings
Chicken wings with sauce and crumbled cheese, cilantro and lime wedges

Mexican Street Corn is made by grilling corn on the cob, coating it in crema, chili powder and lime, and rolling it in cotija cheese, and our chicken wing version involves a very similar process. 

Start with dry wings, and by dry we mean either leaving them in the fridge or patting them with a paper towel before baking them. The result: crispy chicken wings, the kind I love. But mixing in Philip’s love of sauce, is where the Mexican flavours come in. Drizzle crema, chili and lime over the crispy chicken wings, and top with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro.

Cutting board with cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, limes, and sauce

A chicken wing combo both Philip and I can agree on, the crispness of the skin beats any deep fried wing, with tangy, bright and spicy flavour from the sauce, and the crumble of the cotija cheese.

How to Make Crispy Chicken Wings, Oven Baked:

Dry the Wings

Time permitting, place the chicken wings on a wire rack and place in the fridge, uncovered for an hour. This will dry any moisture from the wings, resulting in a crispy skin. If you are in a rush, then you can pat the wings dry with paper towel.

Raw Chicken wings on a wire cooling rack

Toss in Olive Oil and Bake

Once the skin of the chicken wings are dry, toss them in a bowl with one teaspoon of chipotle powder and one tablespoon of cooking oil (we prefer extra virgin olive oil, or grapeseed oil). Rearrange the chicken wings on the wire rack. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Baked chicken wings on a wire cooling rack

Make the Sauce for Your Crispy Chicken Wings

While the wings are baking, make the sauce. Add the crema, mayo, lime, garlic, chipotle, paprika, cotija cheese, cilantro, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high speed until it forms a smooth and creamy sauce. Transfer sauce to a squeeze bottle, if you have one.

Vitamix Container with ingredients for spicy sauce
Plate of plain crispy chicken wings surrounded by toppings

Dress the Wings and Eat

Once baked, toss the wings in a bowl with lime juice, salt and pepper. Arrange the baked chicken wings on your serving platter. Liberally drizzle with about half the sauce, a handful of cheese, and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with carrots, celery and the remaining sauce for dipping.

Plate of Chicken Wings with cotija cheese, spicy sauce and cilantro

Helpful Tools and Ingredients to Make Oven Baked Chicken Wings

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Mexican-Inspired Crispy Chicken Wings

Mexican-Inspired Crispy Chicken Wings Recipe Image

Mexican-inspired Crispy Chicken Wings, oven baked to perfection, are tossed in lime juice, topped with crumbled cotija, and a bright and spicy drizzle. They are simple to make and can go from fridge to table in a less than an hour.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: food and drink, appetizer, main, snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: North American, Mexican, Fusion




  • 900g chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup crema fresca
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper


  • 1/4  cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


No. 1 | Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer on a wire cooling rack. Place the rack on a baking sheet and allow the wings to dry in the fridge. Time permitting, allow the wings to dry out for 2-3 hours but if you are making the wings right away, let them dry while preheating the oven.

No. 2 | Preheat oven to 425°. Pat any moisture from the wings using a paper towel. Place the wings in a bowl and drizzle with cooking oil and one teaspoon of chipotle powder. Rearrange the wings on the wire rack and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, turning after 25 minutes, then turning again after 35 minutes.

No. 3 | While the chicken wings are baking, make the sauce by adding crema fresca, mayonnaise, zest and juice of one lime, garlic, a tablespoon each of cotija cheese and cilantro, half teaspoon of chipotle powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

No. 4 | Once the wings are baked, toss them in a bowl with the juice of half a lime and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

No. 5 | To serve, arrange the chicken wings on a plate or platter. Squeeze a little more than half the sauce all over the wings, then sprinkle with a handful of cotija cheese. Top with cilantro. Serve with celery, carrots, and the remaining sauce for dipping.


  • If you do not have a wire cooling rack, then dry the chicken wings out on parchment paper. You can also bake the chicken wings on parchment, but reduce cooking time by 5 minutes.
  • Cotija cheese can be substituted with feta cheese, and crema fresca can be substituted with sour cream.

Keywords: super bowl food, Mexican chicken wings, chicken wing recipes, snack ideas, game day food


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  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I love any kind of chicken wings and these look fantastic! I would have never thought to put cheese on top – it’s brilliant!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      February 7, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Thanks so much Wanda! The cheese is a pleasant surprise with these wings.

  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    February 5, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    I love crispy wings over saucy wings so I like the compromise you’ve struck here! The Mexican street corn twist is brilliant, and I appreciate your tips on getting crispy wings! I’ll have to try that next time!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      February 7, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Compromise is key. Thanks for the kind words Leanne!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 7, 2019 at 9:46 am

    This is a chicken wing dream come true, Philip! Your recipe sounds so fantastic! I am pretty sure that anyone could base a party just around these wings. I will pin to try very soon. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I can’t stop thinking about them. 😄😋

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      February 7, 2019 at 10:40 am

      LOL! Us too. They are all we think of these days!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2019 at 11:03 am

    These are gorgeous!
    I’m definitely a saucy wing gal myself. I grew up outside of Buffalo, NY on the Canadian side of the border, so I was *spoiled* with wings growing up. This also turned me into a total wing snob. haha. BUT. Since moving to North Carolina, I’ve had to open my mind and adapt, and I can say that I really appreciate wings in different forms now. I am so in love with what is going on here. So many flavors! You can bet I’ll be making these this summer. Perfect warm weather patio dinner wings 🙂
    Pinning the hell out of this!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      February 7, 2019 at 11:21 am

      Wow, you would’ve been spoiled, but agree there are so many flavours out there to enjoy. These are perfect for anytime of year!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    February 8, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I’ve never said no to wings and these look extra good! Love the Mexican twist! I’m sure I would eat more than my fair share 🙂 Perfect weekend eats right there!

  • Reply
    Yvonne Langen
    February 8, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    I love how you’ve taken the classic toppings for Mexican corn and applied it to chicken wings. This is such an inventive and unexpected approach to a game day favourite.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      February 9, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Thanks so much Yvonne, we had a lot of fun coming up with this recipe!

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