My health coaching clients are always looking for a healthier chicken wing recipe because so many are made with less than ideal ingredients. Whether you like sweet and spicy wings or like to branch out to something like chili lime, they can always be made with better for you ingredients- including these Lemon Harissa Chicken Wings.
These Lemon Harissa Chicken Wings are a flavorful and spicy twist on traditional chicken wings. Harissa is a North African spice blend made from roasted chili peppers, garlic, and other spices. I love using it as a marinade or a sauce. The addition of lemon adds a bright and refreshing flavor to balance out the heat. These wings are perfect for a game day snack or a casual dinner with friends. They are even Whole30 compatible. So fire up the grill and get ready to impress your taste buds with this delicious and easy-to-make recipe!
Ingredients You'll Need
Chicken wings: Chicken wings are a great source of protein and can easily be part of a healthy diet! They have about 6.4 grams of protein per chicken wing. I love to look for organic, free-range chicken wings so that I know they are high quality and even more flavorful.
Harissa Paste: Harissa is a North African spice blend made from roasted chili peppers, garlic, and other spices. You can find it at most stores, but I get mine at Trader Joe's.
Lemon Juice: This adds a nice tartness to the dressing to help balance out the spice of the harissa paste.
Olive Oil: It is really important to get a high quality olive oil and one that is 100% olive oil and single origin, the food industry likes to cut corners when it comes to oils so be sure you check your labels.
Garlic Powder: Garlic is known for its anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps fight many diseases like the common cold, heart disease, and others.
Salt and pepper
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you are using the air fryer, spray the bottom of the basket and pre-heat to 400°F.
Pat the chicken wings dry using a paper towel. This is very important to make them as crispy as possible. Season them with salt and pepper.
Combine the rest of the ingredients to create the wing sauce (harissa paste, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic power, salt and pepper)
Coat Brush the harissa sauce onto the wings, making sure both sides are coated.
Grill Place the wings on the grill skin side down and cook for about 8 minutes. Flip the wings and cook the other side for another 8 minutes. If you are air frying, put the wings in the air fryer for 7 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 7 minutes. Once the wings have reached an internal temp of 165°F they are finished.
Serve and Enjoy! I like to serve these with tzatziki!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Troubleshooting: Start slow with the harissa sauce, as it can be spicy. I do one coat and then add more after if needed. You can also add more after they are cooked if you want more heat, too!
Scaling tips: You can always make more wings, just be sure to double or triple the amount of sauce.
Whole30: This chicken wing recipe is Whole30 compatible naturally as long as you double check the ingredients on the harissa paste.
Drumsticks: This sauce also goes great on drumsticks, boneless wings, or just chicken breast too.
These lemon harissa wings can be stored in an air tight container for up to 5 days, however they may lose their crispness. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer to make them crispy again.
FAQs About Lemon Harissa Chicken Wings
What does harissa taste like?
If you've never tried this delicious sauce before, be warned. It has a very peppery, smoky flavor and can range in levels of heat. It also has a strong garlicky flavor that's brightened up with a kick of citrus (hence the lemon in this recipe!).
What is harissa made of?
Harissa is a spice that originated in North Africa. It is made of dry red chiles, garlic, citrus, extra virgin olive oil and a few warm spices including cumin, coriander and caraway seeds.
How spicy is harissa?
Harissa can vary in spice depending on which peppers it was made from. I have had some jars that are extremely spicy and some that are not as hot, but still have a kick to them.
Lemon Harissa Chicken Wings
- 2 lb Chicken Wings
- 2 tablespoon Harissa Paste
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel (this is key to getting a good crisp). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Mix together the harissa paste, lemon juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- Brush the harissa sauce onto the wings, making sure both sides are coated.
- Place the wings on the grill skin side down and cook for about 8 minutes. Flip the wings and cook the other side for another 8 minutes.
- Once the wings have reached an internal temp of 165°F they are finished.
- Remove them from the grill, serve and enjoy!
If you make and like this recipe, be sure to rate and leave a comment! If you do like this recipe and looking for another way to use the harissa, check out this Harissa Marinaded Chicken.