Paleo Chicken Wings with Smoky Spice Rub & Sticky Glaze

Whether you’re throwing a party, having a few mates over a drink or cooking a family dinner, these irresistible paleo chicken wings with flavourful spice rub and smoky honey-lime glaze will please both the kids and the grownups. I love serving this chicken wings recipe with a side of coleslaw and sweet potatoes. Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments. Don’t forget to share your creations with me on Instagram and Facebook.

Paleo Chicken Wings With Smoky Spice Rub & Honey Lime Glaze
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These paleo and gluten-free friendly chicken wings are really easy to make, even though there are a few ingredients that go into the smoky spice rub and the sticky glaze, which have a little Tex Mex flare to them. Don’t worry, all of these are accessible from your local supermarket and are probably already in your pantry.

I made one tray of chicken wings but simply double the ingredients for a larger batch and bake the chicken on two trays. I bought the wings that were already cut into drumettes and the wingettes, but if you buy the whole chicken wings, it is very easy to cut and twist the joint to break them into two smaller pieces. You can cook the wings whole but they are easier to handle and eat when smaller.


Smoky Chicken Wings With Honey Lime Glaze (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
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You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown for these paleo chicken wings in the recipe card below but here are some quick step-by-step photos to guide you along.


Because we’re not smoking the wings but rather oven-roasting them, the key to adding that lovely smoky flavour is with a few warm spices like smoky paprika and cumin. You can also use chipotle peppers or even some liquid smoke here. I kept the spice ingredients simple and accessible. You can marinate the chicken wings ahead of time for even more flavour! 

Chicken wings smoky spice rub
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Baked not fried is the way we’re gonna roll with this recipe. It’s healthier and less messy, plus you don’t need to use a ton of oil. Simply lay the wings on top of parchment paper on a flat tray (flat is important to get as much hot air around the wings as possible) and roast until almost ready.

Then, the wings are taken out and tossed in the honey-lime glaze and baked for the second time. This allows the glaze to get sticky and the wings get a little crispier.  The parchment paper will help you catch any burnt, sticky glaze so you don’t have to scrub the oven tray. 

You can also make these chicken wings in the air fryer. Check out this simple air fryer chicken wings recipe from iFoodReal and adapt it to use my spice rub/sauce.

How to bake chicken wings
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The finished chicken wings have a little heat from the spices and the glaze but they are not too hot and should be fine even for the kids. You can, of course, omit the chilli powder from the recipe completely.



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Paleo Chicken Wings With Smoky Spice Rub & Honey Lime Glaze

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4
Course: Main
Cuisine: Tex Mex
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5 from 12 votes
Calories: 576kcal
Juicy, tender, a little spicy, tangy and sweet, these oven-baked chicken wings are a little smoky too. This chicken recipe is paleo and gluten-free friendly. Serve with coleslaw and sweet potatoes, as party finger food or game night, or bring to a potluck dinner.


  • 16 chicken wings drumettes and wingettes

For the spice rub

For the glaze

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chill powder or cayenne more if you like more heat
  • Leftover marinade from the chicken


  • Cover the chicken pieces evenly with spices, lime juice, garlic and olive oil and rub all over. Ideally, you would marinate the chicken in the spice rub overnight or a few hours ahead of time, but if making on the day, then allow to stand for 15-20 minutes. You can also freeze them for 2 months (defrost overnight).
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F and line a large sheet or a flat tray with some parchment paper. Grease the paper with a little olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Place the chicken pieces on the tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix the glaze ingredients with the leftover marinade in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the pre-cooked chicken to the bowl with the glaze mixture. Toss through to coat evenly, and then place the glazed wings back on the tray. Cook in the oven for 7 more minutes until the glaze gets a little sticky and caramelized.
  • Remove from the oven and arrange on a platter. You can sprinkle the chicken with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and chopped spring onions or chives. I like to serve them with a few lime wedges for people to drizzle more if they like.


You can use the same spice rub and glaze on chicken drumsticks, thighs and even on chicken kebabs/skewers.


Serving: 4 wings | Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 969IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: Chicken Recipes, Appetizers, Finger Food, barbecue, Roasted Chicken, Marinade, Chicken Wings
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved


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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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  1. 5 stars
    I loved the smoky spices on these chicken wings – it went so well with the slightly tangy lime. I served these at a pot luck and they all were gone pretty quickly!

  2. I absolutely loved this spice rub. It has all my favorite flavors in it! The wings were crazy good and I’ll definitely be making them again.

  3. 5 stars
    Oooh, that glaze sounds yummy! Well, so does everything else in the recipe. Haha. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for a good price on wings so I can give these a try!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for our game night, super yummy! Loved how all
    The flavors came together! We cooked ours for longer the first round, like 40 minutes…until the skin was getting crispy. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Impressed my family with this delicious recipe today at lunch because it was so quick and easy to prepare. Lime gave the drumsticks a really nice flavor. Thanks!

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