Ancho Baked Chicken Wings

Ancho Baked Chicken Wings sponsored by McCormick.  All opinions are my own.

Ancho baked chicken wings are tossed in the most tantalizing spice rub, baked until juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside then dunked in creamy, cool Avocado Ranch!  

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings without the hassle, mess and heart attack of fried wings –  can I get a hallelujah?!  These super EASY Ancho Baked Chicken Wings with their layers of smoky, spicy seasonings can be completely prepped ahead of time then baked when it’s Game Time!  

Ancho Baked Chicken Wings


The Big Game is almost here which means football FOOD!  I’m not hugely into football but I am hugely into football food.  Do you have a favorite?!  From my Bacon Jalapeno Popper Dip, to my Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs to my Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs, to my Carne Asada Fries, it’s hard to pick a favorite – and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in any of those choices, but just like you need a ball to play football, you neeeeeed wings to watch football and these Ancho Baked Chicken Wings will fly off the plate!

Ancho Baked Chicken Wings dipping in sauce.

These Ancho Baked Chicken Wings are a spin off of my Buffalo Hot Wings.  Whenever I make those wings, I have to pry my hands away from devouring the spice rubbed chicken wings before they are enveloped in the Sauce.  They are so addicting without the sauce that my husband Patrick actually prefers his wings with just the spice rub because not only are they favor bursting, but then they stay nice and crispy.   So naturally, I knew just what had to be done:  to create an oven baked chicken wings recipe with the most dynamite McCormick® Spice rub ever so the wings stay crispy and are stand-on-their-own-addicting without a sauce.  Done and done.  Buuuuuuuut, we do get to dunk them in creamy Avocado Ranch.  Yes, yes and yessssssss.

Ancho Baked Chicken Wings with parsley.

These flavor exploding Ancho Baked Chicken Wings are the perfect snack for the Big Game that don’t sacrifice any flavor thanks to McCormick® spices – winning!  These oven Baked Chicken Wings are unintentionally gluten free and healthier with less fat and less calories than deep fried wings but intentionally lick-your-fingers-delicious.  You can have your oven baked chicken wings and your Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball too.

Ancho Baked Chicken Wings dipping in a cup of sauce.

How To Bake Chicken Wings (Tips and Tricks!)

There is absolutely no reason to fry chicken wings when the results are this delicious!

1. Do I need to rinse my chicken wings?  YES!  You want to make sure your rinse your chicken wings and then squeeze and pat them VERY DRY with paper towels.  The drier the wings, the crispier they will get.  You can even refrigerate your wings for up to 6 hours on a baking rack for the skin to dry out even more.  If you do refrigerate the wings, be sure to bring them to room temperature before baking.  This should only take about 15 minutes on the counter.

2.  What should I use to bake them?  Line a regular size baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and then top with a baking rack.  Spray baking rack with nonstick cooking spray – don’t forget this step or your wings will stick!  The baking rack elevates our chicken wings so the air can circulate under the wings for crispier skin!  It also lets the fat drip off the chicken instead of sitting in it which leads to crisper skin.

3.  What’s in the spic rub? Once our chicken is patted dry, we toss them in a glorious spice rub consisting of McCormick® Gourmet Ancho Chili Powder,  McCormick® Garlic Powder, McCormick® Onion Powder, McCormick® Gourmet Smoked Paprika, McCormick® Ground Cumin,  McCormick® Salt,  McCormick® Pepper, brown sugar to balance the heat and the secret ingredient, baking powder –  more on that later.  The results are layers of dynamic flavor with just the right amount of kick.

Spices used for Ancho Baked Chicken Wings by McCormick

4.  What is Ancho Chile Powder Ancho Chile Powder comes from ground dried poblanos and is more mild than cayenne or chipotle powder but still has a deep rich, smoky, mild sweet heat.   I use it in several of my recipes such as my Blackened Fish Tacos and my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili, so I promise your McCormick® Gourmet Ancho Chile Powder will not go to waste.

5.  How Long to Bake Chicken Wings?  We bake our wings on the upper middle rack for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees F.   The high heat allows the fat to render, the chicken to cook and the skin to get crispy.  Our wings will already be crispy after baking but for even crispier skin, we move the oven rack 6-8″ from broiler and broil away to desired crispiness.  Just watch closely so they don’t burn!

Showing how to bake Ancho Baked Chicken Wings.

6.  Can you prep these oven baked wings ahead of time? YES!  Prepare the chicken up to baking then refrigerate them for up to 6 hours until you’re ready to bake.  When it’s go time, let them rest on the counter for 15 minutes then proceed to bake them.  Eazy peazy!

Crispy fresh baked Ancho Baked Chicken Wings.

7.  What goes with Ancho Baked Chicken Wings? I’m so glad you asked!  I serve them with my intoxicating delicious Avocado Ranch!  It’s chilled, tangy, creaminess is the perfect complement to the crunchy spicy baked wings.  It’s also as simple as throwing all the ingredients in your blender!

How does baking powder make chicken wings crispy?

I consider myself a wings connoisseur from my Baked Honey Buffalo Hot Wings to my Chinese Baked Chicken Wings to my Chipotle Lime Wings and now these Ancho Baked Chicken Wings.  Although their flavor profiles vary widely, they all utilize the same fool-proof technique that starts with a spice rub of McCormick spices that includes baking powder – and don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the baking powder!

The simplified science behind baking powder NOT BAKING SODA is that baking powder is composed of an acid which raises the pH level in the chicken, which draws moisture to the surface of the chicken skin where it evaporates.  The heightened pH level also causes the peptide bonds in the skin to break down which accelerates the browning process so your chicken can get nice and crispy!

Now are you ready for crispy chicken wings without the breading or constant tending of deep frying?  But WITH tantalizing robust seasonings baked to crispy golden deliciousness?  Then it’s time for healthier Ancho Baked Chicken Wings!  They will be the MVP of your Game Day, so you can stomach whoever wins Day.   It’s as simple as that.  As delicious as this….

Dipping a single Ancho Baked Chicken Wings in sauce.

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Crispy Ancho Baked Chicken Wings are tossed in the most tantalizing spice rub, baked until juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside then dunked in creamy Avocado Ranch!  These are so ADDICTING and you can prep them all in advance without the hassle, mess and heart attach of fried wings!   

Crispy Ancho Baked Chicken Wings

Crispy Ancho Baked Chicken Wings are tossed in the most tantalizing spice rub, baked until juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside then dunked in creamy Avocado Ranch! These Oven Baked Chicken Wings can be completely prepped ahead of time then baked when you’re ready without the hassle, mess and heart attack of fried wings –  can I get a hallelujah?!
Servings: 24 chicken wings
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Chicken Wings

  • 24 chicken wings with skin approx. 3 pounds

Ancho Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Ancho Chile Powder (1 tsp for less heat)
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® salt
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper

Avocado Ranch Dip

  • 1 large Avocado peeled and pitted
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise (I use light)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
  • 1/4 cup milk plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoons McCormick® Dried Chives
  • 1/2 tsp EACH McCormick® Salt, McCormick® Pepper, McCormick® dried dill


Ancho Baked Chicken Wings

  • Rinse your chicken then squeeze and pat very dry with paper towels.
  • Line baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top baking sheet with baking rack/oven proof cooling rack and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • OPTIONAL: For extra crispy wings, add chicken in a single layer on baking rack and let them sit in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours to dry out. If you do this, then be sure to spray your rack again with cooking spray when you remove the wings to add them to the rub.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together Rub Ingredients. Add half of the Rub to a large freezer bag. Add half of the wings and shake until coated evenly. Line wings on prepared baking rack so they are not touching. Add remaining Rub ingredients and wings to freezer bag and repeat.
  • Bake on upper middle rack for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Move oven rack approximately 6-8″ from broiler and broil to desired crispiness, watching closely so they don’t burn. Optional: Flip chicken wings over and broil the other side until crispy.

Avocado Ranch Dip

  • Meanwhile, add all of the Avocado Ranch ingredients to a blender and “chop” then puree until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Add additional milk, a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Chill before serving.


*If you don’t like as much heat then reduce Ancho Chile to 1 teaspoon.

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  1. Marlene says

    Yum, Jen! Ancho chile is the best, for all the reasons you list. Definitely going to make these, and I think the rub would be good on other chicken parts as well (perhaps without the baking powder if it’s skinless?)

    • Jen says

      Agreed, Love ancho! Yes, I definitely think the rub would be amazing without the baking powder on skinless chicken breasts! I hope you love these chicken wings as much as us!

      • Marlene says

        We did love them, Jen! Mr. Fussy couldn’t stop saying how good they were, and the sauce made them even better. I made a small batch just for us for Super Bowl dinner. I coated them in the rub ahead of time and let them sit, then into the oven they went. Mine didn’t take as long as yours, s I was glad I watched them closely.

        • Jen says

          YAY! I’m so happy even Mr. Fussy loved them and I’m so glad you made the sauce too – I do think they compliment each other nicely! Thanks for letting me know yours took less time I adjusted the cooking time to reflect that. Thanks Marlene!

  2. Judi says

    You had me at Ancho Chili Powder….I’m on my second bottle….ummmmm, should have bought stock in that one!!

    • Jen says

      Ancho is the best! You will LOVE these wings!

  3. Jess says

    Great recipe! The skin crisps up nicely so don’t skip the drying step. Will probably use just 1 TBS brown sugar next time, but that’s just a preference.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jess, I’m so happy you enjoyed them! I’m curious how much ancho chile powder you used? Thanks!

  4. Judi says

    Jen: Made these for the big game….took your advice and let them sit in the fridge to “dry” out more….they came out perfectly crispy…absolutely unbelievable. If I hadn’t pulled them out of the oven in front of everyone, they all thought they were completely equal to a frying crisp texture, actually better. And of course, loved the ancho chili and I have you to thank for that always being a staple in my spice cabinet…thanks as always for outstanding recipes!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment Judi! I am thrilled the trick of letting them sit in the fridge made them extra crispy in front of everyone’s eyes! I love the thought of you enjoying my recipes, thank you!

  5. Louise says

    Made these for the super bowl and they were a hit! So delicious.
    I used about 1.5 tsp of the Ancho Chili and they were the right heat for us.
    I also let the wings air dry in the fridge pretty much all day before coating them – they were so crispy straight out of the oven that I didn’t even have to put them under the broiler.
    Oh, I also sprayed the top and the bottom of the baking rack so that nothing stuck on either side!

    • Jen says

      Yay! I’m thrilled they were a hit and super crispy! And thank you for the tip of spraying the baking rack on BOTH sides – I never would have thought of that but it makes so much sense! I am going to add that to the notes, thanks Louise!

  6. Hilary Wheatley says

    These wings are awesome- don’t change a thing!

  7. Jean says

    Can you use the air fryer?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely, you’ll just have to make them in batches.

  8. Elsa says

    If using frozen wings is it best to thaw first?

    • Jen says

      Yes! Make sure to thaw completely and pat very dry.