Spicy and Sweet Chili Wings in the Air Fryer + Video

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Air Fryer Sweet Chili Wings have the perfect balance of crispy skin and tender meat, but none of the grease from deep frying! Make crispy air fried chicken wings in minutes, then toss them in a homemade chili sauce. They are the perfect quick meal or game time snack, and the flavor of these sweet and spicy wings will leave you wanting more!

titled: Sweet and Spicy Air Fried Wings


Sweet Chili Wings

Using an air fryer instead of the oven means all your favorite appetizers and finger foods are ready in a snap!

Air Fried Frozen French Fries are the perfect balance of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Plus, it’s easy to make just enough for snacking without heating up your whole kitchen.

For crispy skin without any oil, try an Air Fryer Baked Potato. It takes less time than in the oven, and there’s no need to poke a ton of holes first. 

And don’t think I’m holding out on more wings recipes! Name your flavor… Garlic Parmesan, Lemon Pepper, or Honey BBQ — we’ve got you covered!

Recipe Video

To see us make this sweet and spicy chicken wings recipe from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

ingredients for air fried wings and sweet chili sauce

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken Wings – Use fresh or frozen for this sweet and spicy chicken wings recipe. If frozen, just be sure to thaw them overnight in the fridge first!
  • Seasonings – Keep it simple with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In fact, it’s the base for all of my wings recipes!
  • Baking Powder – The secret ingredient to extra crispy wings. Make sure it’s aluminum free.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – You’ll find a delicious homemade version in the recipe card below. Most ingredients should be in your pantry already.

    But if you want a shortcut, grab a bottle of your favorite sweet Thai chili sauce and use that instead.
adding seasoning to chicken wings

How To Make Crispy Air Fried Chicken Wings

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler, and you can make as many or as few sweet and spicy wings as you need! Be sure to work in batches for the best results.

  1. Prep the chicken wings – Pat with a paper towel and coat with baking powder and seasonings.
  2. Cook – Preheat the air fryer and spray the basket, then cook the wings in a single layer until done. Turn halfway through so they crisp on both sides.
  3. Toss and serve – Toss the wings in a homemade sweet and spicy sauce and garnish with sliced scallions.
air fried wings in air fryer basket

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy these sweet and spicy wings on their own or make a large batch to serve at your next party.

If you’d like to make a meal out of them, pair with steamed rice or some crunchy cabbage slaw.

sweet chili sauce for wings

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

  • Air Fryer – This is my favorite air fryer!
  • Spray bottle of cooking oil
  • Mixing Bowls – I like a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls and this set has them all.
  • Whisk – These have held up for over 10 years and are still as good as the day I bought them. With 3 sizes there is a whisk for every job!
  • Citrus zester – Use this to grate the fresh ginger for the sauce. Or, use the small holes on a box grater.
tossing wings in sweet chili sauce

Storing and Reheating Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

If you somehow manage to have any sweet and spicy chicken wings left, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Store in a container with a tightly fitted lid or zip top storage bag.

To reheat, place the wings back in the air fryer at 360°F for 4 minutes. Then, increase to 400°F for 5 minutes to get them crispy again.

You can prolong the life of your sweet chili wings — or just have a batch ready to go — by freezing them. Place them in a freezer bag and use them within 3 months.

Before reheating, defrost the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat as directed above.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings Recipe FAQ

What’s the trick to getting crispy air fried chicken wings?

First, allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before tossing in the sauce — and be sure to serve them immediately.

Always cook in a single layer — no stacking! — since the hot air needs to circulate all around the food.

If you’re making a larger batch, place the finished sweet chili wings on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven.

This way, they’ll stay warm and crispy while you continue to cook the rest in the air fryer.

Can I make sweet and spicy chicken wings in the oven?

Absolutely! First, spray each one with olive oil before coating in the baking powder and seasonings.

Then, bake for about 45 minutes at 400°F. Flip them over about halfway through baking, or use a wire rack on the baking sheet to allow for air circulation.

What do sweet chili wings taste like?

If you’ve ever had sweet Thai chili sauce, it’s pretty similar to that — a sticky sweet coating with enough heat to come through without setting your mouth on fire.

For this sweet and spicy chicken wings recipe, the homemade sauce is made with sambal oelek which is a spicy red pepper paste.

Garlic and ginger add to the heat, but the sugar helps balance things. Then, rice vinegar adds much-needed acidity to bring it all together.

sweet chili wings topped with green onions on parchment lined baking sheet

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sweet chili wings topped with green onions

sweet and spicy air fried wings

Spicy and Sweet Chili Wings in the Air Fryer + Video

Donna Elick
Sweet Chili Wings are tender and juicy with a sensational sweet heat! Make crispy air fried chicken wings for an easy snack in no time.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 6 – 8


For the wings

  • 4 pounds chicken wings, drumettes and flats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder, aluminum-free
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced


For the wings

  • Preheat the air fryer to 360°F. Place the wings in a large bowl, add the baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Toss to combine.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the wings in the basket in a single layer, not touching. Air fry for 12 minutes, flip, and air fry an additional 12 minutes. Continue until all the wings are done. Toss in your favorite wing flavor and serve.

For the sauce

  • Place the sugar, vinegar, ⅔ cup water, ginger, garlic, and chili sauce in a medium-sized saucepot. Whisk to combine.
  • Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is cooking, make a cornstarch slurry by place the cornstarch in a small bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and whisk to combine. Once the sauce comes to a boil, stream in the cornstarch slurry while whisking, cook until thickened and take off the heat. Toss wings in sauce, garnish with optional sliced scallions.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 441cal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 692mg | Sugar: 17g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): sweet and spicy air fried wings

Originally published October 2020, updated and republished October 2023

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