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Zesty, Healthy Grilled Chicken Wings and Veggies Perfect for a One (Grill) Pan Meal
Finger lickin’ good.
That’s how my wife described these grilled chicken wings smothered in a sesame and lime marinade.
And I didn’t tell her to say that just so I could write this.
I have many fond memories in dive bars for 25 cent wing night. Fried wings, beers, buddies, joy. When I was 22.
If I stuffed my face with wings and beers now (I’m about a dog year older than 22), I’d have to take a nap on the bar before getting out of my stool.
That is why I opt for healthy grilled chicken wings to feed my need for the finger food. Chicken wings are the perfect cut of chicken to toss on the grill. They cook fast, are loaded with flavor (especially when they have a tasty marinade like this sesame lime one), and are great for feeding a crowd.
The best part is: you can easily make a full meal by giving these lime chicken wings some neighbors on the grill. Just grill quick cooking vegetables like peppers and onions, add the veg and chicken to a sheet pan, pour whatever marinade you have left (because you always make extra marinade) over it, and boom, a one pan grill meal that you can make for a weeknight dinner in your busy life.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to remember all that. There are step-by-step instructions for how to make sesame and lime grilled chicken wings with peppers and onions below.
Are These Grilled Chicken Wings Healthy?
I know what you’re thinking: chicken wings aren’t healthy.
Often, you’re probably right. Because when you get chicken wings from a restaurant or take-out joint, they’re probably fried in oil. They also may be breaded (aka covered in refined carbs).
But, what if chicken wings are not breaded and baked or grilled? Well, in that case, chicken wings have similar benefits to other cuts of chicken.
Chicken is a great source of high quality protein that your body uses to build muscle and strong bones. Plus, it helps you feel full and control blood sugar levels.
As with other animal products, chicken is a good source of vitamin B`12. This promotes brain development and helps your nervous system function.
So, as long as you stay away from frying, chicken can be a big part of a healthy diet. Especially if you’re active and looking to build or maintain muscle.
How to Buy Chicken Wings
The amount of options in the chicken aisle at the grocery store can be confusing and overwhelming. That is why I wrote this chicken buying guide that walks you through all of your options, labels, and how to buy the best chicken.
Long story short, you can rely on your taste buds because happier, healthier chickens product tastier meat.
The best chicken you can get is from a local organic farm. It will taste better, be better for the chicken, and be better for the environment. But, it will cost you.
At the grocery store, the best chicken you can buy will be organic, free-range or pasture raised, antibiotic free, and air-chilled. This combo is the winner, winner chicken dinner.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, I suggest trying out different varieties from different grocery stores until you find one that tastes great at your price point. You can then research the producer online to learn more about their farming techniques if you’re interested.
Grilled Chicken Wings Variations
One of my favorite things about this grilled chicken wings recipe is that you have tons of serving options to choose from. I like peppers and onions because they cook quickly. Keep in mind whatever you pick, you’ll be pumping up the flavor with your leftover marinade anyway. So there are really no bad choices!
Here are some ideas to change-up this grill meal:
- Switch up the veggies – You can swap peppers, scallions, and onions for pretty much anything here. Leeks, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and/or radish are all great options.
- Add some taters – Complement your veggies with starchy potatoes or sweet potatoes to get some more carbohydrates in your meal.
- Spice it up – Top your dish with thinly slice hot chili peppers or crushed red pepper to kick up the spice.
- Add some green – Add a bed of salted, massaged kale like in this quinoa and kale recipe as the base for your dish. Healthy grilled chicken wings and veggies piled on a bed of kale makes for a nutrition packed dish.
- Serve with a grain – There is plenty of juicy vinaigrette that is ready to be soaked up by some rice, quinoa, or other grain. If you want to make this an even more filling meal, then serve it with a fresh pan of whatever your favorite healthy grain, pulse, or legume is.
More Chicken Recipes
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Buttermilk Marinated Whole Roast Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potatoes with Lemony Yogurt and Scallions
- Chicken 101: Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Chicken
Sesame Lime Grilled Chicken Wings With Veggies
- 1/4 onion (or whole shallot), finely chopped
- 3 limes, juice only (about 6 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 3 tbsp for veggies (or neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (preferably low sodium)
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 pound peppers, quartered
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 bunches scallions, ends trimmed
- kosher salt
- fresh herbs and/or thinly slice chilis for serving (optional)
- Combine lime juice and chopped onion in a small container. Let sit 10 minutes for the onion to mellow out.
- In a separate bowl or container with lid, combine the sesame oil, 1/4 cup olive oil, soy sauce, and honey (if using). Add the lime and onion mixture. Shake or stir to combine.
- Season each piece of chicken with a few pinches of salt and add to a resealable bag or container. Shake the dressing to re-combine and pour in, leaving about 1/2 cup in your jar for serving. Seal the bag, turn the chicken to coat and place in the refrigerator 2 to 24 hours.
- Prepare a grill for medium heat. Add the chicken and grill until charred and browned all over, 12-15 minutes for whole wings, 8-10 minutes for separated wings. Flip wings a few times throughout cooking. Add to a serving platter or baking sheet.
- Toss veggies with 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt. Add to grill and cook, tossing occasionally, until nicely charred. About 4-6 minutes for scallions, 6-8 minutes for onions, and 10-12 minutes for peppers. Add to chicken.
- Pour remaining sesame lime dressing over serving dish. Taste and season with salt if needed. Top with freshly chopped or torn herbs and/or thinly slice chilis if using.
Ready to Do The Chicken Dance?
These healthy grilled chicken wings are perfect for your next cookout. You can scale up the recipe so you’ll be able to feed a crowd. The only limitation is the size of your grill.
Plus, you can easily serve it with a side of rice, beans, or other grain to make it a showstopper meal. You already have your sauce with the vinaigrette. So, there is not much else to do other than grill and pile on.
They will make all of your guests want to dance. Specifically, do the chicken dance. Just make sure you have enough wings.