Grilled Lemon Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

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Give classic buffalo wings the ultimate cacio e pepe-inspired twist with this Grilled Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings recipe! These chicken wings are seasoned with a simple dry rub, grilled with a combination of indirect and direct heat to ensure a juicy-crisp result, and finished in a zingy wing sauce made with lemon, garlic, and parmesan cheese. An easy, 30-minute recipe, perfect for summer parties, game day grill outs, or casual weeknight dinners!

Gas and charcoal grill directions included.

Photography by Gayle McLeod

Inspired by the Flavors of Cacio e Pepe: Juicy, Grilled Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

My favorite neighborhood pizza joint serves the most amazing cacio e pepe chicken wings: wood-fired until golden and crispy, then showered with an obscene amount of finely grated parmesan.

It’s one of my favorite bites in Southwest Minneapolis.

I’ve been eager to recreate those flavors at home – super cheesy and garlicky wings with restaurant-quality char. Without a wood-fired oven, I turned to my trusty grill instead – its high heat does a great job mimicking the intensity of a wood fired-oven.

This Grilled Lemon Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings recipe is the result and it is so good.

Juicy grilled chicken wings with crispy skin tossed in a cacio e pepe-inspired lemony parmesan garlic wing sauce.

Surprisingly, the most challenging part of nailing this recipe was figuring out the seasoning. After many rounds of recipe testing, I landed on a homemade parmesan garlic wing sauce that’s laced with fresh lemon to bring all the flavors to life.

The end result is a platter of juicy grilled chicken wings with beautifully crispy skin and tons of lemony-garlicky flavor – not bad for an easy 30-minute dinner!

Love Grilled Chicken Wings? ⇢ You’re in the right place! 🙌🏼 Try my Best-Ever Buffalo-Style Grilled Chicken Wings or Lemony Greek Grilled Chicken Wings. Both reader-favorite recipes are easy to grill up and result in juicy grilled wings with a hefty punch of flavor.

2-Step Seasoning for Super Flavorful Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

One of the biggest challenges I faced when developing this garlic parmesan chicken wings recipe was getting the seasoning just right. I wanted to make sure the wings have the perfect balance of lemony, garlicky, and parmesan cheesy flavor.

An overhead shot of ingredients on a white marbled surface: raw chicken wing portions on parchment paper, lemons, garlic, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and honey.
This recipe comes together with 8 simple ingredients: chicken wings, lemon, fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, and oil.

While I typically swear by brining chicken in dark beer or letting it soak up a zesty marinade, both options fell a bit short in recreating the punchy flavor of the restaurant version I love so much.

After a few rounds of recipe testing, the solution ended up being pretty simple – seasoning the wings with a quick garlicky dry rub and finishing them in a homemade lemon parmesan garlic wings sauce.

An overhead shot of raw chicken wing portions seasoned with salt, garlic powder and onion powder on a blue sheet pan atop a white surface.
Season the chicken wings liberally with a rub of salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Lemon parmesan garlic sauce fills a small glass jar that sits a top a light gray textured surface. A metal spoon rests inside of the jar and is surrounded by two lemon halves that have been zested and juiced and a plate holding a block of parmesan.
Prep a lemon parmesan garlic wing sauce with lemon zest and juice, garlic, and parmesan, plus a little honey for caramelization.
1

Season the chicken wings. Pat the chicken wings as dry as possible with paper towel, then coat them in a generous dusting of salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2

Prep the lemon parmesan garlic wing sauce by combining oil with lemon zest and juice, fresh garlic, grated parmesan, and a touch of honey for caramelized char. Tip! ⇢ Be sure to use a high smoke point vegetable oil that can stand up to the intense heat of a grill. I like grilling with avocado oil.

How to Grill Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Cooking chicken wings on the grill can be tricky since the meat needs to cook through without burning the crispy skin. The solution is a pretty simple method called 2-Zone Grilling, which creates cooking zones with varying levels of heat to give you better control of the grill. Learn More! ⇢ How to Grill with the 2-Zone Method (Direct vs Indirect Heat).

Grilled Lemony Greek Chicken Wings sit on top of Weber Grill grates over indirect heat. The far left grill burner, that the chicken wings sit over is off, while the grill burners to the right are partially turned on to achieve optimum temperature for indirect grilling of the chicken wings.
Place the chicken wings in an indirect heat zone to cook them slowly and gently, keeping them juicy.
Grilled Lemony Greek Chicken Wings sit on top of Weber Grill grates over direct heat. The grill burners are set to high heat to help the wings develop crispy char marks & flavor.
Finish the grilled wings over direct heat for a charred finish with delicious crispy skin.
1

Zone 1: Grill the wings with indirect heat. Place your wings on the half of the grill with indirect heat, arranging them as close to the flame as possible. Close the lid and cook the wings until nearly cooked through. Why? ⇢ This indirect heat zone is a lot like cooking in an oven – the hot air circulates around the chicken, gently cooking the wings so the meat stays juicy and the skin doesn’t burn.

2

Sauce and toss! Transfer the par-grilled chicken wings to a large bowl with the prepared garlic parmesan sauce. Gently jolt the bowl forward and up to toss the wings, giving them a generous coating.

3

Zone 2: Finish the chicken wings over direct heat. Place the saucy wings back on the grill, positioning them directly over the flame. Cook until the wings develop beautiful crispy grill marks. Why? ⇢ The intense heat of the direct zone renders the skin, making it deliciously charred and crispy.

4

Repeat! Continue tossing the wings in the lemon garlic parmesan sauce and cooking them over direct heat until they have as much crispy char as you like (the best part! 🤤). I like my grilled wings extra crispy so I usually alternate between tossing and grilling 3-4 times.

An overhead shot of grilled chicken wings being tossed in parmesan garlic sauce in a glass bowl atop a light grey surface.
Alternate tossing in sauce and cooking over direct heat until the wings are golden, crispy, and charred.
An overhead shot of grilled chicken wings on a parchment-lined sheet pan with a small dish of ranch dressing. The sheet pan sits on a light grey surface alongside a plate of wings.
Serve immediately with extra garlic parmesan wing sauce, grilled lemons, and your favorite ranch dressing.

Serving Suggestions

To serve, pile the grilled garlic parmesan chicken wings on a platter, drizzle any extra lemony sauce over top, and garnish with lots of grated parmesan, chopped chives, cracked pepper, and lemon zest.

For a restaurant-worthy finishing touch, serve the wings alongside grilled lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce. I love my 5-Minute Yogurt Ranch, which is made with extra-creamy Greek Yogurt and loads of fresh herbs.

If you’d like to round out your meal with a side dish, try my Greek Orzo Pasta Salad, 10-Minute Shaved Zucchini Salad, or a Grilled Vegetable Platter – you really can’t go wrong!

A macro close-up shot of grilled parmesan garlic chicken wings piled on a parchment-lined tray and topped with shredded parmesan and lemon zest.
Juicy, crispy, and loaded with lemony, garlicky, cheesy flavor, this 30-minute recipe is perfect for summer parties, game day gatherings, and weeknight grill-outs!

I can’t wait for you to try these Grilled Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings! Ready in 30 minutes or less, they’re an impressive treat for any night of the week. I think you’ll love them just as much as we do.

If you do give them a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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A side shot of grilled parmesan garlic chicken wings piled on a grey plate and topped with shredded parmesan and lemon zest. The plate sits on a light grey surface. Two bowls and a blue cloth sit in the background.

Grilled Lemon Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings (Gas or Charcoal)

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves up to 6
  • Category: Main Dishes, Appetizer Recipes, Snack Recipes
  • Method: Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Classic chicken wings with a cacio e pepe-inspired twist – Grilled Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings!

This recipe is inspired a version served at my favorite neighborhood pizza joint. To recreate the restaurant-inspired flavors, the chicken wings are seasoned with a simple garlic dry rub, grilled with a combination of indirect and direct heat, and finished in a homemade parmesan garlic wing sauce that’s laced with fresh lemon.

The result is a platter of insanely juicy and tender chicken wings with crispy skin and tons of lemony-garlicky flavor – ready in just 30 minutes! Nothing not to love!

Be sure to check the blog post, above, for plenty of tips and tricks to get you started. ♡ Happy grilling!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds chicken wing sections
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • lemon parmesan garlic sauce (below)
  • for serving, as desired: finely snipped fresh chives, lemon zest, freshly grated parmesan, lemon wedges, 5-Minute Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, etc.

for the lemon parmesan garlic sauce:

  • ¼ cup avocado oil or high smoke point vegetable oil of choice
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (approx. ¼ cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • heaping ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • heaping ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Grill prep: Prepare your grill for indirect cooking, creating a zone of direct high heat and a second zone of indirect heat. If using a gas grill, begin preheating at least 15 minutes before grilling. If using charcoal, light the charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. (Learn More! How to Grill with the 2-Zone Method.)A woman's hand shown above an open Weber Genesis II, prepared for indirect heat grilling with one side of burners all the way open and the other side shut.
  2. Season the chicken wings: Meanwhile, as the grill preheats, season the chicken wings. Use paper towel to pat the chicken wings as dry as possible, then season the entire surface well with kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the lemon parmesan garlic sauce: Add all listed ingredients to a small bowl or jar. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Whisk or shake to combine well. Transfer ¾ of the vinaigrette to a large mixing bowl for tossing the wings. Set aside the remaining vinaigrette for serving.Lemon parmesan garlic sauce fills a small glass jar that sits a top a light gray textured surface. A metal spoon rests inside of the jar and is surrounded by two lemon halves that have been zested and juiced and a plate holding a block of parmesan.
  4. Grill the wings with indirect heat: Once the grill is hot, place the seasoned chicken wings on the indirect side of the grill, arranging them as close to the fire as possible without being over the direct heat. Close the grill lid and cook the wings with indirect heat for 7-10 minutes, then flip and continue to cook with indirect heat for 7-10 minutes more. The goal is to cook the wings almost entirely with indirect heat.Grilled Lemony Greek Chicken Wings sit on top of Weber Grill grates over indirect heat. The far left grill burner, that the chicken wings sit over is off, while the grill burners to the right are partially turned on to achieve optimum temperature for indirect grilling of the chicken wings.
  5. Toss par-grilled wings in the prepared sauce: Transfer the wings to the mixing bowl with the lemon parmesan garlic sauce. Toss to combine well, coating the wings generously.
  6. Char the wings over direct heat: Arrange the seasoned wings on the direct heat side of the grill to finish them off with good crispy char. Grill 2 minutes, return to the lemon parmesan garlic sauce for another quick toss, then transfer back to the direct heat side of the grill for 2 more minutes, or until as charred as desired. Transfer the grilled parmesan garlic chicken wings to a serving platter and discard any excess sauce used for tossing.Grilled Lemony Greek Chicken Wings sit on top of Weber Grill grates over direct heat. The grill burners are set to high heat to help the wings develop crispy char marks & flavor.
  7. Serve: Serve your grilled chicken wings immediately. I like to drizzle them with reserved lemon parmesan garlic sauce and finish them off with some freshly grated parmesan, lemon zest, and finely chopped chives. Serve with lemon wedges for spritzing and your favorite ranch dressing for dipping. Enjoy!

Notes

Jess’ Tips and Tricks:

  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: All of the active prep work for this recipe comes from prepping the lemon parmesan garlic sauce. Prep it ahead of time to eliminate all active prep required at dinnertime – just light the grill and cook!
    • Prepare the lemon parmesan garlic sauce up to 5 days in advance as directed in Step 3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (10 minutes active prep)

Storage and Reheating:

  • Leftover grilled lemon parmesan garlic chicken wings will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For crispiest results, reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through.

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Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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