These Root Beer Chicken Wings are really easy to make and absolutely delicious. The sweet sauce takes these chicken wings to the next level!
Have I told you how much I love anything sweet? I think by now most of my readers have figured out I have a serious sweet tooth.
These Root Beer Chicken Wings hit the sweet spot perfectly. Nothing beats a tasty wing recipe for parties and game day.
I use soft drinks often when I cook. Root beer, Dr Pepper, and colas are my faves!
They are particularly awesome in any kind of pulled meat. It helps flavour the meat tremendously. Plus it's just easy.
Try my Root Beer Pulled Pork or my Pressure Cooker Coca Cola Pulled Pork for yourself. They will make you a soft drink believer!
This Root Beer Chicken Wings were also shared on Real Housemoms. I used to be a contributor to the site.
- Chicken - Chicken wings have 3 sections: the drumette, the wingette (also known as the flat), and the tip. I used the wingette, or flat section, for this recipe as I find it has the most flavour. Tips can be used for making stocks or bone broth.
- Seasoning - I used salt and white pepper over the wings before baking them. I'm not a fan of black pepper but you certainly use it if you prefer it over white pepper. For the sauce, I used smoked paprika and chipotle powder.
- Root Beer - Personally, I love Barq's root beer for cooking but any root beer will suffice. They're all pretty amazing so don't sweat it if you have to use another brand. Root beer is a great addition to sauces for meat. It helps tenderize and sweeten, plus the flavour is outstanding.
- Sugar - I used light brown sugar for this recipe but you can use dark brown sugar if that's what you have on hand. The dark brown sugar has more molasses so it would just make your wings sweeter and may caramelize them a bit more in the oven.
- Cornstarch - This is used to thicken the sauce. The recipe calls for you to make a cornstarch slurry to add to the sauce while it's cooking. Generally speaking slurries are 1 part cornstarch to 1 part liquid but it's okay to add more liquid in a recipe such as this one. Just be sure to really mix the slurry well before adding it back to the sauce. You can use a bit of the warm sauce to make the slurry or just use water if you prefer.
How to Make Root Beer Chicken Wings:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Spray a rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan with non-stick spray and set it aside.
- Add the wings to a large bowl then add salt and pepper, mix well. Alternately, you can just place the wings on the pan and sprinkle the salt and pepper directly over them if you like. Less cleanup. Arrange the wings on the pan so they are in a single layer with a bit of space between them.
- Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, then flip the wings over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- While the wings are cooking you should make the sauce. Combine root beer, sugar, smoked paprika and chipotle powder in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until it boils.
- Then, while the sauce is coming to a boil you need to make a cornstarch slurry. You can warm or hot water for it, or grab a little bit of the warm root beer mixture, add that to a jar or mixing bowl and add the cornstarch. Shake or mix really well so there are no lumps left and the mixture is smooth.
- Once the root beer sauce starts to boil add the slurry to it to help thicken it. Mix until the sauce thickens to your liking. Then remove it from the heat. You can divide the sauce in half at this point if you like. You will be pouring half of it over the wings and using half for dipping.
- Carefully remove the wings from the oven once they are baked and transfer them to a bowl. Keep the oven on and the cookie sheet handy, you will be putting the wings back in the oven on the same pan you used earlier. Okay, so now pour half of the root beer sauce over the wings. Mix well so they are coated evenly. Then, pour them back onto the cookie sheet and use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread them back out in an even layer, leaving a little space between each wing.
- Place the cookie sheet back in the oven and bake for another 8 to 12 minutes, flipping the wings over halfway through with tongs.
- Once the wings and sauce begin to caramelize and crisp you can remove them from the oven and transfer them to a platter or plate.
- Serve with more sauce for dipping or just pour the rest of the sauce over top when serving.
Side Notes for Quick Clean Up:
- If you want quicker and easier clean up feel free to line the pan with aluminum foil.
- You can also just skip putting the wings in the bowl before baking and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them on the pan.
- Another option is to just pour the sauce over the wings on the pan instead of removing them and putting them in a bowl. I like mixing them in the bowl but if you want to do less dishes it's completely okay to pour the sauce over the wings directly. I would just recommend using foil or parchment on the pan because the sauce gets sticky and caramelizes. You don't want to ruin your pan.
How to Reheat Chicken Wings:
- You can reheat your chicken wings by either microwaving them or reheating them in the oven. My preferred method is reheating them in the oven.
Reheating chicken wings in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment or tinfoil. Place the wings on the pan in a single layer. Pop them in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and serve.
Reheating chicken wings in the microwave:
- Place wings on a microwave safe pan, in a single layer if possible. Add a little bit of water to the pan, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Pop in the microwave and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, then flip the wings over and cook for another minute or so. Every microwave is different so you should check them often.
More Appetizer Recipes:
- Spicy Nuts
- Easy Pizza Buttons
- Watermelon Cups with Cranberry Mascarpone
- Crostini with Ricotta, Fresh Cherries and Pistachios
- Pesto, Mozzarella and Polenta Appetizers
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Root Beer Chicken Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash white pepper
- 1 cup root beer
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Grab a rimmed cookie or baking sheet and spray it with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Next, grab a large mixing bowl and add the chicken wings to it. Sprinkle the salt and pepper in the bowl and mix until the wings are evenly coated. Transfer the chicken wings to the prepared cookie sheet, placing them in a single layer with a little space between each wing. Do not overcrowd the pan. You want them to crisp up so leaving a bit of space between them will ensure all sides get brown and crispy.
- Place the pan of chicken wings in the preheated oven and bake them for 20 minutes, then flip the wings over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Grab a small saucepan to make the root beer sauce while the wings are cooking. Add the root beer, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and chipotle powder to the saucepan. When you add the brown sugar to the root beer it will fizz up a bit, it's totally okay and normal. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally as it cooks. Once it boils you want to make a slurry with the cornstarch to add to the sauce. Remove a little bit of the hot root beer sauce (anywhere from 2 tablespoons to ½ cup is fine) and put in a mixing bowl or mason jar, then add the cornstarch to that and mix until smooth. Once the cornstarch slurry is smooth you can pour that back into the root beer sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce begins to thicken, then remove it from the heat.
- Carefully take the pan of chicken wings out of the oven. Pop them in a large mixing bowl and pour HALF of the sauce over top of them. Set the other HALF of the sauce aside for later. Transfer the chicken wings back onto the cookie sheet and place them back in the oven. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them once at the halfway point.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the wings to a serving platter. Transfer the remaining HALF of the root beer sauce into jars to dip or pour over wings.
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Absolutely delicious, I will diffidently give it a try !
What a horrible experience for all of you. Your poor dad! Thank goodness you were able to benefit from some great recipes from that woman. These chicken wings sound so good!
I know right. He had known her since they were kids, I don't think he expected to so much money stolen. It was awful.
But she could cook, she really had some neat tricks, and could rock appetizers like no one's business. One Christmas she thought it would be fun to only serve appetizers because turkey was too much work. Normally I love appetizers but it was such a weird Christmas. Imagine 45 people sitting around eating bite sized food by the Christmas tree. It's so hilarious to think back on. My childhood was so weird, it likely explains my own quirks. Ha
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes
Awww I'm glad something good (the food) came out of a bad situation. That story made me so sad. I had something similar happen in my life when I was a teenager - without going into too much detail. I know how that goes, though. Love the chicken wings - root beer gives such an amazing flavor to food.
Awe, so sorry. Life is messy, I look back sometimes and wonder how I turned out semi-normal. My childhood was awesome but very odd. Big hugs to you from someone who gets it. xx
Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
I'm so sorry about your mom, Kim. I can't imagine.
Such a sad, tough situation, but at least you learned a little cooking trick! These wings sure sound awesome!
Cola or root beer can be seriously good with meat. There's a lot of this in Mexican cooking -- and it is a neat trick. What a story! You've been through a lot. BTW, it just dawned on me today I haven't gotten an email notification from your blog in ages (it's how I follow your blog). So I haven't been visiting. Sorry about that (and I checked my spam folder, and no, your emails aren't going there). I'm assuming there's some glitch, so I'll resubscribe.
Hey John. Oh man, my life should be a soap opera. It's so bizarre. The stories I could tell are so outer limits. This woman tortured my mom by calling her and sending flowers to me while I was in the hospital once, so needless to say it was hard to let go. But I pretended to be okay with it for 5 years while he was married to her, and I never (even though I wanted to) told him "I told you so". My life story is a bit crazy.
I've barely been blogging the last couple of months. I had to hit the hospital for some tests so it's been distracting. So maybe it's just because I'm not actually sending notifications out enough. I'll be sending them once a week starting next week. Putting myself on a schedule with both blogs to make my life easier.
Hope you've been good. I need to swing by. I'm so out of touch lately.
I'm so sorry you had that experience while you were growing up, but I'm so glad you were able to take something positive out of it, like these wings. You have a generous heart.
It's really so horrible to watch someone be taken advantage of. What a rough and sad experience for not only you all has kids but for your dad too. I'm so sorry you lost your mom so young. I really don't think kids realize how much a mom really does do around the house. But the good that came from your sad experiences is Mexican food tricks and that is awesome!
Martha @ A Family Feast
Wow Kim - I came over anticipating a story about the inspiration behind these incredible wings - but never expected to read such a sad story! I'm sorry you all went through all that - but I'm sure in many ways it made you the wonderful person you are today.
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
OMG yes, I love root beer! I have made sloppy joes and pulled pork with it and have been meaning to do wings. After seeing this it is a must.
Kim, what a horrible story. I'm so sorry that happened to your family. I'm even more amazed that you were able to take something away from the whole situation.
Sandra @ A Dash of Sanity
these sound really amazing! I love fun sauce ideas like this! We will definitely be checking them out. 🙂 Pinning, Stumbling and Yumming!
Amanda @ The Kitcheneer
That's awful! Im so sorry! But, you made the best of a bad situation and made lemonade out of lemons. And in this case really awesome root beer sauce to dress these wings!
Thanks for sharing a difficult time in your life. It's weird, isn't it, how recipes can evoke memories - good and bad. But, food is the center of life, isn't it? These look amazingly delicious...pinning!
Okay, this plate of sticky, delicious wings needs to make its way to my table. I could easily eat the entire batch. Pinned.
Wow!! This was so delicious and the flavors are incredible. My kids loved them!
I'm so happy to hear that. Thanks!
This is really good!! I love the combination of flavors! And that sweet sauce is really a must-make!
Thanks so much.