Make these EASY oven-baked chicken wings, coated in a brown sugar and cajun spice rub. Great for parties, game days and holiday gatherings.
Sweet Cajun Rub Chicken Wings are a game day staple around our house. These wings are smoky, spicy and instead of my usual honey, I add brown sugar to the spice rub. They’re similar in heat to Kickin Teriyaki Hot Wings and Cajun Honey Lime Chicken Wings, but have a flavor all their own.
In my guys’ book, every football game equals a giant platter of wings at half-time. I like to watch the games too, so what I needed was a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. You know I love me some freezer recipes and this is a great one!
It’s too easy. At the start of the second quarter, I’ll pop the pan of frozen wings in the oven and they’re ready by half-time. Hands down, this baked chicken wings recipe will be your favorite appetizer for game night and your secret weapon for make ahead. Go on and enjoy the game, I got you covered!
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INGREDIENTS TO MAKE SWEET CAJUN RUB CHICKEN WINGS
- Chicken Wings – Both fresh or frozen wings are fine to use.
- For fresh wings, cut the wings into sections at the joints with poultry shears. You want those meaty wingettes and drumettes for this recipe. Discard the tips or save to them make homemade chicken stock.
- Or, buy a package of frozen wing sections, but let them thaw in the refrigerator before baking. **I know the directions say to cook them frozen, but I’ve never had a problem as long as I keep the wings in the fridge just until they’re thawed. Rinse, drain and pat the wings dry before using.
- Cajun Seasoning – I like to use this brand because the first ingredient isn’t salt! Look at the label of your seasoning…if salt is the first ingredient be sparing with how much you use or the wings will be too salty. This is another good brand.
- Smoked Paprika
- Brown Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
CAN SWEET CAJUN RUB CHICKEN WINGS BE MADE AHEAD?
Yes, absolutely. This recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead. After baking, allow the wings to cool, then store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The wings can be re-heated in the microwave on High for 2 to 3 minutes. Or in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated thru.
The chicken wings can also be prepped, but not baked, 1 day ahead and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator. Bake according to the recipe directions at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes right before you are ready to serve.
CAN SWEET CAJUN RUB CHICKEN WINGS BE FROZEN?
Sure can! There are two ways to freeze these wings.
1. Make the wings as directed. Cool them in the fridge then transfer to a freezer container. Reheat the wings from frozen in the microwave or covered with foil in a 350 degree oven until heated thru. OR
2. Prepare the wings thru step 3 of the recipe directions. Place the wings in a greased freeze-safe baking pan (I use a foil pan) and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, pop the pan into a 375°F oven and bake, covered, for 55 – 60 minutes until cooked and an internal meat temperature of 165°F has been reached.
Cajun Brown Sugar Chicken Wings
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover large shallow baking sheet with foil or parchment paper to make cleanup easy.
- Place wings into a large bowl, drizzle with the oil. Toss wings to coat.
- In small bowl, mix Cajun seasoning, brown sugar and smoked paprika. Sprinkle mixture over each wings and use fingers to rub over entire wing.
- Place wings in single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake on center rack of oven for 45 – 50 minutes until wings are crispy and have reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F on instant read thermometer.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.
TO FREEZE: For fresh, not frozen, wings only.
- Toss raw wings with oil and coat with spice rub.
- Place wings on wire rack and freeze for 1 hour. Place wings in freezer bag, press out as much air as possible and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- No need to thaw to cook wings. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour until thickest part of wing meat reaches 165°F on meat thermometer.
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