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Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe

Experience the savory delight of chicken wings cooked to perfection in a slow cooker. This recipe combines the tangy zing of buffalo sauce with the sweetness of brown sugar, creating a flavor that's sure to thrill your taste buds. The slow cooking process tenderizes the wings, resulting in a dish that's succulent and rich in flavor.

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Photos of Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe

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Most of the ingredients required for this recipe are quite common and could already be in your pantry. However, buffalo sauce is something you might need to add to your shopping list. It's a spicy sauce typically used for chicken wings, and it's easily found in the condiments aisle of most supermarkets. Another ingredient to note is Litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and dip; it's a creamy, tangy dressing that pairs perfectly with the spicy buffalo wings.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Chicken wings: The star of the show, chicken wings are the main protein in this dish.

Buffalo sauce: This adds the needed kick to the wings, giving them a fiery flavor.

Brown sugar: It's used to balance the spicy heat from the buffalo sauce, adding a sweet touch.

Onion: This adds a depth of flavor to the wings, imparting a savory taste.

Garlic cloves: Garlic provides a rich, aromatic component to the wings.

Carrot sticks: They provide a refreshing crunch that contrasts the soft, juicy wings.

Celery sticks: These also add a crunchy texture and a slightly bitter taste that complements the spicy wings.

Litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and dip: It's a cool, creamy dip that helps balance the spice and adds a delightful creaminess.

One reader, Ag Merrell says:

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This slow cooker chicken wings recipe is a game-changer! The wings were so tender and flavorful, and the buffalo sauce was just the right amount of spicy. It was super easy to make, and the end result was absolutely delicious. I'll definitely be making this again for my next gathering!

Ag Merrell

Essential Techniques for Perfecting Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

How to prepare buffalo wing sauce: Combine buffalo sauce, brown sugar, chopped onion, and minced garlic in a bowl and mix well.

How to cook chicken wings in a slow cooker: Place the chicken wings in a 6-quart slow cooker, cover them with the buffalo wing sauce, and stir to combine. Cook on high for 2½ to 3 hours for frozen wings or on low for about 3 hours for fresh wings.

How to broil chicken wings: Once the wings are cooked in the slow cooker, remove them and place them on a foil-lined pan. Discard the liquid from the slow cooker. Preheat the broiler to high, brush the wings with additional buffalo sauce, and broil for about 5 minutes per side until lightly browned and crisp.

How to serve chicken wings: Serve the chicken wings with celery and carrot sticks, extra buffalo sauce, and Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing and dip. Enjoy!

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Create a healthier version of fried chicken with this slow cooker chicken wings that are crisp tender, fall off the bone, and are bursting with flavors.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 35 minutes



  • 4lbsfresh chicken wings,or frozen

For Buffalo Wing Sauce:

  • cupsBuffalo sauce,plus additional for finishing
  • ¼cupbrown sugar
  • ½onion,diced
  • 4garlic cloves,minced

For Serving:

  • carrot sticks
  • celery sticks
  • Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing and Dip
  • chives,for garnish


  1. Combine the buffalo sauce, brown sugar, onion, and garlic, and set aside.

  2. Place the wings in a 6-quart slow cooker and cover with the buffalo wing sauce. Stir to combine.

  3. Cook on High for about 2½ to 3 hours for frozen wings or on Low for about 3 hours for fresh wings.

  4. Once cooked and the wings have reached 165 degrees F, remove from the slow cooker and place on a foil-lined pan, then the discard liquid.

  5. Preheat the broiler to high. Brush with additional Buffalo sauce and broil for about 5 minutes per side until lightly browned and crisp.

  6. Serve with celery, carrots, extra buffalo sauce, and Litehouse Homestyle Ranch for dipping. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 462.16kcal
  • Fat: 29.93g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.23g
  • Trans Fat: 0.16g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 14.14g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.54g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.86g
  • Fiber: 0.80g
  • Sugar: 5.28g
  • Protein: 40.20g
  • Cholesterol: 251.74mg
  • Sodium: 224.35mg
  • Calcium: 49.22mg
  • Potassium: 551.56mg
  • Iron: 1.20mg
  • Vitamin A: 29.21µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.29mg

One Simple Technique for Enhancing Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

To ensure your chicken wings are cooked to perfection in the slow cooker, it's important to avoid overcrowding. If the wings are stacked too high, they may not cook evenly. If necessary, cook in batches to ensure each wing is thoroughly coated in sauce and has enough space to cook properly. Additionally, broiling the wings after slow cooking will give them a crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Remember to keep a close eye on them during the broiling process to prevent burning.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Prep ahead: Prepare the buffalo wing sauce and chop the vegetables the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use frozen wings: If you're short on time, you can use frozen wings instead of fresh ones. They will cook faster in the slow cooker.

Broil instead of fry: Broiling the wings instead of frying them will save time and reduce the mess in the kitchen.

Invest in a slow cooker: Investing in a good quality slow cooker can save time and effort in the long run, especially for busy weeknights.

Double the recipe: Make a larger batch and freeze the extra wings for a quick and easy meal on another day.

Prep the dipping sauce: Prepare the ranch dipping sauce in advance to save time when serving the wings.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe

  • fresh chicken wings - Substitute with boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are a great alternative for chicken wings as they are tender and flavorful, and they hold up well in slow cooking, absorbing the flavors of the sauce.

  • buffalo sauce - Substitute with homemade hot sauce: You can make your own hot sauce by combining hot peppers, vinegar, and seasonings to achieve a similar tangy and spicy flavor.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a touch of sweetness and a unique flavor to the sauce, and it also helps in caramelizing the wings during the slow cooking process.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, and they can add a subtle depth of flavor to the buffalo wing sauce.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with garlic powder: If fresh garlic is not available, garlic powder can be used as a substitute to add the desired garlic flavor to the buffalo wing sauce.

  • carrot sticks - Substitute with bell pepper strips: Bell pepper strips can provide a crunchy and colorful alternative to carrot sticks for serving alongside the chicken wings.

  • celery sticks - Substitute with cucumber sticks: Cucumber sticks can offer a refreshing and crisp option to replace celery sticks for serving with the chicken wings.

  • litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and dip - Substitute with Greek yogurt ranch dip: A homemade Greek yogurt ranch dip can be a healthier alternative to the store-bought dressing, providing a creamy and tangy accompaniment for the chicken wings.

  • chives - Substitute with green onions: Green onions can be used as a substitute for chives to add a mild onion flavor and a pop of color to the dish.

How to Present Slow Cooker Chicken Wings for Maximum Appeal

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the chicken wings in a visually appealing manner, ensuring they are evenly spaced and garnished with fresh herbs for a pop of color and contrast.

  2. Incorporate contrasting textures: Pair the tender chicken wings with crisp and vibrant carrot and celery sticks to add a delightful crunch to the dish.

  3. Utilize elegant serving ware: Present the buffalo chicken wings on a sleek, minimalist platter or a rustic wooden board to create a sophisticated yet approachable aesthetic.

  4. Highlight the buffalo sauce: Drizzle a small amount of the buffalo sauce in an artistic manner around the wings, showcasing the vibrant color and adding a touch of elegance to the presentation.

  5. Emphasize the dipping sauce: Place the litehouse homestyle ranch dressing in a small, individual serving dish alongside the wings, allowing guests to indulge in the creamy, flavorful dip.

  6. Incorporate fresh elements: Sprinkle finely chopped chives over the wings to introduce a burst of freshness and a subtle hint of onion flavor, enhancing the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Chicken Wings in a Slow Cooker

  • Slow cooker: A countertop electrical cooking appliance used for simmering, which allows for the slow cooking of food at low temperatures over an extended period of time.
  • Foil-lined pan: A baking pan lined with aluminum foil to prevent sticking and make for easy cleanup.
  • Broiler: An oven compartment or section for broiling, which is a method of cooking that exposes food to direct radiant heat.
  • Food thermometer: A tool used to measure the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, ensuring that they have reached a safe temperature to eat.
  • Brush: A kitchen utensil with bristles used for applying the additional buffalo sauce onto the chicken wings before broiling.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining the buffalo wing sauce ingredients before pouring over the chicken wings in the slow cooker.
  • Knife: Used for chopping the onion and mincing the garlic for the buffalo wing sauce.
  • Cutting board: A durable board on which to place material for cutting, slicing, and chopping, such as the onion and garlic for the buffalo wing sauce.
  • Serving platter: A large plate or dish used for serving the cooked chicken wings along with the celery, carrots, and ranch dressing.

How To Store and Freeze Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

  • Let the chicken wings cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • For storing in the refrigerator, place the cooled wings in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They will keep well for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  • If you want to freeze the wings for later enjoyment:
    • Arrange the cooled wings in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
    • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the wings are frozen solid. This initial freezing step prevents the wings from sticking together when stored.
    • Once frozen, transfer the wings to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference.
    • Frozen slow cooker chicken wings can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • To reheat the wings, you have a couple of options:
    • For refrigerated wings, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the wings on a baking sheet and heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
    • If reheating frozen wings, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator first. Then, follow the same reheating instructions as above.
    • Alternatively, you can reheat the wings in the microwave, but they may lose some of their crispiness. Place the wings on a microwave-safe plate and heat in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  • Always ensure that the reheated wings reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving to ensure food safety.

How To Reheat Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

  • The best way to reheat leftover slow cooker chicken wings is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the wings are heated through and the skin is crispy.

  • Another option is to reheat the wings in an air fryer. Set the air fryer to 380°F (190°C) and place the wings in the basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 5-7 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the wings are hot and crispy.

  • For a quick and easy method, you can also reheat the wings in the microwave. Place the wings on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Keep in mind that this method may result in softer skin compared to oven or air fryer reheating.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your reheated wings, brush them with a fresh coat of buffalo sauce or your favorite wing sauce before reheating. This will help to revive the flavors and keep the wings moist.

  • When reheating, always ensure that the internal temperature of the wings reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are safe to consume. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature if needed.

Surprising Facts About Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

The slow cooker chicken wings recipe is a popular dish for gatherings and parties. It is a versatile recipe that can be customized with different sauces and seasonings to suit individual preferences. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in tender and flavorful wings. This dish is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for game day or casual get-togethers. Enjoy!

Is Making Chicken Wings in a Slow Cooker Cost-Effective?

This slow cooker chicken wings recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredient, chicken wings, is relatively affordable, and the buffalo sauce components are also budget-friendly. The recipe yields a substantial amount, making it suitable for a family of four. The versatility of the dish allows for various serving options, such as pairing it with carrot sticks and celery sticks, which are economical and nutritious. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $20-$25, making it a reasonable choice for a satisfying meal. Overall Verdict: 8/10

Are Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Healthy or Unhealthy?

This slow cooker chicken wings recipe, while undeniably delicious, leans more towards the unhealthy side. The main concerns are:

  • High sodium content from the buffalo sauce
  • Excessive amount of saturated fat from the chicken skin
  • Added sugar from the brown sugar in the sauce

However, there are some redeeming qualities, such as the inclusion of onion and garlic, which offer some nutritional benefits. The serving suggestions of carrot and celery sticks also add a healthy touch.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Use a low-sodium or homemade buffalo sauce to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Remove the skin from the chicken wings to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Reduce or omit the brown sugar in the sauce to minimize added sugars
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables served alongside the wings, such as a side salad or roasted vegetables
  • Opt for a yogurt-based ranch dip instead of the traditional version to reduce calorie and fat content
  • Experiment with alternative cooking methods, such as baking or grilling, to reduce the amount of fat retained by the wings during cooking

Editor's Opinion: Are Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Worth the Hype?

The slow cooker chicken wings recipe is a classic crowd-pleaser, perfect for game day or any casual gathering. The combination of buffalo sauce, brown sugar, onion, and garlic creates a flavorful and slightly sweet sauce that perfectly coats the tender chicken wings. The slow cooker method ensures that the wings are juicy and full of flavor, while the broiling step adds a crispy texture. Serving with fresh carrot and celery sticks, along with a creamy ranch dressing, completes the dish. It's a simple yet delicious recipe that will surely be a hit at any party or event.

Enhance Your Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Carrot Sticks: Try adding a twist to your carrot sticks by roasting them with a sprinkle of cumin and paprika for an extra kick!
Celery Sticks: Elevate your celery sticks by serving them with a tangy tzatziki dip made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, and dill.
Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing and Dip: Create a colorful platter of assorted fresh veggies like bell peppers, snap peas, and cherry tomatoes to pair with the creamy ranch dressing and dip.
Chives: Incorporate chives into a refreshing potato salad with a zesty lemon vinaigrette for a delightful side dish to accompany your chicken wings.

Delicious Alternatives to Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs before grilling for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry: Sear the beef in a hot pan, then stir-fry with broccoli, garlic, and a savory sauce for a quick and flavorful meal.
Mango Sorbet: Blend ripe mangoes with a touch of honey and lime juice, then freeze for a refreshing and fruity dessert.
Chicken Tortilla Soup: Simmer chicken, tomatoes, and spices in a flavorful broth, then top with crispy tortilla strips and fresh avocado for a comforting and satisfying soup.
Apple Crisp: Toss sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar, then top with a buttery oat crumble before baking for a warm and comforting dessert.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with Chicken Wings

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: Marinate the salmon in a zesty citrus and herb mixture before grilling to perfection. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a healthy and flavorful main course.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Create a savory filling with ground meat, rice, and spices, then stuff it into bell peppers and bake until tender. Top with melted cheese for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of apple crisp, with tender, cinnamon-spiced apples topped with a crunchy oat and brown sugar crumble. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.

Why trust this Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe:

This recipe guarantees delicious chicken wings with a perfect balance of flavors. The buffalo wing sauce, made with buffalo sauce, brown sugar, onion, and garlic, infuses the wings with irresistible taste. The slow cooking process ensures the wings are tender and juicy, while the broiling step adds a crispy texture. The serving suggestion of carrot sticks, celery sticks, and litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and dip complements the dish perfectly. Trust this recipe for a mouthwatering appetizer or game day snack that will impress your guests.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this slow cooker chicken wings recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
Can I use frozen chicken wings for this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken wings for this recipe. Simply adjust the cooking time in the slow cooker to ensure they are fully cooked.
Can I use a different type of sauce for the chicken wings?
Absolutely! You can customize the sauce to your preference. Whether it's barbecue, teriyaki, or honey mustard, feel free to use your favorite sauce for the chicken wings.
Can I skip broiling the wings at the end?
While broiling the wings at the end helps to achieve a crispy texture, you can skip this step if you prefer a softer texture. However, broiling adds a nice finishing touch to the wings.
How can I make the wings less spicy?
If you prefer milder wings, you can adjust the amount of buffalo sauce or mix it with a milder sauce to tone down the spiciness.
Can I prepare the wings in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the wings in advance by cooking them in the slow cooker and then refrigerating them. When you're ready to serve, simply broil them to reheat and crisp them up.

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