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The Best Chicken Wings Ever!

My husband LOVES chicken wings – it’s one of his top 3 favorite foods, next to pizza and steak, haha. But it’s something we don’t order out often, because they are usually fried in trans fatty GMO oils, covered in breading, and come from factory farmed chickens that are fed GMOs and antibiotics. I also have to admit, I have never been a huge fan of chicken wings… until now!

I truly believe living The Food Babe Way doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods – you just need to know your ingredients, where your food comes from and you are good to go! To satisfy my husband’s obsession with wings, we now get them from chickens that are raised organically and pasture-fed. My husband loves to grill them with a little sea salt, pepper and coconut oil – really simple and they turn out pretty good, but this new recipe with Indian spices takes them to a whole ‘nother level! 

We use organic grass-fed yogurt in the marinade which makes the chicken extra juicy and tender. When they come off the grill, they are crispy, light, so flavorful and waaaaaay better for you than anything you can get out in a restaurant. We’ve made these wings a few times now and have perfected the recipe – so I knew I needed to share this amazingness with ya in time for the big game coming up. These truly are the best wings I’ve ever had! Go Panthers!

Chicken Wings

Food Babe's Tandoori Chicken Wings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 wings
  • 1 pound of organic raw chicken wings or approximately 12 wings
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 and ½ teaspoons of Tandoori Masala Spice Mix or the following ingredients:
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger)
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • handful of cilantro chopped (optional topping after wings are cooked)
  1. Combine all ingredients (except cilantro) in a bowl and marinate wings for at least 1 hour or longer.
  2. Cook the wings on a preheated grill, turning occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes or until done.
  3. Alternatively, you can bake the wings in a 400 degree oven for about 45 mins on a wire rack.
  4. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
***Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.***


For the recipe above, please note most spice sections of the grocery store will carry a standard “Tandoori Masala” mix, you can use that or follow the instructions to make your own using individual spices. 

Do you know someone who loves to order and/or eat wings? Then please share this recipe with them! Make these with your friends and family, they are so easy!



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31 responses to “The Best Chicken Wings Ever!

  1. I know yogurt marinade is very common in Indian cuisine, but would there be an adaptation for this without the yogurt? I’m dairy intolerant, unfortunately.


    1. Heather, this is my substitute and it works great! Take a can of full-fat coconut milk and put it in the fridge. Once it’s cold enough for the fat to separate from the liquid, open the can and scoop out the top, solid part and use in place of yogurt (for marinade). Voila! Hope that helps! 🙂

    2. Heather,
      My husband is Indian and our friend owns a kabob shack in Rajasthan. He told us they add a dash of vinegar to make the chicken tender, this is in addition to the yogurt, but you could omit the yogurt and just add the vinegar. They also carmelize onions then purée them and add to the marinade. This gives a really unique flavor.

  2. Will give it a try. I have a Tandoori Seasoning, I’ve loved for years, that reads…’Mix with yogurt and lemon juice to marinate chicken for this tasty dish. Add a dash to barbecue and buffalo wing marinades, pasta sauces, and gravies. This fragrant blend contains chili peppers, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, black cardamom, and a variety of other spices.’

    1. My husband is a total cow-ni-vore, and think the four food groups include 1) chicken wings 2) steak 3) hamburgers loaded with cheese and 4) prime rib. So for obvious reasons I’m loving this post. We’ve been talking about making chicken wings forever but have never done so! It’s time. We live in the chicken wing capitol of the world, good old B-lo where a wing now costs $1.25 a piece! Yikes. Will be making these.

      1. Haha, sounds like we are married to the same person. My organic wings only cost me 6 bucks! That’s 50 cents a wing. Insane, right?

  3. Vani,
    I do follow you and the great health tips you offer and changes you created in the food industry. When it comes to animals, I truly started to feel sick to my stomach thinking of eating another animal. All living beings have feelings, emotions and fears. How would human feel to be kept in a Nazi camp called “Happy Farms”, like today’s cows, pigs, chickens, sheep do. Constrained in few feet of space for years, tortured and beaten up till the final day waiting in line “knowing” (they all know as they have intelligence of 3y old toddler), they are waiting for the knife to come – it’s their turn. Imagine it is you, me in that line. This is meat filled with energy of pain, suffering and fear, screaming acidic. We will never be able to pay off the karma “humans” created, causing pain over pain, eating something we are not designed to digest. Please look into videos of how farm animals are treated, no matter how “free” range they are. They are all Nazi camps. Consciousness is rising. Please lead into something humans should be proud of, as you have great power and knowledge.

    1. I am a big advocate for eating less meat (only eat it a couple of times a week at most myself), but everyone has different needs when it comes to their diet. This is why I make sure to buy and support meat producers that lessen the suffering on animals and produce meat in a humane and responsible fashion without drugs, cages, unnecessary antibiotics, growth hormones, ractopamine, and GMOs.

      1. Does your meal plans reflect limiting meat to just a couple of times a week. I would love to learn to cut down to about that but need a bit more guidance.

    2. Well said, Julia. Couldn’t agree more.

      That said, I applaud Food Babe for the work she has done in exposing the horrific ingredients in many of our foods. Companies are making changes, and this is great to see. Though I’m squarely on the no-meat side, I’m grateful for the work she has done exposing the food industry on a variety of issues, especially GMO’s.

    3. Julia,
      With all do respect, your activism for animals is your personal passion, and should not be forced upon others to any capacity. Live and let live. Also, our bodies were designed to consume meat and have been since the origin of civilization. The last time that I checked, man is on top of the food chain and we’re natural hunters. Speaking of hunting, this is one of the best ways to obtain all natural, healthy venison that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Elk, deer, small game, etc. are are delicious and nutritious. I strongly recommend hunting as a means to obtain food for anyone that is seeking healthy alternatives to traditional meat.

      1. “Live and let Live” you mentioned? I believe the context of that argument should be valid point to elucidate the error in assuming we are deserving of animal consumption, though this is often a anthropocentric society, in which the lives of others, especially other species, do not contain value.
        However, the body of scientific literature, (if one is to consider peer-reviewed research, and not blog posts as the literature) has little to no evidence of our body being designed especially to consume animal flesh. That said, it is a choice.

        We have the ability, not the requirement though, I would suggest it naive to assume that tens of thousands of years of strictly plant-based eating, is negligible to the handful of thousands of years of our recent history, even then without any marked evidence of highly animal based diets. The bulk of the human diet is based off starches and complex carbohydrates.

        While I agree with many of Vani’s points, pointing to a diet that contains animal products, I believe, is counter-intuitive to her general practice. The negative impact for farming practices in North America is outlined in Cowspiracy, if one is interested in the toxicity it creates, and I highly suggest those who are unaware of skeptical to become conscious of the extreme impact these industries are having on the health of the population and environment. As for personal health information, I would highly recommend either Dr. Machael Gregor or Dr. Garth Davis for information related to health and animal consumption, if one cares for nothing else other than their own personal health and well-being, then perhaps they will be enlightened by some searching within the body of current medical evidence suggesting harm is not befallen upon the animal alone, but deleterious health effects are upon the consuming population as well.


      2. Contrary to popular belief, humans have no dietary need to eat meat. While it’s nice of people to say they want to eat “humanely raised” animals to have a clearer conscience, there is no such thing as humane slaughtering… matter how you try to justify it in your own mind. I used to be as guilty as everyone else. I consumed meat and dairy for 35 years with barely a thought about it’s origin. Blissful ignorance. But then becoming aware of factory farming horrors….seeing videos put forth by groups like Mercy For Animals…..once you see stuff like this there is truly no going back. I think the more people see this stuff, the more likely they will realize there is only one choice: to leave animals off their plate for good. Top of the food chain is a weak argument. It’s one thing if you were stranded somewhere and needed to hunt for food to survive. It’s quite another for us as a society to raise and slaughter BILLIONS of animals each year just to eat…the irony being they are a huge contributor to the declining state of health in this country.

      3. I couldn’t agree with this sentiment more. The biomedical evidence is clear that a plant based diet is a significantly better option for health and longevity. Besides, I cannot reason that the suffering of trillions of living beings is justifiable so long as this satisfies my tastes or errant perceptions of physiological need. To say nothing of the costs to the ecosystem.

        Our housing group has yet to find a recipe involving animal products that cannot be made cruelty-free–while maintaining taste/texture, and improving nutritional profile.

    4. Julia, on another note, I do agree with you that many of the factory farming methods are an atrocity and completely unnatural.

      1. i’m with you 100% julia, as are many others coming around to awareness about the cruelty and torture we impose on our “meat animals”, which also includes dairy. it is being shown more and more that a whole foods plant based diet is in fact what is most healthy for humans and for the planet. so “live and let live” … indeed.

    5. All of natures creations deserve equal respect, along with equal thanks and appreciation, for any part they play in sustaining us.

  4. Girrl, these look awesome! I’ve been looking for a tandoori recipe…I’ve never done a yogurt marinade but wanted to try one (I’m not a big meat eater). And, yes! It’s not about never eating your favorite foods– it’s about creating better versions of them 🙂

  5. Do you have a recipe to replace Frank’s Red Hot for buffalo wings? That stuff looks OK except for the sodium benzoate and xanthan gum. I’ve always baked my wind rather than frying and the best sauce is simply RedHot and Butter. maybe some Tabasco.

    Breaded wings are the worst. There is no need for it.

    1. Robert, the original Franks Hot sauce doesn’t have those additives. I find the other flavors do though. I use Franks hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and coconut oil for my wings.

      1. Ah – you’re right. I was looking at the ingredients of the “Wing sauce”.

  6. Hi Vani,
    I’ve been following you for a long time and have taken much advice and recipes. Thank you for what you. But in very surprised you still eat meat. Not just from the industrialized cruelty but it’s so unhealthy. So many voices are speaking out against it: Neil Barnard, Esselstyn, Griger, Fuhrman. Anyway, you seem so enlightened in other ways, I hope you’re still open to learning about the long-term effects.

    1. I agree entirely, it’s strange to see. But there is a vast disparity “knowledge” vs “practice” wherever you go. Knowing doesn’t change your situation, change does. 🙂

  7. In no way can I condone use of one animal product over another in the interest of personal and public health. Sorry, Vani. I usually love your work!

  8. When you ferment vegetables and other foods, despite paranoid rhetoric about contamination, etc., you trust your senses. Like, ” if it smells bad don’t eat it.” It’s the same with diet. I know I need that source from animals. I can feel it. I could do fish alone, but it’s no different. By your logic all the lions and sharks and Ospreys are damned for eternity; killing and eating as they do.
    REALLY, I just came here looking for a good alternative BLUE CHEESE recipe!
    If anyone can help thank you!

  9. I actually leave on a “chicken diet” daily. I love chicken and will eat it daily, one way or the other. I could cook it myself or buy it done. However, after reading this log you got me thinking: “where do all those chickens come from?, are they being raise with natural, organic ingredients or artificially blown up?.”
    Now, I will definitely do my research since I am not only responsible for my own diet by for my entire family. I have a 4 and a 6 years old that depend on my and I will have to be feeding them with the wrong food.
    Thanks for sharing this information. I was very interesting and eye-opener.

    Vanessa A.

  10. Hi V, I was actually wondering if you’ve done any research re the quality and healthfulness of organic hotdogs, especially the non-red meat variety such as turkey or chicken by Applegate. I’ve seemed to connect w a childhood sweet spot for boiled hotdogs and eat them on organic French brown sourdough bread with honey/tomato-based ketchup…but needed to know: is this a happy healthy to keep up? Thanks and keep us updated. Love as always, Parker

  11. Hi Vani,
    This recipe sounds delicious and I want to make it for my family, but we don’t use dairy products. We eat Anita’s coconut yogurt…do you think I could substitute it for regular yogurt? BTW Anita’s is so yummy…you should try it!!

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