This Baked Buffalo Chicken is a crowd pleaser. You get tender, juicy meat and crispy skin without the hassle of deep frying. And with only 5 basic ingredients, it’s an easy keto meal for the whole fam. With only 1.2g carbs per serving!
We are a family of Buffalo chicken addicts. My son loves it so much that he orders it any chance he can get. I can’t even fathom how many Buffalo wings he’s eaten in his short life so far. It numbers in the thousands, easily.
Knowing how much he loves them, I have racked my brains to find a way to make a Keto friendly version at home. And I am delighted to say that this easy Baked Buffalo Chicken lives up to the promise.
It has crispy skin and succulent, tender meat, with plenty of that tangy, buttery flavor. And there’s no need to drag out the deep fryer and make your house smell like fried food for days!
There are so many wonderful ways to make Keto Buffalo Chicken. If you love it like we love it, check out Buffalo Chicken Soup as well!
Why you must try this recipe
When it comes to cooking chicken, baking often can’t hold a candle to frying. You just can’t get the skin crispy enough. Unless, of course, you know the baking powder trick.
I would love to tell you that this amazing hack was my own discovery, but it was not. I came across it on another blog called RecipeTin Eats. And I could hardly believe that a simple pantry staple was the magic ingredient for crispy Keto Buffalo Chicken.
I know that dusting chicken with baking powder seems mighty strange. But it really works, believe me. And I’ve used this same hack on Keto Chicken Wings too.
How does it work? Well, baking powder is mostly sodium bicarbonate and the salt helps draw moisture out of the chicken skin as it bakes. The baking powder also becomes a gas during the baking process, which leaves tiny bubbles on the chicken skin, creating a crunchy texture.
My kids adore drumsticks (or “chicken on the bone”, as they like to call them), and they provide an easy and inexpensive meal for my hungry family. So I often use drumsticks for my baked Buffalo chicken. But thighs work nicely as well.
Simple, easy, and seriously crispy. This is my favorite way to make Baked Buffalo Chicken and I think you will love it too.
“My family absolutely LOVES this recipe! I never dreamed that a baked chicken recipe could be this crispy, but also falling off the bone at the same time. I don’t even typically like drumsticks but these are so dang good that I ate 6 of them all by myself.” — Erin
“I am originally from upstate NY (aka Buffalo, NY- home of the first chicken wings) and am admittedly a bit of a chicken wing snob, so I was skeptical. Baking powder? Really? Well,i made them last night for New Years Eve and they were a hit! I’ll be making them again!” – Liz
“I made these tonight and just had to tell you how good they were! My husband and I both loved them! I had never heard of the baking powder tip and I was amazed by how crispy the skin got! Thanks so much for the great recipes!” – Bethany
Ingredients you need
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Chicken pieces: This crispy baked method works best on skin-on, bone-in chicken like drumsticks and thighs. My kids love the drummies but I prefer the thighs. They take about the same time to cook. You can also do this with chicken wings, but they don’t need as much time in the oven.
- Baking powder: Make sure you use baking POWDER, rather than soda. I also recommend aluminum free baking powder, to avoid that strange metallic taste.
- Butter: Classic Buffalo wings take butter in the sauce, so I use that here as well. For a dairy free version, you can use coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Buffalo sauce: The original Frank’s Hot Sauce is keto friendly, but make sure you don’t purchase the wing sauce, which has some additives like canola oil and butter flavor. For super clean ingredients, check out the sauce from The New Primal. It’s my absolute favorite!
- Salt and pepper: Go lightly with the added seasoning until you taste the chicken, since baking powder adds salt as well.
1. Pat the chicken dry and place half of it in a large ziploc bag. Add half of the baking powder, salt, and pepper and shake vigorously to coat. Lay the chicken on the prepared rack and repeat with the remaining chicken, baking powder, salt, and pepper
2. Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and bake at 250ºF for 30 minutes.
3. Increase temperature to 425ºF and move the tray to the upper middle rack of the oven. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes, flipping the chicken partway through, until the skin is crisp.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the Buffalo sauce and melted butter together. Brush over the chicken. At this point, you can return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, if you like the sauce to be baked on.
Make sure you pat the chicken very dry. Any amount of surface moisture will make the baking powder clump in that spot, instead of dusting the chicken lightly. I also recommend tossing the chicken with the baking powder in batches, to ensure more even coverage.
The first stage of baking at a lower temperature helps render some of the fat from the chicken, allowing it to crisp up more easily.
Air fryer method: This Keto Buffalo Chicken recipe can easily be made in an air fryer and you don’t need the baking powder at all. Just air fry with some salt and pepper on about 400ºF for 25 to 30 minutes. I recommend starting them skin side down and flipping them at the half way point. Then brush them with sauce after they are done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, many buffalo sauces and hot sauces are keto friendly. Just be sure to read the labels and use the regular hot sauce that has no carbs, rather than a pre-mixed wing sauce. The wing sauces often contain additives that raise the carb count. The New Primal makes a fabulous keto and paleo Buffalo sauce that comes in mild, medium, and hot.
As long as they aren’t breaded in high carb coating, deep fried foods are generally keto friendly. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy, however. Much depends on the oils used for frying. Steer clear of inflammatory canola and soybean oil, and choose high heat oils such as lard or light olive oil.
There really is no shame in deep-frying, as far as I am concerned. The only reason I don’t do it much myself is that it’s a lot of work and uses huge amounts of oil. And it makes your house smelled like fried food for at least 24 hours!
This recipe for crispy baked Buffalo chicken has only 1.2g of carbs per serving.
Popular Keto Chicken Recipes
Baked Buffalo Chicken Recipe
- 3 ½ lbs chicken drumsticks or a mix of thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tablespoon baking powder not baking soda!
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup Buffalo sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF and set a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet. Spray the rack with cooking oil.
- Pat the chicken dry and place half of it in a large ziploc bag. Add half of the baking powder, salt, and pepper and shake vigorously to coat.
- Lay the chicken on the prepared rack and repeat with the remaining chicken, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and bake 30 minutes.
- Increase temperature to 425ºF and move the tray to the upper middle rack of the oven. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the skin is crisp. You can flip the chicken halfway through, if desired.
- In a small bowl, combine the Buffalo sauce and melted butter. Brush over the chicken on both sides. At this point, you can return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, if you like the sauce baked on.
We Love Love Love this recipe although my husband is not on Ketogenic diet however he is as well looking very much forward for when I prepare this recipe 🙂 It is so easy, simple to prepare and comes out delicious everytime! A staple in my weekly cooking . Thank you so much !
So good to hear!
R. Kellam says
Tasty but very SALTY! Not for the salt-sensitive or someone with hypertension.
My husband loved this! Thank you so much or the tips!
Thank you for making my husband’s day — he loved this!
Julie Blanner says
These are great! Super easy to make for week night dinners!
Rachael Yerkes says
These are perfection
I love that the chicken is crispy but I don’t have the mess of frying! Perfect!
What a wonderfully simple recipe! Moist and crispy. I added 1 T of nutritional yeast to the salt, pepper, baking powder mixture. Ate them w/o sauce and thought they were great. Will definitely make again.
Excellent! Crispy skin and tender, juicy meat…we’ll use this recipe regularly. Thanks, Carolyn!
I love the crispy exterior, so much better than fried! I’m pinning these for sure!
I assume these can be made in the air fryer as well? If sonhas anyone tried it and what settings/time?
Lindsay Cotter says
What a great tip for getting these crispy without deep frying! They look delicious!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
I could eat these every day!
Jennifer Blake says
My boys will love this! Nothing better than getting that fried crunch from baking.
Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox says
This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy chicken! Love that crispy skin!
Curious as to the reason for the first cooking period of 30 minutes at 250 F? It’s a very low setting and the drumsticks don’t cook much at that temperature. I’m trying these out tonight, thanks for the recipe!
Renders the fat and makes the skin more crispy.
Liza Hernandez says
Can you substitute baking powder?
This is already made with baking powder. And no, baking soda doesn’t work.
I made this in February and then again they are in the oven for tonight’s dinner by Hubby’s request. Great recipe! Don’t be put off by the pale appearance when they are done! Simply brush with your favorite sauce after cooking and the skin is nice and crisp. I am going to do some with buffalo sauce and some with BBQ sauce tonight. Even peanut satay sauce would be great. If you are trying to cut carbs and breading this is a great solution. My guess is that even a little butter brushed on with herbs at the end would be delicious.
I never leave comments on anything, but I think its necessary to leave a comment. This is by far the best recipe I have ever found on Pinterest. I did not have a wire rack but I covered a pyrex with tin foil and cut slits in it and it still turned out perfect! Healthy and delicious, thanks.
Was the tinfoil pulled taunt over the pyrex, and it was hollow between the tinfoil and pyrex container? Then you place the drumsticks ontop of the taunt tinfoil? I don’t have a wire rack, and I’m trying to figure out how to make this work!
Yup, exactly what you said. It was hollow in between and the juice drained into the pan. I had to use a couple pieces on tin foil so it was strong enough to hold.
Most of these commenters have not made the recipe.
I did. It did NOT brown to crispy and golden, even AFTER using convection for the last 10 minutes of the 55 minutes on 425. It was semi-dry powdery white in spots and just not at all appealing in texture or taste. The added salt draws out moisture, btw. Anyone who knows,chicken knows that. The first 30 minutes at 250 does not thing more than soften the meat and fat.
Your third photo on here actually does show what they looked like, and that is nothing like the others.
If you don’t want criticism and only praise, remove the feature like you did my comment.
But adding an “Anyone who knows anything” comment shows who you are. 20 years as a trainer in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey for Tyson Chicken, I taught supermarket employees in A&P and Superfresh how to properly prepare rotisserie, fried and baked chicken. But if it makes you feel better to insult, go right ahead. You’ll remove,this comment anyway.
Have a good day.
You too have a good day. 🙂 I didn’t remove your comment, it’s right here for all to see, along with the 1 star rating. I simply think there are more productive ways to leave feedback for people. I also did not insult you in any way, shape or form.
For the record, I am not into false advertising. The photos you see here are indeed the exact photos of this recipe. There is no misrepresentation, and the 3rd photo simply shows them before the sauce is fully on. Yes, they are pale. But they are also incredibly crispy at that point and my family loves them.
Again, since many people have made this recipe and loved it, it clearly has merit and value. I am going to quote one of the comments that’s right here for all to read:
F”irst: I was nervous at the initial low 250° cooking temp. Second: I was concerned there would be an after taste from the baking powder. BOTH of my concerns were wiped away with the first bite, Delicious, Juicy, Fully Cooked and Easy chicken recipe. I also have a Three-nager (my very picky eater) and a toddler, they both grabbed a drumstick and chowed into them! I had just over 4 pounds of chicken (14 drums,) followed the cooking directions until it came to sauce them, I used a Teriyaki and BBQ sauce, and then broiled them on low for a few minutes. I may be making this weekly, THANK YOU!!!”