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Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings – Low Carb and Instant Pot

These Instant Pot Keto Buffalo Wings are ready in under 30 minutes and are tender and flavorful. Once you try them, you will find yourself making them all the time especially when you’re in need of a delicious low carb and keto-friendly appetizer.

how to make Keto Buffalo Wings

You may have already read our Garlic Parmesan Wing recipe, and if so then you know that using the Instant Pot is new to me, but I’m loving it! Today I made buffalo wings in my instant pot and everyone loved them. 

Besides being so easy they are also incredibly delicious.

I’ve learned that with these different wing recipes, the seasoning I used to coat my garlic parmesan wings is perfect for my buffalo wings as well. So that right away made my life easier. 

Buffalo wings are one of my favorite things, which is funny cause I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods…so go figure. If buffalo wings are one of your favorites too but not quite sure how to make them low carb, then you’re going to love my easy peasy recipe.

What Are Buffalo Wings?

low carb Buffalo Wings on tray

Buffalo wings are a fan favorite by almost everyone. They are an iconic staple for Sunday football games, appetizers for your parties or honestly even just for dinner. 

Traditional buffalo chicken wings are normally fried and coated in a hot buffalo sauce. They also are often done in the oven. 

Ours are a little different, only because they are pressure cooked first, then coated in buffalo sauce then popped into the oven to crisp them up. 

Why Are They Called “Buffalo Wings?”

A friend of mine is from Buffalo, NY and informed me a while back, that is where Buffalo wings originated from. I had no idea but it makes sense right?? 

They were first invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964. After spending time in the kitchen she came up with the idea “why not fry some wings up and serve them with hot sauce?”

They served their wings with some celery sticks along with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

This genius creation caught on quick and soon became a staple on the Anchor Bar’s menu while also catching the attention of many other Buffalonians. 

I don’t know about you guys, but I plan on making a trip this summer to Anchor Bar “Home of the Original Buffalo Wing.”

What is the Difference Between a Chicken Wing and a Buffalo Wing?

Some people want to know what the difference between a chicken wing and a buffalo wing. I honestly thought “there is no difference, a buffalo wing is a chicken wing.” Well I was wrong…haha

Ok well, technically I wasn’t completely wrong. A buffalo wing is still a from an actual chicken wing. 

Chicken wings normally refer to the entire wing connected at the joints and include the wingtip. But buffalo wings are usually just the drummette (the piece that looks like a drumstick) and the wingette ( the flat looking piece).

When cooking wings at home or when ordering at a restaurant, the wingtip is always removed and discarded. 

Buffalo wings are drummettes and wingettes, served at many restaurants and are typically tossed in buffalo sauce then deep-fried or baked in the oven. 

Are Buffalo Chicken Wings Healthy?

Keto Buffalo Wings Recipe

I’ve touched on this already with my Garlic Parmesan Wings but I’ll go over it again. Chicken wings are a pretty healthy option for you and your family.

They are low in calories and have 0 carbs. Whatever you toss your wings in is what can add up. The good news is that Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce has 0 carbs and also 0 calories!

This recipe does contain some butter which will add some calories but doesn’t add any carbs. So based on this I’d say that these buffalo wings are a pretty healthy option.

One of these buffalo chicken wings is only 52 calories. It’s hard to say how many calories are in a regular buffalo wing but it’s safe to say between 80-100 calories. It all depends on where you’re getting them from etc. 

For sure our Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings are going to be a healthier option for you!

Are Buffalo Chicken Wings Keto?

100% YES!! Chicken wings alone are 0 carbs, and the buffalo sauce and butter also doesn’t have any carbs. Pretty awesome right?

The only place where you will get a tiny bit of carbs is from the small amount of seasonings used to coat the wings. 

That means that each Keto Buffalo Wing is only….0.3 NET CARBS. 

What is Buffalo Sauce Made Of?

low carb Buffalo Wings easy to make

What is the difference between buffalo sauce and hot sauce? It’s pretty simple actually: Hot sauce is a blend of hot peppers, salt, and vinegar.

Buffalo sauce is basically hot sauce with some melted butter whisked in. So essentially buffalo sauce is a smoother, richer, hot sauce just kicked up a notch and a bit fancier.  

My go-to buffalo sauce is Frank’s Red Hot, it’s the only one really that I use. It’s gluten-free and contains the following ingredients: Distilled Vinegar, Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Salt, Water, Canola Oil, Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Natural Butter Type Flavor And Garlic Powder.

How to Make Homemade Buffalo Sauce?

Making homemade buffalo sauce is easy. I buy Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce mix it with some melted butter and it’s done!! 

Other non-keto or low carb recipes will add a little bit of honey and sometimes garlic powder, but not much else.

What Ingredients are Needed to Make Buffalo Wings?

Making Keto Buffalo Wings

Chicken Wings Pretty much one of the most important ingredients for making buffalo chicken wings. I buy fresh wings but frozen wings are ok too.

Spices – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Mix all of these spices together and coat the wings before they go into the Instant Pot. It’s a great combo of seasoning for honestly just about any meat. 

Buffalo Sauce – The only buffalo sauce I tend to is Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo. It’s my absolute favorite brand.

Butter – Butter is added to regular hot sauce to make buffalo sauce. But a little extra butter is added to the buffalo sauce, it helps add some richness to your buffalo sauce. 

Should I Use Frozen Chicken Wings or Fresh?

You may ask yourself: “Which is better, fresh or frozen chicken wings? Well, I’m always going to tell you to go with fresh whenever possible. However, if you don’t have any then frozen will work. 

I always get nervous when cooking foods that are completely frozen because bacteria can breed when the meat reaches between 40-140 degrees. The risk isn’t crazy high, but I tend to err on the side of caution…it’s just who I am. 

If you are using frozen wings, I suggest thawing them out before cooking. Place them in the fridge overnight to thaw or leave out for a few hours on the counter in a pinch, but putting them in the refrigerator is always better. 

What Part of the Wing Should I Use?

There are 3 parts of a chicken wing, that I briefly discussed up above but let me just explain them again: 

  • Drumette – Looks like a mini drumstick, and is the part of the wing that’s attached to the chicken.
  • Wingette – Middle part of the chicken wing, that’s flat and oval. 
  • Wing Tip – The very pointy end piece of the chicken wing. 

I only use the drumette and wingette for my low carb chicken wings, but that’s my own personal preference. They are the meatiest parts of the wing and therefore are the best to eat.

You can cut the wingtip off and either discard them or save them for a batch of chicken soup.

Do I Have to Use Butter in the Sauce?

I prefer using butter, but if you can’t have dairy then you can use any type of butter substitute for your buffalo sauce. 

The butter helps your sauce get thicker and gives it a richer flavor. And seeing that butter has 0 carbs while giving you the fat you need for keto, it’s a great addition.

What Should I Look for When Buying Chicken Wings?

The Best Low Carb Buffalo Wings

It’s not to hard picking our wings for your keto buffalo wings, just follow these few steps:

  • For starters look for fresh chicken wings whenever possible.
  • I like to buy my chicken wings in a jumbo pack.
  • Try to buy your wings when they go on sale, it will save you some money. 

Why Make Chicken Wings in an Instant Pot?

Why should you make your low carb buffalo chicken wings in your Instant Pot??

Honestly, it will make your life so much easier and is my ONLY way of cooking wings from now on. You don’t need to worry about whether or not they are cooked, because when pressure cooking wings they are fully cooked. 

I only throw them in the oven to get them crispy. Cooking them in the instant pot won’t make your keto buffalo wings crispy, but they will make them so juicy on the inside.

So those few minutes after in the oven are important because it will then turn them into the wings you are used to, nice and crispy!

Cooking Frozen Chicken Wings in an Instant Pot

So as you know I tend to always use fresh wings, but if you have frozen it’s ok. However, they will take a little bit longer to cook through. 

When cooking frozen chicken wings cook them on high pressure for 12-15 minutes, then followed by 5 minutes natural pressure release. 

If you completely thaw out the wings before cooking them, then follow the normal instructions for cooking raw chicken wings.

Different Variations of Buffalo Wings

Easy Keto Buffalo Wings

If you want to mix it up a little, there are some different ways of cooking low carb buffalo wings. Choose whatever way you prefer. Number 1 is my personal favorite.

  1. Baking them in the oven after coating in baking powder.
  2. Frying in a deep fryer.
  3. Baking them without baking powder.

As far of different variations before cooking your Keto wings:

  • Dairy-Free option – combine a hot sauce with a dairy-free butter substitute. 
  • Depending on how spicy you like your wings, add more or less buffalo sauce while cooking. 
  • If not on Keto or a low carb diet, you can add honey to your buffalo sauce to help the sauce stick better to the chicken wings and add a tiny sweetness. 

Can I Bake Them In the Oven Without the Instant Pot?

Don’t worry, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make these yummy Keto buffalo wings cooking them entirely in the oven. Keep in mind though, they will take longer to cook. 

After you season them place them on a baking tray and place in the oven. They will take about 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees.

Flip them halfway to ensure even crispiness. Using a wire rack will help the fat to drain off and keep the skin crispy and golden brown. 

Can I Fry Buffalo Wings?

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, these low carb buffalo wings can be fried as well. If you own a deep fryer:

  1. Preheat the deep fryer to 355 degrees.
  2. Fry the wings in small batches until they are brown and crispy. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your wings. To be safe, cut into the largest one to make sure it’s fully cooked. 

How to Cut Chicken Wings

Before we cook out chicken wings, we need to cut them up right. If you aren’t sure exactly how to cut the chicken wings, that’s ok. Let me walk you through it. 

Don’t worry it’s not hard at all!

  1. Place the chicken wing on a cutting board, and while using a sharp chef’s knife find the joint. 
  2. Place the blade on the joint and press down. When you find the exact spot, it will cut no problem at all. 

It only takes a couple of minutes to cut all the wings and simple to do.

How to Make Keto Buffalo Wings


Ok, start off by seasoning your wings. In a small bowl combining 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp paprika together.

Keto buffalo chicken Wings ingredients

Sprinkle over the wings a little bit at a time, making sure to coat the wings completely. 

In a small bowl combine the buffalo sauce and melted butter. Stir and set aside. 

Instant Pot

Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the instant pot. Place the metal trivet inside the pot. Now place your wings on top of the trivet.

putting keto chicken wings into Instant Pot
Keto Buffalo Wings in Instant Pot

Before you turn on the instant pot, close the lid and make sure the knob at the top is turned to the sealed position.

Press the pressure cook button, then set the pressure cook timer for 10 minutes. Keep in mind that it will take about 15 minutes to reach the pressure level.

Instant Pot on kitchen counter

In the meantime turn the oven on broil. 

When the pressure cooking is complete, carefully do a quick release of the pressure. BE CAREFUL! I use a dish towel or oven mitt to vent it otherwise, you will get burnt.

Let the Instant Pot release for about 2-3 minutes before removing the lid. 

Chicken Wings cooking in Instant Pot

Using tongs, remove the wings from the pot and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Coating Them

tossing Keto Buffalo Wings

Once the wings are in a bowl, add about ½ of the buffalo sauce to the wings, and gently toss them until they are well-coated with the sauce.

low carb Buffalo Wings with sauce

Place the wings on a parchment-lined baking sheet to be baked in the oven.

Buffalo Wings covered in sauce

Baking the Wings

getting ready to bake Keto Buffalo Wings

“Broil” the chicken wings in the oven for about 2-4 minutes per side. This step is essential for getting them to come out crispy.

Keto Buffalo Wings in Oven

Take the wings out of the oven and brush them with remaining buffalo sauce then flip them over and boil for another 2-4 minutes.

covering Buffalo Wings recipe in sauce

Keep an eye on them until they look crispy enough for you and you are done and ready to serve!

How Much Sauce Do You Put on Baked Chicken Wings?

How much sauce you put on your wings is going to be up to you based on your personal preference. If you like them really saucy, then you are going to want to bake the wings then toss them right away in the sauce and serve immediately. 

But if you like them less saucy, pour half of the sauce over the wings first, then bake them, and then add the sauce to them and bake for a second time. 

Both ways are very good, so it’s totally up to you. 

Tips for Making the Best Keto Buffalo Wings

Best Keto Buffalo Wings Recipe
  • Cut the wings into 3 pieces: the drumette, wingette, and wing tip. Place the knife on the joint and press down. You can keep the wingtip and use it for soup, or discard it. 
  • If you choose to use frozen wings you will need to add extra time. Pressure cook for 12-15 minutes followed by 5 minutes natural pressure release while using the Instant Pot. 
  • To have an easy cleanup, place parchment paper on the baking tray first.
  • To make them crispier, place wings on a wire rack. The oil will drip down onto the baking sheet and will keep the wings crispier. 
  • Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce is my number one suggestion. 
  • Butter will thicken the buffalo sauce and make it richer in flavor. 

How to Get My Wings Crispier?

You may think that you can only get really crispy wings if they are deep-fried, but that’s actually not the case. Here are a few tips to get crispy Keto buffalo wings: 

  • Dry the wings with a paper towel then toss them in baking powder. It might sound odd, but the baking powder will change the alkaline and help the skin to crisp right up. Don’t worry though, you won’t taste the baking powder at all. 
  • Place the wings on a wire rack. The oils will drip on to the bottom of the pan and it will help both the top and bottom to cook evenly and get crispy. 
  • Once the low carb buffalo wings have finished cooking, broil them for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them, it won’t take more than a couple of minutes to crisp them up. 

What to Serve with Buffalo Wings

Classic buffalo wings or keto buffalo wings are served with celery and carrot sticks along with blue cheese dressing. Some people choose to use ranch instead of blue cheese dressing, but I’m a blue cheese fan myself. 

These low carb buffalo wings can be served as an appetizer, or even as a meal. If you choose to serve them as an appetizer here are a few other ones to serve as well:

Keto Dipping Sauces for Buffalo Wings

Best Easy Low Carb Buffalo Wings

You can’t have buffalo wings without something delicious to dip them into. If you are wondering what to dip your wings into, here are a few ideas:

Like I said I’m a blue cheese dressing kinda girl for my buffalo wings. 

Blue Cheese Dressing has only 1 carb per 2 tbsp which is ok for keto or any low carb diet. 

You can make your own homemade Keto Ranch Dressing as well. By doing so it will cut out unnecessary ingredients that are put into the store-bought brands. 

Another option is dipping your wings in a creamy caesar dressing. The flavors will go nicely with these keto buffalo wings. 

Those are our suggestions for chicken wings dipping sauces.  Leave a comment below and let us know if you have any more favorites, especially if they are low carb!

Can You Make Buffalo Wings Ahead of Time?

Sure you can make these keto buffalo wings ahead of time. Keep in mind though, they won’t be 100% the same as making them fresh.

I’m probably the wrong person to ask, cause I like them leftover sometimes even better than fresh, but I know most of you aren’t like me and prefer their wings straight out of the oven, piping hot and very saucy.  

But if you need to save some time then whipping them up ahead of time is totally possible. 

Follow the instructions as per normal. Save some of the buffalo sauce for later. Let them cool and store them in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, toss wings with leftover sauce and bake in the oven to reheat. 

How to Store Chicken Wings 

What’s the correct way to store buffalo chicken wings?

Move your leftover keto chicken wings to an airtight container or place them on a plate and cover with foil.

They should stay fresh for about 3-4 days in the fridge but honestly, they don’t last that long at my house. 

Reheating Buffalo Wings

There are a few different ways to reheat your low carb buffalo wings: 

  • Place the leftover wings on a baking tray and heat in the oven at 250-300 degrees. Cook for about 10 minutes or so.
  • Using a toaster oven is both my mom and my dad’s way of reheating almost everything.
  • Put them in the microwave for about 35-45 seconds. 

Or you can go with my go-to option for eating leftover wings….eat them cold!! I know some of you out there think that’s completely absurd, but I LOVE it!

Low Carb Keto Buffalo Wings

More Keto Appetizer Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Appetizers then try our:

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!

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Keto Low Carb Buffalo Wings

Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings – Low Carb and Instant Pot

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  • Author: Stephanie Parlegreco
  • Total Time: 20-23 minutes
  • Yield: 28 Wings (1 Wing Per Serving) 1x
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These Crispy Instant Pot Keto Buffalo Wings are ready in under 30 minutes, are tender and flavorful. Once you make them, you will find yourself making them all the time especially when you’re in need of a delicious low carb and keto-friendly appetizer. 


  • 28 chicken wings 
  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup water




Easy cleanup, place parchment paper on the baking sheet

Use a wire rack to help the chicken cook more evenly and get crispier

Coat the chicken wings in baking powder to make crispier wings but only when cooking in the oven, not when using the instant pot

If not on keto or low carb diet, add honey to the buffalo sauce

Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo is my number 1 buffalo sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (15 minutes to pressurize Instant Pot)
  • Cook Time: 15 – 18 minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Instant Pot / Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star