Recipe Overview | Cooking Essentials

A unique appetizer/lunch featuring wings with a smoky maple and pumpkin spice rub, served with a tangy, sweet, and spicy roasted jalapeno, cranberry, and orange sauce.

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for awhile and it didn’t disappoint: Orange Cranberry Jalapeño Chicken Wings.

It feels like a bite into fall and sounded like the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving. The wings are pumpkin spiced maple- infused with a dipping sauce that has a tangy kick from roasted jalapenos, the sweet and tart of cranberries, and the refreshing zest of an orange.

Orange Cranberry Jalapeno Wings w/ a Maple BBQ & Pumpkin Spice Rub

A unique appetizer/lunch featuring wings with a smoky maple and pumpkin spice rub, served with a tangy, sweet, and spicy roasted jalapeno, cranberry, and orange sauce.
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Serves: Lunch
Serves: 4
Phase: Follicular


  • 1 lb chicken wings


  • 1 lg  jalapeno (roasted)
  • 6 oz cranberries
  • cup water (more as needed)
  • ½ navel orange zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt to tast
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin spice


  • Watkins smoked maple rub(or favorite smoky bbq rub)
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice


  • Place your jalapenos on a baking sheet in the oven, 3-4 inches from the broiler. Let them roast 3-4 minutes until they are charred and the skin is blistered. Remove and place in a bowl and loosely cover with foil or place them into a ziplock bag. Allow them to steam as you start the sauce.
  • Over medium high heat add all of your sauce ingredients besides the jalapeno. Stir occasionally and allow it to come to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and leave uncovered. The cranberries will begin popping, which will release pectin which will naturally thicken the sauce. You may need to add more water to help it thin. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt, honey or orange juice per preference.
  • Remove chicken wings from packaging and pat them dry. Place in a bowl and toss to evenly coat with rub and pumpkin spice.  
  • Preheat the air fryer (we are using the ninja woodfire outdoor grill) to 395 for 19 minutes. (if using the ninja we will be adding the smoke function) Add wings once preheated.
  • While the wings are cooking remove skin, seeds, and membrane from the roasted jalapeno. Medium dice it and add to the orange cranberry sauce. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the sauce until a smooth consistency. Add more water, honey or orange juice if you would like to thin it out.  
  • When the wings are done remove from the grill into a large bowl. While still hot add ½ the sauce to the wings and coat to toss. Add more sauce based on preference. Serve with a side of the sauce. Add extra orange zest over the wings if desired.


This recipe is very easily doubled. You can also bake the wings or grill the wings.

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