Are Buffalo Wings Keto Friendly? Carbs and Calories In Buffalo Wings

buffalo wings carbs

Buffalo wings are a popular snack at sports bars and Super Bowl parties alike because they’re tasty and fun-to-eat while watching the big game. 

Buffalo wings are traditionally tossed in a hot sauce made from vinegar and spicy red peppers.  Sugar is sometimes added into buffalo sauce to balance out the spiciness and heat.

You’ll be pleased to find out that Buffalo wings can be part of a Keto lifestyle, as long as they’re prepared the right way.  You’ll also want to choose fresh sides instead of fries, like a side salad or celery sticks with ranch dressing – all of which are low carb fare.

If you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t have to give up your favorite treats like Buffalo wings. Find out which types of wings are best for Keto and which sauces are lowest in carbs so you can indulge your cravings and stay on track.  

Are Buffalo Wings Keto Friendly?

Depending on how their prepared, Buffalo Wings can be Keto-friendly as long as they are not breaded or glazed in a sugary sauce.  Hot sauce, like the kind used on Buffalo wings, often contains added sugar to balance out the heat.

General guidelines of the Ketogenic Diet stipulate 60-75% of your food should be from fat, therefore Buffalo wings factor in quite nicely.  Traditional wings, before any sauce is added, contain zero carbs. Chicken wings, with the skin on but without the breading, are a perfect choice for the keto diet because they provide a good amount of fat.  Deep frying them adds even more fat. 

If you make your own buffalo wings at home, avoid bottled chicken marinates and wing sauces as they also can be high in carbs due to the added sugar.  Certain sweet sauces can add a significant number of carbs, such as barbecue, teriyaki, and honey mustard.

If you order Buffalo wings at a local sports bar, have them rubbed with a dry spice mix, instead of breading.  Ask your waiter whether or not their hot sauce recipe contains sugar. 

To keep it Keto: Opt for a low carb dipping sauce instead, such as Ranch dressing, which contains only 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon or better yet, enjoy them without sauce.  Choose low carb sides, such as celery and a few carrot sticks to complete your low carb meal.

Buffalo wings with a lemon pepper dry rub and a side of steamed broccoli or side salad is another great Keto-friendly choice.

How Many Carbs are in Buffalo Wings?

A serving of 10 traditional plain wings (without the sauce) contains 0 grams of carbs.  Add sauce, and that number quickly rises, adding up to 17 additional grams of carbs.

Breaded boneless wings tossed in a sweet honey barbeque sauce can reach upwards of 108 grams of carbs!  The breading and sweet sauce quickly causes carb count to soar sky-high.

How Many Calories are in Buffalo Wings?

A serving of 10 traditional plain wings (without the sauce) delivers 700 calories.  Deep-fried foods like Buffalo wings are calorie-dense because of their high-fat content.  Baked Buffalo wings make a lower calorie option over the deep-fried variety.  Spicy sauces tend to be lower in calories than creamy dressings, like ranch and blue cheese.

Boneless, breaded honey barbeque wings provide a whopping 960 calories.  Sweet sauce significantly increases the calorie count.  Un-breaded wings rubbed with dry spices are preferred over breaded wings.  A side order of fries adds another 330 calories, so enjoy fresh veggies with your wings instead to keep the calorie-count reasonable.

Buffalo Wing Sauces

buffalo wings calories

Let’s investigate the calorie and carb counts of the following popular buffalo wing sauces:

Sauce Type Calories Carbs
2 Tablespoons Sweet Barbeque Sauce 45 10
2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce 45 11
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Garlic Sauce 130 3
2 Tablespoons Honey Garlic Sauce 70 17
2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce 35 5
2 Tablespoons Mild Sauce 50 2
2 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing 160 1
2 Tablespoons Blue Cheese Dressing 130 1

Nutrition Facts

Amount: Per 1 wing from Buffalo Wild Wings
(in Traditional Hot Sauce)
Calories 72
Total Fat   5 grams
Saturated Fat   1 gram
Trans Fat   0 grams
Cholesterol   26 milligrams
Sodium   66 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate   0 grams
Dietary Fiber   0 grams
Total Sugars   0 grams
Protein 6g 6 grams

Health Benefits 


Chicken offers a decent amount of iron, cobalamin, magnesium selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin, along with trace amounts of vitamin C and calcium.

High in Protein

Chicken is an excellent source of protein. A serving of 6 Buffalo wings provides 36 grams of protein.

Protein helps your body to maintain muscle mass and also helps you to build muscle.  People who eat adequate amounts of protein in their diet are more likely to maintain muscle mass and efficient metabolism.

Supports Bone Health

Aside from protein, chicken also provides a decent amount of calcium and phosphorous, both of which support healthy bones and teeth.  These minerals also help reduce your risk of developing arthritis.

Relieves Stress and PMS

The tryptophan and vitamin B5 in chicken wings have aftereffects that can relieve stress and help you feel relaxed.  Chicken also contains magnesium, which relieves PMS symptoms.

Strengthens the Immune System

There is a reason why people tend to eat chicken soup when they’re sick.  It’s because chicken strengthens the immune cells in the body.  The protein in Buffalo Wings gives your immune system a boost.

Side Effects

Eating fried chicken daily, such as buffalo wings is linked with a 13% higher risk of death and a 12% higher risk of death from a heart-related problem, compared to those who do not consume fried food regularly.

A carnivore diet that is high in animal protein from meat and low in fruit and vegetables could increase your cancer risk. Research indicates a 40% lower risk of cancer in vegetarians, as compared to meat-eaters.

According to one study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 99% of chicken carcasses sold in stores had detectable levels of E. coli (fecal contamination).

Chickens raised for their flesh are often fed large quantities of antibiotics to keep them alive in poor conditions like overcrowded chicken coops.  The use of antibiotics on chickens leads to increased drug-resistant bacteria in humans, thus causing antibiotic medications for humans to have less efficacy.

Furthermore, arsenic is often added to chicken feed to ward off diarrhea, improve pigmentation, and help ensure good growth.  However, arsenic exposure in humans leads to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, neurological problems, and even cancer.

Keto Buffalo Wings Recipe

Wings Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds Chicken Wings
  • 7 Tablespoons Butter
  • 100 millilitres Low Sugar Hot Sauce
  • 20 grams Full Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt

Wings Instructions:

  1. Combine together the yogurt, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and half the hot sauce.  Add chicken to marinate for 20 minutes
  2. Bake the chicken wings in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crispy.
  3. Heat but the rest of the hot sauce in a saucepan.  Stir in the butter, while stirring until completely melted and sauce begins to bubble.
  4. Toss the wings in the remaining hot sauce before serving.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • 15 Grams Blue Cheese (about half an ounce)
  • 1 Cup Full Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon diced Celery Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dill, fresh or dried
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Sauce Instructions:

  1. Finely crumble blue cheese in a bowl.
  2. Stir in the yogurt, celery leaves, salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. Chill in the fridge before serving with your Buffalo wings.

Related Questions:

buffalo wings keto

Are Buffalo Wings Healthy?

Buffalo chicken wings contain mostly skin and fat, so they certainly aren’t the healthiest meal you can eat.  They’re also deep-fried, adding even more fat.  Lastly, the wings are then tossed in a sauce that is often high in both sugar and fat.

For example, at Buffalo Wild Wings, a small order of 10 wings, contains a staggering 1,650 calories, which works out to approximately 165 calories per wing!  In just one wing you’ll also get about 14 grams of fat and a third of that fat is saturated. Add to that two tablespoons of blue cheese dressing, and you’ll pack in an extra 300 calories and 28 grams of fat.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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