Superbowl Sunday Sweet & Savory Teriyaki Chicken Wings

January 22, 2017: The AFC Championship Game

It’s Sunday evening and there are some friends over for the Patriots game – not just any Pats game, but the 2017 AFC Championship Game!  It’s actually been pretty exciting so far from what I’ve seen. Not that I’m any kind of football expert… believe it or not, I just learned yesterday what “special teams” are, and I have only known since last week that the NFL is broken down into the “NFC” and “AFC”! *Blush*

Regardless of how much I clearly know about football, being born and raised in Massachusetts, I still consider myself a bandwagon Pats fan.

Or mayyybe just a Tom Brady fan… 

(Mike is a good sport for putting up with my celebrity crush, AND very patient for my general lack of understanding of football... Love you Mike!)

[February 8, 2021 update:  I realize Tom Brady is no longer on the Patriots team at this time… but I’m still in his corner cheering him on!  He just won the 2021 Superbowl yesterday and I realized it was probably time to update this recipe post. 🙂 ]

Aside from admiring Tom Brady, the best way to celebrate football is with delicious food!

Every year, my mom makes delicious marinated teriyaki chicken wings for the super bowl.  Those wings are SO tasty! They’ve always been something I look forward to during football season. (Although, believe it or not… I’m actually not a true football fan!).

But sadly, for those who have to navigate adverse food reactions like allergies, sensitivities, and/or intolerances (yup, 3 separate beasts), eating whatever is served at events like Sunday football parties can feel like more of a privilege than an option.

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! Recipe modification is my jam. Below are the details on the original ingredient swaps I made (and why), followed by a few optional modifications you can make if you’d like this recipe to become low FODMAP or vegan/vegetarian.

Original ingredient modifications:

Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce

This recipe is very similar to the one my mom uses, but instead of soy sauce (since I’ve got a soy allergy, and am not a huge fan of soy in general for various reasons related to hormone health), I’ve discovered this amazing soy sauce alternative called “coconut aminos”.

Coconut aminos are a savory fermented sauce made from the sap of coconuts… I promise this stuff tastes better than it sounds!  The perks of using coconut aminos regularly is they’re significantly lower in sodium compared to soy sauce, and also soy-free and wheat/gluten free for people with sensitivities.

You can make this swap in pretty much any recipe that calls for soy sauce, if you have issues with soy for any reason such as:

  • Estrogen-like effects from soy, which are not ideal those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or just a tendency towards estrogen dominance (which is more common than you might realize!)
  • Potential inflammatory reaction from soy sauce for those with a sensitivity or allergy to soybeans or wheat/gluten.
    • If you have issues with gluten but not soy, there are gluten-free soy sauces available too.

(For the record, you can totally stick with soy sauce if you’ve got no underlying health issues and you’re just looking for an easy, delicious Sunday football recipe!)

Real maple syrup instead of brown sugar

This is another optional swap, but one that I opt to use in this recipe for a few reasons!

  • Although it’s more expensive, real maple syrup (compared to most other types of liquid sweeteners) is mineral-rich and better tolerated by people from a digestive standpoint based on first-hand clinical case experiences (1).
  • Both maple syrup and brown sugar are low FODMAP but maple is also lower in something called “glycemic index”, which means it doesn’t spike the blood sugar as quickly as most other forms of sugar out there (2).

Optional modifications (as needed):

(Added/updated on January 22, 2022)

Low FODMAP:  omit the garlic powder

Some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) benefit from a full or modified low FODMAP diet, and if you have an adverse reaction to garlic you will know pretty clearly!

  • “FODMAP” stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols”.  These are all different types of fibers and carbohydrates from certain foods.  When digestion is weak, undigested FODMAPS have a tendency to hang out in the small intestine, feeding “bad” microbes that don’t belong there.  This causes fermentation and the production of methane as a bi-product (lovely, I know!) which leads to symptoms such as gas and bloating.

For anyone who doesn’t do well with garlic, you can just omit it from the recipe and it will be JUST as tasty.

Vegan/vegetarian:  hemp tofu instead of chicken

Yes, it can be done!  (I say this first-hand having cooked with hemp-based tofu many times over the years.)

I once accidentally discovered this soy-free, hemp-based tofu at Whole Foods while I was living in Massachusetts, and I fell in love with it!

I sadly haven’t been able to find it since moving to Austin, but highly recommend giving this a try if you’d like to make this recipe vegan/vegetarian.

Long story short…

These teriyaki chicken wings are healthy, delicious, simple, easy to make, and a perfect addition to your Sunday football festivities!

Going to outings like these where a friend is hosting can actually be an easy opportunity to bring a few food options that everyone will love, that are also “you-friendly” (nutritionally speaking), so you don’t have to miss out!  Win-win.

Feel free to check out the full recipe below, and if you enjoy it, please share this post with your friends! 🙂

Super Bowl Sunday Football Chicken Wings

Super Bowl Sunday Sweet & Savory Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT
Sweet, savory, simple, healthy, and easy-to-make chicken wings for your Sunday football festivities!
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins


  • Large bowl and saran wrap for marinating
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • 9 x 13 inch casserole dish for baking
  • Basting brush


  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken wings bone in
  • 3/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce if you don't have coconut aminos!
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder


  • Combine all ingredients except chicken wings in a large bowl.
  • Add chicken into bowl of marinade mixture.
  • Cover, refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Transfer marinated chicken to a 9x13-inch casserole dish, greased with cooking spray. Make sure to reserve the remaining marinade in a bowl. **Note: Make sure to have a basting brush (cooking brush to “paint” more sauce onto the wings) handy for the next step!**
  • Bake wings uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes, remove from oven to baste some extra sauce onto the wings.
  • Bake again after another 20 minutes and repeat 2 more times until the wings have baked for an hour total and basted 3x total.
  • Enjoy and share with your family and friends!!!
Keyword chicken wings, sunday football recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Phillips KM, Carlsen MH, Blomhoff R. Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jan; 109(1):64-71 
  2. Higden, Jane, PhD. “Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.” Linus Pauling Institute – Micronutrient Information Center. Oregon State University, 2003. Web. 3 Feb. 2017