Are Papa John’s wings breaded?

Papa John’s is a popular pizza delivery chain that also offers a variety of side dishes and appetizers, including chicken wings. Many customers wonder if Papa John’s wings are breaded or if they are traditional naked wings.

Quick answer

No, Papa John’s wings are not breaded. Papa John’s serves traditional naked chicken wings that are seasoned and sauced but do not have any breading or batter coating.

More details on Papa John’s wings

While many fried chicken wings and other appetizers are coated in breading or batter before frying, Papa John’s sticks with simple naked wings. Their wings consist of whole chicken wing segments that are seasoned, fried, and then coated in your choice of Papa John’s wing sauces.

Here are some key facts about Papa John’s wings:

  • They offer bone-in chicken wings, not boneless wings or wing segments.
  • The wings are fried until crispy and then seasoned.
  • No breading, batter, flour, or panko coating is used on the wings.
  • After frying, the wings are tossed in your choice of Papa John’s signature sauces.
  • Sauce flavors include Buffalo, Honey Chipotle, BBQ, Garlic Parmesan, and Spicy Garlic.

Some customers may associate breaded fried chicken wings with places like Wingstop or Hooters, which bread their wings before frying. However, Papa John’s does things differently and fries plain wings and then adds sauce.

Why Papa John’s doesn’t bread their wings

There are a few potential reasons why Papa John’s does not bread their wings:

  • No breading allows for a crispier wing with more surface area for the sauce to coat.
  • It creates a more classic bar-style chicken wing compared to heavily breaded versions.
  • Not breading the wings speeds up the prep time for the cooks.
  • It provides a lower-carb option compared to breaded wings.
  • The sauces provide plenty of flavor without needing a batter coating.

Overall, Papa John’s aims to produce a classic naked wing that highlights the crispiness and sauce flavor. The lack of breading helps keep the wings simple and fast to prepare in a pizza shop setting.

How Papa John’s prepares and cooks the wings

While the wings do not get a breading, Papa John’s does have a process to prep and cook the wings before saucing:

  1. Fresh whole chicken wings are delivered to each location.
  2. The wings are inspected, trimmed, and separated into wing segments.
  3. They are seasoned with a proprietary blend of spices and seasonings.
  4. The wings are arranged in trays and then fried in the restaurant’s fryers.
  5. Frying renders the fat and crisps up the skin.
  6. Once cooked, the wings are tossed in sauce right before going into the delivery box.

The fresh never-frozen wings are cooked to order at each Papa John’s location. Frying is done in small batches to ensure quality and freshness. Then the sauce is added immediately before serving so that the wings do not get soggy.

Why the wings are fried rather than baked

Papa John’s opts to fry their wings rather than baking them. Frying offers some advantages over baked wings:

  • The high heat of frying makes the wings extra crispy.
  • It renders more fat from the skin for better texture.
  • Frying cooks the wings more quickly than baking.
  • It allows the sauce to stick to the wings better.
  • Fried wings hold up better in delivery than baked wings.

The main downside is that fried wings are higher in total fat and calories than baked wings. However, fried wings align more with the crispy, crunchy style that many wing lovers prefer.

Papa John’s wing sauces

While the wings themselves are not breaded, the Papa John’s wing sauces add a ton of flavor. After frying, each wing order is tossed in one of Papa John’s signature wing sauces:


The classic tangy, buttery Buffalo sauce has a mild heat. Great for fans of the traditional Buffalo wing flavor.

Honey Chipotle

A sweet and smoky chipotle pepper sauce made with honey. It brings a medium spice level and sweet citrusy flavor.


Sweet and tangy barbecue sauce with bold BBQ flavor and no heat.

Garlic Parmesan

A rich, savory garlic parmesan sauce. No heat but lots of garlicky flavor.

Spicy Garlic

The spicy garlic sauce has buttery garlic flavor with a good amount of heat.

The sauces are all made in house and contain high quality ingredients like fresh garlic, real butter, and natural flavors. Papa John’s frequently runs wing deals such as 50% off or buy one get one free wings to encourage customers to try the different flavors.

Nutrition info on Papa John’s wings

Here is the nutrition information for an order of 5 Papa John’s naked chicken wings without sauce:

Nutrition Facts Amount
Calories 370
Fat 24g
Protein 28g
Carbohydrates 2g

Since the wings are fried, they are high in fat at 24g total fat for 5 wings. Adding sauce will add some additional calories and carbohydrates. However, the wings can still be a good option for low carb, high protein diets when eaten in moderation.

Lowest calorie wing choice

If watching your calorie intake, the Garlic Parmesan sauce is one of the lighter options at around 50 calories per wing. Honey Chipotle sauce is also around 50 calories per wing.

The higher calorie sauces that add more fat include Buffalo at 60 calories and BBQ at 80 calories per wing.

How to order low carb Papa John’s wings

Some easy tips for ordering low carb wings from Papa John’s:

  • Opt for 5 wings or less to control portions.
  • Avoid sides like breadsticks and pasta dishes that will add carbs.
  • Choose lean protein sides like grilled chicken to balance the meal.
  • Select a lower cal sauce like Honey Chipotle or Garlic Parm.
  • Use ranch or blue cheese dressing sparingly.
  • Ask them to go light on higher carb sauces like BBQ.
  • Drink water or unsweetened tea instead of soda.

Ordering the wings without heavy dipping sauces or high carb sides will keep the meal lower in carbs while still enjoying delicious wings.

How to get the best deal on Papa John’s wings

Here are some tips for getting the best value when ordering wings from Papa John’s:

Take advantage of weekly specials

Papa John’s frequently runs weekly specials like 50% off all menu price wings or BOGO free wings with an online order. Downloading their app will notify you of the latest deals.

Order larger quantities for a discount

The price per wing decreases when ordering bigger quantities. Order 25 wings instead of 10 to get a discount per wing.

Use promo codes

Look out for Papa John’s promo codes online that can give you $5 off or score free garlic knots or an order of wings when you meet a minimum purchase.

Pay attention to Papa Rewards

Sign up for Papa Rewards to earn points with each order that turn into free sides and wings in the future. Taking advantage of rewards and loyalty programs is a great way to save money over time.


To summarize, Papa John’s serves traditional naked fried chicken wings that have no breading or batter. They fry the wings to make them extra crispy before tossing them in your choice of high quality sauces like Buffalo, BBQ, and Honey Chipotle. While the preparation is simple, it results in juicy fried wings with plenty of flavor from the sauces. Pay attention to promotional specials and wing deals to get the best value from Papa John’s wings for a future order.

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