Baked Chicken Drumsticks

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These easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks are coated in a flavorful combination of spices and baked to crispy, golden perfection. Serve them alongside a side salad, roasted potatoes, or rice for an easy family dinner.

303 CAL 1g CARBS 11g FAT 47g PROTEIN
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When you need a quick and easy dinner, these baked chicken drumsticks are just the recipe to make. The simple spice rub is easy to customize, the chicken comes out deliciously tender, and they make for delicious leftovers. 

There’s something about this time of year that makes me crave comfort food. And I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. Have you ever noticed that your favorite dishes from childhood are always the ones you seek out as an adult when you’re craving comfort food?

From my Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese to my Cauliflower Crust Pizza, I am constantly on the hunt for healthier versions of my childhood favorites. Like many of us, I grew up on Shake and Bake chicken drumsticks, but that spice mixture wasn’t exactly the healthiest. It was loaded with artificial ingredients, so I came up with this fool-proof recipe for Easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks instead.

The drumsticks are seasoned with a savory combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. The resulting flavor is out-of-this-world tasty. I love serving these Baked Chicken Drumsticks with rice, roasted potatoes, pasta salad, roasted veggies, or a side salad.

You can really serve this dish with just about anything, so it’s entirely up to you. Serve these drumsticks for a healthy lunch, dinner, or at your next game day party. Just don’t expect any leftovers, because they tend to go fast!

Chicken drumsticks baked in the oven with spices and served in a plate with snow peas on the side.

Key Ingredients

To make these mouth-watering chicken drumsticks, you will need just 3 key ingredients:

  • Chicken drumsticks: To state the obvious, this recipe requires drumsticks! This lean source of protein serves as the perfect entree for lunch or dinner on any occasion. In this version, the skin is removed but you can also leave it on if you prefer.
  • Olive oil: This is essential for getting our crave-worthy spice rub to stick to the chicken. Feel free to swap it out for avocado oil, if needed.
  • Spices: A flavorful spice rub is what takes these drumsticks to the next level. For this recipe, I use a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. For more of a smoky flavor, feel free to use smoked paprika in place of regular paprika.

Recipe Tips For the Best Chicken Drumsticks

Looking to make the best chicken drumsticks ever? Well, you’re in luck. Here are my top tips and tricks to help you do just that:

  • Dry the drumsticks. Make sure to dry your drumsticks completely before coating them with your spice rub, as this is key to getting it nice and crispy in the oven. I recommend patting them dry with a paper towel.
  • Use a wire rack. Cooking your drumsticks on a wire rack ensures that the hot air is circulating all around them. This helps them cook evenly and to perfection. Make sure to place a baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings.
  • Flip your drumsticks. Flipping your drumsticks once while they’re in the oven ensures that they are evenly cooked all the way around.
  • Swap your spices. Feel free to mix and match your favorite spices to better suit your taste preferences and really make this dish your own. Try Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, or homemade poultry seasoning.
  • Add some heat. Searching for a bit more of a kick? Feel free to double up on the cayenne pepper.

What to Serve With Chicken Drumsticks

You can serve these drumsticks with just about anything to make them a complete and well-balanced meal. Sometimes, I even like to seal ‘em up in a bag and bring them along on road trips for a quick and easy road snack! You really can’t go wrong.

If you’re drawing a blank, here are some of my favorite ways to serve this dish:

How to Store Leftover Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are a great dish to make ahead and save for lunches, snacks, and dinners throughout the week. To properly store this dish, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, you can transfer the drumsticks to an airtight storage bag or container and store them in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Oven baked drumsticks with tender chicken coated in spices and served with sautéed snow peas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy chicken recipe:

How long do you cook chicken drumsticks?

The baking time for chicken drumsticks will vary a bit depending on their size. However, most drumsticks cook in about 35-45 minutes. The most important thing to look for is that they reach an internal temperature of 165°F at the thickest part.

Are drumsticks healthy?

Yes! Unlike many restaurant or store-bought drumsticks that are fried and coated in a heavy and fattening breading, this recipe utilizes only a few simple spices and heart-healthy olive oil. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, and high in lean protein.

Can you freeze raw drumsticks?

Absolutely! Raw drumsticks are actually great for freezing. As long as it’s properly stored, raw chicken will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months. If you’d like, you can even brush the drumsticks with oil and season them before freezing, which basically eliminates the need for prep before baking later.

Skinless baked chicken drumsticks served in a white bowl with herbs and vegetables on the side.

The Recipe
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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

303 CAL 1g CARBS 11g FAT 47g PROTEIN
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  • 2 lbs skinless chicken drumsticks (or skin-on)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

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Optional: For a lighter option, you can remove the skin from the drumstick before baking. The easiest way is to use a paper towel to grip the chicken drumstick and gently pull off the skin.

Hands removing the skin from chicken drumsticks.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and a wire rack if cooking with the skin-on. Mix together all of the spices. Brush the drumsticks with oil and then coat with spice mixture.

Chicken drumsticks coated with olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and other spices.

Place on the baking sheet, making sure they do not touch. Bake for about 40 minutes or until drumsticks are cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Flip the drumsticks once during cooking. Let rest before serving.

Baked chicken drumsticks coated with spices on a baking sheet with parchment.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 drumsticks
Amount Per Serving
Calories 303
Calories from Fat 100
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 175mg
Sodium 495mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 47g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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