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.
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!
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:
- Sauces: If you’re looking to serve these drumsticks as a snack, appetizer, or game-day finger food, then I recommend pairing them with your favorite dipping sauces. Personally, I love this Jalapeno Ranch Dressing or this Honey Mustard.
- Veggies: Fresh or cooked vegetables work great alongside chicken drumsticks to balance out the rich and savory flavors. Try these Grilled Vegetable Skewers or this Greek Pasta Salad.
- Fries: In the spirit of comfort and finger food, fries (or a vegetable fry variation) make a wonderful complement to this dish. I recommend Eggplant Fries or Oven Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries for a low-carb fry recipe.
- Salad: I love serving these drumsticks with a fun and fresh side salad. Some of my favorites include this Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Corn and this Easy Corn Salad.
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.
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.
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
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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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* 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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