Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are the healthiest “fried” chicken you will ever make! Rubbed with herbs and spices, incredibly moist, and fast enough for a busy weeknight meal. 

Everyday meals don’t have to be an all-day cooking affair. In fact, 30 minutes are all you need to whip up a homemade, delicious meal. Done with a long day at work? Treat yourself to Skinny Mongolian Beef Noodles, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, and Pan-Roasted Swordfish!

air fryer chicken drumsticks with dipping sauce

Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are so good and guilt-free! If you enjoy fried chicken but hate how it’s so oily, prepare to fall in love with this recipe. 

In under 30 minutes, you can have the crispiest drumsticks loaded with herbs and spices. Cooking them in the air fryer makes them so moist, the juices practically explode when you bite into them!

The air fryer will be your new best friend for fast, delicious, and healthy meals. This recipe takes less than half an hour from prep to plate!

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients:

  • Drumsticks: Legs are my choice because they’re super juicy and cooks much quicker than other parts.
  • Olive oil: You only need a couple of tablespoons of this healthy oil!
  • Seasonings: We’re using fresh-cracked pepper, garlic powder, sea salt, and paprika, plus a dash of cumin.

chicken drumsticks with seasoning

How to make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks?

  1. Prep the drumsticks. Toss them in oil inside a plastic bag or bowl. Blend the seasonings, and use them to coat the meat.
  2. Cook. In a preheated 400F air fryer, cook the legs for 10 mins. Flip, then cook again for 10 minutes more. Check internal temp. If it registers 165F, they are done. If not, cook for 5 minutes more, or until the correct internal temp is reached.
  3. Serve. Enjoy hot with your favorite sides!

How long do drumsticks take in the air fryer?

In my specific model, this recipe takes around 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for each side. However, the final duration will depend on how big the legs and fryer basket are. 

That’s why I recommend that you check the internal temp. This is the best way to make sure the legs are done and avoid overcooking them. 

I love how you can simply pop the lid open to check for doneness, then pop the food back in if you need to cook it a little more!

air fryer chicken drumsticks raw

How many legs can I cook in an air fryer?

For example, a 6.8-quart model can comfortably accommodate 8 drumsticks. If you have a 3.6-quart model, you’ll most likely be able to fit around 5 in there.

If all of your leg pieces won’t fit in one batch, don’t force it. The key to perfectly air-fried meat is to leave space between each one. This allows the hot air to circulate evenly. 

Instead of soggy skin and some undercooked parts, you get a beautifully crisp and brown surface, then the most tender meat inside!

Is Air Fried Chicken healthier?

Yes, especially compared to the deep-fried version. This recipe uses very little oil, just enough to make sure the rub sticks to the meat. You don’t need to use any flour either, so it’s low-carb and ideal for those on keto. 

Air-fried legs are also high in protein. Truly a guilt-free way to enjoy crispy, delicious drumsticks!

crispy air fryer chicken drumsticks

What to serve with Air Fryer Drumsticks?

These drumsticks are fantastic on their own. You can also eat them with your favorite dips and sauces. Try it with BBQ sauce, ketchup, your favorite hot sauce, or this copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce!

For a heartier meal, serve them with this refreshing Coleslaw Pasta Salad, Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts, the easiest Garlic Parmesan Pasta, or my 5-Ingredient Green Beans with Bacon!

How to store leftovers?

Once the leftovers are completely cool, arrange them in a tightly-sealed container. If you’re storing them in the refrigerator, eat within 2 days. If you’re freezing them, they’ll stay good for up to a month. To reheat, thaw and microwave, or pop them in the air fryer for a few mins.

air fryer chicken drumsticks

More Chicken Recipes: 

Recipe tips and notes:

  • Leave gaps between each piece so everything cooks evenly.
  • Try this with different herbs and spices like Italian seasoning, Cajun spices, and more.
5 from 6 votes
air fryer chicken drumsticks with dipping sauce
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are the healthiest “fried” chicken you will ever make! Rubbed with herbs and spices, incredibly moist, and fast enough for a busy weeknight meal. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 155 kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoning:
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Seasoning ingredients, stir and set aside.
  2. Add drumsticks to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat.
  3. Add the Seasoning blend all over the drumsticks and toss to coat them.
  4. Preheat air fryer at 400 F for 2-10 minutes.
  5. Arrange the drumsticks in the air fryer basket in one layer and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the basket and flip chicken drumsticks.
  7. Cook at 400 F for another 10 minutes.
  8. If the internal temperature of the chicken is not 165 degrees, add another 5 minutes as time can vary based on the size of the drumsticks.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 225mg10%
Potassium 185mg5%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 158IU3%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

easy air fryer drumsticks pin


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