These crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks are super easy, quick, and healthy. This recipe is so tasty, you won’t believe it’s Whole30, Keto, and Paleo approved.
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Baked Chicken Drumsticks Recipe Details
These Baked Chicken Drumsticks make a quick, healthy, and Whole30 and Paleo-friendly option for dinner. If you’re the type of person who likes to do as little prep work as possible when cooking, then this recipe is for you!
- TASTE: The baked chicken is seasoned in a mixture of aromatic herbs and baked with fresh lemons on top for the most delicious savory flavor.
- TEXTURE: The center of the chicken drumsticks are juicy-tender and the outside it baked to crispy perfection.
- TIME: Once you brown the meat in a skillet, all you need to do is bake in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes.
- EASE: This dish doesn’t get any easier. Just season the meat, brown, and bake!
What You’ll Need
- Chicken drumsticks
- Seasonings–Salt, Paprika, Dried thyme, Garlic powder, and Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Unsalted butter– optional, omit to make this dish Paleo and Whole30 compliant
How to Make Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Make seasoning mix. In a large bowl, combine the salt, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Toss chicken and seasonings. Add the drumsticks to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.
- Prep the onion and lemon. Slice the lemon and onion into thin slices. Set aside.
- Brown the chicken. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Then brown each side of the chicken, but don’t fully cook them.
Pro Tip: Browning the chicken will add more flavor and crisp the skin a little so the dish is even more delicious. Don’t skip this step!
- Line the pan with onions. Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with the sliced onions. Spread evenly.
- Add the chicken and lemon. Place the browned drumsticks into the baking dish and add half a slice of lemon and a small slice of butter (if using) on top of each drumstick.
- Bake. Bake at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or an hour and 15 minutes.
- Pat the chicken dry before seasoning- Doing this gets rid of excess moisture so the chicken will get even crispier as it bakes.
- Slice the lemon and onions thin- Doing this will give the onions the chance to get soft and brown faster, releasing more flavor. You don’t want the lemons too thick or they will overpower the spices.
- Brown the chicken drumsticks- This step adds lots of flavor and gives the chicken that wonderful crispness to its skin.
- Check the chicken temp with a meat thermometer- To make sure the chicken is fully cooked, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. It should be at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add other vegetables- Onion isn’t the only veggie you can bake with your chicken. Try celery, carrots, peppers, or broccoli.
- Substitute another cut of chicken- You can also make this recipe with chicken thighs, wings, and breasts. Just be sure to adjust the cook time depending on the thickness of the chicken you use.
- Substitute different spices- Use your favorite spice blend. Try cumin, onion powder, oregano, or cayenne powder.
- Add fresh herbs- You can make these Baked Chicken Drumsticks with dill, rosemary, sage, or chives if you like.
I cook these chicken drumsticks for a little over an hour. You should always cook chicken legs until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This article from Better Homes and Gardens has a complete list of cooking times and temperatures.
This is up to you, but usually, the chicken will be juicier if it is cooked covered for the first half of the cooking time, and then uncovered for the second half so the chicken can get more brown and crispy.
These Baked Chicken Drumsticks are very filling and can be served as is or with a light side. Here are a few tasty serving options to try.
- Salad: This recipe tastes delicious with Shredded Carrot Salad, Cabbage Cucumber Salad, or Purple Cabbage Salad.
- Soup: Serve a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup or Cream of Mushroom Soup alongside these Baked Chicken Drumsticks.
- Vegetables: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Roasted Air Fryer Vegetables, and Super Creamy Mashed Potatoes all go great with this dish.
- Rice: For a more filling meal, serve a side of Wild Brown Rice or Quinoa Fried Rice with these drumsticks.
Make These Baked Chicken Drumsticks in Advance
Make ahead: You can prepare these drumsticks and then cover the dish with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge the day before. Take off the plastic wrap and bake them when you are ready to serve.
Storing: Place any leftover Baked Chicken Drumsticks in an airtight container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. They will last for 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can freeze this dish, covered with foil and plastic wrap, for 2-3 months. Just thaw and heat in the oven until warmed through.
More Tasty Chicken Dishes!
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- BBQ Chicken Wings
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta (VIDEO)
- Smoked Chicken Breast
- Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders (VIDEO)
For a more detailed breakdown of how to use spices, click here.
Full Recipe Instructions
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Add the drumstick to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.
- Slice the lemon and onion into thin slices.
- Heat olive oil over high heat in a large skillet and brown each side of the chicken. Don’t fully cook them.
- Cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with the sliced onions.
- Place the browned drumsticks into the baking dish and add half a slice of lemon and a small slice of butter on top of each drumstick.
- Bake at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or an hour and 15 minutes.