These simple and flavorful baked chicken drumsticks make the perfect last-minute dinner. Coated in a lightly spiced seasoning and baked in the oven until crispy.
You're going to love this recipe for baked chicken drumsticks. With just a few minutes of prep, you can feed a crowd.
This recipe is very family friendly - adults and kids alike love these chicken drumsticks! They turn out crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and filled with flavor.
The spice blend to coat your chicken is flavorful and surprisingly simple to make. You probably already have what you need in your pantry!
Preparing your baking sheet
For this recipe, I highly recommend using an oven-safe cooling rack to bake your chicken. Using this method helps your chicken to bake up crispy because your drumsticks won't be sitting in grease while they cook.
First, cover your baking sheet with foil. Then, place an oven-safe cooling rack on top. I do not recommend using a cooling rack coated in nonstick material.
I use a this cooling rack (affiliate link) in the oven frequently, and it works great. Plus, it's easy to pop in the dishwasher alongside your dinner plates.
Skin on or off?
Leaving the skin on your drumsticks insulates the chicken as it bakes, which helps prevent the meat from drying out. The skin also helps to keep your chicken juicy, and gives some leeway if you over-bake them slightly.
You're welcome to use skinless chicken drumsticks if you prefer. Or, if you're trying to cut calories, feel free to remove the skin once it has finished baking.
If you plan to serve your chicken without skin, I suggest rubbing your spices underneath the skin before baking.
How to prevent overcooked chicken
Cooking chicken until it is cooked completely through, without over-baking, can be tricky. I always suggest using a meat thermometer to test your chicken.
Bake your chicken just until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as you see this temperature, remove your chicken from the oven - it's done! Any longer and you risk drying out your chicken drumsticks.
How to make chicken drumsticks crispy
A few steps in this recipe will help your chicken drumsticks bake up nice and crispy in the oven.
First, make sure to pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before adding your seasoning. Extra moisture prevents the skin from getting crispy.
Second, bake your chicken on a cooling rack. Using a cooling rack helps excess grease to drip away from the chicken while it cooks. That means your chicken isn't sitting in the extra grease, making it soggy.
What to serve with chicken drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks are versatile and can be served with any of your favorite family side dishes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Broccoli (gluten-free)
- Honey Glazed Sesame Carrots
- Kale Cranberry Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a metal, oven-safe cooling rack. Set aside.
- Pat chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. This is an important step to help your chicken get crispy when baking.
- In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- In a large bowl, add drumsticks. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour spices over drumsticks and toss to coat.
- Place drumsticks onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy.
- I highly recommend using an oven-safe cooling rack to bake your chicken. Using this method helps your chicken to bake up crispy because your drumsticks won't be sitting in grease while they cook.
- If you plan to serve your chicken without skin, I suggest rubbing your spices underneath the skin before baking, then removing the skin once your chicken is cooked through. The skin helps to prevent your chicken from drying out while baking.