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Cook marinated chicken drumsticks (or marinated chicken legs) in your air fryer with this simple air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe. It uses an easy chicken drumstick marinade that works great on on everything from turkey thighs to marinated chicken wings. Enjoy these tender chicken drumsticks with your favorite sides to have a delicious meal with your whole family.
Why Make These
- Simple homemade marinade: this marinated chicken legs recipe includes a six-ingredient marinade that uses pantry staples and simple ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and lemon. The best part is that is has bold flavors, but skips added regular and brown sugar.
- Easy dinner main dish: This easy recipe will give you delicious chicken drumsticks that pair well with any your favorite keto side dishes for chicken.
- Make in the air fryer: You can bake, grill, roast or slow cook your marinated chicken. But, the air fryer serves as the quickest way to get a crispy, yet juicy result (without using an outdoor grill).
- Great for meal prep: Add the chicken to the marinade for up to 2 days in advance for a ready-to-cook air fryer meal prep.
This recipe includes two main parts: chicken & a flavorful marinade. Here’s what you’ll need to gather:
- Chicken Drumsticks: I’m using fresh chicken legs for this recipe. If you have frozen chicken, then I recommend thawing it before adding it to the marinade.
Chicken Drumstick Marinade:
- Sea salt
- Salt-free herb seasoning: this includes things like garlic powder, thyme, onion powder and more.
- Garlic cloves
- Black pepper
- Olive oil (or avocado oil)
- Lemon juice
You can get the full list of ingredient amounts and instructions from the full recipe card at the end of the post.
How to Air Fry Marinated Chicken Drumsticks
- Pat the raw chicken dry with paper towel
- Make the chicken leg marinade: Add the salt, herb seasoning, garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
- Add the chicken to the easy marinade & marinate: You can keep your chicken in a bowl that has a lid or a large freezer bag. I keep the chicken in for at least 4 hours.
- Put the chicken in the air fryer: I shake off excess marinade and place drumsticks in a single layer inside of the air fryer basket. Discard any used, leftover marinade.
- Air Fry the chicken legs: I cook my chicken at 400 degrees and flip them at the halfway point, which is a great way to ensure even browning and crisping of the chicken drumstick skin.
Top Cooking Tips & FAQs
- Marinate for up to two days: the longer you allow your chicken the marinate, the better (in terms of flavor). I add my chicken legs and marinade to a resealable plastic bag like a large zipper bag and store it in the refrigerator until I am ready to cook them later in the week.
- Freeze uncooked chicken with the chicken leg marinade for later: Sometimes, meal plans change. You can also add the chicken with the marinade on it to the freezer (one benefit of using a freezer bag like a large ziploc bag to store it). Simply take your chicken out 24 hours before you want to use it so that it can thaw in the refrigerator.
How to Store Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
The best way to store any leftover drumsticks is in an airtight container for the next day (up to 3-4 days).
This depends on the size of the chicken legs. Generally, though, they take a cooking time of 24-30 minutes.
This depends on the size of the air fryer and the size of the drumsticks. I can usually fit 4-6. Just ensure that they are in a flat even layer. If you stack the chicken drumsticks, they will not brown evenly and take longer to cook. So, it’s best to do them in batches if they don’t all fit.
Yes. You can put aluminum foil in an air fryer. Be sure to check out my guide to see the best ways to use it and when you should not.
Recipes to Enjoy This With
- Keto Creamed Spinach
- Pressure Cooker Cabbage
- Pressure Cooker Collard Greens
- Air Fryer Green Beans Recipe
More Marinated Chicken in the Air Fryer
Besides marinated chicken legs, you can use this chicken leg marinade to make marinated chicken in your air fryer. Here are some ideas for how to make different parts of a chicken:
- Marinated Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Thighs
- Marinated Chicken Breast
- Air Fryer Marinated Whole Chicken
If you try this recipe, please stop back and leave it a star rating and/or a review in the comments. Stay connected & share photos of your creations with me & others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Marinated Chicken Drumsticks (Air Fryer)
Use DRDAVINAHS at checkout to save on some equipment & ingredients!
- 1 lb Chicken Drumsticks
Chicken Drumsticks Marinade
- 1 tsp Natural Ancient Sea Salt, use DRDAVINAHS to save!
- 1 tbsp 24 Herbs Sprinkle Seasoning (Salt-free), or another salt-free mixed herb seasoning like Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning
- 2 tbsp Garlic, cloves, minced, about 8 cloves
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil, or avocado oil
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice, fresh or bottled work
- Add the salt, herb seasoning, garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
- Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper towel.
- Add the chicken drumsticks to the bowl, and mix them evenly with the marinade.
- Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours (ideally overnight)
- Take the chicken about 15-30 minutes before cooking.
- Stir the chicken in the marinade one last time.
- Add the chicken to the air fryer cooking basket in an even layer.
- Air crisp the drumsticks at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes per side.
- Marinate for up to two days: the longer you allow your chicken the marinate, the better in terms of flavor. I add my chicken legs and marinade to a large zipper bag and store it in the refrigerator until I am ready to cook them later in the week.
- Freeze uncooked chicken with the marinade for later: Sometimes, meal plans change. You can also add the chicken with the marinade on it to the freezer (one benefit of using a freezer bag to store it). Simply take your chicken out 24 hours before you want to use it so that it can thaw in the refrigerator.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!