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Air Fryer Chicken Legs on a plate served with tomato sauce on the side

Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe

Cooking chicken legs (aka drumsticks) in the air fryer is easier than you think. It takes about 20 minutes and delivers the most crispy and delicious chicken. Follow the recipe for a perfectly seasoned chicken or read the notes for more seasoning ideas to make it your own.
Course Weeknight Dinner
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 drumsticks
Calories 129kcal



  • 5 chicken drumsticks ~ 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil (olive oil or avocado oil are my favorites)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder optional
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley optional


  • Remove chicken legs from their packaging onto a plate and pat dry with paper towels as much as you can. Rub each drumstick with oil and set them aside.
  • In a large bowl (or in a Ziploc bag), mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and baking powder.
  • Place the chicken legs in the bowl (or in the Ziploc bag) and make sure that they are coated with the spice mixture on all sides.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  • When ready, arrange drumsticks in the air fryer basket, spaced evenly apart, alternating ends. Air fry for 10 minutes, flip and rotate and then air fry for another 7-9 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into one of the drumsticks registers 165 degrees F.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


  • Seasoning Ideas: A few other tasty seasoning options include ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, curry powder, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, thyme, and chili powder.
  • To Make Ahead: If you want to make it a day in advance, simply dry off your chicken legs before evenly coating them with oil and seasoning. Then, store the seasoned drumsticks in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. Transfer them to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes before air frying them.
  • Storage: Bring the drumsticks to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to 2 days. To reheat your drumsticks, place them in your air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg