This is the only baked chicken drumsticks recipe you will ever need! Lemon pepper chicken drumsticks are super flavorful and easy to make. Prepare a simple, yet delicious marinade with garlic, lemon, and olive oil earlier in the day, then enjoy some amazing baked drumsticks for dinner!
When it comes to chicken, I usually stick to the breast meat and the occasional boneless, skinless thigh, so I was excited to try something a little different.
The first thing you’ll notice when buying chicken drumsticks is the price. The drumsticks are cheap, cheap, cheap, so they are great for anyone cooking on a budget. I bought a package of organic drumsticks for about five bucks!
Not only are chicken drumsticks inexpensive, they turned out to be so easy to prepare and they baked up juicy and delicious. I’ve noticed that chicken breasts baked in the oven can sometimes come out dry, but this baked chicken drumsticks recipe will never let you down! I will definitely be making chicken drumsticks on the regular and I’m looking forward to trying different flavor variations.
Ingredients for lemon pepper chicken drumsticks
- Chicken drumsticks – Baked chicken legs are inexpensive, convenient and always a crowd favorite. Bake these until they’re golden brown and they’ll be juicy and delicious every time!
- Lemon marinade – There’s a thousand different ways you could dress up chicken drumsticks, but my favorite is definitely with a lemon garlic marinade. You’ll need just a little bit of olive oil, a bunch of garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard powder, salt and plenty of pepper. The flavor you get from these few simple ingredients is out of this world!
How to make baked chicken drumsticks
This recipe is easy and effortless! Below, you’ll find a rundown of the basic instructions and then you can find the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Prep the chicken – Start the recipe with removing skin from each drumstick (or leave it on, if you prefer). See the tips section, below, for more info on this step.
- Make the marinade – Combine the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
- Marinate chicken – Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag along with the marinade. Move chicken around in the bag to fully coat each piece. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Bake – Transfer chicken to a small baking dish and cook at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes, and until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Serve – Once chicken is fully cooked, enjoy with your favorite dinner sides!
Tips for making baked chicken drumsticks
Even though this baked chicken drumsticks recipe is really quite simple, here are a few tips for best results.
- You can leave the skin on the drumsticks or remove it. I’ve tried both ways and the chicken without the skin bakes up just as moist and juicy as the chicken with the skin, so I would suggest removing the skin first, especially if you want to decrease the calories and saturated fats.
- For the best flavor, I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice to make the marinade.
- Be sure to allow plenty of time for the chicken to marinate – at least 2 hours in the refrigerator and up to 12 hours.
- When marinating the drumsticks it’s important to really move the chicken around in the bag of marinade and also massage each piece to make sure it is well coated, leaving no chicken piece untouched.
How long does it take for chicken drumsticks to bake in the oven?
If you bake the chicken legs in an oven heated to 375 degrees, like in this recipe. The chicken will take about 50 minutes. I suggest checking the chicken after about 45 minutes of baking because cook time can vary a bit, depending on your oven.
How do you know when drumsticks are done baking?
The easiest way to tell if your chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat, is by measuring the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the drumstick and when the thermometer reads 165 degrees, you know the chicken is fully cooked.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, check the chicken doneness by piercing a thick area of the chicken with a fork and if the juices run clear, it is most likely fully cooked.
Storage. Any leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight bag or container and kept in the refrigerator for up to about 3 to 4 days.
Freezing. Allow the chicken to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer safe bag or container. It will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to serve with chicken drumsticks
Once you try this easy chicken drumsticks recipe, you’ll be making it on repeat! With a handful of basic ingredients, this chicken dish is quick to put together and can be served with countless sides! Here are some of our favorite pairing options:
- Salads – Radish Salad, Black Bean Salad, Simple Coleslaw, Chickpea Salad
- Sides – Sautéed Broccoli, Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes, Braised Red Cabbage
If you make this chicken drumsticks recipe, be sure to leave a comment and ★ rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for me and our Clean & Delicious community (thank you!).
Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks
- 8 drumsticks about two pounds
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 4 large garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- Plenty of freshly ground pepper
- Zest of one large organic lemon about 1 tablespoon
- Juice of half of the lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Remove skin from each drumstick (this is optional, you can leave it on if you prefer).
- In a large bowl combine dry mustard, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil and mix well. Place drumsticks into the marinade and coat well (you can do this in a Ziploc bag to make things easier). Cover and pop in the fridge for at least two hours and no longer than twelve hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place drumsticks in a small casserole dish and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until done (temp should hit 165 degrees). The juices should run clear when pierced with a knife. Enjoy!