Crispy Baked Drumsticks

By Rachel Tiemeyer
March 4, 2021

These Crispy Baked Drumsticks have the texture and taste of fried chicken without all the fat and mess of frying. What a great fake out! I’ve also included a simple and delicious recipe for a Honey-Mustard Sauce for dipping, which adds a little tangy-sweetness to the meal.

Crispy Baked Drumsticks on a Plate

We have a thing for drumsticks around here.

If you take a quick browse around our chicken recipes, you’ll quickly see that we have all sorts of recipe options when it comes to drumsticks.

My personal favorite are the 4-Ingredient Drumsticks made in the Instant Pot or made in the slow cooker. It’s an easy cut of meat to work with, they aren’t expensive, and kids love them.

While drumsticks are delicious coming from the slow cooker or Instant pot, these Crispy Baked Drumsticks have that desired crunchy exterior that make the kids think they are eating Chick-Fil-A.

Here is how easily they come together!

Close up of a crispy baked drumstick

3 Steps to Making Crispy Baked Drumsticks

Before you get started, line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooking/baking rack on top. Spray the baking rack with cooking spray.

Step 1: Roll in Flour

After dabbing the chicken with a paper towel to dry them off, give them a roll in a bed of whole wheat flour. You can use all-purpose flour or even gluten-free flour, but whole wheat flour adds more nutrition.

Drumstick being rolled in flour

Step 2: Coat in Egg Mixture

Next, they are off to a trip to an egg and milk mixture. You can use a non-dairy milk, if desired.

Drumstick being rolled in egg and milk

Step 3: Add the Breadcrumbs

After that, they go swimming in some crispy whole wheat Panko bread crumbs. If you can’t find whole wheat ones, regular Panko or any other dried bread crumbs will work. If you’re gluten-free, try using gluten-free breadcrumbs.

drumsticks with panko breadcrumbs

Place them on a cooking rack over a foil lined baking sheet. The foil makes clean up much easier!

(Optional) Step 4: Make our Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the plain Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, and salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

How Long to Bake Drumsticks

This recipe cooks at a pretty high temperature to ensure those breadcrumbs get nice and crispy. You’ll bake them at 475°F for about 25-30 minutes. Give them a turn halfway through.

Breaded drumsticks on a baking sheet
 

How to Freeze Chicken Drumsticks

Believe it or not, these make a great freezer meal! Just be sure to freeze the drumsticks BEFORE baking them in a single layer in a freezer bag. Divide layers with parchment paper.

When you want to eat them, simply thaw using one of these safe ways to thaw chicken and then bake as directed. You’ll never know they were a freezer meal!

Breaded drumsticks in a freezer meal bag

What to Serve with Crispy Baked Drumsticks

If you want comfort food, serve them up with some mashed potatoes and Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits. You can also freshen things up with a Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, since you’ll have most of the ingredients for it!

Crispy Baked Drumsticks on a white plate

Print

Crispy Baked Drumsticks

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Crispy Baked Drumsticks are as good as the fried version without all the added fat, grease, and calories. Easy and freezer friendly!


Ingredients

Drumsticks

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • splash of milk or water
  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs (regular will work fine)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 lbs)

FOR HONEY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

Make It Now: For Crispy Baked Drumsticks:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Coat a wire rack generously with cooking spray and set it on a large rimmed baking sheet. (I highly recommend covering the baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.)
  2. Put flour on a plate and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Beat the egg, milk, and a dash of salt and pepper together in another shallow dish.  Mix breadcrumbs, paprika, onion powder, salt, garlic, and pepper in the last shallow dish.  Drizzle with oil and mash with a fork until the oil is thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Pat the drumsticks dry.  Dredge in the flour on all sides, and then in the egg mixture.  Then press into the breading mixture until evenly coated on all sides.  Place the chicken on the prepared rack. Discard any remaining dredging mixture.
  4. Bake the chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer (inserted into the thickest part of a drumstick without touching bone) registers 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. Turn halfway through the cooking time.
  5. While the chicken bakes, mix together the Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set in the fridge until ready to serve. 
  6. Serve the drumsticks warm with the dipping sauce on the side.

Freeze For Later: After breading the drumsticks, carefully lay them in a single layer in a gallon-sized freezer bag or shallow container with lid. Use parchment paper to separate layers, if needed. Seal and freeze. (Note: The Honey-Mustard Sauce needs to be made fresh. We do not recommend freezing it.) 

Prepare From Frozen: Note: You’ll need the Honey-Mustard Sauce ingredients on hand. Thaw over night in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Then, follow Steps 4-6.

Want more Freezer Meals?

Swing by our 70+ Healthy Freezer Meals for ideas! These are well-tested, family-friendly recipes with real food ingredients. Enjoy!

Freezer Meals

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23 replies
  1. Meg Z. says:

    Super yummy! We don’t like dark meat, so I followed same instructions, but made tenders using boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Turned out great! We ate with your oven-roasted broccoli.

    Reply
  2. Hudson Jack says:

    I love this idea… chicken legs and thighs are ALWAYS on sale and I’m always looking for recipes that help with the weekly budget! We’re entertaining for a football party this weekend so I’m going to make these… winning… both reasonably priced and full, of yummy flavors! ? ? ?

    Reply
  3. Amalia says:

    Love this recipe. I have used it many times. As an FYI: I always take the chicken skin off because I can’t stand it. This makes the breading fall off when frying or baking. I learned a trick recently and use it when making this recipe. Add 1/2 tsp of gelatin to your dry breading mixture and it binds the breading to the meat. Works great!!!

    Reply
  4. Lauren says:

    I cooked these on the gas grill tonight to avoid using the oven in this crazy heat. I put them on a pampered chef grill pan with foil under the pan and they were perfect!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      I’ve never thought to do that. But since I often set off the fire alarm when baking at high temps, I will definitely try this method! Thanks for the idea, Lauren!

      Reply
  5. Brittney says:

    I just prepared this meal and froze it. When i am ready to cook it, do i need to let the drumsticks thaw before cooking them at 475 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes?

    Reply
  6. jjbug says:

    Just bought my Smart Chicken drumsticks off the Gerbes manager's special (1/2 off!!!) Going to make these tomorrow night. Thanks,

    Reply