Crispy Baked Drumsticks {Freezer Meal}

These incredible drumsticks are as good as the fried version without all the added fat, grease, and calories. Try these and you'll find them in your regular rotation.

Drum roll for the drumsticks, please. These guys rock!

First off, they are cheapola. I got a couple of packages of five free-range, all-natural drumsticks for $2.66 each. Plus, this recipe is particularly tasty, kid-friendly (not too spicy), easy to make, and healthy. I think I’ve found a new recipe for our family dinner rotation.

These Crispy Baked Drumsticks had 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.

Please note, these bake at a very high temperature. Mine were done in about 25 minutes and required careful turning halfway through (so you don’t lose the crust). But, the end result is a crispy outside texture much like that of fried chicken. Crank the exhaust fan, though. You might just set off the fire alarm if your oven is as filthy as mine. 🙂

crispy baked drumsticks

Crispy Baked Drumsticks {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Rachel
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These baked drumsticks have the texture and taste of fried chicken without all the fat and mess of frying. Kids love them, too!


For Crispy Baked Drumsticks:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • splash of milk or water
  • 1 1/3 cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs (you can replace some of these with ground flax seed)
  • 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), skin removed, trimmed

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


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 skinless, trimmed 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. Serve with the Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce, if desired.

For Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce: Combine yogurt, mustard, honey, and pepper in a small bowl.  Serve the sauce with the drumsticks.

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: Thaw over night in the fridge and bake according to the directions. You might have to bake them a little longer if they are really cold still. If they begin to get too browned, cover them in foil.


  • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks

Check out our list of 70+ Healthy Freezer Meals here!

70+ healthy freezer meals with instructions. Recipes your family will actually eat! |Thriving Home

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  1. dat says

    thank you

  2. 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! 🍗 🍗 🍗

  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!!!

    • Rachel says

      Wow, thanks for the tip. I’m going to go back and try this one again soon!

  4. Sahira says

    I wonder if these would also be good with chicken breast? Going to give it a try…

    • Rachel says

      Oh yeah, great idea! This would be awesome.

  5. 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!

    • 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!

  6. Kelley says

    Have you ever frozen the sauce?

    • Rachel says

      No, I haven’t. My guess is that the yogurt won’t defrost well. But the sauce is awesome and worth making.

  7. Louisa says

    Great recipe! They were just as crunchy and crispy as fried. The sauce was also very yummy!

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  11. Diane says

    do you bake the chicken then freeze???

    • Rachel says

      No, you will freeze this before baking. When ready to cook, thaw and bake according to the directions.

  12. 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?

    • Rachel says

      Yep, make sure they are thawed. I would put them in the fridge the night before and give them close to 24 hours to completely thaw. Hope you enjoy them!

      • Rachel says

        Also, keep a close eye on them so the outside doesn’t burn. My oven may be a bit different than yours.

  13. jjbug says

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

  14. JustJess says

    These look delicious! I can't wait to try em!