seasoned chicken drumsticks in instant pot

Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks

By Rachel Tiemeyer
December 5, 2020

Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks couldn’t be easier or tastier with this 4 ingredient recipe. Make them fresh or from frozen. All ages love these!

seasoned chicken drumsticks in an Instant Pot with chicken broth

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Why Chicken Drumsticks in the Instant Pot are the Bomb

Like some of you, I’m a work-at-home mom with three kids who are schooling virtually right now. We are 8 months into this routine and I’m honestly so tired of cooking every meal. (Yes, even food bloggers/cookbook authors can say that!)

cooked chicken drumsticks on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes

That’s why I am obsessed with this super simple recipe that:

  • Requires only 4 pantry ingredients to season the drumsticks. (Boom!)
  • Can be doubled and a second batch frozen for later to save time. (See our freezing instructions below.)
  • Is gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • Leaves amazing homemade chicken broth in the cooker when you’re done, which you can freeze for later.
  • Everyone in the family enjoys! (This only happens every 30.3 meals, it feels like.)

Plus, making these chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot, in particular, results in fall-apart tender and moist chicken on the bone. With a few minutes under the broiler at the end, you’ll have crispy and perfectly seasoned dinner ready to go in no time.

Ingredients You’ll Need

So…”what is the secret mix of 4 pantry seasonings you need to bring bland drumsticks to life?” you ask. I’ll tell ya…

raw chicken drumsticks and seasonings

We use a blend of seasonings that Polly’s mom (Janny) used regularly to prepare chicken-on-the-bone for her family while growing up. We had a hunch Janny’s salty-savory mix was the right blend for our chicken drumsticks. After several tests by us and our cookbook testing team–who still rave about this recipe–we were right!

Here is the 4-ingredient seasoning line-up:

  1. Garlic Salt
  2. Onion Salt
  3. Celery Salt
  4. Poultry Seasoning

Keep these on hand and use the same blend for all cuts of chicken or even pork, too. In addition, you’ll need a little chicken broth in the Instant Pot to help create the steam necessary to build pressure.

seasoned chicken drumsticks on a cutting board

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Watch this 1 minute video to see how easy it is to make drumsticks in your electric pressure cooker…

cooked chicken drumsticks on a serving platter with broccoli

Can I make Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker?

We love a recipe that can be made in both the slow cooker AND the Instant Pot. The great news is, these drumsticks work in both!

Here is a whole post for our Crockpot Drumsticks.

How to Make This Recipe Into a Freezer Meal

When you combine the magical powers of the Instant Pot AND freezer cooking, you practically set yourself up for hands-free cooking. That’s because you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen!

chicken drumsticks in a freezer bag

Freeze for Later: Follow step 1. Place the seasoned chicken and the broth in a gallon-size freezer bag or round container (try not stack the drumsticks in the bag/container as much as possible; instead, place them side by side). Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.

Prepare From Frozen: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 2, but cook for 17 to 22 minutes. Follow steps 3 and 4.

We sound like a broken record, but doubling and freezing a batch is such a wise use of your time! Read more about how to make Instant Pot Freezer Meals here or see all of our Freezer Meal recipes here.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

Next up is figuring out what to serve with these crispy drumsticks. We recommend going simple and kid-friendly. Try some of these favorites…

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (in the Instant Pot)

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Sweet and Savory Roasted Carrots

sweet and savory roasted carrots in a bowl

Bottom Line: Whether you want a healthy, kid-friendly dinner or a freezer meal on hand for later, we think you’ll love the simplicity of these Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks!

cooked chicken drumsticks on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes
seasoned chicken drumsticks in instant pot

Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (2 drumsticks per serving) 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Perfectly seasoned, crispy drumsticks that the whole family will love. Only 4 simple pantry ingredients needed! Make them fresh or as a make ahead freezer meal.


  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or water)


Make It Now:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt, and poultry seasoning. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the drumsticks and rub it in to coat all sides. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Add the broth to the Instant Pot and place seasoned drumsticks in the bottom (stack them on end, if needed, but try not to pile them on top of each other).
  3. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
  4. Position the top oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  5. Use tongs to place the drumsticks on the prepared baking sheet; discard any liquid remaining in the cooker. Broil until the chicken starts to brown and look crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over,  and broil until the skin begins to brown and look crispy, 2 to 3 minutes more. 

Freeze For Later: Follow Step 1. Place the seasoned chicken and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth in a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze in a round container, about the same diameter as the Instant Pot. Once frozen, you can remove the round container. 

Prepare From Frozen: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Cook the frozen meal for about 5 minutes to release the liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow steps 3 through 5, but cook for 17 to 22 minutes. 

Want More Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot?

We’ve got you covered. Hop over to this post highlighting 20+ Best of the Best Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot. It includes freezer meal instructions for EVERY recipe plus tons of pro tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years.

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5 replies
  1. Julie says:

    My preschoolers both ate two drumsticks and I was able to put half the chicken pack in the freezer ready for next time. I had to use onion powder instead of onion salt because I have never had a recipe ask for onion salt before and don’t have it.

    • Rachel Tiemeyer says:

      Actually, we do not recommend piling them on each other. In our tests, we found that they cooked unevenly. So, you could stack them on end (wider part at part at the bottom and narrower end pointing up) so you could get more in there. Hope that helps!

  2. Renee says:

    These are an easy go to meal for me! Such simple ingredients, but packed with flavor. I’m usually not a drumstick fan, but these changed my mind.