An easy air fryer chicken legs recipe, showing how long to cook them and even an optional quick (no-flour) breading recipe that’s perfect for low-carb eaters!
Air fryer recipes have become a fan favorite around here and now, these are ranking at the top of our list!
These chicken legs (or drumsticks) are amazing when cooked in the air fryer and with this recipe, they’re cooked and ready to eat in only 35 minutes! Choose between two different ways to season with this recipe: bbq & garlic parmesan!
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Oooooh my goodness. Don’t you just love it when a recipe accidentally turns out to be a new favorite in your house?
Well chicken legs in the air fryer are just that in our home. After experimenting with a large pack of chicken legs the other day, and sharing a video of it on my Instagram stories, this recipe has now become a favorite in kitchens everywhere!
Need an air fryer? This Chefman air fryer is our favorite!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- Chicken legs are usually very affordable.
- Like chicken wings, you can flavor these chicken legs with your favorite seasonings, rub, or sauce, especially this homemade teriyaki recipe that we’ve been using lately!
- “Chicken on a stick” (what my son calls them) are very kid-friendly!
- If you have time, you can place your chicken legs in a brine recipe to add some extra flavor!
According to LBC, a chicken leg has two parts to it. A thigh and a drumstick. But I often see/hear most people call the drumstick a “leg”.
No! That’s what’s great about this recipe. They’re made without flour but still have a crispy, crunchy texture and it’s perfect for low carb (keto) eaters!
Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer?
Yes! The great thing about air fryers (I use this air fryer!) is that they’re great for reheating, cooking frozen items, and cooking raw meat, quickly!
What temperature do you air fry chicken legs?
We’ve found that cooking chicken legs in our air fryer on 400° is our favorite and allows the chicken to get that crispy outside!
How long do drumsticks take in the air fryer?
If you’re planning on making these, know that all air fryers can be different. With my air fryer, I cooked them at 400° for 20-25 minutes. When you’re cooking them, make sure to check the internal temperature to see if they have reached 165°, which is when they should be done and safe to eat.
Can you air fry chicken without flour?
Yes! It’s really easy to toss chicken legs in to the air fryer and cook them as plain as you like them, WITHOUT breading! The cook time will not change (from the recipe below with the garlic parmesan crust) but you may just want to put some sort of olive oil or something similar so they don’t stick to your air fryer “rack” or basket, depending on the model of air fryer you’re using.)
Garlic Parmesan “Breading” or BBQ Chicken Legs
Or, if you’re interested in the “breading” see the recipe card or video below for the different ways I seasoned and/or breaded them!
Chicken Legs in the Air Fryer Video Tutorial:
While experimenting with these chicken legs the other day, I shared with my Instagram audience in my stories and I thought it may be helpful for you to watch along. Feel free to skip down below to get the recipe card asap!
NOTE: In the video, I split the batch of chicken legs, and cooked half with a garlic parmesan butter “breading” and the other half with a bbq seasoning/sauce.
Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Chicken Legs – Low Carb!
To get this “golden brown” chicken leg, like you see below, it’s incredibly easy and is also “low-carb” so when something looks this good AND is an ideal option when cutting carbs… that’s a “win” in my book!
Ingredients for Garlic Parmesan Legs
It’s super easy, all you’ll need for this version is,
- butter (melted, but not hot)
- garlic powder
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- chicken legs
For the full recipe and amounts of ingredients, see the recipe card below!
“BBQ” Air Fryer Chicken Legs
In the video that I shared above, I mentioned that I was also making bbq chicken legs. With that, I attempted to whip up a bbq sauce that a dear friend shared with me but using just regular, store-bought bbq sauce is perfectly fine!
But if you’d like to try making a fun spin on bbq sauce, you can play with the following ingredients to see if you like the combo my friend uses:
- Sweet Baby Rays (Original)
- Garlic Pepper
To make bbq legs, you’ll want to cook them withOUT BBQ sauce for at least 20 minutes and then coat them in bbq sauce and cook for the remaining 5 minutes.
If you cook with the sauce on, the sauce can burn.
Can I just coat the legs with sauce after the total cook time?
You can, but there’s something so magical about cooking them IN the sauce for the last few minutes. It gives the legs a “sticky” texture and really lets the flavoring soak in to the chicken.
Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Legs
If you’re looking for something to serve as a side dish with these chicken legs, we love the following:
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes (or your favorite way to cook them!)
- Low Carb Potato Salad
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- air fryer
- 8 chicken legs (drumsticks)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 stick butter salted, 8 tablespoons
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- dash pepper
- NOTE: I have purchased LARGE chicken legs before, and the measurements in this recipe only covered 3 chicken legs and the cook time of 20 minutes was not nearly enough. So reducing the temperature of the air fryer and cooking for a longer period of time may also be necessary if using large chicken legs. (A temperature of 400 degrees may burn the butter/parmesan crust if cooked at a high temp for too long.)
- Melt butter in shallow dish and add in parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken legs (in a single layer, do not stack on top of one another) in to air fryer.
- Cook on 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Air fryers can be different. Make sure internal temp of chicken legs have reached 165 degrees.