This simple, Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks recipe is perfect for any keto meal! The chicken skin comes out nice and crispy, while the inside stays incredibly moist and juicy. Marinated in a lemon-herb oil, you will definitely want to keep this recipe handy!
How to make low carb chicken drumsticks in the oven
Roasting chicken legs is super easy to do! Chicken is such a keto staple, so having a go-to recipe for how to bake crispy chicken legs in the oven will make your diet much easier to stick to! Even if you are NOT following a keto diet, oven-baked drumsticks is still a delicious and inexpensive way to get a healthy dinner on the table quickly!
My favorite thing about these drumsticks is how tender and juicy they turn out. Baking chicken on the bone naturally yields a more tender and juicy chicken. Add a delicious lemon herb oil marinade, and your chicken is guaranteed to come out extra juicy and flavorful! If you want crispy skin, you need to bake your chicken at a higher temperature! See step-by-step photos below!
Ingredients for marinated chicken legs:
- Chicken drumsticks– These are very inexpensive and are fun to eat for kids and adults. Chicken’s leg and thigh meat are darker, which makes them higher in fat and much more tender.
- Olive oil, butter- Both add fat to the chicken to ensure they stay moist and brown nicely.
- Herbs– Using herbs in the marinade adds flavor to your chicken legs. Fresh herbs are the best.
- Chicken broth– Using chicken broth, or stock helps the marinade coat the chicken nicely while adding more flavor.
- Lemon juice- The acidity in lemon juice helps to tenderize your meat while adding brightness.
Steps for how to roast chicken legs:
Step 1: Add all of your marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Pat the chicken legs dry and liberally season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: If you have time, add your marinade to a large plastic Ziploc bag and place in the fridge for several hours. Massage the marinade into your drumsticks, so they are nicely coated.
Step 3: When ready, place your pre-marinated drumsticks into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Alternate the direction of your drumsticks, so all ten drumsticks fit nicely. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F in a preheated oven.
Step 4: Turn over your drumsticks and bake chicken legs for another 10 minutes or so until the inside is cooked through and the skin is super crispy. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees as the cooking time may vary since all ovens bake differently.
Keto-friendly chicken marinade
This chicken marinade is simple, flavorful, and low in carbs, making it perfect for this oven-baked chicken drumsticks recipe. If you do not have some ingredients on hand, you can replace certain ingredients with others. Keep in mind that most marinades have an acid, sugar, salt, and flavor enhancers. But because we are low carb/keto, the sugar is omitted.
- Swap out lemon juice with a vinegar like red wine. Just don’t leave out the acid component.
- Swap out the dried herbs with fresh or herbs. You can also use thyme or dill.
- You can use beef broth or veggie broth if you don’t have chicken stock on hand.
- Fresh garlic cloves are highly recommended, but if you’re in a pinch, garlic powder is better than no garlic.
- Add red pepper flakes, or hot peppers, if you want a marinade with a kick!
- Add Worcestershire sauce for added flavor.
- Other spices you can add are paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, etc.
Here are some other keto-friendly marinades you may like!
Frequently asked baked chicken questions:
- “Is it okay to cook the chicken in the marinade?” Yes! It is completely safe! It adds flavor to your chicken, keeps it moist while roasting, and creates a delicious sauce you can also pour over top when they’re finished.
- “Do you remove the skin on your chicken?” You don’t need to. The skin is what gets nice and crispy. If you do not like the skin, you can, of course, remove it.
- “Can I marinate my chicken overnight”? The ideal marinading time for chicken is anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours. More than that may result in mushy chicken, but it can be longer if needed.
- “Can I use chicken thighs instead?” Yes! Just keep in mind that thighs or chicken leg quarters are sometimes larger and will take longer to bake.
- “My oven is smoking up at that temperature. How can I bake these without the smoke?” Two things you need to consider when your oven exceeds 400 degrees F. Make sure your oven is super clean. Any leftover grease or food remnants will cause smoke. Also, make sure you place your chicken on the lower half of your oven and not the top rack.
- “How long do I cook chicken legs?” The time will vary slightly, anywhere from 30-45 minutes at the instructed temperature. To cook them safely and efficiently, use an instant-read thermometer, and aim for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- “My chicken skin did not turn out crispy. Why?” Try placing your chicken on the TOP rack for the last 10 minutes after you rotate them. This brings the chicken closer to the heat and will help them crisp up nicely. You can also BROIL your chicken for a few minutes, when they are cooked internally, to get them extra crispy!
- “What is one serving?” Two drumsticks.
What to serve with your low carb chicken drumsticks
Here are some delicious keto/low carb friendly sides that would go perfectly with your chicken!
- Keto Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Low Carb Roasted Cauliflower Recipe w/ Bacon
- Keto Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- Southern Green Beans
- Low Carb Roasted Vegetables
Other low carb chicken dishes you will love:
- Keto Baked Chicken Thighs with Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Casserole (w/ Cauliflower)
- Keto Fried Chicken Nuggets
- Easy Keto Pizza Chicken Bake
- Keto Mexican Cheesy Chicken Skillet
- The Ultimate Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole Keto Recipe
Don’t miss out!
If you are just getting started following a keto diet and would like more information, there are tons of fantastic resources. Amazon has several great books you may want to check out here.
How to make Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks:
Baked Chicken Drumsticks w/ Marinade (Low Carb)
- 10 Drumsticks approx. 4 lbs
- 1 stick of butter melted
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp parsley
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp rosemary
- ⅛ cup chicken broth
- salt & pepper
- Optional: chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Lay your chicken legs out and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help the marinade stick. Then season them liberally with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients.If you have time to marinate the chicken, place it in a Ziploc bag or large bowl with the marinade and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 12 hours. (Keep in mind that the butter will solidify in the fridge but will melt when you put the drumsticks in the oven to bake).
- Massage the marinade into the chicken by pressing on the outside of the bag for a few minutes so that all of the drumsticks are coated.
- When you are ready to bake the drumsticks, preheat your oven to 425°F and grease a 9" x 13" baking dish and add your drumsticks inside. Alternate the direction of your drumsticks, so all ten fit nicely.
- Pour the marinade over the drumsticks.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes on the middle rack and then turn the drumsticks over and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a digital thermometer reads an internal temp. of 165 °F.
- Move the chicken to the top rack and broil if needed to brown the skin.