These air fryer chicken legs are juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. With three ingredients, five minutes, and an air fryer, you’ll be in fried chicken heaven!

Crispy Air fryer chicken legs on a plate

Hot tip: If you don’t have an air fryer, whip up baked chicken legs instead. They’re equally as delicious!

How To Air Fry Chicken Legs

Can you believe this air fryer chicken legs recipe take only five minutes of prep and 20 minutes to cook? Talk about an easy dinner recipe! Well — believe it, because this gluten-free protein will be ready in no time.

  • Dry and season the chicken: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Dry the chicken legs with a paper towel. Drizzle the legs with a bit of olive oil, then season with garlic parsley salt and black pepper. Toss everything together in a large bowl to ensure all sides of the legs are evenly seasoned.
  • Air fry the chicken: Place the chicken legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for about 10 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Check the temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached 165F. If necessary, air fry the legs for another five minutes or until fully cooked.

Hot tip: Avoid putting foil in the air fryer when frying the drumsticks. Even though this may make cleanup easier, it actually keeps the air from circulating well in the machine.

Tips For Cooking Chicken Legs in the Air Fryer

Chicken legs are one of easiest and most popular cuts of chicken to cook. With these tips and tricks, you’ll have a chicken leg that is out-of-this-world delicious.

  • Add even more flavor: The perk of this chicken recipe is how few ingredients you need for a tasty drumstick. If you want more variety, add an extra sprinkle of onion powder, extra garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper to your seasoning mixture.
  • Preheat the air fryer: Exactly like you would preheat a skillet or the oven, preheat the air fryer before adding the chicken into the tray. This promotes even cooking and helps get the skin perfectly crispy.
  • Spray the air fryer basket: Spritz the air fryer basket with a bit of cooking spray to prevent the chicken from sticking to the basket.
  • Avoid overcrowding the chicken: When arranging the legs in the air fryer, avoid overcrowding them. Allow for space between each leg so the hot air is able to circulate properly and crisp up the skin evenly. Remember — crowds are good for parties, not the air fryer.
  • Make it extra crispy: If you like the drumsticks extra crispy, make sure to dry the meat well before seasoning, and don’t use too much oil when adding the seasoning. A little bit is good, but too much actually inhibits it from crisping up well.
  • Get saucy: This recipe makes a classic chicken leg that’s a great base for your favorite chicken dipping sauce. Try our homemade BBQ sauce, go for a classic hot sauce, or even ranch.
  • Check the temperature: It takes about 20 minutes for a chicken leg to fully cook, but as always, we recommend using a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165°F. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken legs, the cooking time may differ slightly.
Crispy Air fryer chicken legs on a plate

Serving Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Legs

There is no wrong way or dish to pair with chicken legs for dinner. For carb and potato lovers, creamy mashed potatoes are great, and if you want a crispier and cheesier side, opt for Parmesan crusted potatoes as a side dish. Craving pasta? This simple Alfredo pasta or broccoli mushroom Alfredo pasta (get those vegetables in!) is the way to go. Still not convinced? Black beans and rice is our third favorite option. For a low-carb meal, serve up a side salad like Israeli couscous salad, Mediterranean Chickpea Salad, or olivier potato salad.

Storing & Reheating Tips

Follow this recipe and you’ll end up with 8-10 perfectly air fried drumsticks that are sure to be devoured in no time. In case of leftovers, check out these tips to enjoy them again later.

  • Refrigerator: Store leftover cooked chicken legs for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: Store cooked chicken legs in the freezer for up to four months. Cool the chicken, then place it into airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to prevent freezer burn. Freeze the chicken the way you want to enjoy it later. If you like it on the drumstick, leave it, but if you want small pieces of meat, take the meat off the bone first, then freeze only the meat.
  • Reheating: To restore the best taste and crisp to the leg, place it into the air fryer for 5-6 minutes at 350°F. Or, do the same in the oven. Heat until the meat reaches 165°F. For a quick reheat, use the microwave.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.