This air fryer chicken legs recipe is a game-changer, giving you juicy chicken legs infused with the zesty goodness of lemon juice and herbs. It’s an easy dinner recipe for busy weeknights that the whole family will enjoy.
Looking for more air fryer recipes, be sure to try these amazing air fryer salmon bites or air fryer southwest egg rolls that are like Chili’s popular recipe. And these air fryer churros are a must make fun dessert.
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox! (plus more new recipes sent weekly!)
Crispy Air Fried Chicken Legs
Everyone will love this easy chicken recipe because it combines the convenience of the air fryer with the crispy skin and juicy meat we all love. It’s a breeze to prepare with just a handful of simple ingredients and delicious flavor.
This air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe is a very versatile one. You can opt to not marinate in lemon juice and just air fry with the spices sprinkled on the chicken. Then dip in ranch dressing, honey mustard, buffalo sauce or your favorite bbq sauce.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this easy recipe. Scroll down for the full recipe card with amounts.
- Chicken Legs – the star of the show. You can also use chicken thighs or quarters as well. You may need to increase the cooking time a little for thicker pieces of chicken.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – adds a yummy zest.
- Fresh Parsley – brings a touch of herby flavor.
- Olive Oil – Helps in marinating.
- Garlic Cloves – Adds depth and aroma to the marinade.
- Salt and black pepper – enhances the natural flavors of the chicken.
- Dried Thyme – gives wonderful extra flavor.
- Lemon Zest – intensifies the citrus even more. This is optional if you’d like.
- Feel free to experiment with any favorite seasonings for a unique twist. Using garlic powder, onion powder and paprika is also a wonderful seasoning mixture.
- Swap parsley for rosemary or cilantro for a different herb profile.
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice
- Replace olive oil with avocado oil or canola oil.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or favorite hot sauce for an extra kick.
- Remove the chicken skin if you’d like prior to marinating.
How to Cook Chicken Legs in the Air Fryer
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, chopped parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, dried herbs (if using), and lemon zest. Mix everything together.
Step 2: Add the drumsticks to the bowl and toss them to coat evenly.
Step 3: Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Step 5: Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then place the chicken legs in the air fryer in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. Spray a little oil on them if you’d like them extra crispy.
Step 6: Cook for 18-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken to ensure they reach an internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F.
What side dishes can I serve with air fryer chicken?
Here are a few of our favorite sides to have alongside these air-fried chicken legs.
Fresh salad like this kale salad
- Cook chicken legs in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding in the basket.
- You can marinate the chicken for up to 4 hours for an even more intense flavor.
- For easy cleanup, line your air fryer with parchment paper.
Store any leftovers chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Once cooled completely, freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1-2 hours then transfer them to an air tight container or freezer bag for up to 2-3 months.
Air fryer – For optimal crispiness, reheat the chicken in the air fryer at 350° F (180°C) for about 5 minutes.
Oven – You can also place the drumsticks on a parchment lined baking sheet and reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes.
Microwave – While it may not maintain the crispiness, place the chicken on a microwave safe plate and heat for 30 seconds to a minute.
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- 2.5 pounds chicken legs approx. 6 drumsticks
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary optional
- Lemon zest
- In a large bowl, add the lemon juice, chopped parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, dried thyme (if using), and lemon zest and mix to combine well.⅓ cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary, Lemon zest
- Add in the chicken drumsticks and toss to coat.2.5 pounds chicken legs
- Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350° F
- Arrange the chicken legs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd or they may cook uneven.
- Cook for 18-20 minutes, flipping them half way through. (check for doneness with a meat thermometer. Internal temperature should reach 165° F.)
- Serve warm with extra lemon juice and fresh parsley on top.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
Sharing of this recipe to social media is both encouraged and appreciated. Please share the direct link back to the recipe. Copy/Pasting and/or screenshots of the recipe to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected