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Keto Chicken Legs: Air Fryer or Baked Chicken Drumsticks

This easy recipe for air fried or oven baked lemon keto chicken legs will tantalize your taste buds and leave your family begging for more. I’ll show you how to cook it in two ways, one team chicken legs air fryer, and one team chicken drumsticks oven!

Both versions have intense flavor from freshly squeezed lemons, herbs, and spices to have dinner guests licking their plates clean. I also love that it can be prepared in just 30 minutes, perfect for an easy weeknight family dinner.

So put on your apron and get ready to savor this zesty take on classic chicken legs!

Low carb chicken legs on a white plate with lemon slices

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Are air fryer chicken legs keto? | Macros | Equipment | Ingredients | ButcherBox discount for you | Air fryer instructions | Marinade | Oven baked | Bonus! Grilling | How to store | More air fryer recipes | Printable Recipe Card

Why air fryer chicken legs?

When I was a child, my favorite part of the chicken was always the drumstick. I think it had something to do with it being fun and easy to eat, but also the juicy flavor of the dark meat. I’m still a fan of chicken legs today, and this lemon keto version adds an extra level of flavor that makes them irresistible.

If you have an air fryer, I recommend giving these lemon keto chicken legs a try in the air fryer first before the oven. It’s so easy, and the intense heat from the air fryer circulates around the chicken legs and helps them cook up extra crispy and juicy.

Or baked chicken legs?

However, if you don’t have an air fryer or don’t want to use it, you can still get great results from baking the chicken legs in the oven! Both are full of flavor, tasty, and juicy.

To make sure your oven baked chicken legs (or air fried!) turn out perfect, be sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature at least once during baking.

Regardless of how you decide to cook them, these lemon keto chicken legs are sure to become a family favorite.

💭 What’s special about these keto chicken drumsticks?

These air fryer chicken drumsticks are seriously special! Not only are they incredibly quick and easy to make, but the lemony garlic marinade gives them a unique flavor that will tantalize your taste buds. 

Also, I like to think each serving looks even more appealing when it’s done because of the lemon slices used for garnish. But trust me – these keto chicken drumsticks will be sure to satisfy both your stomach and your eyes! And my favorite part as a mom, they’re easy in the air fryer or oven.

🍗 Are air fryer chicken legs keto?

Absolutely! Air fryer chicken legs are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a high-protein, low-carb meal. Not only are they low in carbs, but they’re also incredibly flavorful thanks to the simple coating of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and garlic.

Serve them up with a side of steamed vegetables and a freshly sliced lemon as garnish for an extra burst of flavor.

📏 Air fryer chicken legs: macros

Let’s take a look at the macros. In this recipe for air fryer chicken legs, one serving is one drumstick. Each chicken leg has 207 calories, 20 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbs per serving.

How the macros are figured

These macros for this air fryer chicken drumsticks recipe are figured with MyFitnessPal, with the ingredients I use in the recipe. I always recommend figuring out your own with the exact ingredients/brands you use. It’s especially important to determine your own if you’re keeping close track and want to be accurate.

Closeup view of an air fryer drumstick

🍽 Equipment needed to make chicken legs (air fryer or oven)

To make these lemon keto chicken drumsticks, you’ll need the following equipment:

🤔 Air fryers for an air fryer chicken legs recipe

I like to use my Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, but any air fryer will do to air fry chicken legs. You’ll need the air fryer basket but no other extra air fryer accessories.

Overhead view of a plate of air fryer chicken legs on white plate with tongs

🥘 Ingredients in low carb chicken legs

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic granules (or garlic powder – or 2 cloves fresh minced)
  • 5 chicken drumsticks (I use ButcherBox chicken legs)
  • 1 lemon to slice for garnish (optional)
Overhead view of ingredients in lemon keto chicken drumsticks

🐔 ButcherBox chicken

I absolutely love my ButcherBox! It’s so convenient to have high-quality meat delivered right to my door. I don’t have to worry about scouring the grocery store for the best cuts of meat – ButcherBox does all the work for me. Plus, I know that the meat is ethically sourced and humanely raised. I’m a big fan of ButcherBox and have been a customer for 5 years.

I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a hassle-free way to get delicious, healthy meat.

ButcherBox discount for you!

Also, if you’d like to try it out you can use my affiliate link for $30 off your first box and free ground beef for life! Yay!

Raw chicken drumsticks ready to cook on a white platter

🔪 Instructions: air fryer chicken drumsticks

Get ready for some of the best air fryer chicken drumsticks you’ve ever enjoyed! With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of marinating time, you can turn basic chicken legs into something truly flavorful and delicious.

First, preheat your air fryer to 390°F (oven directions will be below), and while it’s heating up prepare your savory marinade!

🥣 Keto chicken drumsticks marinade

In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and garlic granules (or powder). This quick and easy combination will create an amazing flavor you will love.

Using either a pastry brush or spoon, generously coat each drumstick until fully covered and evenly distributed with the marinade mixture. Or, if you have extra time (which is highly recommended) place the marinade and chicken in a large zipper bag and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. This will help enhance both flavor and tenderness.

Air fryer chicken legs in a zipper bag with marinade

When everything is ready to go it’s time to air fry. Place your air fryer drumsticks in a single layer inside the air fryer basket or tray. If you have a Ninja Foodi like mine, I like to prop them up around the air fryer basket edge.

Overhead view of air fryer basket with raw chicken legs ready to cook

Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to use multiple batches to get everything cooked evenly. For some added flavor, place one slice of lemon onto each piece of chicken as they cook. 

Air fryer cook time

Then, set the timer and air fry until the air fryer chicken legs reach an internal temperature of 165°F and are golden brown on top – usually 20-22 minutes.

Once cooked through, remove them from the air fryer using silicone tongs and garnish with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt (optional). 

Be prepared to be blown away by the mouthwatering aroma that will fill your kitchen! Crispy and juicy on the outside, yet tender and flavorful on the inside – this dish is sure to satisfy all your family.

Let the chicken rest for five minutes then serve them hot out of the air fryer for that extra crispy crunch that everyone loves. Enjoy these sensational keto air fried chicken legs with a side salad or roasted vegetables for an easy balanced meal.

Front view of a Ninja Foodi cooking

Oven bake chicken legs

If you prefer to use an oven to air fryer, first, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Then prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Make sure the foil is lightly greased with a healthy oil spray like olive oil or avocado oil, then place your chicken legs on top in an even layer – but not so close together that they overcrowd each other.

Bake time

Now pop them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Personally, I also like to flip them over halfway through while cooking to ensure that each side of the drumstick is browned and crisp. 

When it’s all done, take them out of the oven, and admire the golden color and aroma of the baked chicken legs.

No matter which way you decide to cook chicken legs, you can be sure that you’ll be in for a treat!

Whether it’s the tender, juicy texture of air-fried chicken legs or the smoky char of grilled chicken legs, you can’t go wrong. Cooking chicken legs in the air fryer or oven are also great for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try both methods? With just a few simple ingredients, you can create two completely different dishes that will have everyone raving. So grab those chicken legs and get to cooking, then sprinkle them with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt if you wish. Serve the crispy chicken legs recipe immediately.

Closeup view of a plate of air fryer chicken legs

🍴Bonus! Grilling instructions

If you’re looking to up your game on the outdoor grill this summer, then these lemon keto chicken legs should definitely be on your cooking list!

To ensure the most delicious results, preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Place the chicken legs on the grates and cook for 8-10 minutes per side or until perfectly golden brown and cooked through.

The best way to make sure that these tender legs reach an internal temperature of 165°F is by using a meat thermometer. Make sure that you insert it into the thickest part of the drumstick without touching either bone or fat!

Serve with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt for an unbeatable flavor combination. Enjoy!

A white plate of air fryer chicken legs

🍲 How to store keto chicken drumsticks

These keto chicken legs can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an air-tight container or plastic wrap.

They also will do well in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months, so why not double up your batch and freeze some for later?

If you decide to reheat them after freezing, let them thaw out the day before in the refrigerator and then just pop them into the air fryer or oven until heated through and enjoy again!

These keto air fried chicken legs are an absolute hit around here and absolutely delicious. They will soon become your family’s favorite meal too.

Air fryer chicken leg on a white plate with lettuce

🍗 Crispy air fryer chicken legs:

Can you use this chicken drumsticks recipe for chicken breasts or chicken wings? Most definitely! The marinade is delicious on chicken breasts or any part of the chicken.

Just adjust your cook time for the different parts of the chicken and check with a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees F. The cooked chicken should have juicy meat inside and crispy skin or crust.

A bite out of a keto chicken leg

What’s your favorite way to cook keto chicken legs, air fryer, oven, or grill?

No matter which way you decide to cook these delicious lemon gluten free chicken legs, you can be sure that you’ll be in for a treat!

Whether it’s the tender, juicy texture of air-fried chicken legs, the smoky char of grilled chicken legs, or the juicy deliciousness of oven baked drumsticks, you can’t go wrong.

This lemony keto chicken recipe not only tastes amazing but is also great for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

And if you’re feeling adventurous and love the recipe, you can always try all three methods of cooking!

I hope you enjoy these delicious keto air fried chicken legs as much as we do – they always seem to disappear way too quickly! Grab a chicken leg for yourself and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Bon appétit!

A plate of lemon keto chicken legs

📋 More air fryer recipes

  1. Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs
  2. Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
  3. Brats in Air Fryer: Quick and Easy
  4. How to Cook Frozen Burgers in an Air Fryer
  5. Easy Roasted Air Fryer Radishes

📌 Pin the keto recipe here:

Air fried lemon keto chicken legs

🖨 Printable recipe card

A white platter of air fryer chicken legs with lemon slices

Keto Chicken Legs: Air Fryer or Baked

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Tantalize your taste buds with these delicious and nutritious lemon keto chicken legs! Baked or air-fried to perfection, these easy juicy drumsticks are a great source of protein and healthy fats – the perfect low-carb meal. The marinade packs flavor from herbs, tangy lemon juice, and fragrant garlic.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic granules (or garlic powder)
  • 5 chicken drumsticks (I use ButcherBox chicken legs)
  • 1 lemon to slice for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, ground black pepper, dried parsley, dried thyme, and garlic granules (or garlic powder).
  3. Use a pastry brush or spoon to generously coat each chicken drumstick with the marinade mixture until fully covered and evenly distributed on each piece of chicken. Or, place the marinade and chicken in a large zipper bag and allow chicken legs to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) in the refrigerator if you have time - this helps enhance flavor and tenderness!
  4. When you're ready to cook them, place them in a single layer inside the air fryer basket or tray. You may need to use multiple batches if your air fryer is small. I like to place a slice of lemon on each to cook with the chicken.
  5. Air fry for 20-22 minutes at 390°F or until cooked through and golden brown on top. The internal temperature should reach 165°F.
  6. Once done, remove from the air fryer basket with silicone tongs and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt (optional).
  7. Enjoy your keto air fried chicken legs! Serve immediately while still hot and crispy!

Notes

Additional cooking method instructions:

Baked in the oven

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly grease it with an oil spray (such as olive oil or avocado oil). Place the drumsticks on top of the lined baking sheet in an even layer without overcrowding.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 425°F (220°C), flipping over once halfway through cooking time for even browning and crispiness on both sides of the chicken legs.

When done baking, remove from oven and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt (optional).

Grilled

These keto chicken legs can also be cooked on an outdoor grill over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes per side or until cooked through and golden brown. Make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F when measured with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the drumstick without touching bone or fat.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 chicken drumstick
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gProtein: 20g

*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For the most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

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Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

I use MyFitnessPal dot com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.

This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional data on your own with the specific ingredients you use.

I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

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This post may include Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I only mention products or services I genuinely love and would recommend to a friend.
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