Instant pot chicken drumsticks are a quick and easy recipe that takes less than 20 minutes to cook (even from frozen!). Full of flavour from a delicious spice rub, and with an option to get extra crispy skin your whole family will love this healthy chicken dish. This recipe is naturally paleo, Whole30 and keto too.
Why you will love this recipe:
- These chicken drumsticks in an instant pot are so easy to make and they take less than 20 minutes to cook! You'll have dinner on the table in no time.
- These pressure cooker chicken drumsticks taste so good! Juicy and tender and full of flavour from a delicious spice rub and with the option to give these drumsticks extra crispy skin you'll never need to order fried chicken again.
- They're a healthy meal option that your whole family is going to love.
- This chicken recipe is naturally gluten free, paleo, Whole30 and keto or low carb too!
- You can even cook chicken drumsticks from frozen! I've included directions for both frozen drumsticks and thawed drumsticks to make your life even easier.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Chicken drumsticks - you can use as many will fit in your Instant Pot. I prefer to use pasture raised chicken drumsticks.
- Coconut oil - this is for searing the chicken - you could substitute with another oil or fat such as olive oil or butter.
- Spices - for the spice rub which gives this chicken dish the most incredible flavour - I used oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
How to make this recipe:
First, in a bowl combine all the spices.
Then coat both sides of the chicken drumsticks with the spice mixture and let them marinade for at least 1 hour (cover them and put them in the fridge to do this).
Next place the coconut oil into the pot of the Instant Pot and turn on the sauté mode. Once the oil is melted, sear each side of the chicken drumsticks for 1-2 minutes per side to brown the chicken.
Then remove the chicken from the pot. Put the water into the pot and insert the trivet. Place the drumsticks on the trivet. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Then do a quick pressure release. You can eat them now or if you want crispy skin follow the next step.
To get crispy skin on these chicken drumsticks:
Broil the cooked chicken drumsticks in the oven for 1-2 minutes per side on high heat.
If your chicken drumsticks are frozen:
Forgot to take your chicken out to thaw? No worries! If your chicken drumsticks are frozen, separate the drumsticks and coat them with the spice rub. Skip the sauté step, and add the water or chicken broth to the inner pot of the Instant pot and place the trivet in the pot. Put the frozen chicken drumsticks on the trivet and close the Instant pot and seal the lid. Set the Instant pot to manual high pressure cook for 15 minutes and then do a quick pressure release after it's finished cooking. Then broil the drumsticks in the oven for 6-8 minutes (3-4 minutes on each side) on high heat.
- Store these instant pot drumsticks in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
- If you prefer a softer skin, skip the broiling step.
- I recommend doing a quick pressure release after the chicken is finished cooking, as a slow pressure release or natural pressure release will make the chicken really soft and it won't stay on the bone.
Variations and add ins:
- For extra flavour, use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water when you cook the chicken.
- Feel free to change up the spices in the spice rub to give this chicken recipe the flavour you prefer. Some options include chili powder, basil, smoked paprika. lemon pepper seasoning, Italian seasoning, Korean spices or seasoning salt.
- If you like bbq chicken drumsticks feel free to coat this chicken in bbq sauce after it's finished cooking.
What to serve with chicken drumsticks:
Chicken drumsticks go well with so many side dishes. These are some of my favourites:
- French fries
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Kale and Apple Salad
- Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin risotto
- Green beans with slivered almonds
- Simple tomato soup
- Cornbread muffins
- Broccoli salad
- Roasted potato wedges
How to store:
If you have any leftover cooked chicken drumsticks store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently asked questions:
A chicken leg is the combination of both a chicken drumstick and a chicken thigh. The drumstick is the calf part, or the lower part of the leg, while the thigh is the upper part of the leg.
For this chicken recipe 1 cup of water will lead to perfectly cooked chicken.
Cooking times for chicken in an Instant pot will vary depending on the type of chicken you are cooking but most chicken cuts will take around 10 minutes on high pressure.
It is much harder to overcook chicken in the Instant pot than in an oven because the steam provides such a moist environment for the chicken to cook in. Just don't forget to add the water or broth when you cook it!
Your chicken does not need to be submerged or completely covered in water or broth for it to cook properly in an Instant Pot. As long as there is liquid in the pot the chicken should turn out juicy and moist when you cook it.
Other recipes you will love:
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup
- Instant Pot Pad Thai
- Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Chicken Meatloaf
- Chicken and Leek Risotto
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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- In a bowl combine all the spices.
- Coat both sides of the chicken drumsticks with the spice mixture and let them marinade for at least 1 hour (cover them and put them in the fridge to do this).
- Place the coconut oil into the pot of the Instant Pot and turn on the saute mode. Once the oil is melted, sear each side of the chicken drumsticks for 1-2 minutes per side to brown the chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Put the water into the pot and insert the trivet. Place the drumsticks on the trivet. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Then do a quick pressure release.
For crispy skin:
- For crispy chicken skin, broil the cooked chicken drumsticks in the oven for 1-2 minutes per side on high heat.
- Store the chicken in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
- Use a quick pressure release rather than a natural pressure release, otherwise the meat will fall off the chicken bones.