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Air fryer chicken legs on a plate and a close up showing one drumstick very crunchy

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

If you're looking for a tasty and healthy meal for your family, then you may want to give this air fryer chicken legs recipe a go. This air fryer recipe is super easy to make, leaving you with super crispy chicken skin with tender and succulent meat on the inside.

Course Air Fryer, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American, TexMex
Keyword air fryer, air fryer chicken, air fryer chicken legs, air fryer recipes, chicken dinners, how to air fry chicken, how to cook chicken in air fryer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 936 kcal
Author Mahy


  • 12 chicken legs drumsticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place the chicken in a large bowl

    chicken legs in a large bowl
  2. Make the spice blend separately by combining all the spices in a smaller bowl

    a mall plate with al the spices needed for the chicken including, garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder, salt, pepper and oregano
  3. Now pat the chicken dry using kitchen towels. It's essential that the chicken is patted dry before cooking it in the air fryer.

    A hand patting the chicken legs dry using kitchen towels
  4. Toss the dry spice mix over the dried chicken and toss that really well.

    chicken legs coated with the dry spice mix in a bowl
  5. preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.

  6. Place the chicken in a single layer on your air fryer basket.

    chicken legs coated with the spice mix and placed in an air fryer basket ready to air fry
  7. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may do this in two batches.

  8. after exactly 10 minutes (half way) flip the chicken in the air fryer basket and return it to cook again.

    A hand flipping the chicken legs half way during air frying to ensure even cooking of the chicken legs
  9. 20 minutes in total and thicken should be ready and cooked with crispy skin.

  10. Serve the air fryer chicken legs on a plate with lime wedges, avocados, tomatoes and lime wedges if you'd like!

    I serve it with my homemade salsa and guacamole to dip!

    close up of the air fryer chicken leg ready and crispy with lime slices

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes


  1.  While you can use any type of air fryer for this recipe, I have found that the basket air fryers tend to work best to get the most satisfying result with these fried chicken legs.
  2. Avoid wet rubs and spices such as minced garlic or fresh onion. These ingredients burn in the air fryer, and the result won't be good.
  3. Oil is a must here even though the chicken has skin on, the oil adds to the crisping of the skin.
  4. Make sure to flip the chicken halfway during air frying, so that it cooks evenly.
  5. Serve the air fryer chicken recipe as it is, with rice, with salsa, salad, avocados, pasta, bread, fries or any way you'd like!

How long should I cook chicken legs in the air fryer?

This is a speedy recipe, and it should only take you 20 minutes all together when cooked at 400 degrees turning the drumsticks 10 minutes into cooking.

How to make crispy chicken legs?

To ensure you get crispy skin, you must not miss the step of drying the chicken with a paper towel. Your chicken skin will likely be soggy if you miss this step and nowhere near as satisfying. Also, avoid using wet marinades on the drumsticks as this will have a similar result. Stick to dry spices where you can.

Can you put raw chicken in the air fryer?

Yes, you absolutely can; in fact, cooking this recipe using raw chicken drumsticks is the best way, and you are more likely to ensure the skin crisps up nicely.

Can I cook this recipe without the skin on the chicken legs?

You can, but they likely won't be anywhere near as nice. You won't get crispy skin, and the skin protects the inner chicken from drying out and getting burnt. If you're not a fan of chicken skin, I still recommend cooking these drumsticks with the skin on and taking it off once cooked.

Could I use chicken thighs instead of drumsticks in this recipe?

Yes absolutely. This recipe would work just as well with thighs or whole legs instead of just drumsticks. You should still get a nice crispy skin, and it will still be delicious if you prefer those cuts of chicken.

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 936 Calories from Fat 648
% Daily Value*
Fat 72g111%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 359mg120%
Sodium 1231mg54%
Potassium 865mg25%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 64g128%
Vitamin A 970IU19%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.