Air Fryer Lollipop Drumsticks Are A Weeknight Chicken Win

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Chicken lollipop drumsticks are a fun dish that is a hit with both kids and adults. These drumsticks are the ultimate finger food, quickly air-fried to a crispy brown exterior that is finger-lickin’ good.

These playful drumsticks are more than just adorable; they are also crazy easy to make. With the air fryer, you can have them ready in about 20 minutes, and there are only two ingredients. Talk about a win for busy weeknights!

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The lollipop “handle” makes it easy to dip into all your favorite sauces, taking chicken drumsticks from a boring dinner to a fun, customizable meal. I love how easy they are to make and serve.

So whether you’re feeding a hungry family on a weeknight or looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer for game day, these drumsticks have you covered. And since they are air-fried with no added oil, they are a healthy choice, too!

In this post, I’ll explain everything you need to know to embrace the lollipop fun and make these tasty drumsticks. From ingredients and step-by-step instructions to expert tricks and serving ideas, it is all here.

Are you looking for more chicken favorites for busy weeknights? Try chicken tamale pie, million-dollar chicken casserole, and one-pot chicken orzo.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Chicken Lollipop Drumsticks: These are just drumsticks with the meat pushed down to one end, creating a “lollipop” shape. I can usually find them pre-prepped at the butcher or grocery store. If not, don’t worry – a quick YouTube search will show you how to do it yourself, and it will be easy.
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Raw chicken lollipop drumsticks arranged on a gray surface with a small bowl of lemon pepper seasoning.

🥣How to Make Air-Fried Chicken Lollipop Drumsticks

  1. Start by putting the lemon pepper seasoning on a small plate. Roll each drumstick in the seasoning mixture. 
  2. Place the seasoned drumsticks in the air fryer basket, making sure they’re not overcrowded.
  3. Air fry the lollipop drumsticks for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F. This initial cooking time helps the seasoning set and crisps up the skin.
  4. After 8 minutes, flip the drumsticks over and air fry for another 7 minutes. So, both sides get that lovely golden brown color and charred edges.
  5. Make sure the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165°F. If you’re unsure, use a meat thermometer to check. Better safe than sorry, right? 
  6. Add foil to the ends of the drumsticks to make them easy to handle. It is especially helpful if you’re serving these at a party or to little ones. Plus, it makes them look extra fancy with minimal effort.
A hand dipping a raw chicken drumstick into a plate of yellow seasoning powder.
Season the chicken.
Seasoned chicken drumsticks arranged in an air fryer basket, ready to be cooked.
Air fry for 8 minutes.
Six grilled chicken drumsticks inside an air fryer basket, seasoned and cooked to a golden brown with visible grill marks.
Flip over and fry for 7 minutes.

🍴Serving Ideas

These versatile drumsticks can be paired with various sides and dips to make a complete meal or a fantastic appetizer. Here are some of my favorite serving ideas:

  • Game Day Snack: These drumsticks are perfect for game day. Serve them with dipping sauces like ranch, blue cheese, or honey mustard. Arrange them on a platter with celery and carrot sticks for a classic game-day spread. 
  • Family Dinner: Pair the drumsticks with a simple side salad and some roasted veggies for a balanced dinner. You can have a healthy dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.
  • Party Appetizer: These drumsticks make a great party appetizer. Add some foil to the ends for easy handling, and serve them on a large platter. They’re easy to eat and sure to disappear fast.
  • Kid-Friendly Meal: For a kid-friendly meal, serve the drumsticks with some mac and cheese or tater tots. Their lollipop shape makes them fun to eat, and the lemon pepper seasoning adds just the right amount of flavor without being too spicy. 

💭How to Store

If you plan to eat the leftovers within a few days, store the drumsticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for up to 3-4 days. Leftover drumsticks are great for lunch!

For more extended storage, you can freeze the drumsticks. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag or an airtight container. They keep for up to 2 months.

A hand holds a cooked, seasoned chicken leg with a small piece of foil wrapped around the bone. Other cooked chicken pieces are visible in the background.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Give your drumsticks some space! Overcrowding the air fryer basket can lead to uneven cooking. 
  • To ensure your chicken is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F. It is especially important if your drumsticks are on the larger side.
  • These drumsticks don’t need any added oil. The air fryer will get them crispy regardless.
  • Wrapping the ends of the drumsticks in foil makes them easier to handle. It also gives the drumsticks a professional, restaurant-quality look. 
  • Don’t be shy with the lemon pepper seasoning. Roll those drumsticks thoroughly to ensure they’re well-coated.
  • While lemon pepper is a classic, experiment with other seasonings. Try a BBQ rub, Cajun spices, or a sweet and spicy mix.

📝Reader Questions

Can I use regular drumsticks instead of lollipop drumsticks?

Of course. If you don’t have lollipop drumsticks, regular drumsticks will work just fine. 

How do I keep the drumsticks from drying out?

To keep your drumsticks juicy, avoid overcooking them. Using a meat thermometer helps with this. 

How do I prevent the seasoning from burning in the air fryer?

To avoid burning, coat your drumsticks evenly. In addition, don’t choose a seasoning mix that includes brown sugar, as it is more likely to burn.

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Two grilled chicken drumsticks with foil-wrapped bone ends on a white plate with a dollop of mustard sauce beside them. A blurred salt shaker is in the background.
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Chicken Lollipop Drumsticks in the Air Fryer

Published By Anne
Air Fryer Lollipop Drumsticks are kid-approved, ready in 20 minutes, and only need 2 ingredients! Perfect for a fun twist on chicken night.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings: 3
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

  • Chicken lollipop drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning

Instructions

  • Put the lemon pepper seasoning on a small plate.
    2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • Roll each drumstick in the seasoning mixture and place them in the air fryer basket.
    Chicken lollipop drumsticks
  • Air fry the lollipop drumsticks for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then flip them over and air fry for another 7 minutes until the drumsticks are light golden brown and charred.
  • Remove them from the air fryer. Add foil to the ends to make them easy to handle.

Notes

  • I can usually find lollipop drumsticks pre-prepped at the butcher or grocery store. If not, a quick YouTube search will show you how to do it yourself, and it is easy.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F. It is especially important if your drumsticks are on the larger side.
  • These drumsticks don’t need any added oil. The air fryer will get them crispy regardless.
  • Wrapping the ends of the drumsticks in foil makes them easier to handle. It also gives the drumsticks a professional, restaurant-quality look. 
  • While lemon pepper is a classic, experiment with other seasonings. Try a BBQ rub, Cajun spices, or a sweet and spicy mix.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 10kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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A hand holding a cooked chicken drumstick wrapped at the end with foil above a grill with other drumsticks.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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