Crispy Seasoned Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe

Looking to learn how to make the best fresh Air Fryer Chicken Legs?

Our quick & easy Air Fried Chicken Legs recipe features crispy seasoned skin and mouth-watering tender and juicy dark meat that falls right off the bone!

This is one of my family’s favourite meals to cook when a craving for roast chicken hits. The simple Air Fryer recipe takes under 45 minutes to cook, making it a favourite main dish to serve on a busy weeknight.

Even the pickiest kids love Air Fryer Chicken Legs as they’re fun to eat with your hands. They’re flavoured with a finger-licking-good spice rub featuring black pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano and dried thyme.

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What Are Chicken Legs?

Chicken legs are a delicious, easy-to-eat and affordable protein to serve as a main course or entree.

The simple and versatile cut absorbs dry rub seasoning easily, stays juicy after cooking, and is a budget-friendly way to serve chicken.

Visit your local butcher or the meat aisle at the grocery store and you’ll find chicken legs are sold in two parts – the drumstick and thigh.

Like the wing, the leg comes from part of the bird that gets a lot of exercise compared to other muscles, which is why the meat is dark. The meat also contains more fat, giving chicken legs more flavour and juiciness.

Our chicken legs recipe is prepared in an air fryer, which cooks the meat faster than a traditional oven.

Be sure to measure the internal temperature of the thigh meat on the leg before serving. The temperature should be at least 165 F.

You May Also Enjoy These Chicken Recipes…

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe ingredients.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe ingredients.

Best Air Fryers

An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions.

In 2010, Philips introduced the Airfryer brand of convection oven at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin. It used the patented Rapid Air technology, though the term air fryer is now used generically.

Early air fryers were barrel-shaped, though more recently, many have come to resemble toaster ovens and pressure cookers, offering additional functions like toasting, baking, dehydrating and rotisserie.

A decade after their launch, Air Fryers are now one of the trendiest kitchen appliance. They are particularly popular with gourmands living in condos or apartments in big cities like Toronto as they reduce the number of appliances taking up space in your kitchen.

  • Hamilton Beach: I tested this recipe with a Hamilton Beach toaster oven-style air fryer. They are an excellent option for those looking for an affordable air fryer and I particularly like mine as it allowed me to replace my toaster, dehydrator and rotisserie. It’s also easier to spread food out and make it crispy by using a baking tray rather than a basket.
  • Instant Vortex: This popular air fryer is brought to you by the inventors of the popular Instant Pot. It’s 6 quart capacity features an easy to clean tray that air frys, roasts and bakes.
  • COSORI: This 5.8 quart air fryer is an 11-in-1 cooker featuring a nonstick basket and helpful shake reminder setting.
  • Ninja: This premium brand is the perfect option for those looking to invest in a heavy duty stainless steel air fryer. The product has been designed to look similar to an Instant Pot, with the top of the air fryer flipping backwards so you can easily lower a basket filled with food.
  • NuWave: This sleek digital air fryer features a traditional removable basket and reaches temperatures up to 390 F.
Seasoned Air Fryer Chicken Legs in a basket.
Seasoned Air Fryer Chicken Legs in a basket.

My Family Loves Air Fryer Chicken Legs

My family loves a classic roast chicken dinner.

Whenever my parents were having a busy week at work we’d always look forward to feasting on rotisserie chicken that they’d pick up at the grocery store or at Swiss Chalet.

My father is well known for his obsession with grilling chicken, pork and beef at our family cottage in Muskoka.

During the warmer months of the year, he’d fire up the barbecue and grill marinated chicken legs for dinner. We’d pair them with fresh salads and side dishes like sweet potato fries or onion rings.

It wasn’t until I entered my university years that I fell in love with roasted chicken legs. As as student I was on a strict grocery budget and always looking for a good deal when shopping in the meat aisle.

Dark meat such as drumsticks and thighs (which are the two sections that make up a leg) are typically the most affordable cut of chicken. I’d often purchase a large flat of fresh chicken legs at Costco and divide them up into seperate bags to store in the freezer and enjoy later.

Now that I’ve upgraded my kitchen with the trendiest new gadget I love making crispy seasoned Air Fryer Chicken Legs.

Cooking Chicken Legs in an Air Fryer is a modern day marvel for home cooks who have a penchant for serving a mouth-watering crispy chicken feast.

Air Fryers cook food much quicker than a traditional oven. They ensure your fresh chicken legs will turn out crispy, moist and delicious!

Roasted Air Fryer Chicken Legs feature a tasty crispy seasoned skin.
Roasted Air Fryer Chicken Legs feature a tasty crispy seasoned skin.

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Our air fryer chicken legs recipe is so easy to make you’ll have it ready to serve in under 45 minutes!

There are two methods to making chicken legs in an air fryer, which depends on the style of device you are using. I have a Toaster Oven-style Air Fryer which has a basket that is large enough to hold 4 fresh chicken legs.

  • Traditional Basket: air fryers with a removable basket are still the most common. In order to make Air Fryer chicken legs in these machines, simply lower each leg into the basket. Ensure the pieces lay flat, aren’t crowded, and don’t touch. This will ensure the skin is crispy and meat uniformly cooks.
  • Toaster Oven Tray: modern air fryers featuring a glass door and tray configuration make it easy to prepare chicken legs in an air fryer at home. Simply place the seasoned chicken legs on the tray and watch them brown and get crispy through the glass door.
Air Fryer Chicken Legs Photo Image.
Air Fryer Chicken Legs Photo Image.

Can You Put Raw Chicken In An Air Fryer?

Absolutely! Fresh meat is always preferred as it certainly beats frozen chicken that may have freezer burn. Our air fryer chicken leg recipe uses fresh poultry.

Can You Put Frozen Chicken In An Air Fryer?

Absolutely, though we prefer to use fresh chicken as you avoid freezer burn and the drying out of the skin.

If you’re making this recipe and substituting fresh chicken legs for frozen chicken legs follow the directions and temperature suggestions but expect to cook the frozen poultry for an additional 15-20 minutes.

How Long Does It Take To Cook A Piece Of Chicken In An Air Fryer?

Great question but the answer varies depending on what kind of chicken you are roasting.

Cooking time can vary based on the size of the chicken pieces you are serving. Smaller cuts like chicken wings require less time in the air fryer than a larger cut like legs. Chicken legs can vary in size as well. We tested this recipe using 4 fresh chicken legs cooked at 375 F and they were perfectly cooked after 30-35 minutes.

Important to note that air fryers vary in quality, which will affect cooking time. You can purchase a cheap $80 device or a $500 air fryer. Test out your device to get an idea for how much time it requires to cook your favourite foods.

Is Air Fryer Chicken Healthy?

Air fryers are better for your health than deep frying as they use convection heat and air flow to quickly cook foods. Those French fries you love to cook in your air fryer get crispy and tender without cooking in all the oil they do at McDonald’s.

Air Fryer dishes are only as healthy as the food you put inside. An air fryer won’t magically remove the fat from bacon or breakfast sausages. To prepare healthy food in an air fryer, purchase better-for-you options like vegetables and lean proteins like chicken or shrimp.

Why Isn’t My Chicken Crispy In The Air Fryer?

You’re overcrowding the basket of your air fryer. Remember air fryers use convection heat technology and desired crispness of your dish is achieved when hot air flows around your food. Putting too much food in the basket will have a negative impact on the quality of your chicken legs as they could end up becoming soggy instead of crispy.

Air Fried Chicken Legs are a quick & easy main course or entree.
Air Fried Chicken Legs are a quick & easy main course or entree.

Air Fryer Cooking Tips

  • Place fresh chicken legs in one flat layer in the air fryer basket, without any overlap or touching, otherwise you’ll end up with an unevenly cooked and potentially soggy product.
  • You can make simple chicken legs in an air fryer by rubbing the skin in a little vegetable oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper.
  • You can purchase a prepared chicken seasoning at the grocery store or get creative by slathering the crispy skin with your favourite barbecue sauce 2-3 minutes before they are finished cooking.
  • You can cook frozen or fresh chicken legs in an air fryer, just be sure to use a thermometer to ensure the interior of the thigh meat is safe to eat before serving (at least 165 F).
We love serving this Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe in the Fall and Winter with festive side dishes.
We love serving this Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe in the Fall and Winter with festive side dishes.

What To Serve With Chicken Legs

Air Fryer Chicken Legs are a quick & easy main course entree to serve at lunch or dinner with a selection of fresh salads.

I tend to make roast chicken during the colder months of the year in the Fall and Winter when I’m craving comfort food.

During the Autumn harvest season my family likes to serve Air Fried Chicken Legs with Cajun Corn Salad, Red Cabbage with Cranberries, Baked Sweet Potato and Scallion Dill Roasted Beets.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts?

We love serving Air Fried Chicken Legs with roasted sweet potato and sweet corn.
We love serving Air Fried Chicken Legs with roasted sweet potato and sweet corn.

Health Benefits

Our easy Air Fried Chicken Legs recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Paprika is rich in vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoid antioxidants. These substances may help prevent inflammation and improve your cholesterol, eye health and blood sugar levels.

Chili Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Now you're an expert on how to make the best easy Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best easy Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe!

You May Also Enjoy These Air Fryer Recipes…

How To Make Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Legs

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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

How to make seasoned air fryer chicken legs. Our easy recipe features crispy air fried chicken skin and juicy, tender drumstick & thigh meat.
Servings: 4
Calories: 273kcal


  • Air Fryer
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing bowl


  • 4 Chicken Legs
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme


  • Preheat Air Fryer to 375 F.
  • Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl then sprinkle the mixture over the skin of each chicken leg.
  • Place the chicken legs in your air fryer basket skin side up and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  • Check to make sure the thigh meat has an internal temperature of 165 F before serving.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.8g | Protein: 29.9g | Fat: 15.5g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1844mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 0.4g | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

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