Deliciously Easy: Chicken Drumstick Instant Pot Recipes

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 5 min

Chicken drumsticks are a beloved classic for easy-to-prepare, crowd-pleasing meals. They're both budget-friendly and versatile, allowing for a wide range of flavors and cooking methods. One of the most convenient ways to cook chicken drumsticks is the Instant Pot, a kitchen appliance that has become a staple for busy home cooks. In this blog, we'll explore the world of chicken drumstick Instant Pot recipes, from the basics to some unique and flavorful variations.

Chicken Drumstick Instant Pot Recipe

  • Before diving into chicken drumstick recipes, let's take a moment to appreciate the Instant Pot. This multi-functional appliance has revolutionized how we cook by combining several kitchen gadgets. It acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and more, making it a versatile tool that saves time and effort.
  • One of the standout features of the Instant Pot is its ability to cook meals quickly while retaining the flavors and nutrients of the ingredients. This makes it ideal for preparing chicken drumsticks, which can often take hours to tenderize through traditional cooking methods.

Here's a simple and delicious recipe to get you started with cooking chicken drumsticks in your Instant Pot. This basic recipe serves as a foundation for more adventurous variations.


  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Season the chicken drumsticks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried thyme.
  2. Make sure to coat them evenly. Set your Instant Pot to "Sauté" mode and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken drumsticks and sear them for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  3. Pour the chicken broth to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. This will enhance the flavor of your dish.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid, ensure the valve is set to "Sealing," and select the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" mode.
  5. Cook the drumsticks for 10-12 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is complete, quickly release the pressure by carefully turning the valve to "Venting" Wait for the steam to be removed and the float valve to drop before opening the lid.
  6. Your tender and flavorful chicken drumsticks are ready to serve! If desired, you can thicken the cooking liquid into a delicious gravy by using the "Sauté" mode again.
Chicken Drumstick Instant Pot Recipe

Flavorful Variations

Now that you've mastered the basic Instant Pot chicken drumstick recipes, it's time to explore some delightful flavor variations. These options allow you to customize your chicken drumsticks to suit your taste or match different occasions.

  1. Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks: Slather your drumsticks with your favorite barbecue sauce before cooking. The Instant Pot will infuse the sauce into the meat, creating tender, saucy chicken perfect for picnics or summer gatherings.
  2. Lemon Herb Drumsticks: Season your drumsticks with lemon juice, fresh herbs (like rosemary and thyme), and garlic for a zesty and aromatic dish. This is an excellent option for a light and refreshing meal.
  3. Honey Mustard Drumsticks: Combine honey, Dijon mustard, and a touch of soy sauce to create a sweet, tangy glaze for your chicken. The Instant Pot will caramelize the glaze, giving your drumsticks a delectable crust.
  4. Spicy Buffalo Drumsticks: Toss your drumsticks in a spicy buffalo sauce for a fiery kick. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for the classic buffalo chicken experience.
  5. Sesame Ginger Drumsticks: Create an Asian-inspired dish by marinating your drumsticks in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. The Instant Pot will infuse the flavors, resulting in tender and savory drumsticks.

Tips for Success

While cooking chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot is relatively straightforward, there are a few tips that can help ensure your success:

  1. Sear for Flavor: Don't skip the searing step; it enhances the flavor and texture of the chicken.
  2. Use a Meat Thermometer: To ensure your chicken is cooked thoroughly, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the drumsticks should reach 165°F (74°C).
  3. Safety First: Always follow Instant Pot safety guidelines and be cautious when releasing pressure. Steam can be scalding.
  4. Adjust Cooking Time: If you're using more oversized or frozen drumsticks, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Generally, increase the time for frozen chicken by 2-3 minutes.
Variations of Chicken Drumstick Instant Pot

Serving Suggestions

Serving suggestions is a crucial aspect of presenting a meal that tastes fantastic and looks visually appealing. When serving your delicious chicken drumsticks in Instant Pot, consider the following options:

  1. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic and comforting side dish—the rich, velvety texture pairs perfectly with the flavorful and tender chicken drumsticks. For extra flavor, you can even drizzle the cooking juices or gravy from the Instant Pot over the potatoes.
  2. Roasted Vegetables: Vegetable adds color, nutrition, and a delightful crunch to your meal. Consider tossing vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting them in the oven while your drumsticks cook in the Instant Pot. The contrast in textures and flavors is sure to be a hit.
  3. Coleslaw: Coleslaw, with its crisp and crunchy cabbage, is a refreshing and tangy side that complements chicken drumsticks, especially if you've prepared them with a barbecue or zesty flavor profile. The cool, creamy coleslaw helps balance out the heat and intensity of the chicken.
  4. Cornbread: Sweet and savory cornbread is an excellent accompaniment for chicken drumsticks, especially if you've prepared them with a spicy or barbecue glaze. The slightly crumbly texture and corn's natural sweetness are an ideal counterpoint to the savory and fiery flavors of the chicken.
  5. Mixed Greens Salad: For a lighter option, serve your chicken drumsticks with a fresh mixed greens salad. Top the salad with a simple vinaigrette or a creamy dressing, providing a refreshing, crisp contrast to the rich and savory chicken.
  6. Rice or Quinoa: A bed of fluffy white rice or nutty quinoa can be a versatile canvas for your chicken drumsticks. The grains absorb the flavorful juices and provide a hearty, satisfying base for your meal.
  7. Homemade Bread Rolls: Freshly baked bread rolls, whether plain or flavored with herbs, can be an excellent choice for mopping up the delicious sauces or gravies from your chicken drumsticks.

Remember that presentation is key when it comes to serving suggestions. Garnish your dishes with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, or colorful vegetables to make them visually appealing. The suitable side dish can elevate your chicken drumstick meal, ensuring a well-rounded dining experience that delights the senses and satisfies your culinary cravings.

Serving Suggestion of Chicken Drumstick Instant Pot

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Cooking chicken drumstick Instant Pot is a game-changer for busy individuals who crave flavorful and tender meals without the hassle. With the basic recipe as your foundation, you can explore various flavor profiles and create diverse dishes to suit any occasion.  Whether preparing a quick weeknight dinner, hosting a summer barbecue, or craving an Asian-inspired feast, the Instant Pot can help you achieve perfectly cooked chicken drumsticks with minimal effort. So, don't hesitate to experiment with flavors and make these delicious drumsticks a regular feature on your dining table. Enjoy your culinary adventures with the Instant Pot!

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