Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks: A tasty, frugal dinner idea!

Looking for an inexpensive, easy, and delicious dinner idea? These Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks have your name written all over them!

Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks - An inexpensive, easy, delicious dinner idea!

My 7-year-old loves fried chicken legs and has been requesting them lately. Our usual source is the grocery store deli department because I’m sure as heck not frying chicken at home. That’s way too messy, and I’m way too weary. Often times, the chicken in the deli looks like it has been under the lights a little too long, and who knows how quality it is even when fresh.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks - An inexpensive, easy, delicious dinner idea!

I’m not one to deny a craving, so I needed to get some drumsticks into the kid in a fresher, healthier way. I had been wanting to combine buttermilk and chicken anyway, so these juicy buttermilk baked chicken drumsticks were the result. This chicken dish couldn’t be easier to prepare and makes for a very inexpensive dinner. My chicken-craving son couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved these, and the rest of the family enjoyed them too. Serve them up with your favorite sides and dig in! (Shown here with Garlic Green Beans with Mushrooms and Potatoes.)

Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks - An inexpensive, easy, delicious dinner idea!

Adapted from Buttermilk Roast Chicken at Smitten Kitchen and Cajun Chicken Drumsticks at The Stay at Home Chef.

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Buttermilk Baked Chicken Drumsticks - An inexpensive, easy, delicious dinner idea!

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

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Four ingredients come together to make juicy, delicious baked chicken.

  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 8 chicken drumsticks or other bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided


1. Pour buttermilk and cajun seasoning into a gallon zippered plastic bag or a large sealable container. Add chicken pieces and roll around to make sure they are evenly coated with the seasoned buttermilk. Store in refrigerator for 2-24 hours until ready to cook.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add 1 tbsp. of butter to a 9 x 13″ baking dish. (Line dish with foil to make cleanup easy.) Place pan in hot oven until butter is melted.

3. Carefully remove pan from oven, and swirl butter around until pan is evenly coated. Lift drumsticks out of the container, and allow excess buttermilk to drip off before placing chicken in pan. Arrange pieces in a single layer. Place a small pat of butter (about 1/2 tsp.) on top of each piece of chicken.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (If you are using larger pieces of chicken than drumsticks, you will need to increase cooking time.)


To get the skin extra brown and crispy, turn on the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking. Only do this if you are using a broiler-safe pan (Pyrex is not).

  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 240
  • Cook Time: 45
Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.


11 years ago

This is so good! Make it as soon as you can! For a side, I stirred steamed rice and sautéed mushrooms into the pan juices. My kids inhaled it and asked for more. Thanks for the super easy and delicious idea.

Julie @ This Gal Cooks
11 years ago

This chicken looks delicious! And it looks super simple to make. Perfect for a busy gal like me who needs simpler meals during the week! I cook most of my recipes I share on my blog over the weekend!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

This is definitely great to stick in the fridge the night or morning before and then just throw it in the oven when you get home. Thanks for stopping by!

11 years ago

Mmmm…I love buttermilk! And easy baked chicken without all the breading that is so easy to mess up and turn into a soggy mess. And my daughter loves chicken legs that she can devour like the little barbarian that she is. You are one of my new go to blogs when I’m meal planning! I’m starting to feel bad for my poor, neglected cookbooks!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

When you say you love buttermilk, do you actually drink it or just like to cook with it? An older lady who used to babysit me drank it plain. I’ve never had the nerve to try it! I do like cooking with it though. I tried an oven fried chicken recipe with buttermilk recently, and I didn’t recommend it here. It was a mess to make, and the breading fell off. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Thanks so much for your kind words, and I’m so glad you found me here!

11 years ago

I do usually drink one glass when I get a carton, it’s really good! My husband thinks I’m nuts, but I love it! I do always get it for cooking though, I’ve made some delicious pork chops with it, and some pretty good oven fried chicken, but the breading on that never turns out quite right and there are always soggy spot on the bottom. This weekend I’m making a buttermilk and honey pie for a pie baking/costume contest that is so good! I’ll use the leftover buttermilk for this chicken I think!

11 years ago

I am so making this–I can do a 4-ingredient recipe no problem :-) Love the buttermilk addition. Yum yum.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks, Liz! I’ve said before, I’m not food scientist, so I don’t know exactly how the buttermilk works. I just know that was some good chicken! The butter didn’t hurt ;)

Carrie @ Frugal Foodie Mama
11 years ago

Oooooo… I love this! Thank you for tweeting this to me. :) Love how simple it is. Pinned it to my Budget Friendly & Tasty board- drumsticks are such a great meat because they are cheaper than breasts and can still be so flavorful.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

I’m glad you like it, Carrie! I thought of you when I bought 14 drumsticks for $8 ;) Thanks for the pin!

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