Gluten Free air fryer shake and bake style chicken drumsticks are a delicious and easy dinner perfect for weeknights. Ready in 30 minutes this crispy and juicy main course is top 8 and 9 allergen friendly as well as dairy free. The oven instructions are included, too.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- Ingredient Low Down
- Instructions/Directions and Tips
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- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- How to Send Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks as Leftovers for Lunch
- How to Bake Chicken Drumsticks in the Oven
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
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Why We Like This Recipe
One of the easiest dinners my mum used to make was a chicken that you would shake in a breaded coating with spices and then baked. It was one I missed making with our kids so we came up with our own version of shake and bake chicken that our family could all eat.
It is ridiculously easy to make crispy air fryer chicken drumsticks and is a dish all our kids love. Full of flavour for us adults but mild enough for the kids to adore the crispy exterior.
- Chicken Drumsticks, Bone in Skin on
- Plant Based Milk
- Neutral Oil
- Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Chilli Powder
See recipe card for quantities.
Ingredient Low Down
Chicken Drumsticks, Bone in Skin on
We use just the drumstick but the thigh and drumstick can be used, breast or wings too, if preferred. We like the drumsticks as they are easy and affordable. The skin on helps to crisp up the breading from the fat in the skin.
Plant Based Milk
We use gluten free oat milk but your safe milk can be used. Coconut milk may give a bit of a flavour to the chicken if used. If you love a buttermilk dipped breaded chicken, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the non dairy milk and
Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
Our favourite bread crumbs are finely ground rice based crumbs, if we use premade packaged crumbs. The panko style ones can be used but they need to be finely ground in a food processor as they are too big for the coating in this air fryer gluten free breaded chicken recipe. Our favourite crumbs are the Plumm Good brand, check before buying that they are suitable for you. Always carefully check the ingredients and with the manufacturer to see if they are safe for you.
Making your own bread crumbs is super easy as well and cost effective. Save the end pieces of your safe gluten free, allergen friendly bread. We store ours in the freezer in a ziploc bag. until we have enough. The ends don’t need to be whole as they will be left out to dry on the counter overnight or in the oven with the light on but the oven off. Alternatively, the bread can be lightly toasted so it is not soft anymore.
Then break into pieces small enough to fit in a food processor and blitzed into crumbs. Sometimes if they are really crispy and our food processor is in use I will put the dried bread in a ziploc and use a clean meat tenderising mallet to crush the bread into fine crumbs. Don’t do this on a marble, granite or stone counter, the stove or any easily damaged surface like a wooden table. Our personal bread of choice is Little Northern Bakehouse, as it is top 8 free.
For the chicken breading we use a combination of Thyme, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chilli Powder, Oregano, Salt and Pepper. These spices stick better in the breading when they are dried and ground versions of the spices. This means all spices should be checked with the manufacturer for shared lines, and cross contact risks.
We use a pump bottle filled with neutral oil with a high smoke point. The aerosolized spray oils may contain top 8 allergens, especially soybean oil or other soy products. The oil is in a pump spray bottle like one of these found on Amazon. Your family’s favourite high smoke point oil will work here. We use canola or coconut as it is safe for us.
Instructions/Directions and Tips
1- Pre-heat air fryer to 400F
2- In a large plastic baggie mix all the breading ingredients.
3- In a bowl with a flat base that is large enough to fit one drumstick, pour in the plant based milk.
4- One at a time dip a chicken drumstick in the plant based milk and then in the bag. Repeat until 4 drumsticks are in the bag. Seal the bag and shake the breading around the drumsticks to coat them well. Remove the chicken to a clean plate. If there are any bare spots, pat a bit of breading onto these spots.
5- Repeat with the next 4 drumsticks as many times as needed until all the chicken is fully breaded.
6- Spray the heated airfryer basket with neutral oil. Spray each chicken drumstick all over with the oil careful not to knock off the breading. Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket with space around them so they can cook properly. More than one round of cooking may be needed based on your air fryer.
7- Cook for 25-28 mins at 380 F. Halfway through the cooking at the 14 min mark, flip the drumsticks. When finished cooking, check that the internal temperature is a safe 165F.
Hint: Instead of shaking in a plastic bag, the breading can be done on a plate with deep sides. Roll the chicken in the breading and pat the breading on the skin.
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- Pork or Lamb - This coating can be used on pork or lamb chops and cooked in the air fryer.
- Fresh Herbs - dry herbs do work a bit better, in our opinion as they are easier to mix evenly. If using fresh herbs, chop them very fine. Press them in papaer towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Strips - For little kids use stips of chicken instead of bone in chicken. This recipe makes great strips or nuggets out of cut up chicken breasts. They will not need as long to cook but should reach the internal temperature of 165 F.
- Spicy - add a pinch each of well crushed chilli pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the coating herbs and spices. In place of mild paprika use spicy paprika for a tiny bit of heat.
- 5 Spice Flavoured- instead of the herbs and spices used, substitute them for ½ teaspoon 5 spice. Add in the garlic and onion powders and parsley, too.
- Coconut- instead of the herbs and spices replace them with finely grated dried coconut or desiccated coconut. Serve them with a pina colada dip.
If making this gluten free shake and bake chicken drumstick recipe in an air fryer you will need one of those, or an oven with the air fryer function. A large ziploc freezer bag for shaking the breading. A flat based bowl for dipping the chicken in the oat milk to get the breading to stick. The clean plate to put the breaded drummies on before cooking.
Measuring cup and spoons will be the best bet for getting an accurate mix of herbs, spices, and bread crumbs. Non scratching tongs are the best utensil when air frying. We have a set that has the tips coated in silicone so they don’t scratch the non- stick basket on our air fryer.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Store the Air Fryer Shake and bake chicken drumsticks in a well sealing container for up to 3 days. Always cool the chicken first. Next, place in a container with a piece of paper towel to absorb excess moisture so the breading will stay on the chicken.
The cooked herb breaded chicken can be frozen. It isn't something we do as the breading falls off and goes all soggy during thawing. We don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
Reheating the Crispy Air Fryer Shake and bake chicken drumsticks is optional. You can eat the already cooked, chilled, and properly stored gluten free shake and bake chicken drumsticks cold.
On a parchment lined cookie sheet place the gluten free breaded chicken drumsticks, leaving space between them. Bake in the oven at 350 F for 20 mins or until they reach 165 F internally, when using a meat thermometer.
In a preheated air fryer at 350 F reheat the chicken for 15 mins or until it reaches a safe internal temperature.
We don’t recommend reheating the gluten free shake and bake chicken drumsticks in the microwave or on the stove top. It can be done but doesn’t give the best results.
How to Send Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks as Leftovers for Lunch
We very rarely send the chicken heated in our kids’ lunches. Instead we will either strip the meat from the bone, especially with our younger kids as the bones can be choking hazards for the kids. We’ll send it with a few top 8 free crackers. A few chunks of dairy free cheese to round out the homemade “lunchable” style main with fresh fruit and sliced veggies.
Another thing we will do is strip the meat off the bone, and make chicken salad with it like in our chicken salad with papaya. The salad can be made without curry powder and put in between gluten free top 8 free bread slices as a sandwich. The older kids like to use the stripped meat in a salad like our Dairy Free Cobb Salad.
If looking to send the chicken hot, use a double walled insulated thermos that has been pre warmed with hot water. Follow the reheating instructions above for the meat.
How to Bake Chicken Drumsticks in the Oven
Air fryer shake and bake chicken drumsticks can be cooked in the oven at 400F in an oil sprayed oven safe casserole dish for approximately 30-35 mins. Flip the chicken after 15 mins and continue cooking until they are 165F internally.
Broil for 2 mins at the end to crisp up the skin at the end.
This can be made with thighs, wings, bone in chicken breasts, boneless breasts cut into nugget shapes or tenders. The time for cooking will need to be adjusted. If the bone is still in the meat it will take longer to cook than the same cut without the bone. Smaller pieces will also cook quicker. Check the internal temperature of nuggets and tenders after 20 mins and watch them closely if they are not yet done checking every 5 mins.
What To Serve With
This homemade shake and bake drumstick recipe pleases our kids when we serve them with a potato side dish like gluten free potato wedges, smashed potatoes, or fries. A nice side salad, like our fig and kale salad to dress the dish up for a night with adults or a vegetable side is always great with this dish. For a fun dinner idea try the shake and bake chicken with Allergy Friendly Waffles as a spin on breakfast for dinner.
In the air fryer the drumsticks with the bone in will take about 25-28 minutes when cooked at 380 F. For the oven the time is a bit longer as the air fryer circulates hot air all around the drumstick. The oven should be set to bake at 400 F for a minimum of 30-35 minutes.
No matter how chicken is cooked, always check its internal temperature, which should be at the very least 165 F for safe consumption.
Yes, you can. Shake and baking style of breading for chicken is what is considered a dry breading. Make sure to spritz the outside with oil for the best results. The kind of outside that doesn’t work well in an air fryer is a wet batter, like what you’d see for beer battered fish. The wet batter drips through the holes and can be super messy and tough, but not impossible to cook in an air fryer.
Commercial mixes are generally not gluten free. They usually contain wheat, rye, barley, which are gluten-containing grains. If you are using a commercially made Shake and Bake mix it must be labelled as gluten free.
We make our own homemade shake and bake recipe which uses rice based bread crumbs or our favourite GF bread that we have dried and made into crumbs. Our recipe is also top 8 allergen friendly whereas many commercially made mixes are not.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Have You Made Our Gluten Free Shake and Bake Chicken? Please Leave a Comment Below.
Rate our Recipe.
We Love To Hear From You!
- Air Fryer
- Large Ziploc Freezer Bag
- Flat based bowl
- Clean plate
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Non scratching tongs
- 8 Chicken Drumsticks Bone in Skin on
- ½ C Plant Based Milk whatever is safe for is will work
- Neutral Oil in a pump spray bottle.
- 1 C Gluten Free Bread Crumbs we prefer rice based
- ½ teaspoon Thyme dried
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Chilli Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Oregano dried
- ⅛ teaspoon Pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400 F.
- In a large plastic baggie mix all the breading ingredients.
- In a bowl with a flat base that is large enough to fit one drumstick, pour in the plant based milk.
- One at a time dip a chicken drumstick in the plant based milk and then in the bag. Repeat until 2 drumsticks are in the bag. Seal the bag and shake the breading around the drumsticks to coat them well. Remove the chicken to a clean plate. If there are any bare spots, pat a bit of breading onto these spots.
- Repeat with the next 4 drumsticks as many times as needed until all the chicken is fully breaded.
- Spray the heated airfryer basket with neutral oil. Spray each chicken drumstick all over with the oil careful not to knock off the breading. Place the drumsticks in the air fryer basket with space around them so they can cook properly. More than one round of cooking may be needed based on your air fryer.
- Cook for 25-28 mins at 380 F. Halfway through the cooking at the 14 min mark, flip the drumsticks. When finished cooking, check that the internal temperature is a safe 165F minimum internal temperature.
Broil for 2 mins at the end to crisp up the skin at the end. Instead of shaking in a plastic bag, the breading can be done on a plate with deep sides. Roll the chicken in the breading and pat the breading on the skin. This can be made with thighs, wings, bone in chicken breasts, boneless breasts cut into nugget shapes or tenders. The time for cooking will need to be adjusted. If the bone is still in the meat it will take longer to cook than the same cut without the bone. Smaller pieces will also cook quicker. Check the internal temperature of nuggets and tenders after 20 mins and watch them closely if they are not yet done checking every 5 mins.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove