You've never had chicken legs and stuffing like this before. Stuffed Chicken Legs are made with your favorite boxed stuffing and a package of drumsticks. You can have a fancy dinner that feeds several mouths for cheap.
My kids are such huge fans of stuffing, whether it be homemade or from the box. They just can't seem to get enough. They're also big fans of chicken, so putting the two together means they can get their favorite main dish and side dish in every bite.
When I made stuffed chicken drumsticks the first time, the kids couldn't sit still. There were so many happy dances and praises about the meal, especially when I served it up with some Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's an affordable dinner option. One box of stuffing is supposed to feed 6 servings (according to the package). My family of 4 can easily eat half a box to themselves. One box in the pantry can easily stretch to feed everyone with this nifty recipe.
- One box can stuff up to 5 pounds of legs. One standard sized box of stuffing can easily fill the insides of 5 pounds worth of chicken drumsticks! This means plenty of servings to share with everyone.
- The chicken skin is crispy. Who doesn't love a good crispy, chewy chicken skin? This recipe pulls the skin away from the meat, allowing it to cook and crisp without drying out the meat because the stuffing is there as a layer of protection.
Chicken legs- You will need thawed chicken drumsticks with bones and skin. The skin is what holds the stuffing inside, and the meat should be thawed so that it's easier to work with.
Olive oil- Using olive oil will help to crisp the skin nicely while holding the seasonings in place.
Seasonings- You will want to use a combination of Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Boxed stuffing- Use your favorite box of prepared stuffing whether it be chicken flavor, turkey flavor, cornbread, or other. This can also be a great way to use up holiday leftover stuffing too!
For specific quantities, see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make stuffed chicken legs with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
Prepare the stuffing according to the package directions. I followed the microwave instructions. Add stuffing ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Cover and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff with a fork.
Set it aside to cool. You don't want the hot stuffing to touch the raw chicken.
Add your seasonings to a small bowl.
Mix together and then set aside.
Pat the chicken legs dry with a paper towel if they're too wet. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle the seasoning over the top of the chicken legs and then rub around to evenly coat.
Use this time to lift the skin and get underneath.
Lift the skin of the chicken legs and stuff them with your cooled-to-the-touch stuffing. Repeat until all have been filled.
Bake in your oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
By swapping out the boxed stuffing with homemade cranberry stuffing from Christmas or Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing. Perfect for using up those holiday feast leftovers.
Another idea is to swap out the chicken legs for chicken quarters. Chicken quarters are the legs and thighs together, uncut. This means more meat per serving and more skin to fill with stuffing as well! Stuffed chicken leg quarters will cook for about 40-45 minutes in the oven. So plan accordingly.
🍴 Recipe Tips
If at any point you think the skin of the chicken legs is getting too dark or "burnt" for your tastes, go ahead and loosely place a piece of foil over the top of the baking sheet. This will help the chicken to keep cooking without browning the tops too much more. (This is a tip from my White Bread Recipe and it works well here too!)
You will know that your chicken has finished cooking properly when you can insert an instant read food thermometer into the meat hand have it register as 165 degrees F. The meat and juices may still have a slight pink coloration to them but it should not look raw.
I have had great success reheating the chicken legs one at a time on a plate in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. To heat more than one at a time, you will need to adjust the cooking time by adding more time and checking often to see if they're finished.
🥗 Side Dishes
My kids love these drumsticks with a simple side of broccoli, but any green veggie or even pasta would work well. Try these chicken legs with some Instant Pot Asparagus or Instant Pot Boxed Au Gratin Potatoes.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
You can prepare the chicken in advance and keep it well covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. If storing in a glass baking dish, allow the baking dish to sit at room temperature for one hour before preheating the oven and baking. This will prevent it from shattering.
You can keep any leftover stuffed chicken legs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. For best results, I recommend eating them sooner rather than later as the stuffing may get soggy as it ages.
You will know that your chicken is ready to eat when you can insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken meat (not touching any bones). The thermometer should register 165 degrees F and the liquid should run mostly clear.
Yes, stuffing acts as an insulation layer to hydrate the meat and keep it moist as it cooks. The steam from the meat gets trapped in the stuffing and holds it near the meat, keeping it juicy and tender.
Because this recipe already has a main dish and a starch, adding any vegetable (especially a green veggie) sounds like a great choice! Broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, etc.
More great chicken recipes to check out soon
- Honey Gold Wings
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti
- Honey Soy Chicken Bites
- Cheesy Chicken with Quinoa and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Stuffed Chicken Legs
- 5 pounds Chicken Drumsticks ($5.97)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil ($0.39)
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning ($0.10)
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder ($0.10)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder ($0.10)
- ½ teaspoon Paprika ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoon Salt ($0.05)
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper ($0.02)
- 1 box Stuffing Mix (6 ounce box) ($0.88)
- 1 ½ cup Water ($0.00)
- ¼ cup Butter or margarine ($0.38)
- Prepare the stuffing according to the package directions and set it aside to cool. You don't want the hot stuffing to touch the raw chicken.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
- Add your seasonings to a small bowl.
- Mix together and then set aside.
- Pat the chicken legs dry with a paper towel if they're too wet. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush with olive oil.
- Sprinkle the seasoning over the top of the chicken legs and then rub around to evenly coat.
- Use this time to lift the skin and get underneath.
- Lift the skin of the chicken legs and stuff them with your cooled-to-the-touch stuffing.
- Repeat until all have been filled.
- Bake in your oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.