Did you know you can cook tender, juicy chicken drumsticks in the crockpot? These slow cooker chicken drumsticks are super easy to make and topped with a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce.
Serve these with your favorite side dishes for a delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a fancier event! My official taste tester, my husband Matt, LOVES this recipe – it’s sure to be a staple in our house.
Crockpot drumsticks with honey mustard sauce
This slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe makes the most tender bone-in chicken falloff. It pairs deliciously with the subtly sweet honey mustard sauce!
The skin also gets nice and crispy with a quick fry at the end (or you can skip this step for the sake of simplicity – you do).
The whole family will love this weeknight chicken dinner recipe. Plus, the whole house smells amazing! Serve it on a bed of brown rice or steamed potatoes, along with your favorite roasted vegetables or side salad.
Don’t forget to top off these slow cooker chicken drumsticks with an extra drizzle of honey mustard sauce for a drool-worthy flavor boost!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these easy chicken thighs:
- chicken thighs (Also known as chicken thighs. If you prefer, you can use chicken thighs — skin and bones — in place of chicken drumsticks. Generally, bone-in chicken produces juicier, tastier results, and the skin is essential for crisping among the broilers.)
- butter (or coconut oil if dairy free)
- Dijon mustard
- whole grain mustard
- fresh thyme (optional, but a delicious flavor additive)
- salt pepper
And of course any side dishes you want to serve with it! I love brown rice and roasted broccolini, but any side would be delicious here.
How to make honey mustard chicken drumsticks in a slow cooker
The full recipe (with all the measurements) is at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick overview.
To make these honey mustard chicken thighs, start by melting butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
Stir in the honey, Dijon mustard, whole wheat mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined. (If you only have dried thyme – as opposed to fresh thyme – add this.)
Then, lay raw chicken drumsticks in a single layer on the bottom of your slow cooker insert. To make them fit better, alternate which way the fleshy end (opposite the bone end) is facing on each lower leg.
Pour the honey mustard sauce over the drumsticks to coat them. Scatter fresh thyme on top.
Next, cover the slow cooker. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low until chicken is cooked through and tender.
Place the cooked legs in a casserole dish just before serving. Pour the sauce over it.
Then grill for 5 minutes until the skins of the drumsticks are golden brown and crispy. Serve right away! You can skip this step if you’re short on time, but it adds a nice crunch to the drumsticks.
If you use frozen drumsticks, I recommend buying/using drumsticks that are frozen in a single layer (rather than one big chunk) otherwise they may not cook evenly. You’ll also need to cook them on high for 4 hours (instead of 3) to ensure they’re fully cooked through.
How do you know when chicken drumsticks are done?
Chicken thighs are done cooking when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit. (Be careful not to touch the bone when taking the thermometer reading as this will skew the temperature results.)
Yes, the temperature should be a little hotter than you would typically look for in chicken. Bringing the drumsticks to a temperature of 175-185 degrees Fahrenheit will make them more tender.
When you pierce the flesh, the juice should run clear (not red or pink). This also indicates the chicken is fully cooked.
Store this chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I recommend keeping the leftover gravy in a separate container so you can easily reheat the chicken and gravy separately before combining again.
Tips for buying chicken drumsticks at the grocery store
When buying drumsticks from the store, look for larger ones. Above all, choose drumsticks that are all similar in size to ensure even cooking.
When buying frozen drumsticks, try to find ones that are frozen in a single layer (as opposed to one big lump). I tested this recipe using frozen drumsticks and it worked really well, so this is a great option if you’re not sure how quickly you’re going to make this recipe!
What to serve with honey mustard chicken thighs
Need ideas for side dishes to serve with these slow cooker drumsticks? Here are some tasty options:
For a super handy dinner, you can also roast up some frozen veggies as a side!
Can you freeze slow cooker chicken drumsticks?
Yes! To freeze this chicken, remove the bones, shred the chicken and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Is Honey Mustard Sauce Gluten Free?
Yes, all honey mustard ingredients should be gluten free! However, it may depend on the brand you use, so check each ingredient before using if necessary.
This is an easy yet fabulous crock pot chicken recipe to keep on hand. It’s loaded with flavor and comes together with just a few minutes of prep time (seriously, it was so quick and easy). Enjoy!
The full slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe is at the bottom of this post.
What is your favorite way to prepare chicken? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more chicken recipes to try? Check out these:
3 hours 10 mins
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 cup honey
1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds chicken drumsticks (about 8 drumsticks)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried) – optional
- Place the butter in a microwave-safe measuring cup or glass bowl and heat for 30 seconds or until melted. Add honey, Dijon mustard, whole wheat mustard, salt and pepper and stir. (If using dried thyme, add it here.)
- Arrange the drumsticks in a single layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. (It works well to alternate the viewing directions so they all go well together.)
- Pour the sauce over the thighs. Top with the fresh thyme.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
- Just before serving, preheat the oven for grilling. Place the legs in a casserole dish and pour the sauce over them. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the tops are golden
brown and the skin begins to crisp. Serve immediately.
- If you use frozen drumsticks: Make sure you buy drumsticks frozen in a single layer (not a big lump). Cook on high for at least 4 hours.
- When buying drumsticks, look for the larger ones. For even cooking, choose drumsticks that are all roughly the same size.
- Chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken drumsticks. The chicken should be skin-on and bone-in for maximum flavor and best results (especially for roasting at the end, which is an important part of the recipe!).
- Cooking the chicken thighs on high in the slow cooker gives the best, most tender results, but you can cook longer on low if needed.