pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticksI love chicken recipes like this where all you have to do is throw together a few simple ingredients and then let the chicken sit and marinate all day. This is the perfect weeknight meal because it can be assembled ahead of time and only take 30 minutes to cook up. You have flexibility here, you can either throw together the marinade the night before, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and then when you get home from work or running the kids around, you just throw it in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. While the chicken is roasting, you can assemble the rest of the meal. Now, how easy is that?

We love chicken drumsticks anytime of year, but for some reason we eat them more in the summer. I think it’s because they make the perfect picnic and backyard fare. You can enjoy them hot out of the oven, warm or better yet cold. I love throwing the cold leftover drumsticks into my kid’s school lunches. They’re a no fuss lunch that my kids happily devour.

This marinade is super simple to throw together and uses supermarket staples, Greek yogurt, garlic and pesto. I sometimes use my own homemade pesto, but most of the time I pick it up from my local grocery store.  They make the BEST pesto. The original recipe called for 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks and that’s great for a dinner party or if we want tons of leftovers, but for the most part we’re happy with 8 drumsticks, so that’s why I cut the original recipe in half. I’ve made it easier for you below by giving you the measurements for both the full and half recipe, that way you don’t have to fuss with trying to figure it all out! Feel free to use chicken thighs, mini drumsticks and chicken breasts as well.  If you use breasts, you will want to have your butcher cut them in half so that they absorb the marinade better.

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks:

recipe from Everyday Food
I’m giving you the measurements for the full recipe and the half recipe. We usually just make the half recipe (8 drumsticks), as that paired with a side salad and vegetable is enough for my family of 4.

half recipe:
makes enough for 8 chicken drumsticks (2 to 2/12 pounds)

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (roughly 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

full recipe:
make enough for 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Let’s prep our ingredients.  Mince your garlic cloves and wash and pat dry your chicken drumsticks. pesto-yogurt ingredientsGet out a large bowl and add the pesto, yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

pesto-yogurt mixtureStir well to combine.

pesto-yogurt marinadePut the chicken drumsticks into a gallon sized ziploc bag (or you can just throw the chicken in the same bowl as the pesto-yogurt mixture, but make sure it’s a large bowl).  Add in the pesto-yogurt mixture, and zip up the bag.  Make sure to shake or turn the bag a bit so that all of the pesto-yogurt mixture gets on and seeps into all of the chicken drumsticks. If you’re using a bowl to marinate the chicken in, make sure to cover the bowl tightly with either plastic wrap or a tight fitting lid.

If you’re making the full recipe, then you will need to divide the chicken and pesto-yogurt mixture between 2 ziploc bags. 

pesto-yogurt chicken marinatingRefrigerate the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight.  I usually make this up in the morning before the kids go off to school and cook it up that night.

After the chicken has marinated, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, then top with parchment paper.  This step really helps with the clean up.

Lay out the chicken drumsticks in a single layer on top of the parchment paper.

pesto-yogurt chicken marinating-3Bake until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 25-35 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken after 15 minutes, so that both sides get browned.

If you want to crisp up the skins a bit more, throw them under the broiler for a few minutes. 

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticksServe up the chicken legs hot, warm or cold.  They really taste great any way and they make for great lunch leftovers.

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks

makes enough for 8 chicken drumsticks - If you want to make more, then just double the below recipe. I cut the original recipe in half.

Ingredients

    half recipe: makes enough for 8 chicken drumsticks (2 to 2/12 pounds)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (roughly 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • full recipe: make enough for 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Let's prep our ingredients. Mince your garlic cloves and wash and pat dry your chicken drumsticks. Get out a large bowl and add the pesto, yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stir well to combine.

Put the chicken drumsticks into a gallon sized ziploc bag (or you can just throw the chicken in the same bowl as the pesto-yogurt mixture, but make sure it’s a large bowl). Add in the pesto-yogurt mixture, and zip up the bag. Make sure to shake or turn the bag a bit so that all of the pesto-yogurt mixture gets on and seeps into all of the chicken drumsticks. If you’re using a bowl to marinate the chicken in, make sure to cover the bowl tightly with either plastic wrap or a tight fitting lid.

If you're making the full recipe, then you will need to divide the chicken and pesto-yogurt mixture between 2 ziploc bags.

Refrigerate the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight. I usually make this up in the morning before the kids go off to school and cook it up that night.

After the chicken has marinated, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, then top with parchment paper. This step really helps with the clean up.

Lay out the chicken drumsticks in a single layer on top of the parchment paper, making sure to space them well.

Bake until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 25-35 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken after 15 minutes, so that both sides get browned.

If you want to crisp up the skins a bit more, throw them under the broiler for a few minutes.

Serve up the chicken legs hot, warm or cold. They really taste great any way and they make for great lunch leftovers.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/07/pesto-yogurt-roasted-chicken-drumstick/

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{ 29 comments… add one }

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl July 25, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Drumsticks are my favorite part, loving this recipe! Great job!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 11:03 pm

      Thanks girl! I’m starting to like them more and more :)

      Reply
  • Sharon B. July 25, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Ohh yay, I’ve been waiting for this one! I keep saying in every post that I want to try all your recipes, it’s true! But this one, I want to try now! I will be away for the weekend (girls trip to vegas for my friends 40th bday!) but I’m saving this to make for next week. Thanks for another great recipe Jackie! What is the Grandy family up to this week? More adventures, I hope! Always love to hear about those. I miss those days with Jake, I know you are enjoying and savoring them all! xoxo, Sharon

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 11:03 pm

      See, I had an inkling that you were waiting anxiously for this recipe :) This is super duper easy and with your boys, you may want to go with the full recipe ;)
      Vegas, you go girl. You know what’s funny? I’ve never been to Vegas. I’m probably one of the few people that can say that. Have a great time, I’m sure your girls will liven up the place.
      Zoe’s at camp, so we’re just hanging around the hood this week. We went SUPing down the Russian River the other day and toured around Healdsburg, but more on that in my Sunday post.
      I’m totally taking in the time with the kiddos, that’s why I haven’t been responding to my comments as much or visiting my favorite blogs, but I make sure to visit yours. Have a great weekend girl and don’t be too naughty :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Anonymous July 26, 2013, 12:21 am

        I totally get that about taking this time to spend with family, take advantage of it while you can! You know, I don’t know a lot of people who haven’t been to Vegas but one of the gals going with us has never been there either and we are so excited to show her the town. She is excited to go with us “experienced” ladies too. haha! I’ll chat with you next week. xoxo, Sharon

        Reply
      • Sharon B. August 3, 2013, 5:59 pm

        Aw, that’s sweet! I totally understand though, I’m not as much into blogging this month as usual, but you have to take advantage of nice weather and your family being at home! Jake has been home more this week and it has been so nice! xoxo

        Reply
  • angela @ another bite please July 25, 2013, 3:56 pm

    hey jackie! so sorry i have been mia in my comments…these beautiful long summer nights have been consuming me. still love seeing your updates on instagram – can tell you and your family are having a wonderful summer as well.

    and i must say i can not wait to make this chicken. it looks so delicious and i have not made just chicken drumstick’s in forever. i love how easy and healthy the marinade is. can not wait to enjoy with the family…outside of course enjoying the beautiful weather!

    take care :-) angela

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 11:10 pm

      Welcome back girlfriend! I was wondering what happened to you. I tried to comment on your blog a few times, but I got a 404 error? Anyway, summer is for hanging with the family and taking a break from things, so enjoy! I’m going to take a mini blogging break at the beginning of August. This is an easy peasy dinner girlfriend and one that you can throw together and spend the rest of the day playing with the boys. xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Jennifer July 25, 2013, 4:27 pm

    hey there Jackie,

    can you use this on a roasting chicken, not just drumsticks? i love your buttermilk chicken too…

    we feature jackie recipes weekly at my house.

    Loves,

    Jennifer

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Hi Jennifer! Yes, you can use this marinade on thighs and breasts. I do think it takes better to the darker meat because they tend to be smaller pieces and absorb the marinade better. I would have your butcher cut the breast in half so that it can absorb the marinade better. I’m SO happy to hear that you make a recipe weekly from my site. Any requests? More chicken dishes, meats or pastas? Let me know! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 11:06 pm

      Hey Jennifer! I just realized this was you! I loved the Facebook post with your girls eating the frozen s’mores! So fun! I miss you and Annie! Hopefully next summer we can head back to DC for a visit. It wasn’t in the budget this summer. xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Reba - Not So Perfect Life July 25, 2013, 7:32 pm

    I bet this recipe would taste great in my cast iron skillet. I love baking with that thing!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 25, 2013, 11:06 pm

      Hi Reba. I’m sure it would be wonderful especially because the chicken would get super crispy from the hot skillet. xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Anonymous July 26, 2013, 1:52 am

    Jackie ! Great recipe! Pesto goes great with just about everything and these drums sticks look so delicious – I am getting hungry again! Super idea with the yogurt too never thought of combining the two. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 2 sisters recipes July 26, 2013, 1:55 am

    Hey Jackie! Pesto goes great with just about everything ! And your drumsticks look so delicious they are making me hungry again. I love the yogurt combined with the pesto too! Great recipe!

    Reply
  • Wendy July 26, 2013, 2:46 am

    Chicken was amazing, Clara had thirds and you know how rare that is. We served it with salad (for me) and mac and cheese for the kiddos.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 26, 2013, 2:53 am

      Hey girl! Yaay! So glad that it was a hit with the whole family, especially Clara! What parts of the chicken did you end up using? Did you do the full or half recipe? xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Yvonne July 27, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Love this dish girl. I actually think it is best to make the full dish…eat half that night fir dinner and leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week as they hold their flavor well.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 28, 2013, 4:23 pm

      Hi Yvonne! Great idea girl! You are such the practical one always planning ahead. Love it! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Amanda July 28, 2013, 3:56 pm

    We are up in Tahoe so we dont want to use the oven, we are gonna try
    this out on the bbq tonite!!!!!! I have a whole cut up chicken so I will let
    ya know how it goes!!!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 28, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Hey Baker mama! I’m sure this will be wonderful on the grill, it might be a bit messy, but who cares! Let me know how it turns out and enjoy the sunshine. It’s still foggy out down here :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • JenG August 1, 2013, 6:16 pm

    This are delicious!! It was one of those weird things where I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand, had thawed some drumsticks with no plan for them, and had leftover pesto…wow. Marinated it overnight and we had an amazing lunch!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy August 1, 2013, 6:58 pm

      Hi Jen! I just saw and responded to your comment on the ice cream. Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that you tried out the pesto chicken drumsticks and loved them. They’re a tasty summer lunch! Thanks so much for stopping by letting me know how they turned out for you! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Candace @ Cabot August 14, 2013, 11:49 am

    This is a wonderful summer recipe, when I’m making pesto like a mad woman. Can’t wait to share it with our Cabot Facebook friends! I’m definitely making the larger recipe for leftovers.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy August 19, 2013, 1:38 am

      Hi Candace. You’re so welcome girl and I hope you enjoy the chicken. Thanks so much for sharing with recipe! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Helen October 21, 2013, 7:44 pm

    One word – Lush! Just had them for dinner this evening and was a bit hit. :) They will now be a regular on my list of meals. THANK YOU!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy October 21, 2013, 10:09 pm

      Hi Helen! Awesome! I love your adjective to describe these! I’m so happy you enjoyed them and that they’re making into your regular mix of recipes :) Yippee! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Katie June 12, 2014, 2:36 pm

    I just had to comment on how much my family loved this chicken!! My three year old chowed his!! We all love pesto, but this tasted like a hint of it and wasn’t overpowering. The chicken had so much flavor after I marrinated it overnight and grilled the next day. We used drumsticks and skinless/boneless for the kids and it all tasted great.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy June 24, 2014, 1:30 pm

      Hi Katie! Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that the chicken was a success! I need to make that pesto chicken again as it’s easy and my kids love it as well. I’m going to try breasts next time as I’m not the biggest fan of the legs. Try the citrus marinated chicken sometime. It’s my kids FAVE!

      Have a great week Katie :) xoxo, Jacquelyn

      Reply

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