Honey Balsamic Drumsticks

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    Honey balsamic drumsticks are less than 400 calories but don't let that fool you! They're PACKED with flavor and so moist and juicy!

    Honey balsamic drumsticks are less than 400 calories but don't let that fool you! They're PACKED with flavor and so moist and juicy!

    Whew, meal prepping is no joke. It literally sucks the life out of you. I hope it gets easier the more I get into it. I completely exhausted myself yesterday by prepping breakfast and dinner meals for the week. I guess looking forward, working a bit harder on Sunday to get meals prepped will be a heck of a lot easier for me when we come home from work. It’s just hard to get in the groove and force yourself to be in the kitchen all day when the weather is so nice outside :)

    I started meal planning this weekend because I’m officially jumping on a 30-day paleo challenge with Gina. As you all might’ve read last week, I was looking into doing Whole30 and I had been talking to Gina about it since (to me) she is queen of fitness and healthy eating. She said if I wanted to do a 30-day paleo challenge with her starting Monday, she would do it with me. It’s great to have someone else do it with you. Accountability and motivation. I’m determined to do this. You should see my spreadsheet where I have all my meals written out (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) and what ingredients I need to buy the weekend before and what prep I need to do. I have a ridiculously organized life and work ethic that if I have a schedule written out and plan detailed out, I get anxious if I stray from it or don’t follow it. So, writing out my meal plan and whatnot will really help me through this challenge.

    Don’t worry, I’m still posting regular blog posts during this challenge (’cause I have enough of a backlog of posts that I did months ago) and I’m not turning into a healthy fitness blogger. I honestly want to just revamp my diet and how I eat and see what it does to my body. If you want to follow along, I’m going to be posting daily posts (starting tomorrow) documenting my day to day paleo challenge in the category ‘Paleo Challenge‘. What I’m eating, exercising, feeling, etc. I’ll also have recipes every now and then that I’ve come up with for my paleo challenge. It’s actually not that hard to cook paleo and I’m having a lot of fun with thinking up new and creative recipes!

    Honey balsamic drumsticks are less than 400 calories but don't let that fool you! They're PACKED with flavor and so moist and juicy!

    Speaking of healthy eating habits, my friends Sara and Kate of Our Best Bites sent me their newest cookbook 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites to review recently! You guys are going to LOVE this book. This book is for anyone that is looking for delicious meals while being health-conscious. It’s the best of both worlds. I was really surprised by some of the recipes in this cookbook. At first, I was like, ‘there is no way you can make something flavorful under 400 calories,’ but you guys, they did it!! All of the recipes in the book have so much FLAVOR! As always, the photographs are beautiful and so colorful :)

    I chose to make these honey balsamic drumsticks and when I read the ingredient list, I was like hmm okay, standard ingredients…but then you reduce the cooking sauce and smother the drumsticks with it and it’s absolute heaven. Not to mention, the spices that are rubbed onto the drumsticks really amp up the flavor of this dish. I love that this was a drumstick dish because you don’t see much of those out there at all and yet drumsticks are one of the most favorite part of the chicken! I know my brother and I used to always fight over the drumsticks, even though there were two. I think we were just greedy and wanted to have two drumsticks a piece ;)

    Honey balsamic drumsticks are less than 400 calories but don't let that fool you! They're PACKED with flavor and so moist and juicy!


    Honey balsamic drumsticks are less than 400 calories but don't let that fool you! They're PACKED with flavor and so moist and juicy!

    5 from 1 vote

    Honey Balsamic Drumsticks

    Honey balsamic drumsticks are PACKED with flavor AND less than 400 calories!
    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Cook Time: 50 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 5 -6
    Calories: 214kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • 2-2 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks, 10-12 drumsticks
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

    For the sauce

    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons water


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Rinse chicken, pat dry, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, paprika, and onion powder.
    • Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the drumsticks and use your hand to coat all the pieces. Sprinkle spice mixture on the drumsticks and gently press onto the skin.
    • Heat a large Dutch oven (or heavy oven-proof skillet with an oven-proof lid) to medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan. Brown the chicken for two minutes on either side. You might have to cook this in batches.
    • While chicken is searing, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
    • Once the chicken has finished searing, pour the sauce over the chicken and gently toss the drumsticks in it to coat. Cover pan and transfer to the oven.
    • Bake for 20 minutes, rotate chicken pieces, and baste with sauce. Bake an additional 20 minutes then remove chicken from the oven and place the drumsticks on a plate, tenting a piece of foil on top to keep warm.
    • Bring the remaining sauce in the pan to a boil on the stove top and simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes until it is thick and glazy. Return the chicken to the pan and gently toss in the glaze.
    • Serve and coat with more sauce, if desired.


    Nutrition Facts
    Honey Balsamic Drumsticks
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 214 Calories from Fat 90
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 10g15%
    Carbohydrates 9g3%
    Sugar 8g9%
    Protein 22g44%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 

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  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I can’t wait to check out their book – sounds amazing, especially if everything is as drool worthy as that chicken! Good luck with your challenge. I’ll definitely be following along ;)

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    Nice and simple and tasty!

  • The Busy Brunette says:

    Those drumsticks look delicious! I will definitely be trying those… I think my 5-year-old will LOVE them! And I totally agree with you about meal planning… it DOES suck the life out of you… that’s why I don’t always do it. My goal is to get better at it in an effort to streamline the process, but it is such a tedious task!
    Hope you had a nice weekend. Have a great week!
    “The Busy Brunette”

  • marla says:

    Congrats on the challenge!! This chicken is to die for!

  • naomi says:

    This look so good. I can’t wait to read about your paleo challenge

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    You’ve got this 30 day challenge! I too will be following along! Now, pass me a drumstick!

  • Sarah Anne Hayes says:

    My family and I start the Whole30 a week from today. I’m planning to head to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and meal prep so I’m good to go for the week. But I’m excited and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any paleo recipes you come up with during your challenge!

  • Maria says:

    Love that glaze!

  • Heather Christo says:

    I can’t wait to hear how you feel after your challenge Julie! I feel so much better after all of the changes I have made, but would still love to do a paleo or whole30 month to further refine- just to see what happens- I just can’t get anyone on board with me! Chicken looks great too!

    • Julie says:

      Join us, Heather!! :) support team!!

  • Deborah says:

    Well, you know how I feel about this recipe! ;) I’m so in love with this cookbook. I even bought a copy for my mom for Mother’s Day!

  • Medeja says:

    The sauce sounds especially good :)

  • francesca says:

    Oh ketchup – boo. Can i replace that with tomato paste and brown sugar, you think?

    • Julie says:

      I would thin out the tomato paste with some water since it’s so thick!

  • Gaby says:

    These look so dang delicious!!! YUM!

  • Anna | ANNAdventure says:

    OMG SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! These drumsticks look amazing!!!! <3 YuuuuuMMMMmmm :)

  • Honey says:

    Thank you so much for all your recipes. Your blog is so great! Any idea why my sauce didn’t thicken to a glaze? The taste was amazing, it just didn’t thicken. I thought it followed the recipe exact- but obviously I did something wrong since you got it right! Thanks

    • Julie says:

      Thanks! Hmm, it might take a bit for it to thicken depending on stove and heat, but if yours didn’t thicken, I would just leave it on the stovetop longer and then take it off. It should thicken more as it cools. If it still doesn’t, you could always add a little bit of arrowroot powder to it to help thicken it to a glaze-like consistency!

  • Heidi says:

    I made this for dinner and everyone loved it-even my teenager had no complaints and he is my biggest cooking critic.

  • Hudson Jack says:

    I love this idea… chicken legs and thighs are ALWAYS on sale and I’m always looking for recipes that help with the weekly budget! We’re entertaining for a football party this weekend so I’m going to make these… winning… both reasonably priced and full, of yummy flavors! 🍗 🍗 🍗

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime