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Baked Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks {Freezer Friendly}

Baked sweet chili chicken drumsticks are here for the whole family.

This is a teenager pleaser, so make sure you double or triple the recipe and load up your freezer! 

sweet chili chicken finished on wire rack

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Heat and Sweet together. The ultimate pairing. 

This version is an easy homemade stove top sauce, and is a prep ahead and freeze raw kind of meal! 

I had never even thought to make my own sweet chili sauce. Then, I started working on project with Matt from Fresh Menu Planner.

Working on projects with a trained chef has huge perks for me … a home cook with zero formal cooking training. 

This recipe is a freezer meal-ified (sure, that’s real) version of another chicken recipe we are working on together for a…. book! 

Why make it a freezer meal?

Sweet Chili Drumsticks in freezer bag flatlay

Putting the work in once and having meals prepped and ready to cook in my freezer is my jam. See the freezer friendly section of the blog for a ton of ideas. 

When I make this recipe, I double the recipe. That way I can cook one for dinner, and then I put one in the freezer for a few weeks or months later. 

I am a huge fan of “prep raw & freeze meals” 

First, they are limited work to prep, and second, your future dinner won’t taste like reheated leftovers. 

Do the work once – have multiple meals at your finger tips! 

How do you make this as a freezer meal?

Sweet Chili Drumsticks in freezer bag top down view

It is simple.

Make the sauce on your stove top as directed in the recipe card below. 

Set the sauce aside to cool. 

sweet chili sauce on a spoon from a mason jar

Load up your gallon size freezer bag with your drumsticks. 

Add half of the (cooled sauce) to the bag. Freeze the other half in a separate container. A small mason jar will work. Yes, you can freeze mason jars (see this post).

You want to keep some of the sauce uncontaminated, this way you can brush it on in the last few minutes of baking to really crisp the drumsticks up, and add some more flavor. 

Next, Label and seal! 

Sweet Chili Drumsticks in freezer straight on view

If you don’t have an extra set of hands to help you out, you can use this baggie holder that I have. 

How can I make these nice and crispy?

For ultimate crisp factor, you want to put the drumsticks on a wire rack that is on top of a cookie sheet. 

You REALLY want to line it with parchment or foil. This sauce has maple syrup in it and once it drips and bakes it will be very hard to get off a pan. 

Set it up to bake, like this… Cookie sheet, then parchment, then wire rack, then chicken. 

Sweet chili chicken on wire rack

You could also use an air fryer! I will include those directions in the recipe card for you too! 

Sweet Chili Drumsticks close up shot

Are you ready to load up your freezer with some baked sweet chili chicken drumsticks!?

If you do make these, I want to see! Tag me @mealplanaddict on Instagram, or come post a photo over in the Meal Plan Addict Community!  

sweet chili chicken finished on wire rack

Baked Sweet Chili Drumsticks {Freezer Friendly}

Print Recipe
Baked sweet chili chicken drumsticks are here for the whole family.
This is a teenager pleaser, so make sure you double or triple the recipe and load up your freezer! 
Course Make Ahead Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Drumsticks, Sweet Chili Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 drumbsticks
Author Steph


  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce see note if not using low sodium
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili flakes decrease to 1/2 tsp if you want less spiciness
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks (approx 12)


Sweet Chili Sauce

  • In a small sauce pan, heat the oil on medium heat.
  • Once hot, saute the onions until translucent.
  • Just before the onion is cooked, add the garlic. Take care not to burn the garlic. Stir constantly for about one minute - just to get the garlic cooked a bit.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce (everything except the chicken)
  • Simmer for 3 minutes, and remove from heat and allow to cool. You can put it in the fridge of freezer to cool it faster.

Freezer Meal Prep

  • Label a gallon size freezer bag (or freezer container of choice).
  • Add the chicken to the bag.
  • Once the sauce is cooled, add HALF OF IT it to the bag as well.
  • Put the other half of the sauce in a separate container. I use a small mason jar for this. You could also use a small zip bag.
  • Seal, and store flat in the freezer.

To Cook

  • Allow freezer pack to thaw completely (overnight in the fridge is best).
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Set up a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper.
  • Add a wire rack on top of the lined cookie sheet.
  • Using tongs, remove the chicken drumsticks one at a time and place on the wire rack. You can add more sauce from the bag to the chicken if you like, but remember you reserved sauce to brush on later.
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Flip, and put back in for another 10-15 minutes.
  • In the last 10 minutes of baking, brush on the reserved sauce.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes for extra crispy drumsticks.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • If using an air fryer, follow all the same directions but set to 400°F for 20 minutes.


If not using low sodium soy sauce, you will want to cut the soy sauce to 1/2 c and top up with 1/4c water or it will be extremely salty.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night after it had been in the freezer for over a month. Was so good! Used the convection setting on our oven and that really helped! Will definitely do it on the grill next time.

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