Baked Chicken Legs

4.77 from 42 votes

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This recipe for Baked Chicken Legs is the simplest dinner to make any weeknight. Rub with a little olive oil, homemade spice mix and bake. This little gem of a recipe is one of our family’s favorite dinners and it only takes 10 minutes of prep. Make a Greek Salad, Mashed Potatoes or some Drop Biscuits to go along with for an easy weeknight meal.

baked chicken legs on white plate

Seriously the Best Baked Chicken Legs

I’m not one to buy chicken legs very frequently because its habit for me to reach for the boneless skinless chicken breasts. But man oh man I forget how inexpensive chicken legs are, how easy they are to throw together on a busy weeknight and that all my kids eat them no problem. I think a lot of times, people see the drumsticks at the grocery store and just don’t know what to do with them so they pass them by completely. But I’m here to tell you that the simple approach is best and making a really basic spice rub to sprinkle over top is where the magic happens. 

A hot oven and homemade spice mix will give you chicken legs with:

  • crispy skin
  • that are juicy and flavorful

Even though this recipe is pretty basic, it is delicious and is one I keep coming back to time and time again.

I’ve got some step by step photos below to walk you through the process, but I promise it’s super simple!

chicken drumsticks in packaging

A Note About the Homemade Spice Mix

Chicken in general, including these baked chicken legs, need a lot of seasoning because on their own don’t have a lot of flavor.

I don’t necessarily like adding a lot of huge and big flavors to meat, especially if I’m feeding kids (which I always am). But, that doesn’t mean this is an out for making gross chicken. I want this seasoning blend to come across as “yum that’s good and I don’t know why” instead of some random kid yelling “why did you put garlic in this?” and then storming off to their room…not that this has ever happened at my house. Ha!

I purposely kept things neutral with my flavor profiles and I’m not just talking about salt and pepper, though they definitely help. With enough of a hit of poultry seasoning, onion powder and paprika, the mixture works magically to produce really REALLY good chicken without anyone really knowing why. The cherry on top is the crispy skin you get from that rub down with olive oil. It’s really so good.

salt, pepper and spices in white bowl

How to Make Baked Chicken Legs

I purposely made this recipe as easy as possible with the simplest of ingredients. After the 10 minutes of prep work, this turns into the easiest recipe ever. Just let the oven do the work! While the chicken legs bake, you can make whatever sides you like so by the time you pull them out, dinner can be served right away.

Prep Your Chicken Drumsticks

Start by opening up your package of chicken legs and drying them off with a paper towel. I used two pounds of chicken drumsticks which ended up being about 8. Every package will be different based on weight, but 8 should be about average. Lay the dried drumsticks onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the Spice Rub

In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and paprika. This spice mix doesn’t have any pronounced or obvious flavors so when it is rubbed and baked onto this chicken, you will notice yourself saying “wow, this is good chicken” without realizing what is making it so good. Spoiler alert: its this spice rub!

chicken drumsticks on baking sheet with seasoning

Season the Chicken Legs + Bake

Rub each chicken leg with olive oil and sprinkle with the homemade spice mix. I did end up lining my baking sheet with foil because I like the easy cleanup but you don’t have to do this if that is preferred.

Bake, uncovered in a hot oven (about 40-45 mins) and you will have crispy, flavorful, golden brown chicken legs.

If you notice your oven runs hot or if you have the chicken on a lower rack in your oven, you may notice the chicken skin roasting too quickly, thus making it darker on the outside quicker than you may like. In this case I would cover it with foil for the duration of the bake time until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. You can also cover it and move it to a higher rack in the oven.

Side Dishes to Serve with Baked Chicken Legs:

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover chicken legs in an airtight container or tightly wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Storing this way will keep them fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

To Reheat: Skip the microwave, and throw them on a baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until hot.

More *Amazing* Chicken Recipes to Try:

So there you have it, friends! A delicious, simple dinner that everyone loves! Be sure to print/save/pin/bookmark this recipe because it’s one of those basic recipes that you’ll keep coming back to. Have a great day, friends!

baked chicken legs
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4.77 from 42 votes

Baked Chicken Legs

This recipe for Baked Chicken Legs is the simplest dinner to make any weeknight. Rub with a little olive oil, homemade spice mix and bake.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes



  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together all seasonings and spices.
  • Open package of chicken legs and pat dry with paper towels. Place onto prepared baking sheet and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings on all sides. 
  • Bake, uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until browned and meat thermometer registers 165 degrees or higher. Serve warm.


If you notice your oven runs hot or if you have the chicken on a lower rack in your oven, you may notice the chicken skin roasting too quickly, thus making it darker on the outside quicker than you may like. In this case I would cover it with foil for the duration of the bake time until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. You can also cover it and move it to a higher rack in the oven.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 262mg | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken, baked chicken legs, chicken leg recipes, chicken legs
4.77 from 42 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

69 Responses
  1. Bliss M

    5 stars
    While my mom is gone on a trip my family and I needed an easy recipe that would taste good and be easy. Everyone in my family loved this recipe and it was simple to make! Loved it and thank you Lauren!!

  2. Gayle

    5 stars
    My modifications…. dry chicken; light toss in egg ; added your spice in with some Panko crumbs; baked as directed. My husbands comment: best chicken you ever made honey!!!! It’s a keeper.

  3. Hannah Flack

    5 stars
    Thank you for this post. I’ve always believed that chicken had to be cooked to 180 using an instant read thermometer to be safe. Always dry. I do more grilling outdoors, but I’ll definitely have to look for one of those pans. Should be good for any type of meat.

    1. Lauren

      Yes, I think it should work. If there are no bones in your chicken, they will take less time to cook completely.

  4. Cole Beasley

    5 stars
    The best part of chicken for me is legs! But I don’t have that much recipe in mind; just rub some salts and fry it. And suddenly I stopped at this recipe and the photo really looks inviting makes me want to go run to the grocery and prepare one for my family. I’m sure my kids will love it!

  5. Nurse Dale

    I love drumsticks and chicken thighs! Cheap, easy to prepare & cook and oh so yummy with just a little seasoning added….. Truly you can modify the seasoning to whatever taste floats your boat. Experiment a little!
    The one thing I do differently is to bake the flavor of the seasoning right into the meat instead of the outside of the skin. I cut the skin in a line down the inside of the leg & then pull the skin back on the entire drumstick. I coat the inside of the drumsticks with olive oil & then shake on seasoning, turn the leg over & repeat. Lastly I pull the skin back over the drumstick (lifting slightly so as to not scrape off the seasoning!) & place on metal pan with the skin seam down to seal in all the juices while baking (a toothpick here & there if needed to keep the skin in place).
    The higher heat of 425 degrees in this recipe is essential to crisp/brown the skin. I also check the drumsticks @ 5 min before the recommended cook time, @ the cook time and @ 5 min after and pull out to enjoy once they are safely cooked to my taste. Follow the same procedure to bake chicken thighs that everyone will beg for. Just add another 5-10 minutes to the estimated cooking time and ENJOY!

  6. Gayle

    5 stars
    I am a novice with all of this I phone help; but this recipe sounds perfect and sure to be delicious. We are in midst of being housebound because of the shutdown and wanted to use my defrosted chicken legs for tonight’s dinner Thank you for your help and may all of you remain well 😊

  7. Dano S.

    The recipe says chicken legs but all the photos are of chicken drumsticks which require a different cooking time than legs.

  8. Johann

    5 stars
    I made these last night, adding some ground pepper flakes for spice, and they were wonderful. My wife, who normally doesn’t like chicken legs, ate 4 of them because she loved them so much. Thank you!

  9. Kurt Wallner

    5 stars
    Wow. I am stunned at how simple and delicious this recipe is. Followed the recipe except I was out of poultry seasoning. Seriously the best tasting and juiciest chicken I have made in a long time. Thank you so much for this post. I’ll be making this again and checking out your other posts.

  10. A.Marie

    5 stars
    Best chicken leg recipe EVER!! I followed your directions exactly and oh my word! Delish!!!! I baked them un-covered and they got a beautiful, golden brown. Definitely going to bookmark this page for future reference!

    1. N. Mon

      Make sure you stress the baking sheet on metal pan. I put mines crowded together in a glass baking dish and it took 90 mins to get fully cooked through.

  11. Toni

    HI there Lauren, I am going to make this for dinner tonight but also I noticed that you also have a Facebook page 🙂 I love it!! I liked, marked follow and see first as my settings that way all I have to do is go to your wall and find another delish recipe instead of googling . Thanks for being there and look forward to making more of your dishes!!
    Thanks again,

    1. Lauren

      I’ve never tried that particular seasoning, especially mixed with the others but you are welcome to experiment and try it out 🙂

  12. Abby

    5 stars
    Delicious!! I changed up the seasoning a little based on what I had on hand (garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste) and baked according to your instructions. They came out perfect, my husband and I slammed them 🙂

  13. Marissa

    5 stars
    Made this last night, didn’t have any onion powder so I used half the amount of roasted garlic power instead and it tasted wonderful! Definitely going to make drumsticks more often now!

    1. Elizabeth

      5 stars
      Making this as I write my review 🙂
      The spices already smell so good and they have only been in the oven for 15 mins so far, I’m thinking I’m going to turn the chicken over halfway through cooking time because I can hear them cooking, I guess its from the oil! Can’t wait to try them 🙂

  14. Stephanie Day

    5 stars
    I made this last night, tasted so good and was in the oven so quickly! I turned the chicken legs half way through cooking time. Adding to my week night rotation.

    1. dennis

      Turned mine as well to get crispy all over. I also cooked them on a baking rack in lieu of sitting in the grease.
      Just my preference, that’s all.


  15. Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] have it as a side dish with something else. It’s particularly delicious with steak skewers, baked chicken legs or pulled pork. […]

    1. Sarah K

      When I think of leg I think of the drumstick. The other part is a thigh. Regardless what is your point, you can use the same directions for any part of a chicken or any other meat or veggie. Get over yourself

  16. Barbara

    5 stars
    I should try your method of rubbing the chicken legs with olive oil and sprinkling with seasonings. I use commercial marinades, but I believe they add too many carbs.