Baked Chicken Legs

4.97 from 26 votes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This recipe for Baked Chicken Legs is a simple and delicious dinner. Rub with a little olive oil, homemade spice rub and bake. 

So so happy to be sharing this easy Baked Chicken Legs recipe today! 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

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 temperature crisps the skin, locking in moisture and flavor, leaving you with some seriously tasty baked chicken legs!

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

Love chicken? Try out my Roast ChickenChicken Piccata RecipeOven Fried ChickenSticky Chicken Drumsticks and Lauren’s Roasted Chicken Thighs.

unbaked chicken legs

Ingredients Needed

This list is kind of laughable. It’s literally just the chicken drumsticks and then a bunch of spices for the homemade spice mix. (More notes on that below!) Told you this was an easy recipe.

  • chicken legs/drumsticks– I used 2 pounds which comes out to be 8 legs.
  • olive oil– used to help crisp the skin on the chicken as it bakes.
  • salt & pepper– the obvious seasonings there are.
  • onion powder– not to be confused with onion salt. They ARE different. Onion powder is just the dried and powdered onion with no salt added. Garlic powder can also work in a pinch.
  • poultry seasoning– this is a great all purpose seasoning mixture for chicken. It pairs really well with the onion powder.
  • paprika– used mainly for color, but feel free to use smoked paprika for a little smokey bite.

seasonings

How to Bake Chicken Legs

I purposely made this recipe as easy as possible with the simplest of ingredients because I’m a busy working Mom and understand why you sometimes need a ridiculously easy dinner like a simple baked chicken drumstick.

  1. 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.
  2. Now for the spice rub: in a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and paprika.
  3. On a baking sheet, 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 to each his own!
  4. After about 40-45 minutes in a hot oven, you should have some crispy, flavorful, golden brown chicken legs.

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.
unbaked chicken legs

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.

baked chicken legs

What to serve with Baked Chicken Legs:

baked chicken legs

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!

4.97 from 26 votes

Baked Chicken Legs

This recipe for Baked Chicken Legs is a simple and delicious dinner. Rub with a little olive oil, homemade spice rub and bake. 
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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 40-45 minutes or until browned and meat thermometer registers 165 degrees or higher. Serve warm.

Nutrition

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
Polaroid photo of granola bars

Never Miss a Recipe!

Join thousands of readers & get easy recipes via email for FREE!

Share a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




60 Responses
  1. 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.

    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

  2. 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. […]

  3. 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.

      Enjoy!

    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 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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 🙂

    1. Lauren

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

  6. 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,
    Toni

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. Dano S.

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

  11. 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 😊

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

    1. Lauren

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

“logos”
pumpkin muffins