Baked Chicken Legs

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Our easy baked chicken legs recipe can be prepped in just 10 minutes and baked to crispy perfection in 35 minutes. The oven baked chicken legs are seasoned with simple pantry staples, making it an easy weeknight meal.

a pile of baked chicken wings with fresh herbs

Looking for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner that the whole family will love? Our easy baked chicken legs with minimal cleanup are just what you need!

This recipe is inspired by our popular skin-on baked chicken thighs with a delicious seasoning blend. The secret to the chicken legs’ perfect crispiness is in the baking technique. Bake them on a wire rack, allowing the heat to circulate evenly around the legs, crisping the skin and seasoning.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients for seasoned chicken legs on a table
  • Chicken legs. These are sometimes called drumsticks. Chicken legs have some dark meat, making it tender and full of flavor.
  • Olive oil. Base the unbaked chicken legs with oil for crispy skin.
  • Smoked paprika. This adds color and such a good smoky flavor.
  • Garlic and onion powder. Two classics that make the flavor pop.
  • Oregano and thyme. These two savory spices add earthy flavors to the chicken. Thyme is in our Italian seasoning replacement which would be delicious on baked chicken drumsticks as well.
  • Salt & pepper.

✨ See the recipe card below for full amounts. ✨

Looking for something spicier? Try our barbecue chicken rub mix.

How to Bake Chicken Legs in 4 Steps

You’re going to love how easy it is to make baked chicken legs. You’ll need just 3 steps.

  • To prepare, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easier clean-up. Place oven-safe wire rack over the foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place chicken legs on baking rack. Use paper towels to brush the chicken legs and absorb any excess moisture. Then brush with olive oil on all sides. 
unbaked chicken legs on a wire baking rack
  1. In a small bowl, stir together seasonings. Rub onto all sides of chicken legs. 
unbaked chicken legs with seasoning on a wire rack
  1. Place in oven bake for 30-35 minutes. The legs should no longer pink at the bone and the juices should run clear. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but we prefer to cook the chicken to a higher internal temperature of 185-190ºF for it to be fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Best instant read Thermometer

We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.

closeup of baked chicken legs on a wire rack

What sides go well with baked chicken legs?

Baked chicken legs are versatile and pair well with a variety of side dishes, making them a great centerpiece for any meal. Here are some delicious options to consider:

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I flip chicken legs when baking?

With our method of baking the drumsticks on a wire rack, there’s no need to flip the drumsticks.

Do you bake drumsticks covered or uncovered?

In order to get a crispy skin, bake the drumsticks uncovered. They won’t be dry, I promise! The oil and skin prevents the chicken from drying out.

Can I bake chicken thighs or wings using this method?

Yes! Use this same method for either of the chicken cuts. Bake 5-10 minutes longer for chicken thighs and 5-10 minutes shorter for chicken wings.

Can I bake frozen chicken legs?

It’s best to thaw the chicken legs before baking. You can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave if you’re in a hurry. Thawing ensures the chicken cooks evenly.

Love chicken recipes? Try our honey butter fried chicken, fried chicken drumsticks, lemon lime chicken and a chicken sheet pan dinner.

a pile of baked chicken wings with fresh herbs
a pile of baked chicken wings with fresh herbs

Baked Chicken Legs

5 from 1 vote
Our easy baked chicken legs recipe can be prepped in just 10 minutes and baked to crispy perfection in 35 minutes. The oven baked chicken legs are seasoned with simple pantry staples, making it an effortless meal.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken legs about 6 legs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground thyme

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean-up. Place oven-safe wire rack over the foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place chicken legs on baking rack. Use paper towels to brush the chicken legs and absorb any extra moisture. Then brush the chicken with olive oil on all sides. 2 pounds bone-in chicken legs, 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • In a small bowl, stir together seasonings. Rub onto all sides of chicken legs. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground thyme
  • Place in oven bake for 30- 35 minutes. The legs should no longer pink at the bone and the juices should run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but we prefer to cook the chicken to 185-190ºF for it to be fall-off-the-bone tender.

Notes

If you don’t have a wire rack, bake the chicken legs directly on the foil (sprayed with cooking spray). Turn the chicken legs after 15 minutes to promote even cooking.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 6 chicken legs, with 1 serving being 1 chicken leg. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. **

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 658IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 235
Keyword baked chicken, chicken leg recipe
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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