Baked Chicken Legs

These Oven Baked Chicken Legs (drumsticks) are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. No breading needed! Turn to this easy recipe when you need a quick dinner or protein for meal prep.

Cooking chicken legs in the oven is a foolproof cooking method that always produces juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside chicken! No complicated steps included – just season the chicken, bake for about 40 minutes, then serve and enjoy.

The best part of this recipe is that while your chicken legs bake in the oven, you can throw in a side of sweet potatoes, delicata squash, broccoli, or brussels sprouts and they’ll bake at the same time. So, in no time, you’ll have a well-balanced meal everyone will love.

🛒 Ingredients needed

  • Chicken drumsticks – Keep the skin on and the bones in! I used 2 pounds worth of drumsticks for this recipe, which should be enough to feed a family of four.
  • Dry seasonings – You can keep it simple and stick to a mix of kosher salt, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder. Or, if you want to kick up the spice level, head to the Customizing tips below for more seasoning ideas. 
  • Olive oil – Just a little gets mixed with the spices to create a paste, which helps the seasonings stick to the skin.

📋 How to make oven baked chicken legs

Oven roasting produces crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken every time:

Preheat the oven

Set the oven to 425-degrees and preheat while you prep the chicken. If you have a convection oven, you should use that feature.

Season the chicken legs

Combine the salt and spices with olive oil to create a paste. Rub the paste onto the skin, coating each piece evenly.

Bake the chicken legs

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Then arrange the drumsticks in a single layer.

Cook for 20 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165-degrees.

Enjoy!

🌟 Recipe tips

  • Take the drumsticks out of the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Tempering the meat helps it cook quicker and more evenly. 
  • Before applying the seasoning paste, pat the legs completely dry with a paper towel. This not only helps the seasonings stick to the outside of the chicken but also prevents steaming (which stops the skin from crisping).
  • Do not overcrowd the baking sheet. The hot air must fully circulate around each drumstick to achieve crispy skin.
  • Let the drumsticks rest for 5 minutes after cooking. This helps every bit of juice and flavor soak into the meat. 

🍽 Serving suggestions

Chicken legs for dinner pair so well with all of the side dishes below, as well as these 50 Best Sides For Chicken or BBQ Chicken:

👩‍🍳 Customize it

As an alternative to the suggested seasonings in the recipe card, use any of these seasoning blends instead: 

The right sauces can make your chicken legs feel just like your favorite chicken wings. Try tossing the cooked legs in one of these fun flavors or serving it on the side: 

Oven baked chicken legs piled in serving bowl.

ℹ️ FAQs

How long do chicken legs take in the oven?

This exact time will depend on the size of the drumsticks. They typically don’t take longer than 45 minutes when cooked at 425-degrees.

How do you know when chicken legs are done?

The best way to tell that the chicken is done cooking is with a meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thicker part of the leg and check that the internal temperature has reached a safe 165ºF before serving.
If the meat is cooked through but the skin isn’t crisped to your liking, continue cooking the legs up to 190ºF. The skin will crisp without sacrificing any juiciness inside. 

🕕 Storing and reheating

Let the chicken legs cool completely before refrigerating them in a shallow, airtight container for 3 to 4 days. They also freeze well for up to 4 months.

To reheat, bake the chicken in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the skin is re-crisped and the meat is warmed through. 

🍷 Wine pairings for drumsticks

​​Did you make these crispy drumsticks in the oven?

If you loved this oven baked chicken legs recipe, I would appreciate it if you gave it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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🍗 More helpful how-to chicken guides

Baked chicken legs in white serving bowl.

Oven Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

These Oven Baked Chicken Legs are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. No breading needed! Turn to this easy recipe when you need a quick dinner or protein for meal prep.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.
  • In a small bowl combine the salt and spices with oil to create a paste. Coat chicken drumsticks with the paste.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches 165-degrees.

Notes

  • Take the drumsticks out of the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Tempering the meat helps it cook quicker and more evenly. 
  • Before applying the seasoning paste, pat the legs completely dry with a paper towel. This not only helps the seasonings stick to the outside of the chicken but also prevents steaming (which stops the skin from crisping).
  • Let the drumsticks rest for 5 minutes after cooking. This helps every bit of juice and flavor soak into the meat. 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Baking Sheet
Small Bowl

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 1322mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

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