Baked chicken legs in the oven with sauce turns out great! Crispy drumsticks with tender meat inside is a cheap meal that kids love. Add your favorite barbecue sauce and dinner is served!
Oven baked chicken legs is just such an easy meal. You can pair these with vegetables, salad or just as is. Brush on your favorite sauce or leave simple with just some seasonings. It’s super versatile but always a fave with kids and adults alike. (affiliate links present)
Baked Chicken Legs in Oven
We shared baked turkey legs with you recently. This is similar but doesn’t take as long. I love brushing these with either barbecue sauce or teriyaki too when done. Adds a ton of flavor to them but if you are going for a low carb meal you could just sprinkle with salt and pepper too.
Then we went on to show you how long to cook chicken wings in oven at 375, these fall somewhere between the two. There is a key to getting crispy chicken skin y’all and it might be more surprising as you might think. It is a white substance you would normally use to bake cakes but draws the moisture out perfectly as meat bakes too.
We have used this process to make air fryer baking powder chicken but you can use it for baking in the oven as well. The reason it works so well is that when it coats the skin. When it is under high heat it sucks what moisture is left on the skin out so it gets crispier than any other method.
How Long to Bake Chicken Legs
For how long to cook chicken legs in oven you’ll want to set aside 45 minutes for these. If they are smaller 40 min. might do it but with the prep and all I would say you need an hour to get it all done. Not bad for a main dish.
Of course you will want to season that up and not just use it right out of the bottle or bag. If you have seasonings you like on poultry then by all means use those. I have a suggestion below though so you can test this one out and adjust to your liking on the 2nd batch if you prefer.
- 6-10 chicken legs with the bone- in of course and for sure you want the skin on
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Regular or smoked paprika works well
- 1 tsp salt and pepper can be added if you’d like
- Onion powder works great for this
- Baking powder is the “secret” ingredient y’all
- You’ll want a gallon size Ziploc bag to shake the mixture on to your meat
- This is our favorite barbecue sauce
Baking Powder Chicken Legs
If you have another favorite sauce you could use that instead. Teriyaki is amazing, mustard sauce or if you have your own spicy mixture. You can brush it on at the end as this was done or 10 minutes before it’s done you can add it if you want it to bake on and kinda’ caramelize on top.
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
I do have a printable recipe card with ingredients listed below. Here is a quick step by step so you can peek at it beforehand. If you have questions you can ask them below and I will get a notice so I can try and help you. It really is self explanatory though and really not that hard.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack on top.
- In a small bowl, stir together all of the dry seasoning.
- Pat dry the chicken legs with paper towels. Place the chicken in a ziploc storage bag, along with the dry seasonings. Toss well.
- Place the coated chicken on the wire racks.
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
- if you want really really crispy outsides you can spray with olive oil and that will really amp it up to get the ultra crunchy crispy skin you want.
- Remove chicken from the oven and coat with preferred bbq sauce.
These same steps can be used to make baked chicken thighs too you would just need to increase the timing a bit fro those since typically they are larger. You should always use a meat thermometer to ensure it is at a safe temperature before biting in. 165 F is what you want in the thickest portion after pulling them out. Use an instant read thermometer to test accurately.
How Long to Bake Chicken Legs at 350
Let’s say you had a few dishes you needed to cook at the same temp so you needed to lower this one to match those. That is not a problem. It will take longer of course but not a huge difference. You’ll need 50-60 minutes at this lower number to get the meat inside nice and tender.
How to Bake Chicken Legs
Want to try another baked chicken leg recipe that is marinated before you cook it?? Try our lemon pepper chicken marinade with a touch of black pepper in it sometime. I would whip that up and soak the meat in it overnight, or at least for a few hours.
No matter which seasoning or sauce you choose you will follow the same steps as far as baking goes. The reason why you don’t just set on the baking sheet as is is that the juices will build up and the skin will sit in it making it sorta’ soggy. If you use a wire rack (or cooling rack as I call it) it will elevate it a bit so the juices drip away from the meat.
Baked Chicken Legs and Thighs
Now if you want to keep both of these pieces together for more meat you can follow our baked chicken leg quarters temperature and timing. Of course since they are larger it will take a bit more time but so worth it, and often times they are really cheap to buy this way.
Chicken Leg Side Dishes
As far as making a few easy side dishes to go with these I mean the list is long. Of course you can make mashed potatoes or taters of any kind really to go along with these. Other things that take less than 30 minutes and could be thrown in with this would be roasted zucchini and squash or broccoli.
I do suggest making a vegetable of some sort and typically my kids are always looking for some kind of carb. To make things easier I often times will buy bagged frozen rolls that you just pop into the oven for about 10 minutes.
How do you store leftover chicken drumsticks?
You want to keep them moist so I like using a freezer bag. Normal sandwich bags aren’t as thick and are quite small too. If you use the quart or gallon size you can store a few and then suck all of the air out of it so there is little to no air left inside to dry them out. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but 24 hours later is ideal.
How do you reheat leftover chicken legs?
Keep some of the sauce you added the first time around on the side in a sealed container. When you reheat chicken in air fryer or in the microwave you will want to add sauce to the top and all around to prevent it from drying out. If you don’t have anymore you can brush mayonnaise on instead or a tbsp of broth.
You only want to heat these a second time and not beyond that. It will dry them out too much beyond that which is no good. Another option is to remove the meat and add it into a whole new dish like our Crockpot chicken casserole or toss it with sauce and on to a small slider bun for lunch the next day.
Leftover Chicken Legs Recipes
If you cooked for a crowd and have a lot of leftovers you may need to use the protein for a few days in a row. I too hate wasting food so it is great to have a bunch of leftover chicken recipes to choose from. You only want to remove the meat and warm what you know you are going to reheat and use that day. Leave the others whole and in that sealed bag.
Every time you add heat to meat it is going to suck what moisture is left right out of it. Leaving it on the bone and untouched will keep it tender for a longer period of time, same goes with beef. I will usually make a casserole on night 2, a soup on night 3 and then what is left can be thrown into a sandwich of some sort.
Another easy night 3 is to make pickle chicken salad or a sort of tuna fish mixture but instead use chicken!! Super easy as you know how to make that will some mayo, relish and maybe a bit of salt and pepper. On bread or just with some crackers to scoop it up is a cheap last meal so you can use it all up for good and know you used it all. 😉
Unlike boiled chicken legs you get still the moist tender meat inside, but an added crunch on the outside this way. If you’re a big texture gal like myself it will be your best method yet.
Give it a whirl as directed below. Let us know if another seasoning you add brought it to a new level. Or if you have an alternative sauce you love. Buffalo sauce works well if you love hot and spicy. I am a want to taste my food kinda’ gal so that is a no go for me. 😉
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Baked Chicken Legs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack on top.
- In a small bowl, stir together all of the dry seasoning. Pat dry the chicken legs with paper towels. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag, along with the dry seasonings. Toss well.
- Place the coated chicken on the wire racks. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Remove chicken from the oven and coat with preferred bbq sauce.