These easy Baked Chicken Legs are crispy and flavorful on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside! Inexpensive, easy to make, and always juicy – this recipe checks all of the right boxes. My kids always beg to have these crispy chicken drumsticks for dinner!
An Easy Baked Chicken Legs Recipe
Make these easy Baked Chicken Legs for a quick and easy weeknight dinner with the family, as finger food at game night, or bring ‘em with you to a potluck. No matter when or where you serve these perfectly seasoned chicken legs, they’re going to be a HUGE hit!
What makes them so good? Well, a few things! For starters, the blend of mouthwatering seasonings make the skin on the chicken legs extra delicious. Spices like paprika and garlic powder mixed with an herbaceous Italian seasoning mix compliment the chicken in the best way.
The way that the skin crisps up as it bakes is also what makes this recipe so tried and true. Every time we bake our chicken legs, they always come out of the oven with juicy and tender meat inside and the most finger licking good crispy, flavorful skin on the outside!
This recipe is pretty inexpensive, and you likely already have just about everything you need already in your kitchen and ready to go!
- Drumsticks – You’ll need about 2 pounds of drumsticks for this easy recipe. Double or halve that amount as needed.
- Olive Oil – Avocado oil also works great! No matter which oil you use, make sure it’s a good quality.
- Paprika – For a smokier flare, you can opt for smoked paprika instead.
- Garlic Powder – This seasoning can be overpowering, so while we do love to measure all things garlic with our hearts, make sure you don’t totally take over the other spices.
- Italian Seasoning – This mix of dried herbs creates a great aromatic element to the chicken legs.
- Black Pepper – We usually only ever use freshly cracked black peppercorns, as they yield the most flavor.
- Salt – Make sure you’re using coarse (or kosher) salt as opposed to iodized. Coarse salt will yield more flavorful results.
How to Make Baked Chicken Legs
Prepare your kitchen. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover a baking pan with foil and spray nonstick spray on foil, set aside.
Prepare the drumsticks. Pat drumsticks dry with a paper towel, place legs in a gallon zip lock bag.
Season the chicken. Add olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Zip bag shut and shake to coat legs with oil and seasoning.
Bake the chicken legs, then enjoy! Place drumsticks on a prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through, until an internal temperature reaches 170°F. Let the legs rest for 5 minutes and then serve!
Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Legs
- Flip the legs. Check the legs at about 20 minutes. If you feel they are getting too brown, flip them over.
- Rotate the pan. Sometimes ovens don’t cook evenly. Rotate your baking pan halfway through cooking if you feel like the chicken legs are looking a little uneven.
- Use a bag. This recipe has seriously easy cleanup! Use a gallon zip lock bag to coat the drumsticks with seasoning, that way you don’t have to clean a mixing bowl.
- Keep the skin on. Don’t remove the skin. It gets crispy in the oven!
These chicken legs can be served as an appetizer all on their own, but you can also make them the star of the meal with a few good sides. Here are a few side dishes that would pair great with these crispy baked chicken legs:
- Rice or Potatoes: A carb is always welcome with chicken legs! Something like our Cilantro Lime Rice or Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes would both be delicious. Or go for gold with our Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes or Twice Baked Potato Casserole.
- Veggies: You can steam some vegetables to go with these chicken legs, or try our favorite Skillet Fried Corn, crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, or Southern Green Beans With Bacon!
- Deviled Eggs: If going to a party or a potluck, deviled eggs are always an awesome side that disappear quickly! Try our Southern Deviled Eggs for a classic pairing.
Can I prep ahead of time?
Sure thing! Place the chicken in the bag with the olive oil and seasonings and make sure it’s stored air tight in the fridge for up to 8 hours. Then, just bake as instructed! This also gives the chicken some time to marinate a little with the seasonings.
How To Store Leftovers
Store leftover chicken legs in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For best results, reheat chicken legs in an air fryer set to 400°F for 2 to 3 minutes, until warmed through. This will make them crispy again! However, you can also reheat them in the microwave or even back into the oven.
- 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking pan with foil and spray nonstick spray on foil, set aside.
- Pat drumsticks dry with a paper towel, place legs in a gallon zip lock bag.
- Add olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Zip bag shut and shake to coat legs with oil and seasoning.
- Place drumsticks on prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping half way through, until an internal temperature reaches 170°F. Let legs rest for 5 minutes and then serve!
Prep Ahead: Place ziplock bag with seasoned drumsticks in the refrigerator overnight. Then bake as directed.
Storage: You can store baked chicken legs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat them in an air fryer at 400°F for 2-3 minutes to make them crispy again!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 711mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 45g
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