The Best Baked Chicken Legs

How to bake chicken legs in the oven, sweet and salty chicken legs, chicken and soy sauce recipe

Guys, you will love this. We are chicken leg lovers and I make them often; this is one of the best recipes that I’ve made! Chicken legs are cheap and everything in this recipe is probably already in your kitchen, plus it is easy! We all need some easy meals this week while we are preparing to enjoy a holiday weekend.

Sweet and salty baked chicken legs with a hint of garlic and a sticky gooey outside: what’s not to love? Plan on making these as soon as you get the legs; you’ll thank me later.

Are you all traveling, hosting, or staying in town for Turkey Day? We go to my mother-in-law’s for a big extended family dinner and then a gigantic alumni basketball tournament at the high school that lasts all weekend. It’s a lot of fun and on top of all that I’m excited to meet my newest nephew who was born this week. Holidays are the best!

Let me know if you try the recipe. I love feedback. Enjoy!

The Best Baked Chicken Legs
If you try these baked chicken legs, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #blessthismesseat on Instagram. I love to see your kitchen skills in action!
The Best Baked Chicken Legs
  • 2½ pounds chicken legs
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the chicken legs out and give them a good sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. Put them in a foil-lined baking dish with high sides (the foil is to make clean up easier and is not essential). A high sided sheet pan is the best option because the sides keep everything in but it is big enough that the chicken isn't drowning in the sauce. It will caramelize best if half of the chicken is poking out of the sauce while cooking.
  2. In a glass measuring cup measure out the honey, soy sauce, and ketchup. Add the minced garlic and stir. If the mixture doesn't combine well microwave it on high for thirty seconds and stir again. Pour the honey mixture over the chicken legs.
  3. Put the chicken legs in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and rotate it so that the bottom that was in the sauce is now on the top out of the sauce. Put the legs back in the oven. Raise the heat to 425 degrees and bake until the sauce is bubbly and starts to caramelize on the chicken legs. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Notes: Don't forget the napkins because this is a finger lickin' kind of meal.
Serves 6

The best chicken leg recipe ever (baked or slow cooker!)

This recipe is a LONG time favorite in our house and it is highly adaptable to the slow cooker (hooray!!!). I change the portions a bit (use a 1/2 cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce) but it still tastes great. It’s a little lest sticky like this but it’s simple and flavorful. Here’s a fun video for you. If slow cookers or super simple healthy meals for your family are you jam, you’ll love my freezer to slow cooker ebook (no cook on prep day!).


The best chicken leg recipe ever (baked or slow cooker!)

The Best Baked Chicken Legs
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166 comments on “The Best Baked Chicken Legs

    1. I think so. Most of that small bone-in chicken cooks about the same amount of time. You could always use a thermometer to check the temperature to make sure you aren’t over cooking though!

  1. I have been looking for a great middle-of-the-week chicken recipe that’s quick and easy, using ingredients that I keep stocked anyway, and this is it! I have already made it several times- Hubby LOVES it! It’s just the two of us so I usually halve the recipe. Perfection! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I made these for dinner last night. It was A BIG HIT!!!! My picky 3 yr old ate and my 4 yr old had thirds. and my husband said a definite do over. This was great. Perfect blend of flavor and I really like the fact that the taste went all the way to the bone. Thank you…..

  3. I didnt have soy sauce :( i am replacing it with teriyaki…. (crossing fingers) will let you know how it turns out …

  4. Made these yesterday for dinner and they were delicious! Used 10 legs and used gluten free versions of ingredients where needed, for my hubby (gluten allergy). Otherwise, followed recipe exactly. Whole family loved this recipe, especially my 8 year old daughter! Served with creamy Parmesan rice (Pinterest) and roasted veggies (Pinterest). Leftovers tasted even better today!

  5. I made this for the first time last week, and made it again tonight for dinner! It’s just so yummy! I’m not normally a fan of drumsticks, but these are just too good to resist! I am one happy pregnant lady : D

  6. I finally made these tonight… Went to a wholesale store and bought a huge bag of drumsticks…. It was absolutely delicious… Finger licking good…. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of the drumsticks… Any recipe ideas? Thank you!!!

  7. Made this recipe tonight, as it started to rain just before heading out to turn on the grill. This was super easy! I coulnd’t get my sauce to carmelize though. I left it in 20 mins at 425 but couldn’t try longer as everyone was starved! Two teen boys both gave it a thumbs up. We used the extra sauce on top of the mixed veggies, and will be saving the rest for rice tomorrow!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! It’s bad for both her and I to have the exact same post up…I’ll send her an email! Really, thanks a bunch for taking the time to let me know!

  8. Hi, this may have been answered in the comments but I must Have missed it. Can I put the sauce on the chicken and marinate it over night?

  9. We made this tonight and they were DELICIOUS!! We are always looking for new ways to cook chicken legs. We will definitely be making these again.

  10. My sauce didn’t thicken at all, and I’ve made this twice now. Not sure what I am doing wrong! I even put the sauce in a small saucepan afterwards, and boiled it for a bit, and nothing. :( But it was still yummy!

  11. Made this last night with a mixed family pack of chicken! Seriously, one of the best chicken recipes I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe it will be in heavy rotation! Ps. I used light soy sauce and agave instead of honey. It was delicious! :-)

  12. Oh…my…gosh. This was so good! I decided at the last minute to try it and I’m so glad I did! I was almost out of honey, so I used mostly maple syrup. I totally forgot to add the garlic but it turned out fabulous anyway. I had almost 4 lbs of drumsticks and there was still plenty of sauce to spoon over the chicken (and the buttery rice I made, which paired so nicely with the chicken). This will definitely go into the semi-weekly rotation!

  13. try replacing the ketchup with sriracha if you like some heat – my parents make this a lot with sriracha and minus the garlic (garlic would make theirs better though!)

  14. So delicious! Love this recipe! Adding it to our list of family dinner faves! The sauce was sooooooo good☺️ I loved that it was a quick meal to make with only a few simple ingredients.👍🏼 Perfect for this mom of five!

  15. I’ve never had an luck with a recipe that had honey and yet for some reason I tried this. Followed the recipe 99.9% minute the fact that I used other chicken parts lol But still so delicious. My picky eaters (husband and two kids) ALL are it up and asked for seconds! Thank you for such an easy delicious definitely new go-to recipe!

    1. Yay for a great recipe! Did you happen to serve it with a little rice to put the extra sauce on? SO good! Enjoy friend and thank you for taking the time to comment!

      1. Actually, I made it with “Red Rice” I am from Guam so Red Rice (it’s called red because the water that makes it is red, but the finished rice actually looks orange) is my go to for recipes that I am uncertain of. It paired nicely and I got lots of compliments on the pic. Those that asked were directed to this website via my Pinterest link :-)

  16. I seem to be in a bit of a “chicken rut’ lately, always resorting to the same old same old. Tonight I decided to get out of that rut and try this recipe – DANG am I glad I did! I made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts only because I have never been a fan of legs. The sauce was soo yummy and looked like it had a bit of an Asian taste to it from looking at the ingredients in it so I paired it with home made fried rice. I have enough left over for a nice big meal of it tomorrow too! Thank you for helping me try something new again lol