The Best Baked Chicken Legs

5 from 97 reviews

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes The Best Baked Chicken Legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree – this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!) Just pop these legs in the oven, and you’ll have a crispy chicken dinner!

I’m no stranger to excellent baked chicken legs. Try these:Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Legs, Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Legs and 4-Ingredient Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Legs.

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

Oven Baked Chicken Legs With Honey

Not only is this one of my kids’ favorite ways to enjoy chicken, but this recipe is also on its way to breaking the internet! For real. I knew it was delicious and easy, but after being shared more than 250,000 times with oodles of reviews from people who’ve made them (check ‘em out in the comments section), I almost can’t believe how much you guys are in love with this recipe!

I think what really knocks this recipe out of the park is the fact that chicken legs are so inexpensive and pack such incredible flavor, and the rest of the ingredients needed for this dish are probably ones you already have in your fridge and pantry. Score! They’re a little bit sweet and a little bit salty, with just a hint of garlic on that sticky exterior. I mean… What’s not to love?

Chicken with Soy Sauce Marinade

The sauce is truly addicting. You’ll want it on fried rice, steamed veggies, and maybe even in a cup with a straw to drink it — it’s THAT good. I’d love to know if you give this recipe a try and love feedback, so leave a comment if you give these a go!

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

Tips and Tricks for Making the BEST Baked Chicken Legs

Here for the right pan: Because these guys are thick and saucy, you’ll want a sheet pan with high sides to keep all the juices in and large enough so the chicken isn’t drowning in the sauce. To get the best caramelized texture, the chicken should stick out of the sauce a bit while cooking.
Foil it up: Make sure you carefully line the pan with foil so you avoid a sticky mess during cleanup.
Sauce, sauce everywhere: This sauce is so good you may be tempted to bathe in it. Fair warning. I recommend serving the chicken legs with rice and steamed vegetables, and douse those well in the sauce, too. (Although I doubt it’ll take much convincing.)
Check the temperature: To make sure the chicken is actually done, use this affordable instant read thermometer. Better safe than sorry!
Slow cooker friendly: Hallelujah, this recipe IS slow cooker adaptable. I use a ½ cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce instead of the portions in the instructions, and it turns out a little less sticky, but just as flavorful and heavenly.
Slow cooker friendly: Hallelujah, this recipe IS slow cooker adaptable. I use a ½ cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce instead of the portions in the instructions, and it turns out a little less sticky, but just as flavorful and heavenly.

How Long Does It Take for Drumsticks to Cook in the Oven?

This really just depends on how you’re cooking it. I like to start with a preheated 350 degree F. oven and bake them for 45 minutes, rotate the legs, raise the heat to 425 degrees F., and put them back for about another 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and everything looks caramelized. Turning the legs is key to getting the sauce on “top” of the chicken legs!

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

Is Chicken Drumstick Dark Meat?

Yep! The wings, thighs, and drumsticks are dark meat in chicken, and usually they have a much heartier, juicier flavor and more tender texture than white meat.

How to Cook Chicken Legs in a Slow Cooker

  • Place all of the chicken legs in the bottom of a slow cooker (I have this slow cooker). Pour the sauce over the chicken legs. Slow cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.
  • This option is great for all the reasons the slow cooker is great. You can start it in the middle of the day and have dinner on the table without much hands-on work during the busy evening. Or you can get the slow cooker going, leave the house, and come home to dinner. This is great for working parents, for Sunday dinner (it can cook while you are at church), or if you are running kids to practices or lessons in the evening. This option leads to flavorful moist chicken, but the outside and skin don’t crisp at all.

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

Here’s a video on how to make the best baked chicken legs at home for all you visual learners:

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This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

The Best Baked Chicken Legs


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 min
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x

Description

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes The Best Baked Chicken Legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree – this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!) Just pop these legs in the oven, and you’ll have a crispy chicken dinner!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs (about 10 legs)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 heaping teaspoon of preminced garlic)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken legs out in a foil-lined baking dish with high sides (the foil is to make clean up easier — it’s not essential but helps a whole lot). A high-sided sheet pan is the best option because it has sides to 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 30 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 top, out of the sauce.
  4. Put the legs back in the oven. Raise the heat to 425 degrees F., and bake until the sauce is bubbly and starts to caramelize on the chicken legs. This should take about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce the the chicken cooked in with the meal or over rice if you’d like.

Notes

  • A pan slightly larger than 9×13 inch with sides is the best option because it has sides to keep all the juice in but 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. My pan is 11×15 inches and it works best. If your pan is too large though your sauce will be too shallow, evaporate and burn.
  • Lining your pan with foil makes clean-up much easier. I recommend it.
  • The sauce that the chicken cooks in is delicious over cooked rice and steamed or roasted vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) to round out the meal.
  • I like to use a little meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is done – better safe than sorry!
  • 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 less sticky, but it’s simple and flavorful.
  • How to cook chicken legs in a slow cooker: Place all of the chicken legs in the bottom of a slow cooker (I have this slow cooker). Pour the sauce over the chicken legs. Slow cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.
  • This option is great for all the reasons the slow cooker is great. You can start it in the middle of the day and have dinner on the table without much hands-on work during the busy evening. Or you can get the slow cooker going, leave the house, and come home to dinner. This is great for working parents, for Sunday dinner (it can cook while you are at church), or if you are running kids to practices or lessons in the evening. This option leads to flavorful moist chicken, but the outside and skin don’t crisp at all.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 559.1 Fat: 30.2g Cholesterol: 175.7mg Sodium: 1,617.7mg Carbohydrates: 39.7g Sugars: 37.3g Protein: 33.7g Vitamin A: 55.5µg Vitamin C: 1.3mg

Keywords: chicken legs recipe, chicken drumsticks recipe, baked chicken, easy chicken dinner recipe, how to bake chicken legs, best baked chicken legs,

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How great are these 2013 pictures! This is my most highly made recipe from the site, and I can’t wait for you to make it too!

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

Round Out this Meal with:

Other Chicken Leg Recipes You’ll Love:

This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated and rephotographed in June 2019.

You are going to love this easy chicken leg recipe and make it over and over again! This is the post that gets so many comments, pins, and people send me emails and texts about how much they loved them when they are easy. PLUS with only 5 ingredients, you are going to make these again and again! ENJOY!

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Dot
Dot

Hi, could I use this recipe with chicken thighs ? Would it turn out ok or do i have to change the temperature or anything?

C.J.
C.J.

I made this recipe several times and love it! The last time I made it, though, I threw them on the BBQ grill and it was chicken perfection!

carolkurt@aol.com
carolkurt@aol.com

Hi Melissa, I just finished dinner with my husband after making this recipe, It really was the best! I am not a lover of honey, but I love dark meat chicken, so I decided to make it. I did remove the skin from my 12 chicken legs, as that is what my husband prefers. I baked the legs at 350 for 35 instead of 45 minutes, but I think I could have done the whole 45 minutes. The skin crisps up a little, and that confused me, as I didn’t want to dry them out. I did everything else according to the recipe. Absolutely delicious! My fears about the honey were totally unfounded! Next time I’m going to try a tablespoon of cornstarch as suggested to thicken the liquid, as it didn’t thicken on it’s own. I so appreciated all your tips too – I didn’t read them through, and used a 9×13 which drowned the legs. Then, after reading your tips, I switched to an 11×15 pan & all was well. I love your site, & I love your recipes! So easy & simple to follow! Thank you!

Kristin Caperton
Kristin Caperton

Have you tried this with coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce?

Arlie Kendall
Arlie Kendall

Very easy! And delicious!

Mike
Mike

My kids new favorite! Thanks!

Lorraine
Lorraine

Can I make this with mixed chicken pieces, including chicken breasts? If so, how long would I bake it for?

Zorro
Zorro

Nice recipe. One little thing though, chicken wings are actually light meat! Crazy right? It gets mistaken for dark due to the high amount of fat in the skin and most common methods of preparation. America’s test kitchen that are really interesting side-by-side comparison.

Keep up the awesome recipe action!

Stephanie
Stephanie

Turned out great!!! Just a little too sweet. Will put less honey next time. Also did it in my air fryer/oven/… it cooked a lot faster , so didn’t have top wait for 1hr to eat…

Goo
Goo

The taste is good but once you get past the skin theirs no taste from the recipe left

Jane
Jane

Hi Melissa! I was in a hurry and had some drumsticks in the fridge so Googled chicken drumstick recipes. I don’t even remember seeing any other recipe. I saw the picture and the name and clicked on it.

We made it exactly as the recipe & then our creativity ran over and we made it our own. Your recipe sounded so good but since we’re diabetics, reduced the honey to 1 LARGE tablespoon, used low-sodium soya, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of prepared mustard and didn’t have garlic so used lots of garlic powder. We were in a hurry, so put it on the stove but not before we added some onions, huge piece of ginger (at least 2”), and a red bell pepper. Then the chicken, homemade chicken bone broth and … threw in some brown rice. Oh yum!

Didn’t need any additional S&P and it was so yummy! Thanks for posting.

Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones

Wings are WHITE meat just fyi

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.