The Best 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!) 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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Sheila

This recipe is delicious and easy to make during the week. The ONLY small change I make is marinating the chicken. I use a gallon ziploc bag and mix everything with the chicken and leave it in the fridge all day while I’m at work. The sauce soaks into the meat and gives it more flavor. I get compliments every time I make this dish. Thank you!

Julia

This recipe is delicious. I don’t generally eat chicken legs but we loved these. I was a little short on honey so supplemented with cane syrup but worked fine. Thanks for the tips on the pan prep and size. Will make again!

MARTHA WOLDE

I had to cook it 400F and longer
It turned out great and delicious

MARTHA WOLDE

The best chicken 🍗 ever!! Thanks

Lisa DeMarco

Made this twice and followed the recipe to the T and the sauce never came together to thicken. Taste good but won’t make it again

Emilie B.

I have made this recipe a few times and I’m making it again tonight! I don’t change the recipe at all and follow the suggestions and we all, yes even my pickiest eater, love these. For anyone having problems with the right sized pan, I use a broiling pan minus the top grate-thing that comes with it, line it with foil and it’s the perfect size. I even use the huge 5+ lb package of chicken legs I find at Walmart and they fit just fine. I also don’t hurry to get them out of the oven as I love the browning on these so much!

mary roberts

I also had a terrible experience with this recipe. I believe it should have been cooked on lower heat for much much longer. Legs were tough and I could not discern the flavor of the marinade much at all. very disappointed

Melissa

I’ve made this recipe so many times and we LOVE it!! Wondering if you have directions for the instant pot?? Thanks so much!!

Lucy

I was really surprised how disappointing this recipe was. Maybe we just have different tastes. I used 1/2 cup honey instead of the 3/4 cup because we buy very expensive wildflower honey. But I kept everything else the same and follow the baking instructions exactly.
This marinade really really really needs to be on the chicken for 30-45 minutes before cooking. It was so shocking that this isn’t apart of the recipe and against my better judgement I followed the instructions.
So, unsurprisingly it tasted only like honey when done.
Also I knew a jelly roll pan was not going to suffice and I used a 2 inch high cast iron pan and that was a BIG MISTAKE. The honey bubbled over the sides and my whole kitchen smelled like burnt sugar even thought I used heavy duty tinfoil. Not to mention the sad state of my oven.
0 out of 10 would recommend this recipe (everyone who ate it).

Brandon

Delicious! Marinated in Italian dressing all day. Felol right off the bone

Brandon

Delicious! Marinated in Italian dressing all day. Cooked a little longer and it fell right off the bone.

Kaysha

These were super good and came together very easily and quickly!

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.