Delicious caramelized baked chicken legs are the best way to make baked chicken legs in the oven, and requires only 5 ingredients!
Guys, you will love this. This easy drumstick recipe has been shared over 250,000 times and loads and loads of people have made it, loved it, and left great reviews (you can see them in the comments section). I can’t wait for you to add this to your dinner rotation too! We are chicken leg lovers and I make this recipe often; this is one of the best recipes that I’ve ever 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. Plus the sauce is extra delicious and can be used on top of rice or steamed or roasted vegetables to quickly round out this meal.
Let me know if you try the recipe. I love feedback. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for making the BEST Baked Chicken Legs
- A high sided sheet pan 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.
- Lining your pan with foil makes clean-up a breeze.
- 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.
Here’s a video on how to make the best baked chicken legs at home for all you visual learners:
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The Best Baked Chicken Legs
Delicious caramelized baked chicken legs are the best way to make baked chicken legs in the oven, and the recipe requires only 5 ingredients!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste (may not be needed depending on brand of soy sauce)
- 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 – it’s not essential). 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I love chicken legs so much that I wrote a HUGE post on all things chicken legs. The post includes 8 different recipes (all 5 ingredients or less) plus 3 different ways to cook each recipe (slow cooker, oven-baked, or slow oven-baked). You need this post in your life and I can’t wait for you to try all of the recipes. You can check out the other post here. Long live the chicken leg!
- How to slow cook chicken legs:
- 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 hour or on high for 4 hours, until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees 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 recipe was originally published in November 2012 and was updated in August 2017.
Enjoy this super simple recipe from my kitchen to yours. Long live easy dinner that the whole family loves! When I’m looking for quick chicken dinners, I also love these easy chicken tacos, The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters, and chicken bacon ranch pasta salad.