Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Legs

5 from 2 votes

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You are going to LOVE sweet and spicy baked chicken legs — the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, and Sriracha makes a heavenly sauce that’s sticky and delicious on the caramelized legs!

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If you’ve followed along for a while, you know how much I love, love, love baked chicken legs. I have an internet famous recipe for regular baked chicken legs that’s been shared a quarter of a million times online… Yep, it’s that good! We make it all that time, and y’all, I’ve got to admit, today’s sweet and spicy baked chicken legs take that OG recipe to another level of deliciousness. The blend of Sriracha with honey, soy sauce, and ketchup gives it a fiery yet subtly sweet bite of flavor that is honestly irresistible.

If you’ve never made chicken legs before, don’t let them intimidate you! They’re pretty much miracle grocery items in my book. They’re a fairly cheap cut of meat, but when you cook them up nice and slowly with a flavorful sauce, they’re so tender and rich with a nice, caramelized topping. If you can mix up ingredients, pour them over some meat, and put it all in the oven, you can make this recipe! And trust me, you’ll want to over and over again. (Plus, I even included a slow cooker option in the recipe below!)

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavorful: Not sure what it is, but there’s just something about the combination of sweet and spicy.
  • Budget Friendly: Chicken legs are one of the most inexpensive meats you can buy. They’re a great way to feed your family a delicious dinner and stay in your budget.
  • Minimal Cleanup: Because the pan is lined with foil before baking, the cleanup is much easier than a normal sticky chicken recipe!

Ingredients

  • Chicken Legs
  • Honey
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Minced Garlic
  • Sriracha Hot Sauce

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities 

How to Make Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Legs

Step #1. Preheat the oven. Line a high-sided pan with aluminum foil and then lay the chicken legs in it.

Step #3. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes, turn the legs over, raise the oven temperature and continue baking for 15 minutes.

Step #2. In a glass measuring cup, mix together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and Sriracha. Pour it over the chicken legs.

Step #4. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.

How long does it take for drumsticks to cook in the oven?

It takes about one hour for the drumsticks to bake.

Are baked chicken legs healthy?

Baked chicken legs are a great source of protein! They’re a bit higher in fat and calorie content than white meat, like chicken breast, but it’s certainly a healthier option that red meat. Either way, I believe it’s all fine if you eat the right portion size and it makes you feel good!

What should I serve with drumsticks?

I LOVE serving these up with a little rice and roasted or steamed veggies, like cauliflower or broccoli. The sauce from the chicken is as absolutely divine on rice and veggies as it is on the chicken.

How long do sweet and spicy baked chicken legs last for?

These’ll last for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container. Make sure you reheat them in the oven so the sauce re-thickens — the microwave can make it seem more soggy than caramelized and thick.

sticky saucy chicken drumettes on a white plate

What to Serve with Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs

More Chicken Leg Recipes to Consider

top view of sticky saucy chicken drumettes on a white plate
5 from 2 votes

Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Legs

You are going to LOVE sweet and spicy baked chicken legs — the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, and Sriracha makes a heavenly sauce that’s sticky and delicious on the caramelized legs!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs, about 10 legs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 heaping teaspoon of pre-minced garlic)
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
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Instructions 

  • 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 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, ketchup, garlic, and Sriracha, and stir together. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce the chicken cooked in with the meal or over rice if you’d like.

Notes

  • A pan slightly larger than 9×13 inch with high sides is the best option because the sides 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, 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 6 servings, Calories: 383kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 1320mg, Potassium: 317mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 37g, Vitamin A: 154IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
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5 Comments

  1. Lilly says:

    5 stars
    Made this dish when we were looking for something new. We loved it so much we have added it to our weekly menu.

    1. Melissa says:

      We make this one all the time too! So glad you have it in your dinner routine too!

  2. Faeza Khan says:

    Hi Melissa, I was wondering if I could make this with legs and thighs? Would the cook time need to be adjusted? Thanks!

    1. Melissa says:

      Yep, it works great and as long as your thighs are overly huge it’ll be the same cook time, if they are really massive the might need another 10-15 minutes.

  3. Stacey says:

    5 stars
    I made these last night for dinner along with roasted carrots and brown fried rice and they were delicious! I removed the skin from the chicken legs and still got a beautiful result with the chicken and sauce-so flavorful, easy to pull together, and used ingredients I already had on-hand! Thanks for a great recipe!