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This roasted chicken drumsticks recipe couldn’t be easier! Sometimes simple is best, and when it comes to oven baked chicken legs, that couldn’t be more true. They are incredibly crispy, flavorful, and delicious, but they also only take 10 minutes to prep. I’m excited to show you how to cook chicken drumsticks using my favorite method, all my tips and tricks for cooking chicken legs in the oven, what to serve with them, and more. This post has everything you need to know!
This is one of my favorite chicken leg recipes, but if you want to cook other cuts of chicken, try baked chicken breast, baked chicken wings, roasted chicken thighs, baked chicken leg quarters, or browse more chicken recipes here.
Why You’ll Love This Crispy Baked Chicken Legs Recipe
- Super crispy skin on the outside, juicy on the inside
- Flavorful and simple spices for seasoning
- Just a few minutes active prep time
- No need to wait for a marinade (there isn’t one!)
- Healthy protein-packed chicken dinner
- Crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for baked chicken drumsticks, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
This crispy oven baked chicken legs recipe is simply seasoned. You’ll need…
- Chicken Drumsticks – Bone-in and skin-on chicken, of course. Try to choose ones that are uniform in size, so that they cook at the same rate.
- Butter Or Oil – Not only does this help make them more crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, but it also helps the seasonings stick. Butter has a lower smoke point so I don’t usually use it for roasting, but I love the flavor that it gives this recipe and haven’t found any issues with it. If you’re concerned about it, feel free to use ghee, olive oil, or avocado oil instead. Spraying with cooking spray would also work, but I prefer to avoid the chemicals.
- Smoked Paprika – Adds a delicious smoky flavor, as well as color. Feel free to swap in regular paprika if that’s what you have on hand.
- Garlic Powder – We’re using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, as the latter would burn. If you want to use fresh garlic, it’s best to put it in a compound butter underneath the skin instead, like I do with air fryer chicken drumsticks.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
SEASONING VARIATIONS: Change up the basic chicken drumsticks recipe!
Try replacing the seasonings with Italian seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, or Cajun seasoning, or add them in addition to the above. If your seasonings contain salt, reduce or omit the salt added separately. You can also make complimentary additions to the above seasonings, such as oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or even chopped fresh herbs.
How To Make Baked Chicken Legs In The Oven
This section shows how to cook chicken legs in the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
How To Prepare Chicken Legs For Baking
Your prep for oven roasted chicken legs is centered around encouraging air circulation to get them crispy.
- Prep the oven and pan. Preheat the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up!) and place an oven safe rack over the sheet pan. (I like this set – it’s non-stick, so easy to clean.) I prefer foil rather than parchment paper for lining underneath the rack, because it catches the juices more easily.
- Dry the chicken. Pat the drumsticks with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
How To Season Chicken Legs
- Brush with butter. Brush the chicken legs on all sides with melted butter, or drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil if you prefer.
- Season the drumsticks. Sprinkle smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper on all sides.
How To Bake Chicken Legs
- Bake. Cooking chicken legs at high heat will get them crispy, just how we want them.
- Rest. Let the baked chicken drumsticks rest for 5 minutes before serving.
How Long To Bake Chicken Legs In The Oven?
For average sized drumsticks, chicken leg bake time is 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping halfway through. The exact time will vary a bit, due to varying oven temperatures as well as drumstick size.
Tips For The Best Chicken Drumstick Recipe
I have several simple, but important, tips to ensure your crispy baked chicken legs turn out perfectly each and every time:
- Dry the drumsticks. Patting dry with paper towels before seasoning helps get the skin crispy later.
- Use a baking rack like this one. This allows the hot air to circulate around the chicken, for the best baked chicken drumsticks that are nice and crispy!
- Season on the rack to save on dishes. I add the butter and seasonings right on the rack for a time-saving shortcut, but you can season in the chicken in a large bowl if you prefer. Simply pour the melted butter over the chicken in the bowl, add the seasonings, and toss to coat.
- Roast at high heat. The best baked chicken legs oven temp is fairly high (425 degrees F), which helps crisp up the skin. Plus, I find that higher temperatures are less prone to drying out the meat.
- Flip halfway through. For best results, flip the chicken legs halfway through baking, which will help them crisp up more and cook more evenly.
- Cook to 170 degrees F. Whether you are cooking chicken legs in the oven or using just about any other method, they should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F to be safe. However, I recommend 170 degrees F for dark meat recipes like chicken drumsticks, because this breaks down the collagen and makes them more juicy and tender. Here is the meat thermometer I use and recommend.
- Broil if needed. If the chicken drumsticks are not as crispy as you like by the time they reach the right internal temperature, place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin more. (Watch closely so that they don’t burn!)
- Don’t forget to rest. Letting the chicken rest for 5 minutes after baking helps seal in the juices and ensure that they stay moist on the inside.
Store leftovers of this easy chicken drumstick recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can You Freeze Raw Drumsticks?
Yes, you can freeze raw chicken drumsticks for up to 9-12 months. Lay them on a parchment lined sheet pan in a single layer and place in the freezer. Once solid, you can move them to a freezer bag for more compact storage.
TIP: If you like, you can brush with butter and season the chicken legs before freezing.
That way there is virtually no prep before baking later.
Can You Freeze Baked Chicken Drumsticks?
Yes, you can freeze chicken drumstick recipes after baking, for up to 3-4 months.
Reheat leftover chicken legs in the oven or an air fryer at 350 degree F oven for best results. The microwave works in a pinch, but the skin won’t be crispy.
To reheat frozen drumsticks, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or for a few hours) and reheat in a 350 degree F oven for best results.
TIP: If the skin is not crisp after reheating, you can place under the broiler for a minute or two, until crispy.
Watch closely so they don’t burn.
What To Serve With Chicken Legs
There isn’t much that doesn’t go with baked chicken drumsticks. If you want to turn it into a full meal, try these:
- Vegetables – Try a healthy side dish or low carb side dish… there are so many to choose from! Sauteed cabbage, creamed spinach, sauteed broccoli, or sauteed zucchini are great stovetop options if you want to make your veggies while you have your chicken legs roasting in the oven. If you have double ovens, make roasted green beans, cauliflower casserole, or roasted eggplant at the same time as the chicken.
- Potatoes – Oven roasted chicken legs with potatoes make the ultimate comfort food meal! Pair them with classic roasted potatoes, or for a bit more nutrition, baked sweet potatoes or air fryer sweet potatoes.
- Pasta – Because I’m gluten-free, I usually make baked spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, but regular pasta works great as well if it fits your lifestyle.
- Salads – Make it a light meal by serving your baked chicken drumstick recipes with Caprese salad or cucumber tomato avocado salad in the warm months, and kale crunch salad or winter salad in the cool months.
- Sauces – This chicken drumstick recipe is flavorful enough on its own, but feel free to serve it with BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or other sauces you like with chicken.
More Easy Chicken Drumstick Recipes
Looking for more chicken leg recipes? Here are some popular reader favorites:
- Instant Read Thermometer – How long to cook chicken legs in the oven? The best way to tell when the baked drumsticks are done is to use an instant-read thermometer. Cook them to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.
- Baking Sheet with Cooling Rack – I love this baking sheet + cooling rack combo. The cooling rack elevates the chicken, for nice and crisky skin. (It’s also fantastic for other foods you want crispy, like bacon in the oven, lemon pepper wings, coconut shrimp, and bacon wrapped asparagus.)
- Basting and Pastry Brush – One trick to the best chicken drumstick recipe? A brush of butter to coat the chicken.
How To Bake Chicken Legs
Baked Chicken Legs Drumsticks (Super Crispy!)
This 10-minute-prep easy oven roasted chicken drumsticks recipe will make SUPER crispy baked chicken legs that turn out perfectly every time!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe rack on top. (I use this set, which includes the baking sheet and rack that fits perfectly.)
Pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels, which will help them get crispy. Arrange the chicken legs on the rack.
Brush the chicken drumsticks with melted butter. Season with smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Bake the chicken legs in the oven for 25 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F (77 degrees C).
Optional step: If the chicken drumsticks are not as crispy as you like, place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin more.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Serving size: 1 drumstick
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Wow, what a tasy great recipe for chicken legs. I followed instructions to the “T” and my chicken turned out crispy & juicy! I’ll definitely be making it again!!! Yum!!
Very quick to put together. My daughter loves it. Does not end up greasy. I’ve made it a few times since I found the recipe and it has turned out well. Found that you need to bring the chicken close to room temp if you use the butter since my butter would solidify when put on to the out of the refrigerator chicken. The olive oil works well, also, even on cold chicken.
Absolutely loved this recipe! Chicken came out so so delicious! I didn’t have any butter issues, I don’t know if it’s because I used the hot butter right away and seasoned immediately after. Very tasty I’m a cook more chicken tomorrow! Do you think this recipe is good for fried chicken?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Falema, Here is a recipe for low carb fried chicken that might work better.
Literal trash. Patting the chicken dry does nothing, combining the cold chicken into the butter makes it harden, now I just have a container full of bare chicken legs and seasoned butter stuck to the container. Do not recommend at all.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi, It sounds like you didn’t melt the butter, which most likely caused the issue you had.
Drying the chicken makes the seasonings and the butter or oil actually stick to the skin. You will never get crispy skin if you leave it wet. If you were gonna combine everything in a bowl, you needed to use oil, not butter. Obviously melted butter is going to harden if it’s combined with cold chicken… That definitely could’ve been mentioned in the recipe, but also, most people who cook know this. I brushed the butter on and it worked beautifully. Certainly not trash.
I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s one of my kids favorites. Bonus: cleanup is SO easy. The question I have, is about the butter (I think?). Every time, my oven smokes SO much. I scrolled through the comments and no one else seems to have this issue. Preemptively saying that my that my oven is clean, I use it almost daily. This is not a usual problem when I cook. I think it’s the low smoke point of the butter, but am wondering why no one else has this problem! Any insight or suggestions welcome.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Kristin, Other people have had this issue so if you want to use oil next time that would also work.
I had the same issue, and yes, it is the butter that does that. There’s not really much you can do besides using oil or turn that hood fan up on high when you open the oven! That’s what I did. Everything is better with butter, lol!
Haha yes, everything is better with butter! I thought about the oil route too, but came to the same conclusion. Making again tonight so am checking comments. My “hood fan” is on TOP of the microwave, mounted about the stove. So…. Yes another explanation I hadn’t thought about! Think I will try oil this time and see if anyone notices 🤞
Drumsticks are my favorite part of the chicken, and this recipe is easy, tasty, and very uncomplicated. Thanks for sharing!
The spices here were absolutely perfect! So juicy and tender too!
Perfectly seasoned and sooo crispy. LOVED these!
Another easy and tasty chicken recipe to add to my collection. The whole family enjoyed it.
These came out super crispy yet perfectly tender, great weeknight dinner recipe!
I cooked mine, following the instructions. Except I only used 3 drumsticks- I pre portion my food. And my drumsticks weren’t even cooked fully. After 45 minutes, I’m hungry. Ready to eat. Hope it’s worth the wait.
This is so so delicious!! Super easy and easy clean up. I made this tonight for diner and my family loved it. I love something that I can fix and forget until timer goes off especially on those busy nights.
These are really good, and my family agreed.
This was perfect! Your recipe found its way into my email inbox just as I was defrosting chicken legs. The cooking method was easy and the seasonings delicious. I followed the advice for extra crispy skin by putting under the broiler, checking after a minute so as not to burn. I have to tell you that my husband and I gobbled up 5 between us. No leftovers!
The drumstick recipe was so simple, I made when I got home from work tonight was very convenient for a work night. It was super delicious like a Sunday dinner. This receipt is definitely a keeper in my recipe binder!
Thank you Wholesome Yum
I gave these a shot tonight and was pleasantly surprised. The recipe is so easy but the chicken was delicious – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. When I make this again I will use the following modifications — double the garlic, half the butter (I melted the 1/4 cup but only needed half of it), and turn on the oven fan! The kitchen was so smoky I had to open the windows. This recipe is a keeper. I will try some of the other variations such as Italian or lemon pepper. So good!
This recipe is so simple, yet so perfect. It goes together fast and is delicious! It’s juicy, but, I’m telling you, that crispy skin is the star! The whole family loved it. I’ll be making this again. I may try it with thighs, too.
The chicken wings were quite tasty and very moist… I would make this recipe again. Thank you for the suggestions about what to have with it. I like that.
I’m new to the group. I made the Baked Chicken Legs last night. Added cayenne pepper and garlic salt. It was so crispy and delicious! Thank you for the recipe! I look forward to making more dinners!
Very easy to make. Good instructions. Did broil for a couple of minutes but part of that was to make sure they were done. Really flavorful and moist.
Lisa from Stillwater, MN0
This recipe was super easy and tasty, too! I may have left the chicken in the oven a bit longer than needed and instead might broil it for a bit next time. Looking forward to a cold leftover drumstick tomorrow. I’ll definitely have these again. Thanks, Maya!
Perfectly crispy with lots of flavor! My entire family loved them! Be sure to read Maya’s tips for crispy chicken!
I made this recipe for dinner tonight. Loved it!! It was easy to prepare and it turned out just like the picture. It turned out crispy. No need to use the broiler. I would not change the recipe at all. I will definitely be doing it again. Clean up was simple too. It was nice not to have to clean up a greasy stove top caused by splattering grease from a skillet. Thank You so much for this recipe.
Delicious. So quick and easy. Would never have thought to cook legs at such a high heat. Baked whole package of 9 legs. Will freeze some for later in the week.—Mary
These were wonderful, enjoyed by the whole family. They cooked up well to temp but the skin wasn’t quite as crispy as we wanted, so as recommended we put the oven on broil for a couple minutes and they were great. We served with some green beans. Thank you for a great recipe.
This recipe was so quick and easy. The chicken legs turned out moist and flavorful. I added a bit more seasoning then the recipe recommended, but I enjoy things a bit spicy. This baked chicken leg recipe is a keeper. It is delicious.
Woah! SuPEr easy, sUpEr fast to prep, SUPER YUMMY! I Loved using the roasting rack, as well! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe!!
This recipe is pretty straight forward and simple, but was well received in our household. I am not a huge fan of drumsticks…but with grocery prices the way there are now, I usually shop what is on sale. Normally I like thighs for oven baking, which the seasonings from this would still work for! We don’t have a rack thing so I used a little oil on my tin foil and cooked them on the foil and made sure to flip them. They did not stick. I did end up broiling mine for about a minute or so at the end but that is personal preference and possibly because we didn’t use a rack to have the air circulation. Overall – I would make these again! We served with lemon-pepper seasoned rice and green beans.
Made this recipe for Sunday dinner and I am so amazed how easy and fast it was to prepare. So delicious and juicy I am definitely making this again! Thank you!
I have always struggled to cook and season poultry/fish/meat, but this recipe is foolproof! The simple spice combo of salt, pepper, garlic and paprika even appease the pickiest eater(s). This recipe will be my go-to for all cuts of chicken now and make my meals easy. Thank you!!
I’m not sure where I went wrong, but my result wasn’t exactly “super” crispy. It was really juicy and tasty, though, and such an affordable family dinner option! I’ ll be trying again with the 2nd half of the large pack of drumsticks. The easy prep & cleanup, plus hands off cooking, makes this recipe appealing for weeknights. I’ll be substituting Chile or Siracha salt for an extra kick this time.
I made this for my husband the other day. He’s not a huge chicken drumstick fan, but loved this recipe. I would definitely make it again. I did add extra garlic powder.
I have made this recipe multiple times! It is always a winner. I love how easy it is to make when I am pressed for time. The flavor and texture are outstanding. My husband loves chicken wings, so I have even used this recipe for those as well.
We love how crispy the skin gets, yet the meat is moist and tender.
I love this recipe! It truly is keto friendly. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I followed all of the instructions. I like that you don’t have to fry it in a pan. I used my convection oven, it cooked so fast and crisped up just as good as an air fryer could do. I learned something new and they are yummy!!
Made this with chicken breast (not a big fan of legs here) and it was juicy and so easy. I think a bit more paprika, for my personal preference, but we’ll definitely have it again.
I wasn’t sure about this recipe. I tried it and I love it. I just bought a package of chicken legs just for this recipe. So in my near future I’ll be having more chicken legs.
I’m Def going to try this recipe! Thank you! 🙂
Absolutely delicious. Skin is crispy, chicken is flavorful and, as an added bonus, super cheap to make.
Another great recipe that is so easy for week nights! About half way through the bake (when I turned the legs), I put four golf ball sized rounds of aluminum foil under the four corners of my wire rack to create a space below the chicken. I then spread half inch slices of zucchini (that were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper) under the chicken to catch the rest of the chicken drippings and finish cooking with the meat. The squash was perfectly cooked and since I lined my baking sheet with foil before starting the chicken, clean up was a breeze! Thanks again for the simple yet flavorful recipe.
Hello Maya. I tried it exactly your way and it was good but to me, it lacked depth and flavour.
So the next time round, I added onion powder, ground cumin, turmeric, a little bit of red chilli flakes and ground thyme. This was a winner. I tried the same spice rub on chicken wings and even cauliflower chunks and it was a “winner, winner chicken dinner” even with the cauliflower! Thank you for your recipes and support as usual Maya. Much appreciated!
Very simple, juicy & tasty! My husband (who is a FRIED chicken fan) also really liked it! (I roasted sweet potato wedges right along with the chicken.) Delicious!
Great, crispy legs! So easy,too. Sometimes simple is the best.
made this last night- used olive oil instead of butter-tasted great – easy quick meal- thanks for sharing
Made this last night for the family, everyone loved it. My youngest, who is a very picky eater, and normally won’t eat anything with breading on it devoured these. Thank you for this recipe.
I love baked chicken and this is so yummy!!!
Made for lunch today. Opted for garlic butter(fresh garlic) and Italian blend seasonings. Just lovely and crisp
This recipe definitely makes it into my rotation! Simple yet crispy. Using the rack made all the difference.
I use the high heat for my chicken breasts as well.
Letting them rest after pulling from the oven for 5 minutes or so is key!
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