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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 oven roasted chicken legs, and more. This post has everything you need to know!
How To Make Baked Chicken Legs In The Oven
Wondering how to cook chicken legs in the oven? Easy!
I do have 3 simple, but important, tips to ensure your oven baked chicken legs turn out perfectly each and every time.
- Dry the drumsticks. This helps get the skin crispy.
- Use a baking rack. This allows the hot air to circulate around the oven baked chicken legs.
- Cook with high heat. The baked chicken legs oven temp is high, but this helps crisp up the skin.
Once you know how to bake chicken legs, you might just find yourself making them on a regular basis. They are THAT good!
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. Preheat the oven (we want it hot!), line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up!) and place an oven safe rack on the sheet pan.
TIP: The oven rack helps circulate the hot air around chicken, which results in the best baked chicken drumsticks!
- Dry the chicken. Pat the drumsticks with a paper towel, which will help get rid of any extra moisture and get them nice and crispy.
How To Season Chicken Legs
This crispy oven baked chicken legs recipe is simply seasoned with a flavorful mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
Before the seasoning though, we have another layer of flavor. Brush the chicken with butter! Not only does this help make them more crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, but it also helps the seasonings stick.
- Season the drumsticks. Brush them with melted butter first, then sprinkle on the seasonings.
How To Bake Chicken Legs
You’ve prepped ’em – all that’s left is to bake ’em!
- Bake the roasted chicken legs. Cooking chicken legs at high heat will get them crispy, just how we want them.
How Long Do You Bake Chicken Legs In The Oven?
With average sized drumsticks, I recommend a cook time of 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees. The exact time will vary a bit, due to varying oven temperatures as well as drumstick size.
TIP: For best results, flip the chicken during baking, which will help them crisp up more and cook more evenly.
But when it comes to cooking chicken legs in the oven, the most important thing is to cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Here is the meat thermometer I use.
Are Baked Chicken Drumsticks Healthy?
Yes, easy baked chicken legs in oven is a healthy way to cook drumsticks. They are a great source of essential amino acids, and several vitamins and minerals as well.
Being higher in fat, drumsticks are a great choice for a keto lifestyle. They can also be made paleo and whole-30 friendly if you use ghee instead of butter.
How Many Calories In A Baked Chicken Leg?
A baked chicken leg using this recipe has 236 calories, which includes the butter we brush on top. The calorie count will vary based on size.
How Much Protein In A Chicken Leg?
An average chicken leg has 22 grams of protein, but it will vary a bit depending on their size.
Storage Instructions For Chicken Drumsticks
How To Store Crispy Baked Chicken Legs
Store this easy chicken drumstick recipe in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat the chicken in a 350 degree F oven for best results. The easy oven baked chicken legs will be crispier and better if you bake them to reheat them, but can also be microwaved in a pinch.
TIP: If the skin is not crisp after reheating, you can place under the broiler for a minute or two.
Can You Freeze Raw Drumsticks?
Absolutely! You can freeze raw chicken for up to 9-12 months for best results.
Simply lay the drumsticks 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 this oven roasted chicken legs recipe after baking if you like. It will last several months.
When ready to reheat, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or for a few hours) and reheat in a 350 degree F oven for best results.
However, the recipe is so quick and easy that you don’t save a lot of time by freezing. I’d opt for freezing the raw drumsticks instead and making them fresh when needed.
What To Serve With Baked Chicken Legs
There isn’t much that doesn’t go with baked chicken drumsticks. If you want to turn it into a full meal, I recommend serving it with a vegetable side dish, and maybe a low carb bread or roll to round out the meal. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
- Southern Fried Cabbage – Serve up your oven roasted chicken legs with this cabbage recipe as a nod to a classic Southern combo!
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad – This salad has everything you want: crunch, sweet, salty, creamy! And everyone’s favorite ingredient. 😉
- Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto – This risotto can certainly stand alone as a meal, but pair it with baked chicken drumsticks for a balanced and well-rounded meal.
- Cheesy Cauliflower Tots – Making this baked chicken drumsticks recipe for the family? Everyone will be happy about this side dish.
- Almond Flour Biscuits – Remember that Southern cabbage side above? Add these for a REAL Southern meal. Just 4 ingredients!
- Oven Roasted Garlic Green Beans – Even my kids couldn’t stop eating these with their chicken.
- Easy Sauteed Broccoli – A great option if you want to make your side dish while you have your chicken legs roasting in the oven.
More Easy Chicken Recipes Readers Love
- Juicy Chicken Breast – The best way to make chicken breast that’s juicy, not dry!
- Crispy Chicken Thighs – Just as easy as these chicken drumsticks.
- Crock Pot Whole Chicken – The slow cooker makes tender, fall-apart chicken with virtually no work. So good!
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings – People rave about this one. They’ll be crispiest wings you’ve ever had.
Tools To Make Chicken Drumsticks:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Instant Read Thermometer – How long do you cook chicken legs in the oven? The best and easiest way to tell when the baked drumsticks are done cooking is to use an instant-read thermometer. Cook them to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Baking Sheet with Cooling Rack – I love this baking sheet + cooling rack combo. The cooling rack elevates the chicken so that both sides get nice and crispy.
- Basting and Pastry Brush – One trick to the best chicken drumstick recipe? A brush of butter to coat the chicken legs.
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Crispy Baked Chicken Legs Drumsticks Recipe
This 10-minute-prep easy oven roasted chicken drumsticks recipe will make SUPER crispy baked chicken legs that turn out perfectly every time! It's the only guide for how to bake chicken legs you'll ever need.
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Click 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 baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe rack on top.
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 at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
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Serving size: 1 drumstick
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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