This baked chicken legs recipe is a delicious family favorite easy meal that can be prepared in less than an hour with just four simple ingredients.
They’re full of flavor from the soy sauce, garlic mustard, and lime juice marinade and are so versatile that they can be served as part of a main course or as a snack.
🌟 Why this recipe works
These crispy baked chicken legs are perfect for families on a budget! Whether you buy chicken legs or chicken thighs, this 4-ingredient recipe won't cost you an arm and a leg!
The marinade combines soy sauce, mustard, and lime juice to create an umami-rich flavor that pairs perfectly with the tender chicken legs.
This simple marinade also adds an extra layer of moisture to the chicken to ensure that each bite is juicy and delicious. Baking the chicken legs in the oven also locks in all of the flavor and results in crispy skin, so you can expect a dish that’s full of savory goodness.
The best part about this recipe is its simplicity. All that’s needed are four simple ingredients and an oven! Plus, you can cook up a big batch of these crispy chicken legs and other flavors, like lemon pepper or honey & soy, for dinner parties, BBQs, and potlucks in no time. Also try my chicken and dumplings recipe in your next meal.
Overall, this easy-baked chicken legs recipe is simple to make and delicious to eat. With its delectable flavor, it’s sure to become a go-to meal in your home! For more inspirational chicken recipes, try one of these 35 comforting chicken casserole recipes.
🍽 Key Ingredients
This 4-ingredient recipe for baked chicken legs is perfect for a simple and flavorful meal.
Chicken legs - Skin-on chicken legs are the best choice for this recipe as they yield a crispier and juicier result than boneless, skinless chicken.
Marinade - The marinade is made up of soy sauce, garlic, mustard, and lime juice. The umami-rich flavors from the marinade create a delicious and savory dish.
If you don’t have chicken legs, you can try this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs or skin-on chicken breasts.
🔪 How to make
Making baked chicken legs is easy and fast! With just four ingredients and 3 steps, you can have a delicious meal on the table in no time.
- Wash and clean the chicken drumsticks, then pat them dry.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)
Mix the mustard, soy sauce, garlic and lime juice in a small bowl,
Then toss the chicken drumsticks in the mixture.
Place the seasoned chicken legs on a baking sheet with a wire rack and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
💭 Cooking tips
Use a meat thermometer
To ensure that your chicken is cooked through and juicy, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F/75°C for food safety.
Achieving crispy skin
The best way to get the skin crispy on chicken legs is to thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels. This will help to remove any excess moisture from the chicken, which will make it crispier when baked.
Marinate the chicken legs overnight
The marinade for this recipe adds wonderful flavor to the chicken, so it’s worth taking the extra step of marinating them for 2 hours or overnight for the best results. Not only does this add flavor, but it also helps to tenderize the chicken for a juicier result.
📖 Recipe Variations
This easy baked chicken legs recipe is easily adaptable, and many variations can be made to switch things up! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
BBQ chicken legs
If you like all things BBQ flavor, disregard the soy sauce and lime juice and add two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce to mix with the mustard.
Spicy chicken legs
For a spicy twist, add a teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper and a tablespoon of hot sauce to the marinade.
Paprika and garlic chicken legs
For a smoky, garlicky flavor, add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika to the marinade.
Honey and soy chicken legs
This Chinese-inspired variation adds a touch of sweetness to the savory flavor. Simply omit the mustard and add 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the marinade.
🥗 What to serve with
With its savory flavor, this easy-baked chicken legs recipe pairs nicely with many different sides. Here are a few suggestions.
Enjoy your baked chicken with a delicious asparagus risotto cooked in white and parmesan cheese. Risotto is the perfect pairing with meat dishes.
For a light and fresh side, try making a broccoli salad with a creamy mayo dressing. This is the perfect side dish to balance out the savory flavors of your chicken legs!
Southern fried cabbage is a delicious side dish made with bacon, garlic, paprika, and other spices. It's easy to make and is just as flavorful as those baked chicken legs.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Should I bake chicken legs covered in foil?
You can. However, covering the chicken legs with aluminum foil will prevent the skin from getting crispy. If you want the best-baked chicken legs, forget the foil!
How to tell if my baked chicken drumsticks are fully cooked?
The best way to tell if your chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read 165°F/75°C for food safety. It’s also important to note that larger drumsticks may require a longer baking time.
Can I make crispy chicken drumsticks in an air fryer?
Absolutely! Air fryers are great for making delicious, crispy chicken with minimal oil. Simply follow the instructions in this recipe and adjust the cooking time and temperature according to your air fryer’s specific requirements.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
If you have leftover unbaked baked chicken legs, you can store them in the fridge or freezer.
Fridge - Any leftover baked chicken drumsticks should be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. For uncooked marinated drumsticks, keep them refrigerated for a maximum of 2 days.
Freezer - Baked and marinated chicken legs can both be stored in the freezer. Just place them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag and keep them frozen for up to 6 months.
Reheating - To reheat, place chicken legs in an oven preheated to 400°F/200°C and bake for 10-15 minutes or 15-20 minutes from frozen.
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👪 Serving size
This baked chicken legs recipe makes 2 servings, but you can easily adjust the number of servings to suit your needs.
And there you go - crispy chicken drumsticks that are juicy on the inside, perfectly seasoned with mustard and soy sauce, and make the perfect addition to any meal. Serve them with a side of risotto, salad, or fried cabbage, and enjoy! Happy cooking!
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Baked Chicken Legs
- 2 Chicken legs - bone in-skin on
- 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Mustard
- ½ teaspoon Lime juice
- 1 clove garlic
- Wash and clean the chicken drumsticks, then pat them dry.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)
- Mix the mustard, garlic, soy sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl, then toss the chicken drumsticks in the mixture.
- Place the seasoned chicken legs on a baking sheet with a wire rack and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.