Oven Baked Chicken Legs are coated in a spice rub and sticky barbecue sauce before being baked to perfection. Sweet and savory, they’re ready in under an hour and perfect for everything from weeknight dinners to gameday parties!   

Looking for chicken recipes? Try our Grilled Chicken Drumsticks and Herb Roasted Chicken!

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Easy Barbecue Chicken Legs in the Oven

Move over chicken wings! This baked chicken legs recipe is sure to be the new star of the show. This recipe is one I’ve been making for years and is a failproof option on those nights when I just don’t know what to make. 

All you need are a handful of simple ingredients you likely have on hand, a few minutes of prep time, and dinner is done in no time. A fuss-free recipe, these chicken legs always turn out golden and crisp on the outside with a deliciously juicy center. 

Plus, the recipe makes enough for a crowd and stores well, meaning you can cook once and have delicious meals for days. Plus, who doesn’t love barbecue sauce? Pick your favorite homemade 3-ingredient BBQ sauce or store-bought option, and all your guests will be practically licking their plates!

What You’ll Need for Oven Baked Chicken Legs

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

ingredients for bbq chicken legs.
  • Chicken drumsticks: The star of the dish! You’ll need three pounds of chicken legs for this recipe. 
  • Olive oil: We use this to coat the chicken, helping the seasonings stick and creating a crispy skin. If preferred, avocado oil will also work. 
  • Seasonings: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and chili powder add a savory, smokey, slightly spicy flavor. 
  • BBQ sauce: I use my homemade 3-ingredient barbecue sauce, but any kind will work. 

How to Cook BBQ Chicken Legs in Oven

You’ll need a sheet pan for this recipe. Check out the recipe card below for detailed instructions. 

chicken legs in a glass bowl.

Step 1: Pat the drumsticks dry with clean paper towels, and toss them with oil.

spice mixture in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Whisk spices in a bowl.

chicken legs covered with dry spice rub.

Step 3: Then, coat the chicken in the prepared spice blend. 

seasoned drumsticks on a sheet pan.

Step 4: Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a prepared sheet pan, and bake at 400F. 

close up roasted drumstick being brushed with BBQ sauce.

Step 5: Brush the chicken with BBQ sauce.

roasted bbq chicken legs on sheet pan.

Step 6: Flip the chicken over, and continue to bake until cooked through. 

How Long to Bake BBQ Chicken Legs

The exact baking time will vary depending on your oven and the size and thickness of your chicken legs. It takes me exactly 50 minutes to cook medium-sized chicken legs. However, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the oven and ensure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

Baked Chicken Legs Recipe Variations

  • Skip the barbecue sauce, and season the legs with the dry rub
  • Swap the BBQ sauce for buffalo sauce for a spicier recipe. 
  • Replace the seasonings with Ranch seasoning, and serve the chicken legs with Ranch dressing for dipping. 
  • Mix honey into the barbecue sauce to enhance the sweetness. 
  • Blend the barbecue sauce with pineapple juice and crushed pineapple, and bake the chicken legs with pineapple rings on top. 

What to Serve with Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

Pair these baked bbq chicken legs with all your favorite side dishes for a filling meal. Some of our favorite options include: 

How to Store Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or, use leftover chicken meat in other recipes such as bbq chicken flatbread, or freeze your oven baked chicken legs for up to 3 months. 

Thaw leftovers in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat them in the oven at 350F or the microwave. 

close up roasted bbq chicken legs on a platter.

Oven Baked Chicken Legs FAQs

Do you bake drumsticks covered or uncovered?

Baking the chicken legs uncovered is crucial to achieve the crispy, golden exterior we want with this recipe.

Do you need to flip drumsticks when baking?

Yes, flip the drumsticks halfway through cooking to ensure they cook evenly and that all the sides crisp up.

How do you keep chicken drumsticks from drying out in the oven?

The BBQ sauce will keep the chicken moist. However, if the legs begin to cook too quickly, you can cover the dish with foil until the chicken cooks through. Just be sure to remove it near the end to achieve crispy skin. 

If you try baked BBQ chicken legs, please leave a star rating and a comment letting us know how you liked the recipe.

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close up roasted bbq chicken legs on a platter.

Barbecue Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

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  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Learn how to cook bbq chicken legs in the oven using a handful of simple ingredients for crispy, juicy drumsticks full of sweet and savory flavor!


  • 3 lbs. chicken drumsticks
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 cup prepared BBQ sauce, plus extra for serving
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Or directly spray the pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Pat dry the chicken drumsticks with a few sheets of paper towels. Drizzle olive oil over the drumsticks and rub them to coat evenly.
  3. Whisk together the spices and add to the chicken, tossing all around to evenly coat with the spices.
  4. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Brush each drumstick generously with BBQ sauce, flipping them around. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F). If drumsticks are smaller they may require less time. Mine took exactly 20 minutes and they were medium sized.
  6. Optional, broil for 2-3 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let the drumsticks rest for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro if desired. Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce on the side.


  • BBQ Sauce Variation: Feel free to use your favorite BBQ sauce—whether it’s sweet, spicy, or smoky—to customize the flavor to your liking.
  • Side Dish Suggestions: Serve these BBQ chicken drumsticks with coleslaw, baked beans, or a side of cornbread for a classic barbecue meal.


  • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks
  • Calories: 449
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Sodium: 1193.9 mg
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.5 g
  • Protein: 51.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 231.4 mg