Salt & Pepper Oven Baked Chicken Legs

Amazing, mind-blowing salt and pepper oven baked chicken legs. Green onion, garlic and sesame oil make these the most amazing chicken legs that you will ever eat.

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These Salt & Pepper Oven Baked Chicken Legs will make you love eating chicken legs again! Let’s face it, chicken legs can be our least favourite things to eat or is it just me that grew out of loving them? When I was a kid, I would chose oven baked chicken legs over anything else my Mom made but now as an adult I don’t actually buy packages of chicken legs on purpose – until I came up with the idea of making them in my favourite flavour!

Plate with Baked Chicken Legs with Salt & Pepper and garlic oil on top

How to Make The Best Salt & Pepper Chicken Legs

Chicken legs are the best when they are oven baked, however, if you are in the middle of summertime BBQ season they can also be amazing done on the BBQ! Alas, we don’t always have a BBQ handy, so oven baked chicken legs are the way to go for 80% of the year. Here are a few commonly asked questions about baking chicken legs and their answers!

Is baking chicken drumsticks the best way to cook chicken legs?

I’m going to say yes. Even though I have some crockpot chicken legs coming up soon as a recipe, I can truly say that baking chicken legs is the easiest way to get crispy chicken legs. It’s tied with BBQ drumsticks but I am not wandering through the snow in the winter to make chicken legs on the BBQ! Oven-baked chicken legs are the way to go!

How long do you bake chicken legs or chicken drumsticks?

You bake them until they reach a temperature of 185 °F. Yes, chicken legs are dark meat, which means that you don’t want to only cook them to 165 °F, that’s the temperature suggested for food safety reasons. With chicken dark meat you want to cook it to at least 185 range, so that the fats and meat fibers break down. It’s not about safety, it’s about cooking the meat until it’s the best texture possible and that means cooking dark meat at a higher temperature. You should definitely have a reliable meat thermometer for all of your cooking needs. It’s hard to bake chicken legs or anything else for that matter without one! Temperature matters!

What are some other baked chicken legs or baked chicken drumsticks recipes?

You can make all sorts of oven-baked chicken legs and all of these recipes will work for them:

  1. Homemade Shake and Bake 
  2. Plain Oven Baked Chicken Legs
  3. Easy Honey Garlic Chicken
Top down shot of Plate with Baked Chicken Legs with Salt & Pepper and garlic oil on top

However, let’s talk about how my Salt and Pepper Oven Baked Chicken Legs are the absolute BEST! I know I know, I am so modest (haha as if) but these are right up there with my Salt and Pepper Chicken wings and in fact, I pretty much took the premise of those wings and made them into baked chicken legs.

Plate with Crispy Baked Chicken Legs with garlic oil on top

These salt and pepper oven-baked chicken legs are going to change your mind about chicken legs! I’m gradually coming over to the Dark Side of chicken legs. Slowly. Maybe is it because I overdid them as a kid? Who else got tired of chicken legs? Just me?  Chicken legs are a great cut of meat; cheap, easy to hold and they cook up SO fast. Not only that, chicken legs really are a great piece of chicken to “coat” in sauces and other flavors. Unlike chicken thighs, you eat around the entire chicken legs with flavor on all sides, which is probably why they are so popular.

Tips & Tricks For Making Amazing Oven-Baked Chicken Legs

  • If you don’t have a pan that is really non-stick, line your baking sheet with tin foil to prevent a big mess.
  • Use a larger-than-you-need baking sheet, you need to be able to toss around the chicken legs while baking.
  • While I do toss the chicken wings in the salt and pepper mixture, I tend to sprinkle them onto the baked chicken legs rather than toss them. I can control the amount that sticks to the wings.
  • Don’t be afraid to really coat those chicken legs with the salt and pepper mixture. You would be surprised at how much you need to get a really good flavor!
  • Don’t skip out on making the garlic and sesame sauce! That’s what really gives these oven-baked chicken legs their kapow!

Happy Cooking!



Salt & Pepper Oven Baked Chicken Legs

Amazing, mind-blowing salt and pepper oven baked chicken legs. Green onion, garlic and sesame oil make these the most amazing chicken legs that you will ever eat.
4.91 from 32 votes
Plate with Baked Chicken Legs with Salt & Pepper and garlic oil on top
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Main Course
Karlynn Johnston


  • 8 chicken legs
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons crushed black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 green onions diced
  • chili pepper flakes optional but the heat is nice!


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the salt and pepper together in a bowl. Place the chicken legs on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle the chicken legs with the salt and pepper, then shake on the baking tray to cover completely.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then turn and bake for another 15-20 minutes until crispy and cooked to 185 °F at least. You can cook them a bit further to your liking if you desire.
  • As soon as the legs are close to being done, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat then add the garlic and onions. 
  • Cook until the garlic has browned slightly.
  • Remove the chicken legs from oven and place in a large bowl.
  • Toss the chicken legs with the garlic oil until completely coated.
  • Place the now crispy, oven baked chicken legs on a serving platter, spooning any leftover garlic oil over the top.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Calories and info are based on s 2 chicken legs per person serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 601kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 239mg, Sodium: 1963mg, Potassium: 597mg, Vitamin A: 355IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 2.2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Amazing, mind-blowing salt and pepper oven baked chicken legs. Green onion, garlic and sesame oil make these the most amazing chicken legs that you will ever eat. #chicken #recipes #chickenlegs #bakedchickenlegs #dinner #familyfood #chickendinner
Amazing, mind-blowing salt and pepper oven baked chicken legs. Green onion, garlic and sesame oil make these the most amazing chicken legs that you will ever eat. #chicken #recipes #chickenlegs #bakedchickenlegs #dinner #familyfood #chickendinner

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Caryn says

    Recipe was delicious.Added a couple of Large Hot sausage Links for those non dark meat eaters. Also had good Italian bread to stop up Juices.Plate was as clean as had been in the dishwasher.Thanks for the recipe!!!

  2. Aaron says

    Way too peppery for my family. The chicken itself came out nice and tender. I’ll try this again with about half the pepper3 stars

  3. SueS says

    We loved this recipe. So easy and tasty. I wouldn’t change a thing. although they were not as crispy as I would have liked, they were delicious. I like the comment about adding baking soda to the seasoning mix; I will try that next time…because there definitely will be a next time. Thanks for this recipe!5 stars

  4. Darrin says

    Loved this recipe – it was quick, tasty and easy as pie – thank you for sharing it!

  5. Emily says

    The flavor was absolutely incredible! My chicken legs didn’t get crispy though, do you have any recommendations to get a more crispy leg?4 stars

    • Jay says

      Toss a little baking soda in with the seasoning mix before baking the chicken – a half teaspoon should do. Season the chicken and then let it rest for 10-15 minutes before patting dry and baking.

      Baking soda lowers the temperature at which the maillard reaction (which is responsible for crispy skin) occurs, so a dash in your seasoning mix whenever baking, broiling or griddling any meats gives you a dark, crispy, flavourful crust without drying out the inside =)

  6. Susanna Belter says

    Great recipe! It was just what I was looking for. I’m going to try it with wings in my air fryer too.5 stars

  7. Lyle Pederson says

    I live in New Brundwick for the last 5 years.I was from Edmonton AB for 70 years prior to that. I love to cook
    and enjoy you recipes.5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      i am so glad that you enjoy my recipes!! Thanks for letting me know! Happy cooking!5 stars

4.91 from 32 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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