Baked Chicken Legs with Cajun seasoning are easy to make and hard to resist! They’re everything you want in a chicken leg: crispy on the outside but perfectly juicy, and tender on the inside!

Platter with baked chicken legs.

Editor’s Note: Originally published on July 31, 2018. Updated with all new photos and information.

These Cajun-baked chicken legs make the simplest main course that everyone loves!

The dry brine yields tender and juicy legs and the Cajun seasoning adds tremendous Louisiana flavor.

These easy-baked chicken legs are great with rice pilaf, potato salad, baked mac and cheese, cornbread, and creamed spinach.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: bowl of chicken legs, baking powder, salt, and spices for Cajun seasoning.
  • Chicken drumsticks. This recipe uses 4 lbs of chicken drumsticks. Belle and Evans is a good brand that we use often but you can also find a great deal on chicken legs at Costco.
  • Baking powder and kosher salt. These ingredients form the dry brine. Be sure to use aluminum-free baking powder (not baking soda).
  • Cajun seasoning. You can use store-bought seasoning, but it’s cheaper and better to make your own homemade Cajun seasoning. This seasoning is a blend of salt, paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. You’ll only need 2 tablespoons of the seasoning for this recipe so save the rest to use in jambalaya or gumbo!
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray (not pictured). To grease the wire rack.

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

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. in a large bowl combine 4 teaspoons of aluminum-free baking powder with 2 1/2 teaspoons of Diamond kosher salt. Use paper towels to thoroughly dry off 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks, then toss them in the baking powder mixture. Place the chicken on a wire rack lined baking sheet making sure the legs are not touching each other. Place the legs in the fridge overnight or for a few hours to brine. If you prefer to skip the brining step, you can do so but be sure to thoroughly dry off the chicken legs to remove any excess moisture. (Photo #1)
Baked Cajun chicken legs recipe collage group one showing chicken legs on wire rack lined with foil.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425f and set the racks to the middle levels. Remove the chicken legs from the fridge and dry off any excess moisture with paper towels. (Photo #2)
  2. If you haven’t already made your homemade Cajun seasoning, do so now by combining 1 1/2 teaspoons of Diamond kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano, 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage two showing mixing of Cajun spice blend and rubbing the spice into the chicken legs.
  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons worth of the Cajun spice evenly over the legs and save the extra spice for another time and/or purpose. Use your hands to evenly distribute the spice on the legs, but use gloves. Since the cajun spice contains cayenne pepper, it’s best to not expose your skin directly to it. (Photo #4)
  2. Lightly coat the wire rack with cooking spray or vegetable oil, then place all the legs on top and bake for 20 minutes. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage three showing chicken legs on wire rack and cooked baked legs with instant read thermometer checking the internal temperature.
  1. After 20 minutes, flip the chicken legs and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the heat (dark meat chicken should be cooked to roughly 185-190f for best results. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy! (Photo #6)

Top tips

  • The brine. While the brining step is optional, you’ll get even better results if you take the time to brine the legs for a few hours to overnight.
  • Use homemade seasoning. My homemade Cajun seasoning is much lower in sodium than most commercial brands. If you plan to use storebought, be sure to check the label and adjust salt accordingly.
  • Use gloves. If you plan to use your hands to rub the spice mixture into the chicken legs, I suggest using gloves. Cajun spice contains cayenne pepper which can burn the skin (and eyes, etc.) when in direct contact.
  • Change it up! These easy baked chicken legs are wonderful with the addition of buffalo sauce! To see instructions on how to make the buffalo sauce, refer to my buffalo wings recipe and simply toss the legs with the sauce once baked.

Baked Cajun chicken legs on wire rack with foil.

More chicken recipes

If you love these easy baked chicken legs, I think you’ll enjoy these other awesome chicken recipes!

If you’ve enjoyed this Easy Baked Chicken Legs with Cajun Seasoning Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Easy Baked Cajun Chicken Legs

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
refrigerating time: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4
These baked chicken legs with Cajun seasoning are easy to make, loaded with flavor, and incredibly juicy!


  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder aluminum free, **not baking soda**
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Diamond crystal kosher salt
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray for greasing wire rack

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond crystal kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Dry the chicken legs off very well with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Toss the legs in the salt and baking powder making sure to coat evenly on all sides. Place the chicken on a wire rack lined baking sheet making sure that the legs are not touching each other. Place the sheet in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425f and set the racks to the middle levels.
  • Dry off any excess moisture from the chicken then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Cajun spice evenly over the legs. The extra spice can be saved for another purpose. Line the baking sheets with foil and place the wire rack on top. Lightly coat the rack with cooking spray or vegetable oil then place all of the legs onto the rack. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes flip the chicken legs and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Enjoy!


  • Our Cajun seasoning is lower in sodium than most commercial brands.  If using a store brand check the label before and adjust accordingly. 
  • Baking powder can be omitted but it helps dry them out which results in crisper chicken legs.    
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and should be reheated in the oven.


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.6g | Protein: 8.3g | Fat: 7.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 1013mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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This recipe was originally published on July 31, 2018. It was completely updated on February 20, 2024.

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  1. Angie says:

    Thanks James, I love your receipts. Have an awesome day.🫶

  2. Susan Jewett says:

    What’s your favourite brand of Cajun spice? Or do you create your own? I like a kick to Cajun but have trouble finding a favourite brand.

    Love your recipes. I’m finally learning to make some great dishes….thanks.

    1. James says:

      Hi Susan, thanks for the comment. I really like Tony Cachere’s cajun spice. So happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  3. Gypsie says:

    Thank you it was great made with sweet potatoe

    1. Jim says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. sheenam | says:

    this is such a great recipe James!!! I just shared it on my pinterest account 🙂

    1. James says:

      Thank you for sharing. We love the simplicity of this recipe.