Homemade Dry Rub for Chicken

Finally a dry rub for chicken with no additives that actually packs a flavor punch! Make a batch of this dry rub with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and be ready anytime the dry rubbed chicken mood strikes.

Use this dry rub for chicken on the best grilled chicken legs and pair with our olive oil parmesan grilled corn, foil pack grilled red potatoes and grilled peach crumble and you’re off to the perfect summer meal. Enjoy!

dry rub for chicken in a mason jar

The Ultimate Dry Rub for Chicken

We don’t say this lightly, but this dry rub for chicken is THE ultimate dry rub. It’s great on chicken legs, thighs, wings, breasts and more. We’re already planning to try it on slow-roasted pork ribs this weekend, so no need to limit yourself to just poultry for this rub either.

But isn’t it time-consuming to make your own dry rub?! We get this question all the time, and our answer is: it doesn’t have to be! We created this dry rub for chicken with ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, and what we really love about making our own dry rub at home is that there are NO additives!

No additives + minimal salt

If you turn the label around on many of the store-bought dry rubs, you’ll see a combination of ingredients you can’t pronounce as well as salt and more salt. Not with this dry rub! You’ll have full control of the amount of salt, spice, and sweetness your make at home dry rub has, which is great for so many reasons.

What does this dry rub for chicken taste like?

This recipe is the perfect blend of savory, but it’s also slightly sweet and has a hint of spice. It’s made from a base of garlic powder, but the addition of onion powder, chipotle powder, ground cinnamon, and mustard make it uniquely delicious.

dry rub ingredients on a plate

Dry Rub for Chicken Ingredients

Yay for chicken dry rub ingredients you can pronounce! And yay for ingredients you likely have on hand already! Nobody likes having to spend $30+ on spices that you’ll use infrequently to create a dry rub recipe at home, especially if it doesn’t end up tasting as flavorful as you’d like.

This dry rub is both flavor-packed and includes simple, easy to find ingredients, including:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Ground chipotle powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground mustard seed
  • Table salt
  • Ground pepper

Make it hotter: add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon more of chipotle powder.

Make It hot hot hotter: add a pinch of cayenne powder.

Make it sweeter: add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon more sugar.

What cuts of meat can I use?

Good news for you, this is the perfect chicken spice mix to use on any cut of poultry. Use around 1 – 1.5 lbs. of the following:

  • chicken legs
  • chicken breast
  • whole chicken
  • chicken thighs
  • chicken wings

I’ve actually used this rub on our Foil Pack Potatoes plenty of times and it is so tasty! Try it on our Roasted Red Potatoes, Grilled Carrots, or Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin.

How much dry rub per lb. of chicken?

We recommend using around 1/4 cup of dry rub for chicken per 1 to 1.5 lbs. chicken.

How long should dry rub sit on chicken?

We recommend letting the dry rub sit on the chicken for at least 15 minutes before cooking.

chicken legs rolled in dry rub on a plate

How to Use this Dry Rub

  1. Place 1 – 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, thighs, wings, or legs on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle on chicken dry rub, massaging it into the chicken. Make sure all parts are covered and be generous!
  3. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before cooking the chicken.

Chicken Cooking Methods

You may think dry rubs only come in handy when grilling, but let me tell you…I beg to differ! You can use dry rubs for sauteeing, baking, steaming, Instant Potting, and more!

Here are some of our favorite cooking methods to use on your chicken after seasoning. These directions are for chicken breasts:

Grilled chicken: Grill chicken at 400ºF for around 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Grill chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

Baked chicken: Bake chicken breast at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Sous Vide Chicken: Heat your water bath to 145ºF and then cook the chicken breast for 1.5 – 2 hours.

Pan Seared Chicken: Pan sear chicken breast in olive oil or butter over medium/high heat. for 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

Instant Pot Chicken: Place the trivet in your Instant Pot and add water. Place chicken breast on top of trivet and cook on high for 8-12 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF

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Recipe Pairings

Whether you’re making grilled chicken legs or another meat dry rubbed in this deliciousness, here are some go-to recipe pairings we’re always coming back to to flesh out a top notch meal:




chicken legs rolled in dry rub on a plate ready to be grilled


Got leftover dry rub? Transfer it into an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

spices on plate

Homemade Dry Rub for Chicken

A seriously delicious dry rub for chicken that is slightly sweet and smokey at the same time! Use it on chicken legs, breasts, wings, thighs, or a whole chicken! 

Prep: 10 minutesCook: 0 minutesTotal: 10 minutes

Fat 0

Carbs 7

Protein 1

Yield 4.6 tablespoons 1x


  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and then transfer into an empty spice container or a Mason jar with a lid.
  2. Use this dry rub on these grilled chicken legs or 1 to 1.5 lbs. of your favorite cut of chicken by sprinkling it onto the chicken and using your hands to massage it in.
  3. Store leftover chicken dry rub in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

Tips & Notes

  • This is enough dry rub for 1 – 1.5 lbs. chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: ~1 tablespoon
Calories: 32
Sugar: 2
Sodium: 21
Fat: 0
Carbohydrates: 7
Fiber: 1
Protein: 1

Author: Lee HershCategory: Rubs and MarinadesMethod: No BakeCuisine: AmericanDiet: Gluten Free

Keywords: dry rub for chicken

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

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