Baked Chicken Thighs
These oven baked chicken thighs are juicy, tender and incredibly flavorful! This recipe is made with only a few healthy ingredients. The meat is melt in your mouth delicious and the skin is so crispy. This chicken thigh recipe is great for the whole family. Eat as is, or use the chicken in tacos, salads, sandwiches and casseroles!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These baked chicken thighs are tender and flavorful.
- This recipe is simple and straightforward.
- Chicken thighs are affordable and budget friendly.
- Chicken thighs are much more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts.
- This recipe is versatile. Use the chicken in sandwiches, soups, stews, salads and more.
- The skin becomes golden brown and crispy.
- The seasonings are pantry staples.
- Chicken thighs are more forgiving than chicken breasts.
- This recipe is Whole30 compliant, Paleo, Keto, low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free.
- Suitable for many diets and lifestyles.
- This recipe can be made with boneless skinless thighs or bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
- Check out these BBQ Chicken Thighs for another delicious recipe!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for baked chicken thighs. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.
For best results, use fresh chicken thighs. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs have more flavor and texture than boneless. Bone-in thighs take slightly longer to cook. If needed, frozen chicken can be used. Thaw completely before making this recipe.
Olive oil helps crisp up the skin. Feel free to use melted butter or avocado oil.
Both garlic powder and onion powder add flavor. Feel free to reduce or increase these amounts.
Sea salt and pepper add more subtle flavor.
For a spicy option, add some cayenne powder, paprika or chili powder.
What are Chicken Thighs?
Chicken thighs are a cut of poultry that come from the upper part of the chicken leg. They are darker in color and have a slightly higher fat content than chicken breasts. This contributes to their rich flavor and moist texture.
Boneless Skinless vs Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are boneless or bone-in. Boneless chicken thighs are a convenient option, as they are already trimmed and ready to cook. They are also quicker easier to eat and serve. Boneless thighs take slightly less time to cook. They tend to be a little less flavorful than bone in thighs.
However, many people prefer bone-in chicken thighs for their richer flavor and juicy texture. The bone helps to insulate the meat, which prevents it from drying out during the cooking process. Additionally, cooking chicken with the bone in can help to infuse the meat with more flavor. Bone-in thighs take longer to cook, but produce more flavor. Lastly, the skin adds a ton of flavor and texture.
Taste & Texture
Chicken thighs are appealing for their taste and texture. They have a juicy, tender texture full of flavor. Oven baking seals in the moisture. In addition, it creates a crispy, golden brown exterior.
Additionally, the seasoning and marinade that you use can have a big impact on the taste of your chicken thighs. From classic herbs like rosemary and thyme to bold spices like cumin and paprika, there are countless ways to customize the flavor of this dish to suit your taste preferences.
This oven baked chicken thighs recipe has a classic flavor. Feel free to add sauce, condiments or a marinade.
How to Make
First, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine all of the spices. Rub spices on both sides of chicken thighs.
Place chicken thighs in the greased baking pan. Drizzle olive oil on top of chicken.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
Finally, remove pan from oven. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Expert Tips & Tricks
To ensure that your baked chicken thighs turn out perfectly every time, here are a few expert tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel before seasoning and baking. This removes any excess moisture, which can prevent the chicken from browning properly.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. When the temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), the chicken is safe to eat.
For extra crispy skin, broil chicken for the last few minutes of baking.
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
If using boneless chicken thighs, reduce cooking time.
There are countless ways to flavor chicken thighs.
- Lemon Garlic: Mix together lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and rub the mixture onto the chicken thighs before baking. Then, top with fresh parsley or thyme.
- BBQ: Brush your chicken thighs with your favorite BBQ sauce before baking. Top with chopped scallions or sliced jalapeños for an extra kick. Or, try this Korean BBQ Sauce.
- Honey Mustard: Mix together honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. Rub the mixture onto the chicken thighs before baking. Lastly, top with sliced green onions.
- Herb-Roasted: Rub your chicken thighs with a mixture of dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. Top with fresh chopped herbs like parsley, basil, or chives after baking.
- Pesto: Spread pesto sauce over your chicken thighs before baking. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.
- Teriyaki: Mix together coconut aminos, brown sugar or coconut sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, and sesame oil. Brush the mixture onto your chicken thighs before baking. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds after baking. Or, try this Stir Fry Sauce.
How to Serve & Store
Baked chicken thighs can be served in a variety of ways. This recipe is versatile.
Use the leftover meat in a sandwich. This chicken is great with lettuce, tomato, onion and sauce.
Add the chicken to pizza. Top a pizza crust with tomato sauce, shredded cheese and leftover chicken.
Use this leftover chicken in a pasta dish. Try this Buffalo Chicken Pasta.
Add the chicken to a Creamy Chicken Soup or stew.
Store chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
To reheat chicken thighs, simply place them in a 350 degree oven until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of bone-in chicken thighs. Just keep in mind that boneless, skinless chicken thighs will cook faster than bone-in chicken thighs, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Cook baked chicken thighs until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer.
Do not cover the chicken with foil while baking. This prevents the skin from getting crispy.
It is difficult to overcook thighs. Unlike chicken breasts, they take much longer to become dry or tough.
Chicken is done cooking when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally. The juices will be clear and the skin will be golden crispy. Use a meat thermometer for accurate measurements.
Meat Thermometer: This is the best and most accurate way to determine when chicken is done baking.
Spatula: Use a spatula to remove chicken from pan.
Staub Baking Dishes: This is the baking dish I use and love.
You May Also Like
- Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- Sous Vide Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
- Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Chinese Garlic Chicken
If you make this baked chicken thighs recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dinner Recipes.
Get the Recipe: Baked Chicken Thighs
- First, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine all spices. Rub spices on both sides of chicken thighs.
- Place chicken thighs in greased baking pan. Drizzle olive oil on top of chicken.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
- Finally, remove from oven. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- If using boneless, skinless thighs, bake for only 25 to 30 minutes.
- For extra crispy skin, broil the chicken for 1 to 3 minutes at the end.
- Feel free to adjust amounts of seasonings.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.
Love these oven baked chicken thighs? You can sign up here to receive healthy meal plans, exclusive new recipes and updates!