These buffalo chicken thighs are easy to make, so tender, and incredibly flavorful. This recipe is simple and straightforward but yields the most perfectly cooked chicken thighs. The buttery buffalo sauce is the best sauce!

Buffalo chicken thighs on pan

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These buffalo chicken thighs are quick and easy.
  • The chicken is versatile. Use leftovers in tacos, burritos, salads and more.
  • The easy buffalo sauce is buttery, spicy and creamy.
  • They are made without frying, without breading, and without flour.
  • Make them in the oven or air fryer.
  • This recipe can be made with boneless skinless thighs or bone in, skin on thighs.
  • This recipe is Paleo, Keto, low carb, gluten free, sugar free and nut free.
  • Replace butter with ghee to make it Whole30 compliant.
  • Check out these Buffalo Chicken Fries for another great idea.
  • Use leftovers in this Buffalo Chicken Pasta.

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.

Both skinless boneless and skin on bone in chicken thighs will work. See section below for more information.

Use olive oil or avocado oil. They are both great for high cooking temperatures.

Both garlic powder and onion powder are quick and easy ways to add flavor.

In addition, both salt and pepper add a subtle flavor.

Buffalo sauce adds the spice! Feel free to use a mild flavor or a more spicy flavor.

Butter makes the sauce creamy, buttery and smooth. For Whole30, use ghee. For dairy free, any dairy free butter will work.

Chopped green onions add a sprinkle of color, freshness and flavor. Feel free to omit if needed.

Chicken thighs and other ingredients in bowls

Boneless vs Bone In Chicken Thighs

Both boneless and bone in chicken thighs are viable options for this recipe.

Boneless chicken thighs contain no bones. They cook faster than bone in thighs. Unlike bone in thighs, boneless chicken thighs are leaner.

Bone in chicken thighs do contain the bone. They typically take longer to cook than boneless thighs. While cooking, the flavor from the bone spreads throughout the chicken thigh. This creates a much more flavorful result.

Skin on chicken thighs can become nice and crispy while cooking. The skin adds a delicious crisp factor. In addition, it is filled with flavor.

With this said, choose your favorite cut of chicken. Both boneless and bone in thighs may be used. They are both delicious!

Taste & Texture

These buffalo chicken thighs are spicy and hearty. They taste like chicken thighs with a buttery spicy buffalo sauce.

The texture is juicy, tender and moist.

How to Make

Step 1

First, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a pan with parchment paper or tin foil.

Step 2

Add chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to a zippered bag. Toss until completely combined.

Step 3

Place chicken thighs on lined pan. Do not overlap the thighs.

Chicken thighs on pan

Step 4

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is slightly crispy on top and internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crispy chicken on pan

Step 5

Meanwhile, add buffalo sauce and butter to a skillet over low heat. Heat until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.

Step 6

When chicken is done cooking, remove buffalo chicken thighs from oven. Brush sauce over chicken thighs. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

Spicy meat on pan

Air Fryer Method

  • First, preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder to a zippered bag. Toss until completely combined.
  • Place chicken thighs on air fryer pan. Do not overlap.
  • Air fry for 24 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, add buffalo sauce and butter to a skillet over low heat. Heat until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.
  • When chicken is done cooking, remove from air fryer. Brush sauce over chicken thighs. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

Expert Tips & Tricks

Use a meat thermometer to measure internal temperature of chicken. Chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered cooked through.

Do not over cook chicken! Overcooked chicken is dry, bland and rubbery.

Oven baked buffalo chicken

Mild Versus Spicy Sauce

This sauce can be mild or spicy for these buffalo chicken thighs!

For a more mild flavor, use a mild buffalo sauce. In addition, either use slightly less buffalo sauce or slightly more butter.

For a spicy flavor, use a spicy buffalo sauce. Moreover, consider using more buffalo sauce.

How to Serve & Store

Serve buffalo chicken thighs hot from the oven or air fryer! They are delicious served with cauliflower rice or a salad for a low carb option.

Other side dishes include mashed potatoes, French fries, or sweet potato fries.

Use leftovers in this Buffalo Chicken Casserole!

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If freezing meat, first pick meat off the bones. Then freeze for up to 1 month.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should the internal temperature of chicken be?

The internal temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to measure it.

Which sauce should I use?

Any buffalo sauce works! Hot sauce is another great option.

Is this recipe Whole30?

Replace butter with ghee for Whole30.

Is this recipe Keto?

Yes, this recipe is both Keto and low carb.

Hot sauce on white pan

You May Also Like

If you make this buffalo chicken thigh recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, check out these Dinner Recipes.

Buffalo chicken thighs on pan

Get the Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Thighs

These buffalo chicken thighs are easy, healthy and flavorful! This recipe is quick, simple, and great for busy weeknights. The leftover chicken is versatile and great for meal prep!
5 from 11 votes

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, I used bone in, skin on
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • pinch sea salt, optional
  • pinch ground pepper, optional
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • green onions, to garnish

Instructions 

Oven Method

  • First, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a pan with parchment paper or tin foil.
  • Add chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to a zippered bag. Toss until completely combined.
  • Place chicken thighs on lined pan. Do not overlap.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is slightly crispy on top and internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Meanwhile, add buffalo sauce and butter to a skillet over low heat. Heat until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.
  • When chicken is done cooking, remove from oven. Brush sauce over chicken thighs. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

Air Fryer Method

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to a zippered bag. Toss until completely combined.
  • Place chicken thighs on air fryer pan. Do not overlap.
  • Air fry for 24 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, add buffalo sauce and butter to a skillet over low heat. Heat until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.
  • When chicken is done cooking, remove from air fryer. Brush sauce over chicken thighs. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

Notes

  • I love using bone in skin on thighs for extra flavor.  These usually take 5 to 10 minutes longer to cook than boneless skinless thighs.
  • Use meat thermometer to measure internal temperature of chicken.  Chicken needs to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Calories: 287kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 717mg, Potassium: 240mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 146IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Love these buffalo chicken thighs? You can sign up here to receive healthy meal plans, exclusive new recipes and updates!