Baked Chicken Thighs are a dinnertime staple in my house. They are so versatile that you can serve chicken thighs for dinner several nights a week for years and never have to have them exactly the same way.
Having a few recipes for different versions of baked chicken thighs in your arsenal means always being able to whip up a delicious, inexpensive meal that everyone in your household will love without putting in a ton of extra time or effort.
Today, I’m serving up a round-up of my very favorite Baked Chicken Thighs recipes. These are dishes I’ve made again and again over the years that are simple, nourishing and incredibly flavorful.
Every recipe included in this post relies on ingredients that are a cinch to find at any grocery store. Many ingredients you’re already likely to have in your fridge and pantry! If you’re wondering what to make for dinner tonight, Baked Chicken Thighs are the answer.
Despite being so easy to prepare and cook, these chicken thighs are all far and away tastier than most any takeout meal you could get for the same cost.
Baked Chicken Thighs
Did you know it’s possible to get crisp, flavorful chicken without frying? I’ve always loved the crispiness of a Pan Fried Chicken Thigh, but don’t always have the time to monitor the chicken as it cooks on the stovetop.
Enter Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs. This recipe only requires about five minutes preparation and an hour of hands-off cooking time that results in the most crisp, juicy, delicious chicken dinner you could want.
I’ve made many variations on this favorite recipe over the years. When I’m in the mood for Italian flavors, Crispy Italian Chicken is a go-to centerpiece. I often serve it with Italian Rice Pilaf from my cookbook or this Italian Pasta Salad.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs
Possibly the most stressful thing to figure out when it comes to cooking chicken is just how long to leave it in the oven. When I was first learning to cook, I lost count of the number of times I looked up “how long to bake chicken” before I finally wrote the average cooking times on the inside of my recipe book.
I highly recommend using a meat thermometer for checking the internal temperature of your chicken. It’s the best, easiest and most foolproof way to determine whether or not your chicken is done (and safe to consume). It can also keep you from overcooking your dish resulting in tough, flavorless chicken.
In general, the chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat. Most of my recipes include a recommended internal temperature for the chicken, so you know without a doubt when it’s time to pull it out of the oven.
Did you know you can de-bone chicken thighs at home on your own? If you follow that link, you’ll see that I’ve posted a step by step photo guide along with the how-to.
It’s pretty handy to know how to debone chicken thighs when the prices are often so different between the two varieties.
We eat a lot of chicken in this house. I mean, a lot. From a simple pan fry to slow-cooker shredded chicken, I’ve had many opportunities to perfect the myriad of ways to prepare, cook and serve chicken.
Baking is a fantastic way to prepare chicken, even if you don’t have much cooking knowledge or experience. To successfully bake chicken, you need to cook your chicken at the right temperature for the right length of time.
350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit is standard for many of my recipes depending on the flavor and texture we’re aiming for in the finished meal and the other ingredients in the dish.
Baked Chicken Thighs Recipes
Cooking baked chicken thighs in a sauce or marinade results in an incredibly tender, juicy dish that’s as versatile as it is easy.
With just four ingredients, this Sticky Asian Chicken is a family favorite that comes together in no time at all. The spicy garlic and chili balanced with the sweetness of the brown sugar makes this meal a harmonious balance of irresistible flavors. (Pictured below, you’ll see that we often make this chicken with chicken legs and with thighs.)
Chicken Thighs with Lemon Basil Sauce is a versatile mealtime staple that can be served over pasta, zucchini noodles or rice. The light buttery sauce, fresh summery basil and smoky crisp bacon in this recipe is a match made in heaven.
I’m a huge fan of recipes that require little to know advance planning but if you have 24 hours’ or so you must try this Honey Soy Chicken recipe. It’s as easy as mixing together a marinade of soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger, pouring it over chicken thighs and letting the chicken absorb all those wonderful flavors.
If you love Asian inspired flavors on your chicken (and who doesn’t), get Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken on your meal plan ASAP. Hawaii’s version of barbecue chicken, this recipe also requires a few hours for the chicken to marinate. Once it’s ready to go though, it only takes about 15 minutes in the broiler to be ready to eat!
There’s no way I can post a round up of my favorite chicken recipes and not include Citrus Brown Sugar Chicken. It starts with giving the chicken a quick pan fry on the stove to brown the skin, then finishes cooking in the oven covered by a tangy orange and lemon sauce giving it the crispiness of pan fried chicken with the deep marinated flavor of baked chicken.
Speaking of brown sugar, I also love Brown Sugar Spiced Chicken when I’m craving that sweet and spicy flavor combo. This recipe uses a Mexican seasoning blend to coat the chicken creating a jaw-droppingly good crust.
As much as I love spicy chicken with a good amount of kick, sometimes I need something simpler without all the extra spice. Sheet Pan Chicken Dinners are a terrific way to cook the whole dinner in one go without needing a ton of spice or seasonings.
Toss chicken and vegetables (potatoes and green beans are my favorite) on a sheet pan with a little lemon vinaigrette, pop it in the oven, and walk away. When you come back, you have a delicious, easy, nutritious meal that’s ready to eat in less than an hour.
Uses for Leftover Baked Chicken Thighs
Another benefit to making chicken is that there are so many uses for leftovers! Baked chicken is so delicious in salads, wraps, and sandwiches for a quick lunch, dinner or snack.
Leftover cooked chicken is also one of the key ingredients in many of my enchilada recipes.
Keeping some leftover baked chicken thighs in the fridge means you’re never far away from a fast and satisfying meal.
Of course, there’s a pretty good chance that your family will gobble up the whole meal in one day whenever baked chicken thighs are on the menu! Thankfully, baking chicken is easy enough that you can do it anytime you’re in the mood for juicy, tender, flavorful meal–even every day.
Juicy oven baked chicken thighs are possible with almost no effort at all.
- 4 lbs chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking tray or half sheet pan with foil and place all the chicken pieces on it, skin side down.
Sprinkle each piece of chicken with salt and pepper and flip each piece skin side up. Drizzle about a teaspoon of oil over the skin on each piece of chicken and rub lightly to coat. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
Bake for 55-65 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered out of the chicken and the skin is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and let rest about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!