These baked chicken thighs are flavored with honey, herbs, and garlic, and are baked to perfection. Moist and juicy in the middle and crispy on the outside, this is a foolproof recipe.
If you are a fan of hands-off dinner recipes, then these baked chicken thighs are your jam.
Similar to our baked chicken legs, the short marinating time infuses the chicken thighs with lots of flavors while baking them in the oven crisps up the skin beautifully and results in juicy and flavorful chicken.
Why this recipe works
- Minimal prep work. All you have to do is to toss the chicken thighs in the marinade, let them sit in the fridge for half an hour, and then bake them up.
- Juicy and full of flavor. Thanks to the honey used in the marinade, the chicken thighs turn out tender and juicy. The herbs, garlic, and lemon zest impart rich flavors making the chicken taste so much better than your average chicken thighs.
- Versatile. Oven-baked chicken thighs are great for lunch and dinner. They are perfect as an everyday meal and for special occasions or holidays. These chicken thighs also go well with a variety of side dishes, including roasted vegetables, rice, and pasta.
What I love most about this recipe is that I can take care of the side dishes and desserts while the chicken marinates and bakes in the oven. We typically have brussels sprouts and baked potatoes cooking at the same time, which results in a well-balanced meal!
This recipe calls for a few everyday ingredients. You may not even need to make a trip to the supermarket. Just get to the cooking!
- Chicken thighs. I prefer using skin-on chicken thighs. The skin keeps all the juices sealed in the thighs and creates a crispy coating.
- Herbs. I use dried oregano and dill for this recipe.
- Paprika. Adds sweet and mildly spicy flavor to the marinade.
- Honey. When used in a marinade, honey not only helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with sweet flavors but it also caramelizes beautifully when you bake the chicken.
- Garlic. Minced garlic for the marinade.
- Lemon zest. To add a touch of freshness to the marinade and cut through the sweetness of the honey.
- Olive oil. To pull together all marinade flavors.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
How to bake chicken thighs
Here’s how you bake the juiciest chicken thighs in two simple steps.
Step 1- Marinate the chicken thighs
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Make the marinade by mixing together the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, honey, dried oregano and dill, and paprika.
Put the chicken thighs in the baking pan. Coat them with the marinating mixture. Cover with food wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 2- Bake
While the chicken thighs marinate, preheat the oven to 220C/425F degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve warm sprinkled with fresh dill and slices of lemon.
How long to bake chicken thighs
How long you should bake chicken thighs depends on a few factors – the size of the chicken thighs, the temperature of the oven, and if they are bone-in or boneless.
As a general rule, bone-in chicken thighs take 30 to 45 minutes to cook through. Boneless chicken thighs cook faster. Depending on their size and oven temperature, they may take 15 to 20 minutes to cook.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use bone-in chicken thighs for the juiciest results. While boneless chicken thighs cook faster, the bone imparts a rich chicken flavor to the meat.
- Pat dry the chicken before seasoning them. Doing this helps achieve crispier results.
- Use a thermometer to tell if the chicken thighs are done or not. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. If it reads 165F degrees, remove the chicken from the oven.
- Allow the chicken thighs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes once you remove them from the oven. The juices will redistribute inside the chicken thighs and make them juicer.
- Don’t cover the chicken thighs while they rest as the trapped steam will soften their crispy skin.
While we adore this recipe as it is, the beauty of working with simple protein is just how easy they are to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Spice it up. If you are a fan of spicy chicken, add some red pepper flakes to the marinade.
- Use Italian seasoning. Being a blend of aromatic herbs, Italian seasoning is one of the easiest ways to make chicken more flavorful with minimal effort.
- Add mustard. Adding some dijon mustard to the marinade will result in the juiciest honey mustard chicken thighs.
To store. Leftover baked chicken should be refrigerated and eaten within 3 to 4 days. Store them in an airtight container or wrapped in foil.
To reheat. Reheat chicken thighs in an oven preheated to 400F degrees for 15 minutes or until they are heated through.
To freeze. Freezing bone-in chicken thighs is not the best idea. Instead, shred the baked chicken thighs before freezing them. Frozen baked chicken thighs will last up to 4 months in the freezer.
More ways to cook chicken thighs
Frequently asked questions
Chicken thighs are best baked at 400 to 425F degrees. However, if the chicken thighs are on the smaller side, you can bake them at 350F to prevent them from drying out.
Baked chicken thighs are certainly healthier than fried ones. They are a good source of protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and a range of vitamins and minerals. Paired with healthy side dishes, baked chicken thighs can make part of a balanced diet.
- 6 chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 small lemon zested
Preheat the oven to 220C/428F. Lightly grease a baking dish.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Combine the olive oil, garlic cloves, paprika, oregano, dill, honey, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
Place the chicken thighs in a baking pan and coat well with the marinade. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill, covered.
Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes until cooked through.
Serving: 1baked chicken thigh | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 5g
Desiree is a research journalist working performing her duties as chief editor at this news station. She is a talented writer and comes up with facts everybody wants to know.