Baked Chicken Thighs – A super easy and flavorful chicken thigh recipe that comes out crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Smothered with garlic and herbs, learn How to Bake Chicken Thighs and enjoy alongside creamy Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans or add to this easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
The best baked chicken thighs
My husband has always asked me to make more chicken thigh recipes. And when Octavian joined our little family six years ago, the chicken thigh requests doubled. Versatile, juicy, delicious, and awesome well with all the sides, a few of our favorite chicken thigh recipes include Chimichurri Chicken Thighs, One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice, or this spicy favorite Jamaican Jerk.
This easy baked chicken thigh recipe, however, covered with fresh garlic and simple herbs, are an all-around family favorite. Just as easy (if not easier) to cook as chicken breasts, it’s a pretty hard recipe to mess up.
Why pick thigh meat?
What’s your favorite part of a chicken to purchase, cook…and eat? Here are a few reasons why bone-in skin-on chicken thighs are at the top of my list,
- They are cheap…I mean affordable. But seriously, compared to chicken breasts, you’re going to get a whole lot of bang for your buck with chicken thighs.
- Thigh meat is considered dark meat. This translates to FLAVOR without even trying.
- They are more forgiving to bad cooks. Translation- if you find yourself with over-cooked chicken thighs, chances are it will still probably taste pretty good (although this is NOT recommended, so please set your oven timer).
- Thighs don’t need a crazy amount of seasoning. Just a few good ones (like garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper).
Prefer to cook with chicken breasts? Click here to learn How to Cook Chicken Breasts.
Ingredients in Garlic Baked Chicken Thighs
The beautiful thing about chicken thighs is that they’re naturally delicious. For this recipe, I decided to add a few simple spices and ingredients (ahem, garlic!) to really add some awesome flavor. Feel free to add what you love, leave out what you don’t, or use your very own seasoning mix.
- Chicken thighs – I chose bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs as they are the least expensive and most loved by my family. Feel free to use any cut of chicken, including drumsticks, boneless chicken thighs, or breasts, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Olive oil – I know, you guys. Chicken thighs – especially those that still have their skin on- are already quite fattening. But, trust me here. A little olive oil will help prevent them from drying out and actually help the skin become crispy.
- Garlic – I added fresh minced garlic. If you prefer to use powdered garlic, use approximately 1/2 a teaspoon.
- Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning is one of my favorite seasonings to add to baked poultry – especially when garlic is added.
- Paprika – Paprika isn’t overwhelmingly flavorful. It’s not spicy, sweet, or even savory. However, it adds a lovely red color so I love adding it.
- Salt + Pepper – The two most important ingredients. Add as much or as little as you’d like.
How long to bake chicken thighs?
I always recommend using a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, especially poultry.
- How long to bake Chicken Thighs at 350°F – 50-55 minutes
- How long to bake Chicken Thighs at 375°F – 45-50 minutes
- How long to bake Chicken Thighs at 400°F – 40-45 minutes
- How long to bake Chicken Thighs at 425°F – 35-40 minutes
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs will always require a longer cooking time when compared to boneless skinless chicken thighs which will require about 10 minutes less time.
How to bake chicken thighs
To make your own delicious and juicy baked chicken thighs simply,
- Start by preheating your oven to 400° F. Next, line a large baking sheet with foil. You may bake your chicken thighs directly on the foil-lined baking sheet OR place a baking rack on top.
- Next, grab two small bowls. In the first, whisk together the olive oil and the minced garlic. In the second bowl whisk together the dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. If you prefer to use garlic powder instead of freshly minced garlic, that’s ok. Simply add the garlic powder to the other dry spices and omit the fresh garlic. Set the bowls aside.
- Remove the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs from their packaging and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Drizzle each chicken thigh with the garlic and olive oil mixture and season with the seasoning mixture. Rub the oil and spices into each chicken thigh, using your hands to coat the entire surface of the chicken thighs with oil and seasoning.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160°F as measured with a digital meat thermometer.
Tips and Tricks
- Pat your thighs dry. Any excess moisture will cause your chicken thighs to steam and prevent them from browning.
- There is no need to move or turn your chicken thighs at any time during baking. Simply, set them on your baking sheet skin-side-up and let them cook skin-side-up the whole time.
- As your chicken thighs bake, they will release some of their natural juices. I recommend baking your chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. This will prevent chicken juice from spilling all over your oven (or kitchen floor) and makes for easy clean-up.
- Get that seasoning all over the chicken thighs…and be generous with it! Top, bottom, under the skin, really work it in there.
- Yes, you want to rub them with olive oil, too. The olive oil helps keep your chicken moist.
What to serve with Easy Baked Chicken Thighs
This recipe is easy, flavorful, and crazy versatile. Basically, you guys, you can pair it with just about anything.
For starchy sides, I like to serve this recipe with Mashed Potatoes (or Mashed Cauliflower), Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf, or Garlic Roasted Potatoes. In other words, anything that pairs well with a little extra garlic is guaranteed to taste awesome.
But what about vegetables?
Let’s just say this pairs well with all the vegetables: Roasted Carrots, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Beets. Basically, any and ALL vegetables love baked chicken thighs.
More chicken recipes you’ll love,
- Roast Chicken Recipe (How to Roast Chicken)
- Easy Chicken Stroganoff Recipe
- Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- Chicken Shish Kabob Recipe (Shish Kebabs)
- Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
- The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
If you try making these baked chicken thighs, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Baked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil with the minced garlic and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, transfer the chicken thighs to the prepared baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels.
- Drizzle each chicken thigh with the garlic and olive oil mixture and season with the seasoning mixture. Rub the oil and spices into the chicken to coat.
- Transfer chicken to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160°F as measured with a digital meat thermometer.