Crispy Baked Honey Soy Chicken Thighs made with juicy chicken thighs marinated in a flavorful honey soy sauce with ginger and garlic. Ready in 30 minutes or less, you’ll love this easy throw-together weeknight dinner.
Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
There are a handful of flavor combinations that will never go out of style. Honey bbq, honey ginger, honey garlic, and of course, honey soy. I love this recipe so much. It’s easy, delicious, and made with super simple ingredients that I always have stashed away in my pantry and refrigerator. Plus, my child devours it every single time I make it, resulting in one less dinner-time struggle, and one very happy family.
I know, who knew that such a simple chicken recipe could hold so much power?
Anyway, I will usually serve this honey soy chicken thigh recipe with a side of brown rice and steamed broccoli because they are my son’s favorite and I’d hate to push my luck.
On that note, who’s ready to cook some chicken?
Ingredients in this Honey Soy Chicken Recipe
- Rice wine vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Salt and Pepper
Do you see that list? So short, right? I mean, how could you not try it. Before we make it, let’s answer some frequently answered questions.
Can I use chicken breasts? Yes. You can absolutely use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs or skinless thighs, or some combination of them all. Use whatever cut of chicken your family loves most. Of course, chicken breasts, as well as boneless chicken thighs, will cook faster (approximately 25 minutes, or 10 minutes less than chicken thighs that are bone-in). Total time varies a ton though, so please do yourself, and your chicken, a favor and use a digital meat thermometer to determine when your chicken has finished cooking (internal temperature of 160 degrees F).
Do I have to add rice wine vinegar? No, but I like to add vinegar for a little extra tanginess. If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will also work.
Can I use low sodium soy sauce? Yes. However, I recommend using regular soy sauce if you have it. I haven’t recommended adding extra salt to your marinade, so for the best possible flavor, you’ll want it in there.
Can I substitute fresh garlic with garlic powder? Of course. I like fresh garlic in this recipe, but if you’d rather add garlic powder start with approximately 1 teaspoon.
How to Make Baked Honey Soy Chicken Thighs
Let’s make the things already, am I right?
1. Ask yourself if you’re going to marinate your chicken thighs before baking. If yes, for how long? You don’t have to marinate your chicken (especially when cooking with chicken thighs because they’re already so juicy and flavorful, but it does help accentuate the flavor a bit).
2. If you’re going to skip the marinating part (or only marinate for 15-30 minutes) then go ahead and preheat your oven to 400° F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Using foil will make cleanup a million times easier. Highly recommended.
- A rimmed baking sheet, like a jelly roll pan, will prevent the pan juices from dripping all over the place.
3. Prepare the honey soy marinade/sauce (more on the sauce below, check it out). All you have to do is whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, ground ginger (or fresh), and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels and add them to a large bowl. Add the honey soy mixture to the chicken. How long will you be marinating your chicken? If you plan to marinate for more than 15-30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
5. When ready to bake, transfer your chicken thighs to your lined baking sheet lined, skin-side-up.
6. 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. Remember, the total time will vary based on oven, altitude, and size of chicken thighs.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Some optional garnishes include,
- Sesame seeds
- Chopped scallions
- Chopped parsley
- Red pepper flakes
Can I use the Leftover Marinade to Make a Sauce?
Yes, save it. Don’t dump it out. But no, you can’t just start dipping things in there because, well, raw chicken pieces just used it as a place to take a bath.
If you know you want additional honey soy sauce to drizzle over your chicken after it comes out of the oven, reserve any remaining marinade, transfer it to a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow it to cook for at least 2-3 minutes, stirring as needed.
If you want to take your sauce to the next level (you do, don’t you?) then wait for your chicken to finish cooking and add the pan drippings to the saucepot. The pan drippings are the cooking juices released from the marinade and the chicken as it cooks. So much flavor. Carefully transfer the pan drippings to the sauce, simmer with the leftover marinade for 3-4 minutes, and serve!
RELATED: How to Make Teriyaki Sauce
Serve Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs With:
So many things, here’s a list of my favorites,
- 10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy Recipe
- Roasted Carrots
- Zucchini Noodles
- Plain rice or fried rice or even cauliflower rice
- Roasted asparagus
My mom would make a recipe similar to this when I was younger and would always serve it with the boxed wild rice or boxed rice pilaf and buttered peas. No need to get fancy here, you guys. Keep it simple, stress-free, and you’re guaranteed to have an awesome dinner for the whole fam!
More Chicken Recipes,
If you try making this easy Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Baked Honey Soy Chicken Thighs Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil ((or vegetable oil))
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce ((regular or low sodium soy sauce))
- 6 tbsp honey
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger ((or 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced))
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 chicken thighs ((bone-in, skin-on))
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, ground ginger (or fresh), and pepper.
- Transfer the chicken thighs to a large bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Add the honey soy mixture to the chicken and gently turn to coat. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (time permitting), or cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, transfer each chicken thigh to your prepared baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, skin-side-up (see notes).
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve your honey soy chicken thighs with a side of white rice, rice noodles, and your favorite veggies. Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped parsley, or green onions, if desired.
- This recipe is also delicious with boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Adjust the total cooking as needed.
- What about the leftover marinade? After your chicken thighs marinate, you're going to have quite a bit of marinade leftover. First and foremost, never consume used chicken marinade unless it's been brought to a full, and rolling boil. So, if you have a little extra time and you want a little extra sauce, simply add the leftover marinade to a small saucepot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring as needed. Use it for dipping, drizzling, etc. You could even add the pan drippings to the sauce after the chicken has been fully cooked. I do recommend allowing the pan drippings and the sauce to cook together for at least a minute or so before serving. To thicken, simply mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and combine with your simmering sauce.
- For extra crispy skin, set your oven to broil in the last 2 minutes of cooking time and broil just until crispy.
- There is no need to move or turn your chicken 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 bakes, they will release some of their natural juices. I recommend baking your chicken 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.
- To make gluten-free use tamari in place of the soy sauce.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)