Baked Chicken Thighs

4.82 from 11 votes
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Are you tired of the same old chicken dinner every week? Spice things up with this delicious baked chicken thighs recipe! Get ready for a juicy and tender chicken dish bursting with flavor.

To switch things up, give my slow cooker chicken thighs or grilled chicken thighs a try!

Crispy oven baked chicken thighs on a serving platter with lemon wedges.

Recipe Science

  • Baking chicken thighs at a high temperature helps the skin render its fat and become crisp, while the meat cooks evenly and stays juicy due to the higher fat content compared to chicken breasts.
  • The longer cooking time allows connective tissues within the thighs to break down, enhancing the meat’s tenderness and flavor through slow collagen transformation to gelatin.
  • Using a seasoning rub or chicken marinade not only adds flavor but also forms a flavorful crust through caramelization and the Maillard reaction during baking.

Why It Works

Crispy oven-baked chicken thighs are an easy dinner to prepare! Toss the pieces in a bold, savory spice mixture to boost the taste of the dark meat. Like my baked chicken legs recipe, the concentrated dried herbs and seasonings stick onto the surface, delivering flavorful bites with little effort.

To make a big tray of chicken, grab a baking sheet! Cooking at elevated temperatures in an enclosed oven ensures crunchy skin and juicy pieces. It only takes about 40 minutes of hands-off time for a simple yet impressive dish. For a hearty meal, serve with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes and green beans.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make this baked chicken thighs recipe.
  • Chicken Thighs: Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs will give the most flavorful and juicy pieces. Boneless and skinless thighs can be used, reducing cooking time since the meat will cook faster without the bones.
  • Olive Oil: Helps the seasonings better infuse the flavor compounds into the fat and onto the meat. The oil creates a crispy skin and keeps the chicken moist.
  • Seasoning Mix: A combination of paprika, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper delivers a robust seasoning to the surface of the chicken. It’s easy to customize!
  • Garnish: Serve with chopped parsley or herbs like chives, cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme. Plus, lemon wedges add a nice citrus flavor to the chicken.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

This baked chicken thighs recipe is easy to customize! Here are some delicious ways to switch up the seasoning:

  • Spicy: Add some heat with chipotle pepper, chili powder, or cayenne. Start with ¼ teaspoon, then increase to the desired heat level. Or try my cajun seasoning blend.
  • Honey Mustard: Combine equal parts of honey and your favorite type of mustard and brush on the meat before baking.
  • Teriyaki: Marinate the chicken in teriyaki sauce, or brush on top before serving.
  • Chimichurri: Soak in a chimichurri sauce mixture of fresh herbs, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. I often do this with chimichurri chicken for extra flavor. Drizzle more on top after baking.

How to Make Baked Chicken Thighs

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Set the temperature to 425ºF (218ºC) and line a large baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top and lightly coat it with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

Chicken thighs typically have a lot of excess skin and fat. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to trim any overhang along the edges. You still want to leave enough to cover the top.

Pro Tip: Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. This will give a crispier skin so it can dry and brown in the oven immediately instead of steam.

Oil, paprika, and italian seasonings in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Season the Pieces

Whisk together the olive oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Metal tongs dipping a chicken thigh into a bowl of marinade.

Use tongs to dip the chicken thighs into the bowl and evenly coat with the seasonings.

From here, you can bake immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Marinating the chicken will make it even more moist and flavorful!

Several marinated and seasoned chicken thighs placed on a wire rack set on a foil-lined sheet pan.

Step 3: Bake the Chicken Thighs

Place the seasoned chicken thighs on a greased wire rack on top of a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan. This elevates the meat for even cooking so that the hot air in the oven can circulate around evenly. This also helps the fat render onto the pan and not make the pieces greasy.

Delicious pieces of crispy baked chicken thighs cooking on a wire rack.

Bake at 425ºF (218ºC) for about 35 to 40 minutes. The chicken is done when the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of around 175ºF (79ºC) on a meat thermometer. For even crunchier skin, broil for a few extra minutes, but keep a close eye to prevent burning!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you wash chicken thighs before cooking?

There is no need to wash the poultry before cooking. If not properly cleaned, it could contaminate the sink area. Remove the poultry from the package and place it on a nonporous cutting board to trim and dry. When cooked, the heat will destroy any harmful bacteria.

Do you cover chicken thighs when baking?

Do not cover the chicken thighs! This will prevent the chicken skin from becoming crisp; steaming it instead. It can be loosely tented with foil if the skin gets too dark or charred and the meat is not cooked.

How long to bake chicken thighs?

Baking at 425ºF (218ºC) will take about 35 to 40 minutes for bone-in chicken thighs. Check at 25 minutes for boneless thighs, adding more time as needed. The temperature should reach between 170 to 175ºF (77 to 79ºC).

Do chicken thighs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Chicken thighs are made of dark meat with more connective tissue and fat than lean chicken breasts. They benefit from longer cook times to dissolve the collagen into gelatin and render the fat for a tender and juicy bite. Typically white meat is cooked until 165 degrees. Dark meat has a better texture between 175 to 195ºF (79 to 91ºF). The extra fat helps keep the meat from drying out.

Serve This With

If you tried this Baked Chicken Thighs recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Baked Chicken Thighs

Delicious oven baked chicken thighs that are super juicy, tender, and flavorful. Plus, they require very little prep time and are a great weeknight dinner option for busy days.
4.82 from 11 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin on, about 4 pounds
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika , smoked or sweet
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 8 lemon wedges

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 425ºF (218ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top, and grease with olive oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Prepare the Pieces – Trim off any excess skin and fat from the edges of the chicken. Thoroughly dry each piece with a paper towel to remove moisture from the surface.
  • Season the Pieces – In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Add the chicken to the seasoning mix. Turn to coat evenly.
  • Bake the Chicken – Evenly space the pieces on the baking sheet. Bake until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 35 to 40 minutes. The internal temperature should reach about 175ºF (79ºC) on a meat thermometer.
  • To Serve – Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and lemons and transfer to a serving platter.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Crispier Skin: At the end of baking, broil until the skin is crispy. Check every minute to ensure that the skin does not burn!
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Reheating: Cover and reheat in the microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
  • No Wire Rack: You can bake directly on the baking sheet, but check a few minutes earlier for doneness, as the pan will be hotter.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 327kcal (16%)Carbohydrates 3g (1%)Protein 24g (48%)Fat 24g (37%)Saturated Fat 6g (30%)Polyunsaturated Fat 5gMonounsaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0.1gCholesterol 142mg (47%)Sodium 1275mg (53%)Potassium 346mg (10%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 292IU (6%)Vitamin C 10mg (12%)Calcium 29mg (3%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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13 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Peggy Robertson says

    I have made this recipe THREE times now and it never fails to please. It is also great reheated for those of us who love leftovers. I make it with boneless skinless chicken thighs and followed Jessica’s suggestion for reducing the cooking time and they turned out perfect. Highly recommend – as I do all of Jessica’s recipes!! You can see a pic one of my meals with this recipe on my insta @MesaViewHomestead. Thanks so much Jessica!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much! Thrilled to hear that using boneless thighs and reducing cook time worked well for you!

  2. Peggy says

    Hi Jessica! I am going to make this tonight, however, the chicken thighs we have are without bones – how would that change the recipe? Thanks so much!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Since you are using boneless chicken thighs, I would check for doneness around 20/25 minutes. The final temperature should be around 170 to 175ºF, since the dark meat has more connective tissue. Add more time, checking every few minutes until the meat is fully cooked.

  3. Cindy Martin says

    I made it exactly except I only had 5 chicken thighs. Came out really salty. I used regular table salt and not Kosher as well. Maybe I should’ve halved the recipe ??

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Cindy- Table salt is much more fine than kosher salt, making more a saltier spice mixture. Next time I would use 2 to 3 teaspoons of table salt instead. That should help with the saltiness issue!

      • Cindy Martin says

        Thank you. I will decrease the salt the next time. I did love this recipe. The chicken was juicy and flavorful. It was very easy to make.

    • Lori says

      I made this with 6 thighs and it came out golden browned and perfect although quite salty. I would reduce to 2 teaspoons of kosher salt next time.