This baked chicken thighs recipe makes scrumptious crispy chicken thighs with tender, juicy meat! 5-minute prep and hands-free baking make this an easy dinner recipe for any cooking skill level. These are THE BEST oven baked chicken thighs and are just as easy as my Baked Chicken Legs!
Baked chicken thighs recipe for any cook
Oven-baked chicken thighs are so easy to buy, prep, cook, and serve, practically on a moment’s notice. Even inexperienced cooks will nail this chicken recipe the first time because chicken thighs are hard to ruin and are, hands down, the juiciest part of a chicken. We wish we could say that about boneless chicken breasts. Don’t worry, we’re working on how to help you nail those too. For now, start with my chicken thighs recipe and win dinner tonight!
Prepping roasted chicken thighs
Baked chicken thighs require 5 minutes of prep and a few pantry staples. This recipe uses olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. You can substitute your favorite seasonings for this baked chicken recipe! Just pat the chicken dry, drizzle oil, sprinkle seasonings, and bake!
Should I rinse chicken before baking?
There’s no need to rinse chicken during prep. It’s unnecessary and creates more work cleaning areas that inevitably become contaminated with raw chicken. Just get those thighs prepped and let the oven take care of the rest.
How to bake chicken thighs
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Let chicken thighs sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Pat each piece dry with a paper towel.
- Place chicken thighs in a baking dish or pan.
- Lightly coat the skin with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika.
- Bake, uncovered for 35-45 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°F.
- Let chicken thighs rest for 5 minutes, transfer to a platter, and serve warm. (optional) garnish with fresh chopped parsley or lemon.
* See full recipe below
What temperature to cook chicken thighs
Roasted chicken thighs can be done with a wide range of temperatures. We love to roast chicken at 400°F because it allows enough hands-free time to knock out a side dish or dinner salad … or clean out lunch boxes from our busy day. We also like to roast vegetables in the same oven, which calls for the same 400°F temperature, only with a shorter time frame.
How long to cook chicken thighs at 400°F
Smaller chicken thighs (about 3 oz) should take close to 35 minutes. Average sized chicken thighs (about 5 oz) take about 40 minutes. Larger chicken thighs (about 8 oz) should take about 45 minutes.
Regardless of said times on chicken recipes, the determining factor of how long to cook chicken thighs is measured by how long it takes for the internal temperature to reach 165°F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
How to make chicken thighs crispy
My baked chicken thighs recipe results in delicately crisped skin as you can see in the photos. If you want even more crispy chicken thighs, here are two options:
- Bake the chicken thighs on a cookie cooling rack that lays over a baking pan, using the baking pan to catch the drippings.
- If you don’t have the cooling rack, place baked chicken thighs under the broiler for a few minutes until the skin is crisped to your liking.
How to cook boneless chicken thighs
Baked boneless chicken thighs require about half the cooking time of bone-in chicken thighs. For this recipe, simply use boneless chicken thighs and follow the same prep of patting the chicken dry, then coating with oil and seasonings. Bake boneless chicken thighs for 20 minutes and test for a minimum internal temperature of 165°. Add 5-minute baking intervals as needed to reach the minimum temp.
Grab these boneless chicken thigh recipes
Chicken Thigh Recipe Tips
CHICKEN PREP TIPS
- If using frozen chicken thighs for this recipe, thaw completely before roasting.
- No need to rinse raw chicken. Rinsing chicken creates unnecessary steps and creates risk of surface contamination which requires cleaning.
- Let chicken thighs sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to promote uniform baking. You can even oil and season the thighs before they sit at room temp if you prefer.
- No need to oil the bottom side of the thighs. They naturally create plenty of juices and shouldn’t stick to the baking pan. Hint: use the scrumptious juices to make gravy for mashed potatoes.
- Use a baking dish that’s deep enough to prevent overflow of baked chicken juices. My 10″ x 7″ dish is 2″ tall, perfect for 5 chicken thighs.
CHICKEN ROASTING TIPS
- This baked chicken thigh recipe cooks at 400° which is a common temperature for roasted vegetables like these Roasted Mushrooms. When you roast chicken in the same oven as your side dishes, be sure to time it accordingly so they can be served at the same time.
- Chicken thigh cook time varies according to the size of individual pieces and the temperature of the chicken before it goes into the oven.
- The cooked chicken temperature should always be 165°F before consuming. Always use a meat thermometer for this.
CHICKEN SERVING AND STORAGE TIPS
- Before serving, allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting to prevent the juices from escaping too quickly.
- Use baked chicken thighs as meal prep for other chicken recipes like my Chicken Fried Rice and my One Pot Broccoli Chicken and Rice.
- Refrigerate thigh meat to eat in salads throughout the week or freeze and thaw as needed for recipes.
Easy chicken recipes to try
- Easy Baked Chicken Leg Drumsticks
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
- Shepherd’s Pie [Turkey Or Chicken]
- One-Pot Chicken Broccoli Rice
Juicy Baked Chicken Thighs
- 5 Bone-in Chicken Thighs about 1 lb.
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 tsp Paprika
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat the CHICKEN dry with a paper towel and place in a baking dish, skin side up.
- Drizzle and brush OLIVE OIL over the chicken pieces. Sprinkle SALT, PEPPER, GARLIC POWDER, and PAPRIKA evenly over the surface.
- Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes (35 min for smaller thighs and 45 for larger). Insert an instant-read thermometer to confirm a 165° F minimum internal temperature near the bone.
- Transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter and allow a 5-minute rest before serving. (optional) Garnish with lemon or chopped fresh parsley.