An easy recipe for crispy baked chicken thighs. Crispy skin, juicy meat and flavorful spices combine to create chicken perfection!
“Mom,” declared The Picky Eater after having a few bites, “These are so crispy and juicy! They’re just as good as fried chicken!”
Need I say more? 😀
Thighs are the best part of the chicken!
Baked chicken thighs – tender, Juicy and very flavorful, are my favorite chicken recipe. Or maybe they are my second favorite, right after chicken wings, which happen to have the perfect ratio of skin to meat.
They delight with a super crispy, seasoned skin, and with juicy, succulent meat. It’s chicken perfection! In fact, they are so good, that these days, when I buy chicken, I almost always choose bone-in, skin-on thighs.
I don’t buy rotisserie chicken anymore. My family of four just ends up fighting over the thighs, and then I get stuck with the dry chicken breast that no one wants. Well, I usually end up using it in this stuffed poblano peppers recipe so it’s not all bad. 🙂
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make baked chicken thighs. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Melted butter is another tasty choice and you can brush it all over the chicken pieces.
Chicken thighs: I use bone-in and skin-on thighs in this recipe. I get them either at my local supermarket or at Whole Foods.
Seasonings: I like to use kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. If using fine salt, you should use less of it. And do make sure your spices are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to bake chicken thighs
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to arrange the thighs in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. You then generously spray the chicken pieces with olive oil (or brush them with melted butter) and sprinkle them with the seasonings. After I season them, I like to give them another quick spray of oil.
3. The final step is to bake the chicken until the meat is juicily cooked through and the skin is browned and crispy. This should take about 45 minutes in a 400°F oven.
If you feel like it, you can go through the trouble of browning the skin in a skillet on the stovetop before baking. But it’s quite tedious, and I find it’s unnecessary. I honestly never bother. The oven does a great job of browning the skin.
How to serve them
This is such a versatile main dish. It goes with anything! I often serve baked chicken thighs with one of the following side dishes:
- Broccoli salad – it makes for an easy meal because I can make the salad in advance.
- Cauliflower steak – baking both in the same oven and baking the cauliflower for a little longer if needed.
- Baked pumpkin – again, baking both dishes in the same oven and baking the pumpkin for slightly longer.
What about leftovers?
Baked chicken thighs keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Although the skin won’t be as crispy.
Leftovers are delicious cold, or gently reheated in a low oven. My personal preference is not to reheat them, as that sometimes dries them out. Sometimes I shred cold leftovers and mix them into a salad the next day for my lunch.
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Baked Chicken Thighs
- Olive oil spray
- 8 medium chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with olive oil.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in the prepared pan. It's best if they do not touch each other.
- Generously spray the tops of the chicken pieces with olive oil. Sprinkle them with the seasonings, then lightly spray with more oil.
- Bake the chicken thighs until the skin is browned and crispy and an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to a serving plate. Loosely cover them with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.