This is my go-to recipe for boneless skinless chicken thighs! It's so easy, making it perfect for weeknight dinners.
Simply apply a simple rub of olive oil and spices to the chicken pieces, then bake them for 30 minutes in the oven. It's as easy as can be and so delicious.
Chicken is easy and affordable, but it can get boring, especially when you make it often, as I do. That's why I'm always trying to come up with new ways to make it more interesting for my family and for myself.
This chicken recipe is amazing. It's so full of flavor! I make it often because it has this winning combination of a truly easy recipe that's also delicious. Even the leftovers are good, although I prefer to enjoy them cold rather than risk drying the chicken out when reheating it.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. It's one of my favorite chicken parts because it's cheap, readily available, easy to cook and eat, and so wonderfully juicy!
Olive oil: 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. Just keep in mind it won't be as flavorful as olive oil.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: I use quite a few of them, and I do recommend using all of them. They add such wonderful flavor! I use garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Oven baking is my favorite way of prepring boneless skinless chicken thighs. it's just so very easy, but you don't sacrifice any flavor. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Season the chicken. Your first step is to place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and coat them in a tasty mixture of olive oil and spices.
Arrange the chicken in a baking dish. Now, arrange the chicken in a rimmed baking dish. A 9 X 13-inch pan works well.
Bake. The last step is to bake the chicken in a 400F oven until cooked through. Depending on how hot your oven is, this should take about 30 minutes.
As you can see, this is a truly easy recipe, making it ideal for weeknight dinners.
If you buy them in pre-packaged trays at the supermarket, boneless skinless chicken thighs do tend to come in various sizes.
It's OK to bake them all together until the biggest ones are cooked through. The small ones will still be juicy and delicious!
Frequently asked questions
I don't recommend it. Chicken breasts are drier than thighs. They're also typically larger and thicker. They require a different cooking temperature and a different cooking time.
Here's a good recipe that was written specifically for baked chicken breast.
It's best to choose thighs over other parts. They're very juicy and won't dry out easily.
I also recommend leaving the visible fat on and not trying to trim it. Lastly, coat the chicken with oil or butter and be generous about it.
That's an easy fix! Simply omit the cayenne pepper - that's the sole ingredient responsible for the level of heat in this recipe. The dish will still be excellent without it - it just won't be spicy.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different spices. While the spice combination used here is pretty much perfect in my opinion, a pinch of dried thyme or oregano is always a welcome addition.
You can also use melted butter or ghee instead of olive oil.
Anything goes with this dish, really. It's very versatile. But since I bake the chicken in a 400°F oven, I like to serve it with a side dish that I can cook in the same oven. So I often serve it with any of the following sides:
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. I usually shred them and add them, cold, to a salad (such as this arugula salad) for my lunch.
If you'd like to reheat them, it's best to do so very gently, in the microwave (covered) on 50% power. If you reheat the leftovers too aggressively, especially in the microwave, the chicken will dry out.
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Baked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and spices and use your hands to coat the chicken pieces.
- Arrange the seasoned thighs in a single layer on a rimmed baking dish, such as a 9 X 13 baking dish. If there's some residual oil and spice mixture in the bowl, brush it on top of the chicken pieces, as shown in the video below.
- Bake until cooked through, juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the largest thigh reads 165ºF. In my oven, this takes about 30 minutes.