Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

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These crispy and juicy baked chicken thighs make for the perfect weeknight meal. They’re incredibly easy to make, packed with flavor, have the crispiest skin, and are much healthier than traditional fried chicken. So much to love!

Crispy baked chicken thighs on a plate.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

As a kid I loved KFC chicken, but my favorite part was the crispy skin that was full of herbs and flavor. In fact, I may have eaten the skin more than the meat!

Today, I no longer eat KFC (for obvious reasons) but I still love tender, juicy chicken with crispy, flavorful skin. And that’s where my baked chicken thighs come in. With a drizzle of oil and a generous amount of dried herbs you can create crispy baked chicken that the whole family will love. And you can feel good knowing it’s healthier.

So if you love the crispy, golden skin on my roast chicken, and the spiced flavor of my baked chicken breasts, you’re going to really love these baked chicken thighs!

Ingredients for baked chicken thighs.

Baked Chicken Thighs Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs: Grab yourself a package of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. And while yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe, I do feel that the skin locks in the moisture and bone-in chicken just tastes better. It’s also cheaper!
  • Chicken seasoning: A simple blend of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper gives the chicken so much flavor. 

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to Bake Chicken Thighs

Make the seasoning. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and remove the chicken thighs from the fridge, allowing them to come to room temperature. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry and remove any condensation. Then, in a small bowl, mix all of the herbs and spices together. 

Mixing seasoning in a bowl.

Season the chicken. Place the chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and two thirds of the spice blend, and use your hands to coat all sides of the chicken, including under the skin.

Adding seasoning to chicken thighs.

Prep the chicken for baking. Place the chicken thighs on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Then, sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken. Feel free to gently pat down the seasoning so it sticks to each chicken thigh. 

Chicken thighs on a baking sheet.

Bake the chicken. These will cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170°F. To make the skin extra crispy, you can also turn on the top broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Once done, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

What to serve these with? If you’re looking for a few tasty side dishes, try my mashed potatoes (or mashed sweet potatoes), roasted Brussels sprouts, garlic sauteed spinach, steamed broccoli, or green beans with shallots and lemon. Lots of options!

Crispy baked chicken thighs on a baking sheet.

Common Questions

Do I really need to use a rack?

I think it’s best. The rack allows the air to circulate around the chicken, making it crispier. If you don’t have a rack, use a larger baking sheet with space between the chicken so that any juices spread out from the chicken.

Can I swap in different herbs and spices?

Absolutely! The key to this recipe is using lots of herbs and spices (just under one teaspoon of herbs and spices per chicken thigh). But, if you’d like to switch up the flavor profile, by all means, have fun with it.

How do I prevent dry chicken thighs?

The good news is that it’s really hard to overcook chicken thighs. The darker meat just stays juicer. And in fact, you want to cook chicken thighs about 5 to 10 degrees higher than chicken breasts, as this allows the connective tissue to breakdown more, resulting in the most tender meat.

A baked chicken thigh on a plate.

Storage Tips

  • To store: Leftover chicken thighs will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. 
  • To reheat: To enjoy crispy skin again, you can bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through. If you have an air fryer, you can also reheat them at 350°F for about 3 to 4 minutes.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

Are you a chicken thigh lover like me? Get inspired by these reader favorite chicken thigh recipes.

I hope you love these crispy baked chicken thighs! If you make them, I’d love to hear how they turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.  

Baked chicken thighs on a sheet pan.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

4.94 from 178 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Baked chicken thighs are crispy, juicy, flavorful, healthy and make for the perfect weeknight dinner idea. Watch the video below to see how I make them in my kitchen!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Make the seasoning. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Remove the chicken thighs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Then, In a small bowl, mix all of the herbs and spices together. 
    A bowl of chicken seasoning.
  • Season the chicken. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and ⅔ of the spice blend. Use your hands to coat all sides of the chicken, and even get it under the skin.
    Seasoning chicken with hands.
  • Arrange the chicken. Place the chicken on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken.
    A sheet pan of chicken thighs.
  • Bake the chicken thighs for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170°F. You can also turn on the top broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to make the top extra crispy. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
    Crispy baked chicken thighs on a sheet pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 256mg | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken, baked chicken thighs, chicken thigh recipes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted February 2019, but updated to include new information and photos for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




374 Comments

  1. So good, I hade to make it twice. It’s great to find a recipe worth making again and again! Our baking time was 50+ min, maybe because I was also baking sweet potatoes on the bottom rack. Thanks!5 stars

  2. Best chicken thigh recipe I’ve tried to date. I cooked the thighs for almost 55 minutes then under the broiler for 7 minutes. Family totally enjoyed the chicken served with asparagus and hollandaise sauce.5 stars

  3. This is the family’s favorite chicken thigh recipe! I’ve always made in the oven but would you know time and temp for an air fryer?5 stars

    1. Hi Natalie – I’m so glad your family loves this recipe! I haven’t tested chicken thighs in the air fryer yet, but I will soon come out with a recipe for that.

  4. This looks good! I am wanting to prep it prior to giving it to a grieving family…will the chicken do okay being seasoned a few hours in advance? Thank you!

  5. Good evening,
    I am not a fan of chicken thighs, but I’m always trying new recipes, finally found one that made me enjoy eating chicken thighs. They were very juicy and great favor.
    Thank you.5 stars

  6. hi I know this will be delicious, but like last time had to cook them for an hour. or more. they register as being 140 for the whole time with a thermometer, so had to put them back in, for another 30 minutes, I can’t figure out why?
    .5 stars

    1. Hi Lise – It sounds like your oven heats a bit lower than mine, so you may want to bump up the temperature.

  7. Made these for dinner and WOW- so much flavor and fantastic crispy skin. Recipe was perfect. Will be making often!5 stars

  8. Made this tonight. Really good, full of flavor. My boyfriend always wants something different. This recipe did it tonight.5 stars

      1. Very simple and good recipe for baked chicken thighs!

        I know the misrepresentation of washing meat only comes from ignorance, mainly from Americans, which is understandable.

        The need to clean meat does not acome from the intention of wanting to “disinfect”. Which is just a silly narrative supported by people who don’t understand the origin and importance of doing it.

        Being from the Carribean, it is a must. We don’t buy out meats and fish from million dollar big bix stores. We buy it fresh from the market where its cut up right in front of you, and where you can go to bay/farm to get it yourself. So it’s absolutely necessary to clean the meat, remove slime/grime, excess fat and blood.

        Plus, who sits here and splashes around in meat water? No one! Just another silly narrative again. Ensuring that no items (dishes, exposed food etc.) are around the sink and disinfecting your area and items used (vinegar bottle etc.) is a basic practice by those who practice cleaning or washing their meat.

        If you don’t do it, that’s your right and preference 🙌. But hopefully this info would help in educating people and prevent misinformation.4 stars

  9. This recipe is a winner in our home! My picky-eaters, husband and child, love this! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Lisa!

    The only thing that bothers me is the oil that accumulates in the pan and splatters/showers the whole oven. This causes a smoke reaction in our house and triggers the smoke alarm. Any suggestion to prevent this? Thank you in advance.5 stars

    1. Hi Liza – I’m glad everyone loves these baked chicken thighs! You can use a rack like I did so oil doesn’t accumulate, but it shouldn’t splatter too much in the oven.

    2. Same thing happened to me what a mess all over my oven. Chicken was great but I won’t make it like this again with the rack☹️

  10. I like chicken anyway it can
    Be prepared and yours look so delicious 😋 I’ve saved many of your recipes
    And I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.
    Thank you for sharing ♥️🌹

  11. I made this recipe tonight for the first time. It was so delicious and so easy. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks so much for so many great recipes. It’s hard to pick a favorite.5 stars

  12. I have fallen in love with chicken thighs, because a) they are forgiving when you cook them and b) they are about half the price of chicken breasts at my local market. This is a very quick and easy recipe that fits in with any busy weeknight. I usually mix the spice mixture the night before. When I drag myself in at the end of the workday, All I have to do is pat the thighs dry, sprinkle the spice rub on them, then pop it in the oven. It’s done when it hits temperature. You can even make extra for lunches, for the following day. Lisa has some really good chicken wrap ideas. Thanks for all the help and ideas, Lisa. Much love to you and your family, and thank you for everything you do to help the people who visit your website.5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Alan! I’m so happy you love this recipe, and it sounds like you’ve got a great flow in prepping the spice mix ahead of time. Well done! I hope you continue to enjoy all my recipes. :)

  13. I make these chicken thighs regularly. I vary the spices sometimes. These are reliably delicious and easy to make and to clean up! Everyone loves them.5 stars

  14. Just made these – so quick & delicious! I took them out to come to room temp while the oven preheated and went back to work for 20 mins. Made the spice rub (YUM!) then threw the thighs in the oven for 25 mins (I was using boneless/skinless) and went back to work. Point is – these were so easy to cook in the middle of a workday! Now dinner is (halfway) done :) Winner winner chicken dinner!5 stars

  15. The temp is confussing with the instructions , Mentions 165 and it says take them out when they reach 160 then the last bit says Bake the chicken thighs for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees
    so which is it 165 or 170 ??

    1. Yes, you can use skinless thighs if you’d like. But, you’ll probably need to reduce the cooking time a bit.

      1. What would you recommend as far as cooking temp and time if using boneless skinless thighs??

        I’d love to even see a video of you prepping boneless+skinless chicken thighs. I never know what fat to leave and what to cut off.

  16. I cannot believe how amazing this recipe is it is just fabulous. I made it it looked just like the pictures everyone love it. Question, I’m going to do a brine the next time that I prepare it. I’m assuming this would not be a problem I’m going to be doing a soak/brine with buttermilk salt and pepper for 24 hours. I really do want to know if that is suggested or not. Thank you so much for giving me a way of preparing chicken. It is so easy I am not slaving over a frying pan and a hot oven afterwards. I am just amazed at how my family just adored what they would swear to be fried chicken.5 stars

    1. So happy you loved this recipe, and that it turned out exactly as pictured. :) You could definitely do a brine on this recipe beforehand if you’d like. Let us know how that turns out!

  17. Made this for the third time and I did not over cook them like the first two times. I have moist thighs and I am going to chop some up to mix with the spinach, radish, red onion and broccoli mixture I ate for a side salad tonight. Fabulous and so easy. 5 stars

  18. This recipe is so easy and delicious! I love making a double batch of seasoning and having it for another easy whip-together chicken dish for another night!5 stars

  19. Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! Just made this rub with boneless chicken thighs (all I had) and will make again and again! Very tasty! I did reduce the cook time to compensate for the boneless chicken but really want to try with bone-in thighs next. Mmmmm!5 stars

      1. Hmmm…. I read that the temp should be 160 degrees when you take it out of the oven and it will reach 165 degrees while resting.5 stars

  20. The spices on the chicken make it a winner. The skin was crispy and the overall flavor of the chicken was amazing. Juicy chicken that I will definately make again!!
    Thank you for another repeat worthy supper.5 stars

  21. This is A MUST TRY and PUT ON REPEAT! It is always a home run and don’t sleep on the spice mix, I always put together a double (sometimes triple) batch and use it on so much more. She really needs to start “Downshiftology Spice Blends”, this is amazing every time.5 stars

  22. These are AMAZING! I have little children and everyone from adults to toddlers LOVE these chicken thighs. We never have any leftovers….HIGHLY recommend.5 stars

    1. This is our go-to easy dinner!! I keep this spice mix on hand in a jar so I can just throw it on chicken thighs. Makes great leftovers to put on a salad the next day for lunch!5 stars