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

4.93 from 191 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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