Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
Baked chicken thighs that are crispy and juicy make for the perfect weeknight meal! This chicken recipe is incredibly easy to make, packed with flavor and much healthier than traditional fried chicken – you’ll love it. Watch the video below!
If you’re looking for a tasty side dish, try my balsamic bacon brussels sprouts, baked sweet potato, mashed cauliflower, garlic sautéed swiss chard, steamed broccoli, or green beans. Lots of options!
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
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 avocado 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.
Can you use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe? Of course. But if you’re going for flavor, I do recommend using bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. The skin locks in the moisture and bone-in chicken just tastes better. It’s also cheaper. Win win.
How to Bake Chicken Thighs
For easy baked chicken thighs, just follow these steps (and watch my video above).
- Preheat your oven to 425F. A higher temperature makes the skin extra crispy.
- Pat the chicken dry. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry and remove any condensation from the fridge.
- Mix the chicken, oil and herbs. In a large bowl mix the chicken, avocado oil and 2/3 of the herb seasoning.
- Place the chicken on a rack. A rack on top of a baking sheet allows the air to circulate around the chicken making it crispier. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top.
- Bake the chicken. Bake the chicken thighs for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
A Few Extra Tips
Reminder: Don’t Wash the Chicken. It’s a common misconception that you need to rinse chicken once you bring it home from the store. As the USDA says, it would be impossible for water to remove all bacteria and rinsing the chicken only cross-contaminates your kitchen and anything nearby (your sink, faucet, countertop, etc). Rest assured the heat from cooking will kill any bacteria present.
Do Use a Rack if Possible. The rack not only allows the air to circulate, it also raises the chicken up from the edge of any baking sheet. 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.
Use Lots of Herbs and Spices. It may sound like a lot of herbs and spices in this recipe (7 teaspoons) but trust me, it’s the perfect quantity. That’s just under 1 teaspoon of spices per chicken thigh and coats the chicken with garlic, onion, paprika and herbs for the absolute best flavor.
Don’t Overcook the Chicken Thighs. Most people overcook chicken because they remove it from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 165F. But chicken continues to cook once it’s removed from the oven. So remove the chicken at 160F and after 5 minutes of resting you’ll see that the internal temperature is now 165F. Resting also allows the juices to redistribute inside the chicken.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes to Enjoy
I’m such a fan of chicken thighs and healthy chicken recipes. If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration, give these delicious meals a try!
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Roasted Balsamic Chicken
- Coconut Curry Chicken
- Herbed Honey Mustard Chicken
- Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Souvlaki
Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe Video
Want to see how I make this recipe? Watch the video below!
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 2 tbsp avocado oil, (or olive oil)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425F/220C. Remove the chicken thighs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.
- In a small bowl mix all of the herbs and spices together.
- Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and 2/3 of the spice blend. Use your hands to coat all sides of the chicken and even under the skin.
- Place the chicken on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken.
- Bake the chicken thighs for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees fahrenheit. You can also turn on the top broiler for 2-3 minutes to make the top extra crispy. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Use a heavy duty commercial baking sheet that won't warp or bend in the oven. This is the baking sheet I use. And here's a stainless steel rack as well.
If I could give this recipe 10 stars, I would in a heartbeat. 5 stars for the great taste. My husband said “don’t lose this recipe. THIS. IS. A. KEEPER!” I‘d give it another 5 stars just for its simplicity. If you haven’t made this yet, what are you waiting for?!
Hi Becky – This recipe is definitely a keeper! :)
This has to be one of the easiest and most delicious recipes that I have made. Straight forward, quick and delicious. I always add fresh thyme and rosemary and garlic along with some additional spices.
Hi Marcos – I’m loving the additional herbs in your variation :) Glad you enjoyed this recipe!
I LOVE this crispy chicken recipe! Super delish and easy to make on busy weeknights. You won’t regret making this one!
Thanks Becky! I’m so thrilled you loved the recipe!
This recipe is so easy and so yummy. Every time I make it, I get all kinds of compliments. It’s one of our favorite meals now.
Hi Kathy – This is definitely a recipe essential :) Glad it made it onto your list!
These recipe is a family favorite!! I’ve made it at least 10 times. I usually pair it with cauliflower rice and salad. For my little ones (7 and 5), I bake boneless thighs and chop it small cubes. They eat everything!! I’ve had leftovers and use it to make sandwiches. Very versatile recipe as it taste good same day or as leftovers! Thank you Lisa!
Hi Cinthya – Thrilled to hear this is a family favorite :) I love the different ways you use this recipe as well – to make sandwiches.
Made these and they are so yummy!
Thanks so much Lyn! I’m happy you loved the recipe. :)
THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING!
It’s so crispy and delicious. Better than any air fryer recipe! All of the ingredients make this recipe out of this world fantastic! Definitely glad that I bought the same cooking sheet and wire rack as Lisa because this recipe is perfection. With the chicken thighs raised off the sheet, you get this incredible crispy skin. You’re gonna be amazed at how crispy it is without all the oil you’d use in frying.
This is now in permanent rotation in my house. I always go to the grocery store and pick up chicken thighs if they are on sale knowing I will make this recipe.
Hi Gary – I would have to agree that this is a recipe must in the kitchen! So glad to hear you love these chicken thighs :)
Even though I didnt have a rack, just used a regular baking sheet, these turned out amazing!! Super simple to make for dinner and it has become one of our favorites way to cook chicken thighs. Delicious! Thank you so much for this idea! <3
Hi Dea – Definitely a weeknight meal that can be on heavy rotation :)
Wow! I made these baked chicken thighs… totally saved dinner tonight!!! They were delicious! I also made the baked sweet potatoes as a yummy side. Thank you sooo much for the amazing ideas! You’re the best!
Hi Leslie – You’re on a Downshiftology roll with the recipes! I’m glad you were able to find two great pairings for dinner :)
Just made this for dinner tonight, with baked sweet potatoes and garlic herbed asparagus! Absolutely delicious! Thank you for such an easy recipe that takes minutes to put together!
Hi Romi – Ah! These crispy chicken thighs are always a great and easy idea for dinner :) I hope you and your family continue to enjoy this timeless recipe for years to come!
Probably defeats the purpose but can I make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs? Lol
Hi Jessica – Yes! You can still create this same recipe with boneless if you’d like :)
Good Morning Lisa,
absolutly love your reciepeism!! Have so many people at work watching your youtube. quick question, I love the baking pan, however, I am concern with cooking in aluminium, any thoughts.
Hi Martica – thanks for sharing Downshiftology to your friends and colleagues! :) You can always line the baking pan with a silicone mat, if you prefer.
Hi I love you and your videos! I’m new to cooking and made this tonight, it was delicious! I am looking for some help though… 🙋🏻♀️. I made this tonight and it was so smokey in the oven, is this normal? I used avocado oil as well and I’m not sure if I did something wrong! I opened the oven and the oil was popping and smoking.
Hi Brittany – the oil should definitely not pop or smoke. But if it’s splattering on the bottom or sides of the oven, that could certainly cause smoke. Some ovens cook hotter than others, so I’d try reducing the temperature to 400F next time and maybe lower your rack. :)
Ok thanks! I’ll try lower, Just a rookie trying to make delicious chicken thighs 😅
Hi Brittany – Let me know if that ends up working for you!
This recipe is excellent. The chicken thighs were crispy and moist and the flavor was delicious. I followed the recipe with no alterations.
Hi Jo Ann – Yay! I’m so glad you were able to make this recipe without any alterations :) This one’s a keeper!
I’m hating Keto. Just when I was about to quit, I found this recipe! Even all 3 of my kids loved, which is a rarity! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Katie – I’m so glad you discovered this recipe! Such a delicious option for a keto diet. You can also filter through my site Keto recipes in my main recipe page if that helps :)
Rarely do I go back to a blog more than once- I usually look up a recipe, make it, and move on. This recipe was SO perfect that I have bookmarked the page and will surely be back. Followed the recipe to a T and it was absolutely delicious!!
Hi Susan – I am so happy to hear that! I always make sure to test my recipes to make sure they are perfect, plus these chicken thighs are also one of my favorites :) Definitely a weeknight essential!
This was the second time making this wonderful recipe and it came out delicious! First time followed exactly with just the thighs, but this time did a picnic pack (2 breasts, 4 thighs 4 legs) and doubled the oil and spices and was perfect. My husband/family doesn’t usually go for baked chicken but had seconds again last night, they love the crispy skin. Just enough left for a couple of great sandwiches with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and a touch of mayo. Thanks for a “keeper” recipe!
Hi Karen – I’m so happy to hear you and your family loved this recipe! This is also great for meal prepping, and I can see you’ve already thought ahead with those sandwiches :)
I am learning how to cook via the internet. I watched your video which inspired me to try this dish. I followed your instructions and it came out wonderfully. I had several taste testers who gave it a thumbs up and rave reviews! I am also gluten and dairy free so this recipe works perfectly for my food restrictions. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jane – so glad to hear that you and your friends loved this recipe! It’s a great option for a gluten and dairy free diet :)
Thank you for this super easy delicious recipe! This recipe is in my meal prep rotation as they are tasty reheated also.
Hi Melody – glad you loved the recipe!
I made this dish today, as a backup. I made your pesto and used it on tilapia with parmesan cheese melted on it, and just in case the kids did not like it, I made the crispy chicken thighs. The pesto with parmesan tilapia was a big hit.
I’m glad you loved both my pesto recipe and these baked chicken thighs! That sounds like a bunch of healthy options – I’d probably eat a little of everything! ;)
oops- forgot to rate the recipe!
Haha. Thanks so much!
I made this tonight with drumsticks- it was fabulous!! I also enjoy your blog and YouTube videos. I noticed you use a sleek instant read meat thermometer in your video. Would you mind sharing the source? Thank you :)
Wonderful! I’m glad you loved the recipe Doris. All of the spices are great on drumsticks as well! And I use Thermoworks Thermapen thermometer. It’s great!
I never really cared for chicken thighs before this recipe. My family and I love them. Thank you . Love your blog and YouTube videos.
Thanks so much Tamara! I’m glad you loved the chicken thighs and enjoy my YouTube videos! :)
Thank you for posting this recipe. I’m about to go on a restricted diet for digestive issues and have never baked chicken thighs before (although I LOVE them!) because I was afraid the I would overcook or undercook them. For some reason your recipe gave me the guts to say “that’s not so hard” so I’m making them tonight! Thank you for giving me the courage to finally make something I’ve been wanting to learn how to make for such a long time!
You are so welcome, Kim! And good for you! I wasn’t a huge cook before I was diagnosed with 4 autoimmune. This blog helped me document learning how to cook for myself and figure out how to remove certain foods from my diet. I hope your chicken turns out amazing and you find other approachable recipes on my website! :)
These were incredibly tender, juicy, crispy, and packed with flavor and very easy to make. This recipe is going in our weekly rotation!
Yay! Thank you for the kind comment, Laura! I’m so glad you loved the chicken! :)
I just realized I only used 4 chicken thighs it did not change the amount of the seasonings what is this going to taste like
Hi Mary – I’d recommend just saving the extra seasoning for future use, rather than adding it to the chicken.
So good and easy to make. The entire family loved it. I thought I had bought chicken thighs, but I actually bought split chicken. Followed recipe and still came out perfect.
That’s awesome, Lisa! I’m so glad the chicken turned out perfect the whole family loved it! :)
I found this recipe yesterday morning, and immediately thawed the chicken. Made it for lunch with my daughter, and it was amazing! Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. Definitely a keeper!
Hi Caryn – Thank you so much for the kind words and fantastic review! I’m so glad you and your daughter loved the recipe! :)
I made this recipe for dinner tonight (along with some seasoned green beans) and my family LOVED it! So, crispy, juicy, and tender. Absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again. So much better than KFC! Thank you!
Yay! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe, Wendi!
This recipe is very easy to follow. The chicken came out great! I brought the chicken to work and my colleagues asked for the recipe. Thank you for sharing this!
Yay! That’s so wonderful to hear. I’m glad you all loved the recipe (and thanks for sharing it with your colleagues Cassey!).
This recipe was super easy and we all loved each and every bite!
Wonderful! I’m happy you loved the recipe Jenn! :) x
This will definitely be a weekly staple in the house. Very tasty and sooooo easy. I didn’t see thighs at the store so I bought a chicken fryer cut up and cooked perfectly for 40 minutes, left the breast on the pan to cook a bit longer 5 to 10 minutes.
Awesome! Good job grabbing the chicken fryer – I happy you loved the recipe!
This recipe is a keeper! Family loved it! So full of flavor with a crispy skin and juicy inside.
Yay! I’m happy your family loved the chicken recipe Kristen. It’s all about that crispy juicy combo. :)
My husband and I loved this chicken dish. My only problem was the splattering all over the oven and smoke that made the house smell like the chicken ( that’s not all bad?). Did that happen because I forgot to dry the chicken beforehand? If I thought that would happen again, I wouldn’t make it again. I didn’t read about this happening to anyone else. Your opinion, please.
That’s strange as I’ve never had it splatter or smoke. I would double check the temperature and yes, make sure that it’s completely dry before rubbing on the oil and herbs. Make sure to watch the video above as I walk you through the recipe step-by-step – and maybe you can pinpoint where things differed. At least you loved the recipe! I hope your next batch turns out perfect. :)
Hello! I had a similar oil smell but no smoke the first time I tried this recipe. Since then I’ve made it 4 more times… I think I used too much oil the first time and had the oven rack too high. Now it’s just that wonderful fresh baked chicken smell ? If you still have trouble, maybe try skinless thighs? They still come out amazingly delicious boneless/skinless.
Thanks for sharing those tips Joanna! x
My entire house is filled with smoke right now and I did exactly as the recipe stated! Hopefully the chicken is as delicious as everyone is saying!
I made this a couple of times now and it was delicious each and every time. Even my 2-year old who doesn’t like meat, kept coming back to ask for more. You are doing some really great work Lisa. Can’t wait to try another recipe of yours!
Yay! A thumbs up from a 2-year old definitely means the recipe is a winner in my books. ;) Glad you both enjoyed it!
It was delicious! Nobody complain about not being fry chicken. Made bake sweet potatoes as side dishes. Love all your recipes.
Thanks so much Letty! I’m glad you loved the recipe and perfect side dish choice with the baked sweet potatoes. :)
I have just made and eaten this for the first time. I don’t usually cook chicken thighs as don’t like meat on the bone but these were delicious. I just served them with some rice. Thank you for such an easy, tasty recipe.
Wonderful! I’m so happy you loved the recipe Inez. And sounds like a perfect pairing with the rice. :)
I made this recipe last week, my first from your site, it was amazing. I couldn’t wait to eat it and you’re right, it didn’t last long. In addition to using chicken legs I also used this rub on boneless skinless chicken (for the odd people in my house who don’t like bones or chicken legs) and it too came out just as amazing. my picky 11 year old son tore it up. Thank you for sharing, it’ll be my go to meal prep chicken for work lunches.
Wonderful! I’m so happy you and your family love the recipe Lisa. It is one of those recipes that does manage to disappear fast. ;)
Thanks Lisa. This is absolutely awesome for my daughter’s lunch in school. I’m gonna try it tomorrow;)
Wonderful! I hope you (and your daughter) enjoy the chicken Donna! :)
Making this right now!!! Smells delicious! I grew up with skin on chicken, and I’m healthy and alive, haha! Do you know how many years it’s been since I’ve made bone in chicken with skin? Stores don’t sell it anymore…everything is skinless and that’s what I’ve bought now for years. I want organic knowing the benefits, and Whole Foods was my choice. I’m giddy with excitement! ? if I lived in the country, I’d get it from a farmer but oh well!
Yay! Hope you enjoy the recipe Therese. It really is one recipe that tastes as good as it smells. ;) Enjoy! x
Just made this and OMG sooo delicious! Thank you! I was just looking for recipes for bone in skin on chicken and you posted this amazing recipe! No joke I stood by the oven the whole time it was cooking because just hearing the sizzle while it cooked made me happy lol
Haha! That sizzling crispy skin is the best! So happy you enjoyed the recipe Joanna. :) x
I have been looking for a recipie like this for a long time! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!
Great! I hope you give it a try and enjoy it Ellen. :)
Can’t wait to try this recipe tonight! I have a question though. I know this changes the purpose of this recipe but if I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, would the cooking time change at all?
Yes, you would cook them about 10 minutes less. But they’d still be delicious! :)
I can’t wait to make this!! Looks so simple and delicious! 2 Q: what do you use to wash your baking sheets? Mine are super stained with grease that won’t come off and I end up using more aluminum foil than I would like. What meat thermometer do you use/recommend? All the ones I’ve gotten don’t work and I’ve ended up tossing them.
Hi Alejandra – I use a green scrubber sponge to scrub the baking sheets after use. I also love my Thermapen meat thermometer. But if you want a cheaper option, this one is great as well: https://amzn.to/2HdD0uv
We love baked chicken at our house!!! So good
It’s the best for a healthy weeknight meal! And so many delicious side dishes you can serve alongside to keep it interesting. :)
Aw those look just like perfection!!! Such a nice crisp and love that you manage to keep them juicy. Not always an easy task. KFC definitely ain’t got nothing on those! Bravo!
Haha. That’s what I’m saying! KFC definitely can’t compare to the flavors in these baked chicken thighs. ;) x
Okay, this just made me so hungry! That crispy skin with all of those delicious herbs and spices looks so amazing! Yum!
Thanks Valentina! Those spices are amazingly flavorful and the recipe is so easy to make. Hope you enjoy it!
It does look super crispy and flavorful. Awesome idea to cook it on the rack.
Yes, that rack is key for allowing the air to circulate all around the chicken. Hope you enjoy the recipe Andrea!
Thighs are my favorite cut of chicken, especially when crispy skin is involved. These look delicious! Can’t wait to make them.
Mine too! Chicken thighs are always to tender and juicy and it’s hard to dry them out. ;) Enjoy!
Chicken thighs are my absolute favorite. I love how easy this recipe is and a new way to make one of my favorites.
I’m glad you love the recipe Sharon!
Can you provide a link for the rack as well? Also, any suggestions for easy clean up of the pan? Excited to make this!
Hi Chloe – sure! Here’s a good one: https://amzn.to/2Vm1oOu Hope you enjoy the recipe!