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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Recipe Rating




403 Comments

  1. Another winner recipe! Quick and delicious! My husband and child who are both picky eaters absolutely love this. And me too! Thank you so much Lisa!5 stars

  2. Made this as part of my Sunday meal prep.
    Easy, and came out just like the picture!
    I had more than 6 thighs so I adjusted the recipe to cover and would make this again.
    I may try it on boneless, skinless chicken breasts next time.
    Definitely a recipe to repeat!

  3. I’ve made this recipe many times before, and it’s always an absolute winner. Full of flavor! I feel that having a rack on top of the baking sheet is essential to get heat underneath the thighs. There have been times when I’ve taken the thighs out at 165/170° and yet they are super juicy and crispy. Another phenomenal easy recipe from Lisa. Thank you much!

  4. I didn’t have a rack so replaced with parchment paper. Obviously as a result the bottom of the chicken retained the moisture, but the top had perfectly crisp skin that was absolutely perfect and would 100% make this again. Next time with a rack for sure5 stars

  5. Lisa OMG Delicious
    I’m approaching 80 so I have baked chicken countless times. NEVER has the skin become so deliciously tasty and crispy EVER until this recipe. This eliminates marinating for hours in large 2 gallon bags and numerous flipping while in the frig. I am so pleased. My thanks can’t really convey how amazingly simple and tasty and effortless. Thanks a million5 stars

  6. THIS IS “HANDS DOWN” AMAZING…. this recipe is fool proof and I always make double the recipe because it is so good for meal prep/lunch the next day. BUT … don’t sleep on that spice mix. I use it on boneless chicken breast in the Air Fryer, pork chops in the air fryer… and I don’t want to use anything else. She needs to bottle it!5 stars

    1. The spice mix is what really makes these chicken thighs so delicious! Glad this works on air fryer chicken as well :)

  7. I make this biweekly and have never left a rating, it is exceptional! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!5 stars

  8. I always have chicken thighs in the freezer. It’s my family go to. My husband and I really loved the taste. Very juicy and the skin crispy.5 stars

  9. I made these tonight and they were crispy on the outside and super juicy inside, just like we hoped for. What a great, easy way to get yummy chicken thighs!
    I know that taste in spices is individual, so for my family we will cut the Paprika in half next time I make it. We felt like it overpowered the other spices. Can’t wait to bake these again with the spice change.4 stars

  10. I made this dish earlier this week and my husband and I truly enjoyed this recipe! Very simple to make but so yummy! Nonetheless, we happily ate the rest of lunch and dinner, can’t wait to make it for our friends!!!! I’m a total fan of your recipes!!!5 stars

    1. Yes, you can freeze this if you’d like and microwave to reheat. Just note that it won’t be very crisp after freezing.

    1. I would say you can use an air fryer or bake it in the oven for a bit. Otherwise, the skin will naturally soften over time.

  11. This recipe is amazing. I managed to make 10 thighs with the spice mix and they are so crispy and perfectly seasoned. I’ll be making these part of my regular rotation.5 stars

  12. So tasty and moist. I will definitely be cooking these again but I will leave out the salt. next time.4 stars

  13. I made this recipe today for lunch and it was super easy!
    I did use boneless, skinless chicken thighs but my goodness the chicken still came out super crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. My favourite part of this recipe is how juicy the chicken stays. In the past I’ve always overcooked my chicken and it became dry, I didn’t realise how much a difference was made just by letting the chicken rest.
    Definitely a recipe I will be using again on a weekly basis!
    Thank you very much Lisa, Best wishes Shae5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I just cooked this oven bake chicken last night and it was a hit! This recipe is for keeps. Next one on my list to try is the cilantro lime chicken.😊 Thanks again for the recipe we really liked it.5 stars

      1. Glad you enjoyed this baked chicken thighs Ruth! Excited for you to try the cilantro lime chicken next :)

  14. This recipe is awesome! My family absolutely loved it and I will definitely be making it again and again!!  I was wondering if I could do the same recipe with chicken drumsticks or if I should modify it in anyway? 5 stars

  15. This is a regular in our meal rotation. Everyone loves them so much! It’s well seasoned (we have played with them a bit after a few times but the recipe, as is, is FANTASTIC) and able to go with any sides: rice & a vegetable, cabbage & noodles, quinoa & veggies, etc.
    Because it cooks in the oven, the stovetop is completely open for steamed, blanched, sauteed, etc veggies. We cook rice or quinoa in the rice cooker or instant pot. Noodles, pilafs, etc on the stove. It’s really really versatile. We have also put the tray in the oven longways and a second pan longways to roast vegetables.

    It tastes amazing & goes with almost any side.5 stars

    1. And that’s the beauty of baking it in the oven :) Glad you’ve found so many ways to use this chicken recipe!

  16. I baked these yesterday and they turned out great. A good tip about lowering the heat in a fan oven. I cooked them at 180 (converted from a conventional oven). I was wondering if I could use the same ingredients for the “baked chicken breasts” as I notice that recipe is slightly different. Thanks Lisa.5 stars

  17. Loved this recipe! Would totally do this again, it was easy and simple. Didn’t know it takes a little to create such a healthy and delicious dinner yum5 stars

  18. I tried this recipe yesterday for the first time and you can always count on the perfection of Lisa´s tips! The chicken was so so good and skin was as crispy as it can get. Highly recommend!! Thank you for this, it was sure not the last time to make it!5 stars

  19. This dish is a WINNER!! I agree with the amount of spices used, it is so flavorful. Super easy and definitely quick. This recipe will stay in my dinner arsonal.5 stars

  20. Amazing recipe!! Chicken was luscious and lip-smackingly good!! Both hubby and 4-year old cleaned out their plates. The only change I made was to add a pinch of cayenne and some garam masala to hubby and my portions, for extra heat and spiciness.

    I paired with Lisa’s roasted sweet potatoes as well ;)5 stars

  21. My daughter wanted shake and bake. So I made this instead. She absolutely loved it! She told me this should replace all future shake and bakes and that the spices were perfect. I used lemon pepper, and Italian seasoning for the oregano and thyme :). Thank you!5 stars

  22. The baking rack linked to says its only safe to 300F but this recipe calls for baking at 425F, is there a different rack that is safe for higher temps?

  23. Chicken really tasted great!! The skin was indeed crispy and juicy in the middle. Made it 2 times already and a hit with my picky eaters!!5 stars

  24. I made it and the thighs turned out perfectly. The skin was crispy and thighs were juicy. My 9 yr old picky eater even loved them!! Tasted really good !!5 stars

  25. This was my first time cooking chicken thighs…ever! My oven did smoke a lot like some of the other commenters, so I got a tad nervous. One major issue, a few of my pieces were still “red” in one place near the bone even though the temp read past 165. What might I try differently next time? Great recipe!

    1. It sounds like your oven might be cooking hot. It’s common for ovens to be up to 50 degrees off in temperature! Next time I’d recommend lowering the temperature a little and cooking them longer. Hope that helps!

    2. The majority of chickens sold in stores today are between six to eight weeks old. When cooked, “the purple marrow—so colored due to the presence of myoglobin, a protein responsible for storing oxygen—leaks into the meat.” This reaction, in effect, stains the bone; the color of the meat adjacent to it will not fade regardless of the temperature to which it’s cooked. FYI, chicken is not bloody, all commercially-sold chickens are drained of their blood during processing. The pink, watery liquid you’re seeing is just that: water. The moisture that seeps from the chicken while it’s waiting for you to buy it mixes with that old rascal myoglobin, causing the pink “juices” that you see pooling around the packaged bird—it’s called myowater.
      That same substance is what gushes forth when you cut into a cooking chicken to see if the juices run clear. Unfortunately, that’s a long-held measure of doneness that can’t be trusted. The only way to know if your bird is cooked through: a good quality thermometer.

  26. Delicious recipe. I also had an issue with profuse smoking and splattering, but I realized what I did wrong right after. I substituted avocado oil with olive oil, which has a much lower smoke point. I’m sure others that had the same issue made the same mistake I did lol.5 stars

    1. Hi Sonja – thanks for sharing that! Ironically, I used olive oil on my last batch and didn’t have any splattering or smoking, so I’m still thinking it’s the individual ovens and settings. But it’s strange for sure!

  27. I made this a couple days ago. It was delicious, but smoked and spattered quite a bit. Had to clean my oven today. Do you have any tips to make it less messy?

  28. Omg!!! If you are having doubts about how good this chicken is , do not worry !!! It’s so good when you are tying to satisfy that fried chicken craving . Flavorful , crispy and still juicy 😋 just thinking about it makes me want to make it again today 😝 Súper súper yum 🤤 5 stars

  29. These chicken thighs are incredible! They are juice yet crisp and the seasoning is perfection! This is one of my favorite things to cook. 5 stars

  30. This is the best chicken thigh recepie ever! The chicken is super cruchy & the seasoning is just right! This a a family favorite. I also use this same seasoning blend on chicken fajitas.5 stars

    1. Yes, you can! Just make sure to watch the cooking time as it might cook a bit faster. Also, you won’t get super crispy skin as you would with skin-on thighs.

  31. I made this for dinner tonight and I have to say, this was possibly the juiciest chicken I have ever made. I can’t believe how easy this was but also how good it turned out. I will be making this quite often. Who needs the bucket when you can get this healthier dish with better flavor?5 stars

  32. This is one of the very few meals I’ve made that everyone in my family of 6 actually ate AND raved about!!!! Thank you!5 stars

  33. The recipe was great, except I smoked up the house and had to open all windows and doors and run all the ceiling fans. I guess I missed something. Also could not print this form the phone without all the pictures. I had to move the chicken to a covered braiser and lower the oven temp. That helped.3 stars

    1. Hi Mark – I’m glad you loved the recipe! When you bake this make sure you’re using a standard oven setting and not a convection oven setting. Also, your oven might cook slightly hotter as it’s common for ovens to be up to 30 degrees off normal. For the printing, there’s a button at the top on mobile that you can uncheck printing the process shots.

  34. loved it.  So delicious.  Did it exactly as suggested.   Even followed the tips in the video.  Going to try it with legs with back to see how it works 5 stars

  35. What if… you accidentally buy bone-in, skin-on chicken wings? Any idea if this recipe can be used for those? Maybe a lower heat? :) 

    1. Hi Emmy- I believe this can work with wings too! But maybe lower the heat a smidge and just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

      1. Using full chicken wings worked great, and shared recipe with my mom! She made her thighs on the grill and loved your seasoning recipe. Thank you!!5 stars

  36. This recipe was good and the chicken was moist, but I was really hoping for crispy, crunchy skin. What I got instead was dry and very tough, almost leathery, skin that you couldn’t really bite through easily. If I had used the convection setting I would have thought that to be the reason, but I used the regular Bake. What might have been the problem?4 stars

    1. Hmm, it’s hard to say. My skin comes out crispy when I do it. Not as crispy as fried chicken, but certainly crispy enough to bite through. Sometimes it might just be differences in oven temps, as every oven cooks slightly differently.

    1. Hi Sophia- Happy to hear you enjoyed these chicken thighs! Definitely one of my favorite chicken recipes to make :)

  37. This is absolutely wonderfully tasting but I can’t seem to get my skin crispy – what am I doing wrong??5 stars

    1. Hi Simone – I’m happy you loved the recipe! It might just be the temperature in your oven. Next time try turning on the top broiler (if you have one) for a couple of minutes. Just keep an eye on them so you don’t accidentally burn the top.