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Oven Baked Chicken Thighs are easy and delicious!
Jack and I often say that chicken thighs are the unsung hero of the chicken aisle. While everyone at the supermarket is grabbing packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts – we reach for the chicken thighs instead.
Why are chicken thighs such a good choice?
- The darker, chicken thigh meat has much more flavor and moisture than the white breast meat.
- Thighs are also less expensive than breast meat – so they are very budget friendly.
- And, you can buy them packaged as boneless, skinless chicken thighs – or as bone-in, skin-on thighs.
No matter which option you choose, this Oven Baked Chicken Thighs recipe can be used for both the boneless, or bone-in pieces.
The best way to make Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
Because chicken thighs have so much flavor, you really don’t need to do much more than a simple seasoning before baking them in the oven.
Coat either bone-in, skin-on or boneless, skinless chicken thighs with some extra virgin olive oil. Then, sprinkle on a mix of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of paprika.
Bake the chicken thighs in a 400 degree F oven – 30 minutes for the boneless; 40 minutes for bone-in. Use a probe thermometer to test for doneness; you want the internal temperature of the chicken thighs to be 160 degrees.
Serve immediately with your family’s favorite side dishes. Here are a few ideas:
- Cider Glazed Carrots
- Corn and Bacon Casserole
- Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Rice Pilaf
- Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash
You may enjoy these other chicken thigh recipes:
- Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
- Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms, Lemon and Herbs
- Grilled Honey Lime Chicken
- Peanut Ginger Chicken
8–12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR 8-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
The preparation below is for bone-in-skin-on or boneless-skinless. Everything is the same except the bone-in-skin-on cooks for ten extra minutes.
Line a sheet tray with foil and place a rack over the foil. This method solves a few issues; the rack helps the heat circulate around the chicken for even cooking, it also allows the grease to drip down to the pan below instead of the chicken sitting in the grease as it cooks, and lining the pan with foil helps with clean up. The skin-on chicken cooks uniformly with nice crispy skin and the boneless gets a nice browned top.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare the thighs by smoothing out the skin and wrapping any extra skin under the thigh. Each thigh should be neat with the skin covering the whole top and no extra pieces sticking out.
Spray the rack with kitchen pan spray and arrange each thigh on the rack, not touching each other.
Pat the tops dry with paper towels and then brush on the olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika and then sprinkle over each piece. Try to sprinkle high up for even coating.
Place in the center of the oven and roast 30 minutes for boneless and 40 minutes for bone-in.
In each case, the internal temperature must be 160 degrees F when a probe thermometer is inserted.
If you prefer extra crispy, place the pan under the broiler for a minute or two.
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