These baked chicken thighs are simply but deliciously flavored with honey, mustard, and garlic — you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now. The sweetness of the honey pairs perfectly with the mellow savoriness of garlic. I love honey garlic anything and these mustard with honey garlic thighs are perfection. If you’re looking for something different, there are some other flavor suggestions further down.
If you asked me what I could eat over and over again, it would have to be chicken thighs. They’re so incredibly versatile, full of flavor, and absolutely delicious. Give me thighs over breast any day.
The secret to super juicy chicken thighs is tempering
Tempering is just taking the chicken out of the fridge and letting it sit on the counter in a cool spot. It will give you the juiciest, most properly cooked chicken you’ll ever eat. Taking the chill off your chicken equals evenly cooked meat. If you cook chicken straight from the fridge when it’s cold, the outside of the chicken will cook faster than the inside, giving them potential to dry out.
The best thing to do is prep your chicken, let them temper/marinate for about 10-15 minutes, then turn on the oven. Your chicken should be tempered by the time your oven is ready.
How to bake chicken thighs
For the juiciest oven baked chicken thighs you need bone in, skin on thighs. Baking in a hot oven helps crisp up the skin and the bone keeps the meat moist and juicy.
- Pat dry. Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry the skin of your chicken. You want a dry surface so that it can crisp up. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness.
- Season. Place the thighs in a bowl and add the sauce, which has a bit of oil. The oil helps conduct heat which makes the skin crispy and the seasoning in the sauce adds flavor.
- Bake. The best way to bake thighs is skin up in a roasting pan or baking dish. Bake the thighs at 425°F for about 25-30 minutes, or just until the internal temp reaches 165°F.
How long to bake chicken thighs?
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.
- Bone in skin on chicken thighs: Bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes if properly tempered.
- Bone in skin on chicken thighs: Bake at 425°F for 35-40 minutes if they’re coming right out of the fridge.
You want to bake them until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, or until the juices run clear. Chicken thighs come in all sizes and thickness, so it’s best to get an instant read thermometer to make sure that they reach 165°F.
Bone in skin on vs. boneless skinless
This recipe suggests skin on, bone in chicken thighs because the skin crisps up beautifully and also self-bastes the meat underneath. Using bone in meat is always a bonus because meat cooked on the bone has more flavor and juiciness thanks to the fact that bone in meat cooks more evenly, preventing meat from drying out. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are delicious as well though – I use them in a huge amount of recipes and you can easily use them here too.
Chicken thigh variations
- Lemon pepper
- Sesame soy
- Miso coconut
- Honey jalapeno garlic
- Crispy oven fried panko chicken thighs
- Paprika chicken
- Coconut curry
- Green chile
- Sriracha lime
- Lemon rosemary
Crispy oven baked chicken thighs
I love saucy, honey garlic mustard chicken, but I also love crispy baked chicken. If you’re a crispy chicken lover too, don’t worry, I’ve got you! Crispy baked chicken thighs are just as easy as regular baked thighs, all you do is add an extra crispy panko breadcrumb coating. Panko gives you super crispy crunchy skin and the honey garlic mustard marinade keeps the chicken extra juicy. Seriously good!
How to make CRISPY oven baked chicken thighs
- Season and marinate the thighs as per the recipe.
- Place 2 cups of panko in a large, shallow bowl.
- Take the chicken and dip it in the panko, pressing to adhere on all sides.
- Place the chicken on a lightly oiled wire rack set in a baking sheet and bake as per the recipe, for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Lemon pepper chicken thighs
Mix together 2 tbsp olive oil with 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, 1 tsp oregano, and the juice of half a lemon. Pour the lemon sauce on the thighs and top with thinly sliced lemons. Proceed the rest of the recipe below.
Teriyaki chicken thighs
Mix together 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp cornstarch. Pour over the thighs and proceed with the recipe as below.
Sweet and spicy chicken thighs
Mix together 1 tbsp neutral oil, 2 tbsp gochujang, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey. Pour the sauce on the thighs and proceed with the recipe as below.
How do I reheat chicken thighs?
- In the microwave: place on a microwave safe plate and cover. Heat for 1 minute at a time until hot.
- In the oven: heat the oven to 325°F and place the chicken in an oven safe dish and cover with foil. Bake until warmed through.
- Do I need to marinate chicken thighs overnight?
If you have the time you can definitely marinate them overnight. I usually am super last minute and only marinate them for 1 hour. I wouldn’t marinate them for over 24 hours.
- Bone in or boneless chicken thighs?
I personally love bone in chicken thighs because they have more flavor and are juicier because bone in meat cooks more evenly. Boneless chicken thighs are great for when you’re in a hurry and want to get dinner fast on the table. If you want to use boneless chicken thighs, you only need to bake them for 18-20 minutes at 425°F.
- Skin on or skinless chicken thighs?
Skin on chicken thighs are delicious! The skin gets crispy and self-bastes the meat underneath so your thighs stay juicy. Skinless thighs will work too but they tend to be a touch dryer because they don’t have that layer of protection from the heat. Even if you don’t want to eat the skin, I recommend cooking your chicken skin on so you get the benefits.
- What is tempering?
Tempering meat means that you take it out of the fridge and let it sit on your counter in a cool spot. It means that your chicken takes less time in the oven to cook and taking the chill off means more evenly cooked meat. When you cook meat straight from teh fridge, the outside of the chicken cooks faster than the inside because the heat takes longer to penetrate something that is cold all the way through.
- How do I bake plain thighs for things like salad?
To bake plain thighs, just season the thighs with salt, pepper, and a touch of oil and bake them, omitting the honey mustard, and garlic. To get some browning on top, broil for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the oven.
What can I serve with oven baked chicken thighs?
- avocado cucumber salad
- vegetable lo mein
- spicy chili noodles
- creamy garlic mashed potatoes
- crispy stovetop roasted potatoes
Baked Chicken Thighs
Perfect pantry juicy baked chicken thighs
4.46 from 42 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Temper Time 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins
- 2 lbs bone in skin on chicken thighs 6-8 thighs
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp oil
Lightly pat the chicken skin dry and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place in an oven safe baking dish.(Video) BAKED CHICKEN BREAST | juicy, tender, easy, and oh, so flavorful!
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, garlic, and oil. Pour over the chicken and make sure the thighs are evenly coated. Let temper in a cool spot in your kitchen for about 10-15 minutes then heat your oven to 425°F.
Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Let rest for a couple minutes, then enjoy!
Baked Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255Calories from Fat 139
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3.9g24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
It depends on how quickly you want the chicken thighs to cook. At 400F, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs will need 40 minutes. At 350F, they will need around 50 minutes. While the lower temperature takes longer, it decreases the risk of them drying out.How to get more flavor in chicken thighs? ›
Salt or brine thighs before cooking
Wet brining involves soaking the meat, typically overnight, in a salty liquid, while dry brining involves rubbing salt directly on the skin and meat of the chicken. Water is the true enemy of flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Thighs
While chicken leg and thigh meat are still safe at 165 degrees F, it is recommended to cook it to an internal temperature of about 170-175 degrees F to improve the flavor and tenderness.
- 350°F – 50-55 minutes.
- 375°F – 45-50 minutes.
- 400°F – 40-45 minutes.
- 425°F – 35-40 minutes.
To ensure that your chicken thighs are cooked through, bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-35 minutes. Their internal temperature should reach 165° degrees Fahrenheit and you shouldn't see any blood or pinkness in the center of the thigh.What cooking method is best for chicken thighs? ›
Drizzle the thighs with oil and season with salt and pepper, then pop the dish into a 425°F oven for fully cooked veggies and succulent chicken thighs with oven-roasted, crispy skin. You could also use this cooking method without the vegetables and just roast your thighs straight-up on a sheet pan.
The key is to cook them slowly.
The goal is to keep the meat at an internal temp between 140 and 195 degrees—the collagen-breakdown sweet spot—for as long as possible. (That discovery is what led to the supple meat in our Mahogany Chicken Thighs and Grilled Spice-Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks recipes.)
America's Test Kitchen says to keep the internal temperature between 140 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as possible while cooking to let the meat gently break down. Braising the thighs or cooking them slowly over indirect heat are some of the best options to achieve perfectly tender chicken thighs every time.What tenderizes chicken thighs? ›
Low and slow cooking methods like braising, stewing, or smoking are most effective when trying to create tender, succulent chicken.Is it better to bake chicken thighs at 350 or 375? ›
Baking chicken thighs at 375°F takes less time in the oven than cooking chicken legs at 350°F since the total cooking time is roughly 45 to 50 minutes. Use an instant meat thermometer to check the doneness of the meat before removing it from the oven.
Unlike the other most common cut of chicken (breasts), thighs are extremely forgiving when it comes to cook times. If you let 'em cook for several minutes after they've reached 165°F, don't sweat it — you'll still have juicy, succulent chicken and nobody will have to know that they may have been slightly overcooked.How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the oven? ›
The USDA guidelines lists approximate cooking times of 40 to 50 minutes for 4-to-8-ounce chicken thighs roasted at 350 degrees. In our basic meal prep boneless chicken thighs recipe, they take about 25 to 30 minutes baked at 425 degrees F.Can you overcook chicken thighs in the oven? ›
It's difficult to overcook chicken thighs, so don't worry if the internal temp is higher than 165°F! Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving, slicing or shredding.How do you know when chicken thighs are done in the oven? ›
Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and juices run clear, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).How to tell if baked chicken thighs are done without a thermometer? ›
Poke the meat to see if juices are red or clear
For properly cooked chicken, if you cut into it and the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.
Wondering if 400 degrees is the appropriate temperature to bake your chicken breast? Yes, it is. Baking chicken breast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes guarantees the meat is completely cooked and moist. Nonetheless, bear in mind that cooking time might vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breast.How long does it take to cook skinless chicken thighs at 400? ›
How long to bake boneless chicken thighs at 400F/200C is 25 - 30 minutes. For how long to cook boneless chicken thighs at 350F/175C is 30 - 35 minutes. At 425F/ 220C degrees Fahrenheit bake for 20-25 minutes.Is 350 good to bake chicken? ›
For chicken breasts, it's best to go with the lower temp of 350 and keep an eye on the internal temperature of the chicken: white meat will dry out faster than dark meat.