30 Best Chicken Thigh Recipes | Yummly

30 Best Chicken Thigh Recipes

If you’ve got a package of bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, tonight’s dinner possibilities are shaping up tender, juicy, and mighty flavorful

You’ll almost always find a handful of ingredients in my kitchen: Olive oil, garlic, pasta, canned tomatoes and beans, broth, and chicken thighs. In case you didn’t notice, only one of those items can’t sit in the cabinet. But if there were a way to make fresh poultry shelf-stable, I’d consider chicken thighs a standard pantry item. They’re so versatile, so easy to use, so flavorful, and every bit as useful as, say, a can of chickpeas.

Most often I reach for boneless skinless thighs — I buy the big family pack, which is super-affordable — and divide it into recipe-sized portions before freezing. And once I’ve defrosted the thighs, there are roughly a gazillion ways to cook them. 

Versatile and affordable, chicken thighs appear in more than 25,000 dinner recipes on Yummly. Bone-in chicken thigh recipes? Boneless skinless chicken thigh recipes? We’ve got ‘em all, so I’m going to cut to the chase for you. Read on to get buying, cooking, storing, and serving tips for chicken thighs, plus Yummly’s 30 best chicken thigh recipes — ones that are guaranteed to have your family reaching for seconds. 

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Chicken thigh FAQs >>

Baked chicken thigh recipes >>

Sheet pan chicken thigh recipes >>

Skillet chicken thigh recipes >>

Grilled chicken thigh recipes >>

Air fryer chicken thigh recipes >>

Instant Pot chicken thigh recipes >>

Chicken thigh FAQs

Grab your chicken thighs — here’s everything you need to know to get cooking.

How to buy chicken thighs

When buying chicken thighs, you’re usually presented with two options. In many recipes they’re interchangeable, as long as you understand that bone-in thighs take longer to cook, and you may need to adjust. But there are times when one works better than the other.

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs cost a little more, since they take more work to package. They’re lower in saturated fat than bone-in, skin-on thighs, which is one reason to prefer them. The other: The meat cooks quicker without bones. On a busy weeknight, tight timing makes them the obvious choice. And if you’re chopping up chicken for a stir-fry, having the skin and bones already removed gives you a head start.

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, on the other hand, have their own virtues. Chicken skin helps the meat stay juicy when you’re cooking with high heat, and bone-in chicken tends to have more flavor than boneless. Plus, let’s not kid ourselves: Crispy skin is pretty awesome. If you’ve got a little more time, bone-in thighs are well worth buying.

How many chicken thighs to serve per person?

Since chicken thighs tend to be smaller than chicken breasts, figure two chicken thighs per person for planning purposes. 

How long do chicken thighs keep?

Once you get them home, you can stow fresh chicken thighs in the fridge up to two days. Wrapped tightly, frozen chicken stays safe indefinitely, though you may notice the quality declines after nine months to a year.

How long to cook chicken thighs

Your cook time will vary, depending on the size of each piece and if they have skin and bones. (Chicken with skin and bones takes longer.) How long to bake chicken thighs: usually, just 20 to 30 minutes. How long to air-fry chicken thighs? Plan on 20 to 35 minutes. No matter which kind of thighs you use, or the cooking method, aim for an internal temperature of at least 165°F, and up to 195°F. It’s pretty hard to overcook chicken thighs, really, so err on the side of more done.

What to serve with chicken thighs

Match your side dish to the cooking technique. Baked thighs only need a simple vegetable and  — if you’re not watching your carbohydrates — a grain or starch. I’ll often match grilled chicken thighs with a bright, crunchy salad. Saucy chicken dishes practically demand rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread. 

Baked chicken thigh recipes

If you want easy, no-fuss meals, you can’t go wrong by popping some seasoned dark meat into the oven. Check out these favorite bone-in and boneless chicken thigh recipes.

Sweet BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs

Yummly Original

Sweet, smoky, and ridiculously easy, this boneless skinless chicken thigh recipe includes only a handful of ingredients — prepared barbecue sauce, peach jam, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and chicken. All you do is combine the first three and use that to coat the fourth, put the chicken on a baking sheet, and slide it into the oven. Toss a salad while it’s baking, and dinner’s ready in just 30 minutes.

Classic Garlic-Baked Chicken Thighs

Yummly Original

With only five minutes of prep time, this simply delicious chicken is just what you need on a busy weeknight. Season chicken thighs with olive oil, salt and black pepper, and garlic powder and bake. It’s good for the whole family — even picky eaters, since it’s so, so simple. 

Baked Greek Chicken with Fresh Lemon and Dill

Yummly Original

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs get seared skin side down in an ovenproof frying pan before baking in a sauce laden with fresh dill, minced garlic, and lots of lemon juice. They come out of the oven golden brown and deeply flavored. Be sure to serve with rice on the side to soak up that sauce.

Juicy Herbed Weeknight Chicken Thighs

Yummly Original

These Italian-accented baked chicken thighs use nothing but your spice rack to create a simple but satisfying weeknight dinner. That simplicity draws raves in the reviews, including from super-picky eaters. Pro tip: put diced potatoes and chopped broccoli on a second sheet pan, toss with olive oil and salt, and slide it into the oven at the same time as the chicken.

Easy Honey-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Yummly Original

Honey mustard is a perennial favorite ingredient in my home, and it’s a no-brainer way to zhuzh up boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you usually buy prepared honey mustard, you’re in for a pleasant surprise: Making your own takes about two minutes, since it’s just mustard, honey, salt, and garlic powder.

Sheet pan chicken thigh recipes

When you’re looking for easy chicken thigh recipes, you can’t beat a sheet pan dinner. Everything’s right there, all on one pan! 

Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Yummly Original

Sheet pan fajitas are in heavy rotation at my place, as the whole family adores them, even my picky son. He won’t touch the vegetables, but he can’t say no to mildly spicy, tender strips of chicken wrapped in a tortilla. That just leaves more veggies for my husband and me, so in my book it’s a win-win.

Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka Masala with Potatoes and Cauliflower

Yummly Original

Garam masala, the Indian spice blend, seasons everything in this dish. Mixed with plain yogurt and tomato paste, it makes an easy marinade for strips of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You’ll also sprinkle the garam masala on diced potatoes and cauliflower florets, so dinner comes out of the oven deeply flavored and completely satisfying.

Sheet Pan Sichuan Chicken and Vegetables

Yummly Original

Bone-in, skin-on thighs roast in a hot oven while you make a soy and Sriracha sauce. That gets brushed onto the thighs at regular intervals while they cook. Towards the end, add vegetables like mushrooms, bell pepper, and asparagus to the sheet pan. When you remove it from the oven, you have bronzed, glazed chicken, crisp-tender veggies, and a mouth-tingling sauce.

"No Chopping" Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

Yummly Original

Who doesn’t love the promise of a dinner you can make without picking up a knife? The secret: Use baby carrots and baby potatoes, which go straight from the package onto a sheet pan with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Add some seasoning from the spice rack, and you’ve got yourself a simple, yummy meal with almost no cleanup.

Sheet Pan Teriyaki Sesame Chicken and Broccoli

Yummly Original

The flexibility of this recipe makes it a crowd-pleasing favorite, since you can use whatever vegetables your family prefers. That quick, homemade teriyaki glaze doesn’t hurt, either. Sweet and salty thanks to brown sugar, honey, and soy sauce, it’s about as kid-friendly as you can get.

Skillet chicken thigh recipes

Whether you’re searing the meat, then using the browned bits to make a fragrant sauce, or you’re quick-cooking a stir-fry, a large skillet makes chicken thigh dinners easy.

One Skillet Chicken Thighs With Asparagus And Peas

Yummly Original

This recipe is springtime in a skillet: crispy chicken thighs with asparagus and peas, in a lemon-white wine-mustard sauce. The crunchy bacon bits add a perfect hint of smoky depth. You’ll definitely want to serve this one with rice or noodles to catch that sauce.

Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken and Vegetables Dinner

Yummly Original

A cast-iron skillet lets you get a gorgeous sear on simply seasoned bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Add garlic and dried oregano, diced potatoes and baby carrots, and slip the whole thing into the oven to finish cooking. When it comes out, you’ve got a one-pan meal, ready to go. Pro tip: No cast-iron skillet? Any oven-safe, heavy frying pan will do.

Easy Korean Sticky Chicken

Yummly Original

Gochujang, the Korean red pepper paste, is the star of this show. Mixed with ginger, garlic, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, it makes a spicy-sweet sauce for stir-fried chunks of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Serve this with rice and broccoli for a 20-minute weeknight dinner.

Skillet Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Rice

Yummly Original

Lemon chicken is one of my go-to dinners. I love the brightness, the simplicity, the ease of the dish. This version makes life even easier by cooking rice in the skillet along with the bone-in thighs. Each grain emerges from the pan saturated with chickeny, lemony flavor. 

Skillet Creamy French Mustard Chicken

This tres francaise recipe is all about the sauce, a velvety treat made with pan drippings, shallots, white wine, Dijon mustard, and a bit of cream. Served with crisp slices of baguette to wipe up every last bit of sauce, the dish is comforting yet elegant.

Grilled chicken thigh recipes

Whether you’re cooking them with an outdoor grill, a stovetop grill pan, or even your broiler, chicken thighs stand up beautifully to high heat. 

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs

Yummly Original

Colorful, thanks to veggies like sweet peppers and red onion, and deliciously lemony, thanks to a 30-minute marinade, these fun kebabs make a crowd-pleasing dinner. All you need is some fresh pita bread and store-bought tzatziki, and you’re ready to eat.

Thai Chicken Satay

Yummly Original

A tenderizing marinade made from coconut milk, soy sauce, and spices adds tons of flavor to strips of boneless, skinless thighs in this classic Thai dish. After just 10 minutes marinating, it’s time to skewer, broil, and serve those strips with a four-ingredient curry-peanut dipping sauce.

Chicken Shawarma

Warm spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric combine with lemon juice and garlic for a marinade that replicates what you’d get in a Middle Eastern restaurant. Serve these juicy chicken thighs with pita and Israeli salad. Pro tip: Marinate the thighs overnight, and dinner will be on the table in minutes.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

You won’t believe how much flavor you get from this two-minute marinade made with lime juice and zest, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, and fresh cilantro. I’m one of those people who normally can’t tolerate cilantro, and even I gobble this up! I put the mixture in a blender, which chops the herb so fine it just melts right in.  

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

The original recipe for huli huli chicken came from Hawaii, and while the exact formula never went public, man has the concept become popular. This version calls for pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ketchup, along with ginger and garlic. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good these thighs taste. Pro tip: If you’re just learning how to grill chicken thighs, this recipe is a good example of how a sweet marinade requires medium heat rather than high heat to prevent burning. 

Air fryer chicken thigh recipes

The appliance du jour is known for producing food that tastes fried with much less fat (and mess) than usual. It’s pretty much made for chicken thighs. 

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Sandwiches

A quick, five-minute marinade in soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder, and ginger lends boneless, skinless thighs Japanese flavors. Then they get the traditional flour/egg/panko treatment before a spin in the air fryer. While they’re cooking, you’ll throw together a quick wasabi slaw and toast your sandwich buns. Layer it all together and dig in.

Crispy Air Fryer "Fried" Chicken

If you want real-deal fried chicken, you’ve got to go bone-in. This recipe recreates the classic Southern style using buttermilk and flour seasoned with paprika and Cajun spices, but without the oil spatters. It comes out of the air fryer with a crust so crackly, you’ll think it was deep-fried.

Air Fryer Asian-Glazed Boneless Chicken Thighs

When I say the glaze on these thighs is luscious, I mean it. Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, Sriracha, and ginger permeate boneless, skinless thighs as a marinade, and the air fryer makes them crispy outside, juicy inside. The remaining marinade gets thickened and drizzled on at the end, to make chicken that’s finger-licking good.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (Maple-Lime)

Sweet, tangy, and savory, the maple-lime-soy sauce on these bone-in chicken thighs doesn’t need much time to flavor the meat. That’s because rather than letting the mixture sit for hours, you spend five minutes massaging it into each piece, before placing the thighs in your air fryer. The skin comes out caramelized and burnished. You’ll definitely want seconds.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

If you’re looking for a family-friendly weeknight dinner recipe, look no further. Seasoned with an assortment from the spice rack, including onion and garlic powders, paprika, and dried thyme, oregano, and rosemary, these thighs only need five minutes of prep before they go into the air fryer. This recipe is about as effortless as it gets.

Instant Pot chicken thigh recipes

Pressure cookers work wonders, producing long-simmered flavors in a fraction of the time. Leave a lean chicken breast in there for a minute too long, though, and you run the risk of dry, stringy meat. Not so with chicken thighs, which have enough fat to stay tender and juicy under pressure.

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Filipino chicken adobo is the unofficial national dish of The Philippines. To make it you sear, then braise, thighs in soy sauce, white vinegar, and garlic until the meat is tender enough to eat with a spoon. In the Instant Pot, the process takes 45 minutes, from beginning to end. Weeknight adobo: Heck yeah.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

This recipe turned hundreds of thousands of people into Instant Pot devotees when it was first published in 2017 — seriously, the creator is known as the “butter chicken lady.” Easy, authentic, creamy, spicy, and downright irresistible, it lets you create a restaurant-quality Indian meal in about half an hour.

Buttermilk Chicken (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}

Marinating bone-in chicken thighs in a buttermilk marinade serves two purposes: First, the acids in the buttermilk tenderize the meat. And second, it conveys the recipe’s garlic and onion flavors deep into the chicken, so each bite just makes you want to take another. The best part is, you can get everything going the night before, then transfer it to the Instant Pot a half-hour before you want to eat. Bonus: this one includes directions so you can make it as a slow cooker chicken thigh recipe, too.

Pressure Cooker Chicken, Black Bean, and Rice Burrito Bowls

I love burrito bowls, but on a busy weeknight I don’t have time to cook each individual element. That’s why this recipe rocks my world. In a single pot, you combine chicken, black beans, and rice with salsa and chicken broth, adding everything at once. About 15 minutes later, out comes perfectly cooked rice and juicy chicken, just begging to be topped with a little cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro or scallions. Pro tip: Crumble tortilla chips on top, too, for a little extra crunch.

Instant Pot Coq au Vin

This classic French stew usually calls for braising chicken slowly, slowly, slowly in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. From beginning to end, it can take upwards of two hours. Made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, though, the total time gets cut in half. And when you taste it, you’d never guess. 

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