These baked chicken thighs are tender with deliciously crispy skin! They’re super simple to make with about 5 minutes prep time.
My favorite part of making chicken thighs is that they’re pretty difficult to overcook. For the chicken in the photos, I bought two packs of chicken thighs, and they were all different sizes. I had to cook them for a bit longer to ensure the larger ones were done, and the smaller ones still ended up just fine. This is definitely not the case with chicken breasts! They also tend to be more flavorful and reheat better without drying out.
To make clean-up fairly painless, I line my baking sheet with foil. These roasted chicken thighs are great because you can make as many or as few as you want – the size of your baking sheet is the only limit. Make a bunch for the week and you have chicken ready to add to salads or work lunches (eat them hot or cold!). My mom always used to roast chicken thighs and drumsticks for us, so testing this recipe brought back some memories.
I chose the simple can’t-go-wrong combo of salt and pepper for this recipe for baked chicken thighs, but you can definitely jazz up the seasoning a bit more if you want. I’m a big fan of sprinkling smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence onto chicken. So many possibilities! You can definitely change it up based on what you feel like.
If you’re on the keto diet or know someone who is, this chicken recipe is a great option!
How long to bake chicken thighs at 400F?
Most bone-in skin-on chicken thighs will take between 25 and 45 minutes to cook at 400F depending on their size. Your average sized chicken thighs should be plenty cooked (and have a chance for the skin to crisp up as well) by 30-35 minutes. For safety reasons, I recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer at the 30-35 minute mark to confirm that they’re at 165F. Only go up to 45 minutes without testing the temperature if they’re especially huge.
How do you know when chicken is cooked?
The only truly safe way to tell when chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer (try this instant read one). When a meat thermometer shows 165F in the thickest part of the chicken (without touching the bone), it’s safe to eat. I cook a lot of chicken, so I do eyeball it myself fairly often, but use that method with caution! Also keep in mind that the chicken’s temperature will rise a little bit if you’re letting it rest once you’ve taken it out of the oven. The fairly large range of cooking time I give for this recipe is necessary because chicken thighs vary in size so much. Luckily, chicken thighs are very forgiving, so if you do overcook them a bit they will still remain tender – especially if you let them rest for a while prior to serving them.
Why let chicken rest?
Letting chicken rest for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven helps keep it tender and juicy because the juices have some time to redistribute.
How to reheat chicken thighs?
Oven: Set the temperature to 400F. Add chicken pieces to a baking dish with a bit of chicken broth in the bottom. Cover with foil. Cook until it reaches 165F in the thickest part (this will vary depending on the size of the chicken but check how warm it is after 20 minutes or so). You can try broiling it for a few minutes at the end to crisp the skin up again. You can reheat the chicken thighs uncovered, but keep in mind that method is more likely to dry out the chicken. Microwave: If you can, put in on a plate and cover it with damp paper towel so it doesn’t dry out as much. Microwave in 1-2 minute increments until it’s warm.
What to serve with baked chicken thighs?
I like to make pasta with marinara sauce, but the possibilities are endless. Chicken thighs are a great addition to salads, or you can serve them with anything from rice to mashed potatoes or any cooked vegetable. Try serving this recipe with my creamed spinach – it’s one of my favorite side dishes.
Recipe notes, tips, and tricks:
- If you want extra crispy skin, broil it for a few minutes at the end (just watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn).
- Chicken thighs vary a lot in size, so that’s why I suggest buying two pounds worth. You can get anywhere from 5 or 6, up to 8 chicken thighs depending on their individual sizes. Most people will eat 1-2 chicken thighs each. Make as many/few as you want – that’s the beauty of this recipe.
- Be sure to line your baking sheet with foil – the baked on juices are not a fun thing to scrub off.
- If you want to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can. They will take a bit less time to cook (about 5-10 minutes less depending on size).
- For food safety purposes, it’s recommended that you don’t rinse your chicken prior to cooking it. It simply spreads bacteria around your kitchen. Cooking the chicken will kill the bacteria.
Other chicken recipes to try:
- Sheet Pan Baked Chicken and Potatoes Recipe
- Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Easy Chicken Stew
- Easy Chicken Piccata
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (Chicken Breasts and Thighs)
Will you try this method to cook crispy chicken thighs?
Questions? Made this recipe? Leave me a comment below. 🙂
Easiest Baked Chicken Thighs
These baked chicken thighs are tender with deliciously crispy skin! They're super simple to make with about 5 minutes prep time.
- 2 pounds chicken thighs (bone in skin on)
- Olive oil to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.
Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet and coat them with olive oil (you don't need much). Sprinkle them with salt & pepper on all sides. Ensure they're skin side up when you bake them. Do not cover them.
Bake for 25-45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer shows they're a minimum of 165F in the thickest part. Test after 25 minutes if the chicken thighs are on the small side. Your average sized chicken thighs should be done with a crispy skin around 30-35 minutes. Go up to 45 minutes before testing only if the chicken thighs are very large. Optional: broil for a few minutes to really crisp up the skin.
Let the chicken thighs rest for 5-10 minutes prior to serving them (this ensures they will be juicy and tender).
- 2 pounds of chicken thighs serves 4-6 depending on how much people eat/what you serve them with. You can definitely make more or less depending on your crowd!
- You can totally play with the seasoning - salt & pepper is basic and delicious, but you can add any of your favorite herbs/spices - see the blog post for my suggestions.
- Chicken thighs are much more forgiving when you overcook them than chicken breasts, so don't be alarmed if you test the chicken and it's a lot warmer than 165F. It takes some time for the skin to crisp up, and as long as you let the chicken rest, it'll still be juicy unless you waaay overcook it.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.