Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclosure policy.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs are crispy on the outside with tender dark meat on the inside. With a few tips and some simple ingredients, you can easily make delicious chicken thighs for a simple one pan dinner!
Why you’ll love this baked chicken thighs recipe
- Crispy and flavorful: Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs become crispy when baked properly. Plus, the soy brown sugar marinade adds tons of flavor to the meat.
- Tender and juicy: The dark meat contains more fat than chicken breasts, baking up nice and juicy. They’re also more forgiving and less likely to overcook than chicken breasts.
- Quick and easy: This budget-friendly dinner is easy to make in about 30 minutes, whether you’re cooking for two or making a large batch to feed a crowd.
- Convenient: You can bake veggies and potatoes at the same time for an easy one pan dinner!
How to bake chicken thighs
- Whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Remove chicken thighs from the marinade and place on the rack.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Broil for 2-3 minutes to make them extra crispy while deepening the color.
How to season baked chicken thighs?
Baked chicken thighs are very versatile and work with a variety of marinades and seasonings.
Marinade: In this recipe, I use a soy brown sugar marinade, which has a nice balance between savory and sweet flavors. It also acts as a brine which keeps the meat tender and juicy in the oven.
- Soy sauce: low-sodium recommended
- Brown sugar: helps the chicken to caramelize and become crispy when baked. You can substitute honey.
- Vinegar: white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work great.
- Garlic: freshly minced garlic is best, with garlic powder working in a pinch.
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
Seasonings: Instead of a marinade, you can also use a dry rub seasoning. Coat the chicken thighs with oil before rubbing with salt, pepper and seasonings like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sweet paprika. Taco Seasoning and Fajita Seasoning also work well when you want to switch things up!
How long to bake chicken thighs?
In terms of how long to bake chicken, it really depends on your oven temperature and the type of chicken thighs. At 400°F / 204°C, bone-in chicken thighs need 35-40 minutes, or less if you’re using a convection/forced air oven. Boneless chicken thighs also require about 10 minutes less.
Here are chicken thigh bake times for a range of setups:
|Oven Temperature||Bone-in Chicken Thighs||Boneless Chicken Thighs|
|350°F (177°C)||50-55 minutes||40-45 minutes|
|375°F (191°C)||45-50 minutes||35-40 minutes|
|400°F (204°C)||40-45 minutes||30-35 minutes|
|425°F (218°C)||35-40 minutes||25-30 minutes|
Note: If you’re using a convection/forced air oven, bake for 10-15 minutes less than times above.
When the chicken thighs are done, juices will run clear and the bone will no longer be pink. However, it’s best to check for a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in poultry with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of a thigh.
I recommend baking chicken thighs at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time, as they’ll be more tender than at lower temperatures.
Do you need to flip the chicken?
No, there’s no need to flip chicken thighs while baking. However, you can baste them with pan juices halfway through if you like.
Tips for making chicken thighs crispy in the oven
- I recommend bone-in and skin-on thighs to get crispy skin on top. The bone also helps them stay plump during baking!
- Shake off the excess marinade before baking and don’t pour leftover marinade onto the baking sheet. (If you’d like a sauce for serving, simply reserve half the marinade before use and boil for a minute in a saucepan.)
- Brown sugar from the marinade helps to caramelize and make the meat crispier.
- Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven, where it’s hotter.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes in the end for extra crispiness.
What to serve with chicken thighs
More Baked Chicken Recipes
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (6-8 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low-sodium recommended
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- fresh parsley, minced - optional
- In a large bowl, whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes up to 8 hours.
- Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Then add a wire rack.
- Remove chicken thighs from the marinade and place on the rack with the skin side up, shaking off excess marinade. (Discard leftover marinade.)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes to make the chicken extra crispy and add a nice caramelized brown color.
- Garnish with optional parsley and serve.
- Recipe yield: 2 pounds or 6 bone-in chicken thighs are enough to serve 4 people.
- If you'd like vegetables with your meal, you can add broccoli, potatoes, carrots etc. to the pan for the final 20 minutes.
- You can double the marinade and reserve half for serving. Boil it in a saucepan and drizzle on the chicken when serving.
- Make-Ahead: you can leave the seasoned or marinated chicken thighs for as long as 12 hours or overnight before cooking.
- Storage: You can store cooked chicken thighs in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Otherwise, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat thawed chicken thighs for several minutes in a skillet or microwave.
- Leftovers can be used for chicken sandwiches and other lunch ideas.
Please read our nutrition disclaimer.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes
Editor note: Originally published Aug 3, 2018 and updated Sept 25, 2019
© TIPBUZZ. Images and text on this website are copyright protected. Please do not post or republish without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post. This post may contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.
This was a real hit! Have you tried adding orange juice to the marinade? Or ginger?
Hi Steve, Thanks for your comment! I haven’t tried it for this particular recipe but I know orange and/or ginger would work great.
Made it last night! It was GREAT!! The marinade was perfect!!
Not feeling well. Didn’t want to stand in the kitchen so pop this in oven was very good and easy,
Hi Marilyn, Thanks for your feedback and hope you are feeling better. Glad you enjoyed!
Made it last night, there were absolutely no leftovers.
Hi Itsel, Thanks for your comment and so great to hear that! Hope you’ll try some other recipes too.
This recipe always a family favorite
Hi Ray, Many thanks for your comment and glad you like it!
Nice recipe, I added a pinch of chilli and cumin.
Delicious as so easy to prepare
Hi Daphne, Thanks for your review and happy to hear it worked out! 🙂
I am still confused on baking it in the marinade but then you say shake off excess before baking?? So marinate 30 minutes before then cook in the same marinate why shake it off it is in marinate
Hi Ann, Thanks for your question! Excess marinade can burn on the chicken before the meat is cooked, so best not to have a thick layer of it going into the oven. Hope that helps! 🙂
Delicious but I add Italian or Russian dressing,& some real butter
Hi Fredda, Thanks for your comment and that’s the beauty of baked chicken! There are so many ways to dress it up. Glad you enjoyed 🙂
I baked this chicken for my family minus the broccoli because I don’t know if it’s in season or not but what I saw at my grocery store was not good. I finish the dinner off with rice mix with cream of mushroom soup and a pasta fresh vegetable salad and my two-year-old went crazy over it and my husband loved it and my mother loved it and I loved it thanks for Sharing!
Hi Darlen, Thanks so much for your feedback and glad to know you liked it even without the broccoli! 🙂
Do you cook the chicken in the marinade if it was marinated for 8 hours?
Hi Ania, Yes you can definitely cook it marinated, but shake off excess sauce before putting it into the oven. Hope that helps 🙂
This recipe was amazing. Seriously so simple and yet so flavorful. It was a big hit with my dinner guests, that later asked for the recipe. I followed the recipe with the addition of crushed red pepper flakes and onion slices to the marinade.
Hi Araceli, So glad to hear that and the red peppers and onions sound delish!! Thanks for your feedback 🙂
Is it OK to use Apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?
Hi Lisa, Absolutely, apple cider brings a nice finish to the dish. I’ll add a note to the recipe! 🙂
Do you cook the chicken in the marinade?
Hi Alicia, Thanks for your question. Yes absolutely but shake off the excess before putting it onto the baking sheet. 🙂
How do u get the sauce to get its glaze on the chicken and make it look red I followed the instructions but don’t look nothing like the bnb pic
Hi Jessica, Thanks for your question. It’s a dash of paprika that brings out the color – I’ll add a note about that to the recipe. 🙂
These Chicken thighs looks so incredibly juicy and delicious! I will have to put this recipe on my menu for this week!
Hi Tisha, Thanks for your review and let me know how they turn out! 🙂
An excellent dinner recipe my whole family will love!
Thanks Nellie, Enjoy! 🙂
Taste great. Though I didn’t understand pouring 1/4 of mixture over chicken. Where does the remaining 3/4 go?
I marinated it all, then cooked it all in oven pan
Hi Peter, Thanks for your feedback! You’re absolutely right to point out that the entire mixture should go on, not the 1/4 cup. I’ve corrected that in the recipe. So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Hello, I am trying your recipe today, I just have one question, you say to only use 1/4 cup marinade for chicken, but you do not say what to use the rest of the marinade for. I did not know if I missed what you do with the other portion, please let me know ? Thank you, Linda M DeHart
Hi Linda, Thanks for your comment! Sorry for the confusion, you should use *all* of the marinade in the pan instead of the 1/4 cup. I’ve corrected the recipe accordingly. Enjoy! 🙂
I thought you ALWAYS Discarded the left over marinade to avoid contaminating the foods ???
Hi David, Agreed, always discard leftover marinade, but we’re calling for using it all before baking, so there’d be no contamination anyways. Hope that helps! 🙂
This looks great! I know I’m supposed to let the chicken rest, but it’s so hard not to start eating right away! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Merrideth, lol so true! 🙂