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.
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.
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.
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.
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
What can I serve with oven baked chicken thighs?
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 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.
Baked Chicken Thighs
Perfect pantry juicy baked chicken thighs
- 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
Baked Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 139
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3.9g24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.