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Wishing tonight’s dinner was easy, inexpensive, and pretty difficult to mess up? Bonus points if it’s healthy? Time to make Chicken Thighs in the Oven!

Baked chicken thighs with onions and Italian seasoning

While baked boneless skinless chicken breast might occupy the default setting in your grocery shopping approach, it is well worth picking up a pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs every now and then instead.

Old fashioned chicken thighs in the oven are equally as make-ahead friendly as they are last-minute healthy dinner material. (Though for the fastest method for preparing chicken, try Pan Fried Chicken Breast.)

  • I recommend 60 minutes of marinade time, but you can reduce it to 30 minutes if you need a shortcut.
  • On the opposite side of the timeline, you can completely prep them the night before and pop them into the oven when it’s time for dinner.

Today, I’m giving you my best 5-star, juicy chicken thighs in the oven recipe with dried Italian herbs (feel free to swap for fresh herbs if you have them), garlic, and lemon.

This is one tasty (and healthy) chicken thighs in the oven recipe you can serve with pride.

5 star oven baked chicken thighs with vegetables on a plate

Benefits of Chicken Thighs

  • Dark chicken thigh meat is juicier and far less prone to drying out than white breast meat.
  • While many think white meat is healthier, this is hardly the case. Chicken thighs are packed with nutrition. Compared to white meat, dark meat has more iron, zinc, vitamin B-12, thiamine, and other nutrients too. Bring on the chicken thigh recipes!
  • Yes, dark meat has more fat than white, but it’s still a very lean, healthy protein.
  • Bone-in chicken has more flavor and is juicier than boneless skinless chicken thighs because the bone flavors the meat from the inside and helps retain moisture (it’s why you can skip brining when making Baked Bone-In Chicken Breast, but it’s necessary for juicy boneless Grilled Chicken Breast or Air Fryer Chicken Breast).
  • It’s a bargain! Per pound, dark meat is less expensive than white meat, and bone-in chicken is less expensive than boneless.
A plate with an oven baked chicken thigh in sauce with vegetables and onions

5 Star Review

“Followed to a tee and it was absolutely delicious!!! Served some mashed sweet potatoes on the side!! Love your recipes!!”

— Kara —

How to Make the BEST Chicken Thighs in the Oven

I find it best to bake chicken thigh recipes like this one at a high temperature—425 degrees F.

Since chicken thighs are lean, they don’t benefit from low, slow cooking the way tougher, more marbled cuts like Slow Cooker Pulled Pork do.

A shorter cook time with high heat is the move for chicken thighs in the oven.


If needed, you can adjust the oven temperature down to as low as 400 degrees F to accommodate other dishes—say you are cooking the chicken thighs in the oven at the same time as a pan of Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Butternut Squash. Simply extend the cooking time by a few minutes (or go for 415 degrees F—right in between).

Or, you can make a sheet pan Rosemary Chicken Thighs, which include veggies on the same pan.

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. Flavorful and succulent, chicken thighs are a fantastic, healthy ingredient (try them in Chicken Cacciatore). I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which are healthy, affordable, and nearly impossible to mess up.

Substitution Tip

This recipe also works well for boneless chicken thighs in the oven.

Note that boneless skinless thighs in the oven will cook faster than bone-in chicken thighs (boneless, skinless chicken thighs take about 20 minutes to cook at 425 degrees F), so you’ll want to check them very early and often.

If using boneless thighs, be sure to marinade them since the meat doesn’t have the skin or bone to help insulate and flavor it. I recommend this Chicken Thigh Marinade.

  • Italian Marinade. A mixture of olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning (which contains oregano, basil, marjoram, and more), dried rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon. It imparts light and bright Italian flavor onto the chicken and helps make it extra juicy. This bright Chicken Marinade is another marinade you can use for chicken in the oven.
  • Onion. My special trick for this recipe is to thinly slice an onion and scatter it around the chicken thighs as they bake in the oven. Once roasted, the onions become deliciously caramelized and sweet.
  • Vinegar. A small but impactful addition that makes the flavor of the onions pop. Either sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar will work here.
  • Fresh Herbs. Fresh parsley, tarragon, or thyme is the perfect finishing touch.

Substitution Tip!

Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can bake chicken thighs with just about any herbs and seasonings. Keep scrolling for my favorite recipe variations below!

The Directions

Chicken thighs in a plastic bag with a simple marinade
  1. Marinate chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
sliced onions in a baking dish
  1. Place the onions in a dish and season them.


A shallow 9×13 baking dish is best for baking chicken thighs so you can save all of the yummy pan drippings for serving. A regular rimmed baking sheet works too.

Raw chicken and onions in a baking dish for oven baked chicken thighs
  1. Nestle the chicken thighs into the onions skin side up.
A baking dish with bone in baked chicken thighs with skin on
  1. Bake chicken thighs in the oven at 425 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes, tossing the onions partway through. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover, and let rest. Continue baking the onions.
  2. If desired, for extra crispy chicken thighs in the oven return the chicken to the pan and broil on the upper third rack for several minutes (don’t walk away!) until crisp. ENJOY!


Some chicken thighs in the oven recipes require covering with aluminum foil. This is not one of them. When baking chicken thighs with the skin on, you’re trying to achieve crispy chicken thighs in the oven. Therefore, leaving them uncovered ensures a crispy skin that turns perfectly golden. YUM!

Baked chicken thigh recipe on a plate topped with onions

How to Tell Your Chicken Thighs are Done

Overcooking is the enemy of juicy, tender chicken thighs in the oven.

The best (and I’d say only true) way to tell if your chicken is cooked properly is to use an instant-read meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part.

Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees F, but its temperature will rise after it is removed from the heat. I remove my chicken 5 to 10 degrees early (155 to 160 degrees F) and let it rest.

  • Resting allows the meat to come to a safe temperature.
  • Resting is necessary so that the juices have time to reincorporate into the chicken.

More Ways to Season Chicken Thighs in the Oven

Below you’ll find my go-to Italian chicken thighs in the oven recipe variation, but this recipe is versatile. Feel free to vary the seasonings according to your craving.

  • BBQ Chicken Thighs in the Oven. Season the thighs with your favorite BBQ spice blend (such as smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic and onion powder). Bake per the time and temperature suggested in the recipe (with or without the onions). Serve with Barbecue Sauce.
  • Old Fashioned Chicken Thighs in the Oven. Keep the taste pure and simple with salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve with Easy Drop Biscuits and your favorite gravy.
  • Southern Chicken Thighs in the Oven. Season the chicken with a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, seasoned salt, a little cayenne, and dried rosemary.
  • Curry Chicken Thighs in the Oven. Season the thighs with curry powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and salt. (This variation would be scrumptious with Turmeric Rice.)

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place chicken thighs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze chicken thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 12 hours in advance, dry and marinate the chicken thighs as directed in Step 1. Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.

Leftover Ideas

De-bone and dice your chicken thighs, then toss them into your favorite pasta (this Pesto Pasta or Mushroom Pasta would be tasty) or reheat on the bone with Homemade Fried Rice for a tasty baked chicken thighs with rice dish. Leftovers also make a fantastic addition to a salad.

juicy old fashioned baked chicken thighs with onions

What to Serve with Chicken Thighs in the Oven

This versatile protein pairs well with just about any side dish!

More Side Dish Ideas

  • Baking Dish. This baking dish is ideal for making chicken thighs in the oven.
  • Measuring Spoons. These double-sided magnetic spoons are incredibly easy to store.
  • Citrus Juicer. My go-to tool for juicing lemons and limes.

I hope this chicken thighs in the oven recipe is just the helping hand (er, thigh) for many of your weeknight chicken recipes to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

If My Chicken Is Pink, Does That Mean It’s Not Done?

Not necessarily. Chicken meat, especially dark meat, can look pink even when it is cooked through. Again, the absolute best, safest way to know if your chicken is cooked to temperature is to use an instant-read thermometer.

HELP! My Chicken is Dry.

If your chicken thighs are dry, it is because they are overcooked. While you can’t go back, you can cover your mistake by serving chicken thighs in the oven in sauce. Try the honey Dijon mustard sauce from my Pecan Crusted Chicken or go all out with Mushroom Gravy.

How Would I Adapt This Chicken Thighs in the Oven Recipe for Chicken Breasts?

If you prefer lean white meat chicken breasts over chicken thighs in the oven, here is my recipe for the BEST Baked Split Chicken Breast. You can use the marinade from this recipe if you like.

Why Does Baked Chicken Get Tough?

Chicken thighs in the oven recipes get tough when either baked too long or when they’re not properly marinaded before cooking. To avoid tough chicken thighs, make sure to pull them when they reach the right internal temperature (see the box above for tips) and make sure to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or longer). Marinading chicken helps break down the muscle fibers, so the chicken is tender once baked.

Can I Make This Recipe in the Air Fryer?

Sure! See my Air Fryer Chicken Thighs for tips (the onions you can roast separately or saute on the stove if you like).

Chicken Thighs in the Oven

4.56 from 54 votes
How to make the best baked chicken thighs in the oven. Juicy meat with crispy skin, bone-in chicken thighs are simple and scrumptious!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4 people


  • 2 1/4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs about 4
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
  • 2 small or 1 extra large onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Chopped fresh parsley or tarragon or thyme, plus additional for serving


  • Pat the chicken dry and place in a large bowl or large ziptop bag. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, Italian seasoning, rosemary, lemon zest and juice (zest the lemon right over the bag or bowl), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss the chicken (or seal the bag and turn to coat). Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F. Thinly slice the onions and place in a 9×13 or similarly sized roasting pan or casserole dish.
  • Drizzle the onions with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Clear some spaces in the onions for the chicken, then nestle it in.
  • Bake the chicken thighs for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and toss the onions to promote even cooking (I use a fork to stir them around a bit). Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 20 additional minutes (that’s 25 to 35 minutes total), until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155 to 160°F (chicken is considered cooked at 165°F, but its temperature will continue to rise as it rests). If you’d like to brown the chicken skin further, at the end of the cooking time, place the pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes (watch closely!).
  • Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Stir the onions in the pan, spread them into an even layer, then return them to the oven to roast further while the chicken rests. The onions will become jammy and a few might look a little crispy.
  • Remove the onions from the oven, then stir the vinegar into them. If desired, return the chicken to the pan and place under the broiler for crispy skin.
  • Serve the chicken thighs warm, with onions spooned over the top. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken thighs in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 605kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 36gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 213mgPotassium: 588mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 196IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Sounds wonderful! Would this work with boneless skinless chicken breast. How would you adapt? I love thighs but Breasts have less fat

    1. Hi Suzie! Here is my recipe for baked chicken breast: Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Delicious and so fast and easy. I followed the recipe and didn’t change a thing. I put the chicken in the marinade in the refrigerator in the morning and then we had them for dinner with a salad. Yum, really great flavors. This one is a keeper.5 stars

  3. This is absolutely delicious! I used legs and tights and my husband and kid loved it too. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  4. Followed to a tee and it was absolutely delicious!!! Served some mashed sweet potatoes on the side!! Love your recipes!!5 stars

  5. This is one of my family’s favorite recipes! It’s super easy to pull together after working all day and when I bring leftovers in for lunch the next day, when my colleagues get a whiff of my lunch, they all drift into my office to check out what I’m eating (I’ve shared the recipe with them:). I always thought I didn’t like chicken thighs but, boy, was I wrong!!! Thank you, Erin, for such a great recipe!5 stars

  6. Made this tonight and it was delicious! And super simple! I forgot to add the vinegar to the onions and didn’t add any fresh herbs to the cooked chicken, but can’t imagine it could be any better. Definitely a keeper.5 stars

  7. This recipe is DELICIOUS! Oh the smells! This is a very easy recipe and since I did not marinade the chicken overlong, was pretty fast. I will definitely make this again!5 stars

  8. My whole family loves this recipe, 4 year old included. This is the second time I’m making it and will continue to keep it in the dinner rotation. I make this with green beans and the well plated roasted sweet potatoes recipe. So good! Bonus: It’s also great leftover.5 stars

  9. I will definitely make again. I didn’t have fresh herbs and I kept the juice from the marinade because I wanted it served as a sauce for the sides and left it in a little longer maybe 45-50minutes .I loved it and it really is a quick easy recipe don’t hesitate to do this. It beats all the other easy bake thigh recipes I have tried in the past. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    1. Hi Pat! This is just my preferred method on making the chicken come out super tasty and really let’s the marinade work to its fullest. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Janis! I’m confused because I see it on my end. It is in Step 7 of the instructions in the recipe card. Could you please check again? Thank you!

      1. I am so sorry Erin. Just after I commented I saw the instructions or understood it. thank you so much for getting back to me. The thighs were brilliant thank you5 stars

  10. This was delish and super easy! Used fresh rosemary and cheated with boneless, skinless thighs (using the lower end of suggested cooking times). Thanks for the add to the easy weeknight rotation!5 stars

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you, F. I will certainly keep paying close attention to how the pages load, as I never want anything to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!