Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Bake: 25 min.
It doesn’t take a lot to get the most tender, juicy, crispy baked chicken thighs. Just a few ingredients and one pan, and you have your new favorite baked chicken recipe.

Updated: Feb. 09, 2024

An elegant baked chicken dinner does not need to take all day to prep. These easy crispy baked chicken thighs take mere minutes to prepare, then all the magic happens in the oven. These are great for an anytime dinner or for special company.

With a little olive and a few herbs and spices, these chicken thighs cook up crispy on the outside (Psst: There is a difference between crispy vs. crunchy!) and super juicy and tender on the inside. These are particularly great to serve when you don’t have a lot of time to spend hovering over the stove. Serve with your favorite easy side dishes, and you’re good to go. It’s really one of the easiest preparations and one of our best chicken thigh recipes.

Ingredients for Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

  • Chicken thighs: Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. Thigh meat is more flavorful than white meat, and you want the skin so it crisps up in the oven. The skin also helps keep the chicken from drying out. Is chicken skin unhealthy? Turns out: Not really!
  • Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil also helps crisp up the skin, and it adds flavor to the chicken. Check out our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best olive oil brands.
  • Salt: Salt is a necessity in most recipes, and which type of salt to use depends on the recipe. Our crispy baked chicken thighs call for sea salt, but you can also use kosher salt.
  • Herbs: You can use fresh or dried thyme in this recipe, but note the difference in amount for each. That’s because the measurements of fresh and dried herbs aren’t perfectly interchangeable. Here’s our handy guide on fresh to dried herb conversion.


Step 1: Preheat the oven and pat chicken

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Before adding anything to the chicken, be sure to pat it dry with paper towels.

Editor’s Tip: We recommend you never wash raw chicken before cooking it. Washing doesn’t do anything to protect you or the meat from bacteria; it just makes it wet. And excess moisture will inhibit a crispier chicken thigh.

Step 2: Prepare the chicken

Combine the garlic powder, thyme, salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with the olive oil. Rub the garlic powder mixture all over the chicken thighs.

Editor’s Tip: To make cleanup easier, line the baking pan with aluminum foil first. You could also place the chicken pieces on a rack set over a foil-lined baking pan. This will allow air to circulate around the chicken and cook more evenly. Be sure to spray the rack with a little cooking spray so the chicken doesn’t stick.

Step 3: Bake the chicken

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Bake the chicken, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of the thighs reads 170° to 175°. This will take 25 to 30 minutes. Test the temperature at the lower end of the cook time, and add more minutes as needed. Once it’s done cooking, allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes, then sprinkle with additional fresh thyme, if desired.

Recipe Variations

  • Use boneless chicken thighs: If you don’t like or don’t have bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you can use boneless, skinless chicken. Note that the cooking time will be reduced by about 10 minutes. Plus, without any skin, the chicken will dry out more easily, so keep an eye on it.
  • Change the seasonings: Want it spicier? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoky hot paprika. You can use fresh or dried rosemary instead of thyme, or even go with a homemade poultry seasoning blend.
  • Use an air fryer: You can easily make our crispy baked chicken thighs in an air fryer. Simply follow the directions for air-fryer chicken thighs, one of our favorite air-fryer chicken recipes.

How to Store Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Let the baked chicken thighs cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. To reheat them, pop into a 350º oven until heated through, about 10 minutes. If the skin isn’t crispy, increase the temperature at the end for another minute or two. Alternatively, preheat an air fryer to 350º, then cook the chicken, skin side up, in the basket for 5 to 10 minutes. A microwave works to reheat chicken thighs, as well, but the skin won’t come out crispy.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs Tips

How do you keep chicken skin crispy when baking?

To keep chicken skin crispy when baking, make sure to pat it dry with paper towels to extract as much moisture from the chicken before you season it. You do not need to brown the chicken first in a pan; simply place it to face skin side up on the baking sheet. Use a larger baking sheet so you don’t overcrowd the chicken, and place the thighs on a rack set atop the baking sheet. Cooking skin-on chicken at a high temperature (over 400º) is key, too.

What can you serve with crispy chicken thighs?

There’s a lot you can serve with crispy chicken thighs, so go with any of your chicken-friendly favorites. Orzo with Parmesan and basil, easy red roasted potatoes or chive smashed potatoes, and a fresh green vegetable or salad make great accompaniments to crispy chicken.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 6 servings.


  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken in 15x10x1-in. baking pan; drizzle with oil. Combine remaining ingredients; rub over chicken.
  2. Bake, uncovered, until a thermometer reads 170°-175°, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 chicken thigh: 269 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 81mg cholesterol, 389mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 23g protein.

Easy and economical, this meal is one your whole family will enjoy. To save even more time, add potatoes or other vegetables to the pan to roast along with the chicken. —Michelle Miller, Bend, Oregon