57 Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipes That Are Affordable and Delicious
One-Pan Crispy Chicken Thighs With Potatoes and Chard
One-skillet dinners like this one make weeknight cooking a breeze—and since it comes together in 30 minutes, you spend less time cooking and more enjoying the meal. Starting the chicken in a cold skillet renders flavorful fat that crisps up the chicken and potatoes to golden perfection. Use a cast-iron skillet; its even heat distribution delivers delicious results.
Quick BBQ Chicken Thighs With Mashed Potatoes
We speed up this cookout classic by using boneless thighs and a hot grill pan. A homemade barbecue sauce comes together surprisingly quickly and is a great way to control sodium and added sugar.
Grilled Red Curry Chicken and Bell Peppers
We use a combination of peppers for different flavor notes—mini bell peppers for sweetness and Fresnos for moderate spice. Fresnos look like red jalapeños but are less spicy; use the latter if you want more heat.
Chicken Thighs With Harissa Vegetables
Home cooks often complain that their slow cooker meals always end up as soup, and they wonder where all the liquid comes from. Anything you put in the slow cooker will release liquid as it cooks, and there's no way for that liquid to evaporate. If you're not careful, you will indeed end up with soup. Sometimes, it's best to add no liquid to the cooker.
Here, we toss onion wedges, baby potatoes, and large carrot chunks with oil and harissa (look for it with the hot sauces or in the global foods section). We then arrange seared chicken thighs on top and cook the mixture with no liquid added. Over the long cooking period, the chicken releases juices that baste the veggies underneath and create just enough sauce.
Skillet Apple Chicken Thighs
When you're craving fall comforts, cook up this quick and easy weeknight dinner. This dish is perfect for easing into fall and comes together in one pan to boot.
Roast Chicken With Lentils and Yogurt
Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs take a while to cook through. Starting on the stove top and moving to the oven is the most foolproof way to get perfectly crisp skin and meat that’s cooked all the way through.
This dish is filling and hearty, and with the chicken, lentils, veggies, and yogurt it truly is a complete meal, but if you’d like to add some green, a little arugula on top would be tasty.
Crispy Chicken Thighs With Schmaltzy Vinaigrette
You'll get all the deliciousness of a roast chicken in a fraction of the time when you opt for bone-in thighs as opposed to a whole bird. Schmaltz, a Yiddish word for chicken fat, is the base for a bright pan sauce that's drizzled over the vegetables and crispy chicken thighs. A cast-iron skillet will maintain an even heat so the hot drippings don't smoke or scorch. Plan out your moves, like steps in a dance, so you can cook efficiently without losing focus. Prep vegetables while the oven preheats, sear chicken while the potatoes roast, and make the sauce just as the chicken finishes baking.
Chicken Thighs With Peach Salad
Sweet peaches and tart green tomatoes gain depth from a bit of char on the grill. Look for peaches that are still slightly firm so they hold up to the heat.
Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs
Curry-Roasted Chicken Thighs
Be sure to rub the paste under the skin to keep it from sticking or burning.
A Spanish dish from the Valencia region, paella is named for the cooking vessel itself: a round, shallow pan made of carbon steel that heats quickly and evenly. A good paella pan helps develop the socarrat, or crispy layer of rice crust on the bottom that's the most prized part of the dish. A large skillet will work as well if you don't have a paella pan. Look for short-grain Bomba or Valencia rice at specialty markets. Be aware that risotto rice like Arborio won't work here, since paella rice isn't meant to be creamy.
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs With Potatoes
An herb-packed chimichurri sacue makes this meat-and-potatoes main vibrant and exciting. Double the mixture and spoon it over grilled steak or fish on another night. For less heat in both the chimichurri and the potatoes, remove the seeds from the Fresno chile.
Chicken Thighs With Ginger-Sesame Glaze
Make-ahead tip: Mix up the glaze first thing in the morning, and allow the chicken thighs to marinate all day long in the refrigerator to soak up even more flavor. After that, getting dinner on the table is as simple as heating up the grill pan.
Apricot-Sage Chicken With Carrots
Dinner doesn't get much easier than this eight-ingredient, one-pan dish. The secret is jarred apricot preserves; much more than a spread for toast, it balances the earthy sage and pungent mustard in the pan sauce and gives everything a glossy coat.
Poached Chicken Thighs with Ginger-Coconut Quinoa
We cook the quinoa twice—once to absorb the liquid, and again to make it wonderfully creamy. Top that with chipotle and soy glazed chicken thighs for an irresistible meal.
Spiced Grilled Chicken Thighs With Creamy Chile-Herb Sauce
We love the contrast of the bright, herbaceous sauce with the smoky grilled chicken thighs. Serve the chicken with Grilled Sweet Potato and Bell Pepper Toss. You can spoon any remaining sauce over grilled steak or roasted potatoes, or stir into plain Greek yogurt.
Glazed Chicken Thighs
Fish sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger and minced garlic create the sticky-sweet glaze for these tasty chicken thighs.
Grilled Chicken Thighs With Ginger Sauce
Flavorful chicken thighs might just be our favorite cut. Here we dress them up with a simple ginger-scallion sauce.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spinach-and-Pea Potato Salad
Time: 40 minutes
Time-Saver: A quick sear and a sprinkle of panko cuts prep and cook time in half compared to breading and baking.
Serve with Chili-Lime Corn
Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs With Cremini Mushrooms
A wide skillet and less liquid allow for a relatively short, intense braise--less than 20 minutes, compared to many hour-long versions.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with White Beans
This method for cooking chicken—often referred to as “chicken under a brick”—creates a crispy skin coupled with a succulent interior.
Braised Chicken Thighs With Wild Rice Pilaf
Browning the meat in the pan first adds all that roasted chicken flavor to the pilaf. The Brussels sprouts and chicken thighs slowly braise as the rice cooks—a protein, vegetable side, and starch all in one pan. Sweet golden raisins and cider vinegar balance out the other hearty, earthy flavors in the dish.
Sumac Chicken with Caulifower and Carrots
This sheet-pan dinner made chicken a winner in January 2017, with a ground sumac and brown sugar rub. You can also use sumac on roasted vegetables, stir it into vinaigrette, or try it in our Maple-Sumac Roasted Walnuts recipe.
Chicken Thighs With Peperonata and Roasted Broccoli
We’re amazed by what this recipe achieves in just 20 minutes: crispy bone-in chicken thighs; a sweet, tangy, and savory pepper topper; and roasted broccoli. Part of the speed comes from being efficient with your pans—the pepper mixture cooks in the same pan used to crisp the chicken skin (adding fantastic flavor), and the broccoli and chicken roast together on a single baking sheet. Anchovy paste lends depth without tasting fishy. Dress up the broccoli even more with a squeeze of lemon, grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
Lemon Chicken With Artichokes and Kale
This dish gets a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, which becomes satisfyingly rich when stirred into the kale, artichoke hearts, and baked chicken. We found that smaller chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each) will cook more easily in the time frame. Trim larger breasts and use the remaining chicken for tomorrow’s soup or stir-fry. Avoid thin cutlets here; the thickness of the breasts will keep them juicy as they roast.
Grilled Chicken Thighs With Peach-Lime Salsa
We love the combination of sweet peaches and fiery peppers; seed the jalapeño if you prefer a dish with hints of pepper flavor, minus the burn.
Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Lasagna
Chicken thighs poach until tender in stock, which becomes the base for a creamy béchamel sauce. No-boil noodles absorb more liquid during baking for a sturdy slice after freezing and reheating.
Clinched and Planked Chicken Thighs
You can improvise on the board dressing, adding grated garlic or shallots (use a Microplane grater), finely chopped chiles, chopped green onions, or chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs
The sweet-and-sour maple-mustard glaze is a great topping that brings some interest to plain grilled chicken thighs. Speed up prep by marinating only 30 minutes. Serve with cabbage-carrot slaw.
Cashew Chicken Wheat Berry Salad With Peas
The thigh meat lends an especially moist, rich flavor, but you can use any leftover chicken.
Asian-Glazed Chicken Thighs
Chicken is one of the most versatile meal options for many home chefs, whether it be a weeknight meal, entertaining, or grilling all summer long. And chicken thighs are tender and juicy. Simple to prepare, these recipes show how to bring new life and flavor to your table with chicken that everyone will love.
First up, the Asian-inspired tasty glaze gives these chicken thighs a mahogany sheen. Rich thigh meat is higher in fat than lean white meat, so the thighs stay moist even when they're roasted without skin. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions, if desired.
Pineapple Chicken Kebabs With Cilantro-Lime Slaw
A sweet-tangy-spicy glaze of Asian pantry staples caramelizes beautifully under the broiler. To complete the meal, serve with jasmine rice tossed with sliced green onions and lime rind strips.
Chicken Thighs With Cilantro Sauce
As a variation to sautéing, you could grill the chicken thighs—a little charring would complement the sauce. No mortar and pestle? Process the paste base in a mini chopper.
Adobo is a revered Filipino dish that calls for chicken (or pork) stewed in a soy and vinegar broth, which is then reduced to a glaze and served with rice. The marinade cooks down to an intensely flavored sauce that makes this dish irresistible. Many recipes call for sugar in the braising liquid, but we've omitted it to avoid added sugar.
Quick Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Garlic Naan
Curries are often served over rice, but this version is served like a stew with a side of naan bread for a hearty complete meal.
Tandoori Chicken Thighs
Tandoori Chicken Thighs is a dish that pairs well with vegetables. Slice half an onion into wedges, and halve and seed six mini sweet peppers. Brush the veggies with a bit of oil, grill them, and serve along with naan bread to round out the meal.
Apricot-Basil Chicken With Freekeh
Freekeh is an ancient variety of wheat that is harvested while green and then roasted for a fantastically nutty, smoky flavor. Package directions call for simmering on low for up to 25 minutes, but here it's cooked a little more quickly by raising the temperature to medium. Substitute couscous, quinoa, or rice if you can't find freekeh. If you can find fresh apricots, swap them in for dried, increasing the amount to 1 cup.
Balsamic Chicken with Olives and Walnuts
We dressed the bird boldly in this dish with briny olives and tangy-sweet vinegar.
Chicken With Mustard-White Wine Sauce and Spring Vegetables
The deep, meaty flavor of chicken thighs stands up to its bold pairings, like mustard-white wine sauce and pungent herbs such as thyme in this recipe. This dish pairs early spring produce with cold-weather comfort. Roasted chicken is perfect for company and makes a easy dish seem very elegant. The sauce not only pairs well with protein, it’s rich and deep flavor transforms the red potatoes and carrots. Don’t be worried about the total cooking time for a weeknight meal - most of the work is done in the oven. Even if you are only cooking for one or two, roasted chicken is even better the next day for leftovers.
Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish
A perfect option for summertime menus, this recipe takes basic grilled chicken thighs to the next level with a sweet relish. The pineapple, corn, and bell peppers are perfect served atop the savory chicken.
Buffalo Chicken Thighs
This is a classic, can't-go-wrong chicken thighs recipe that everyone will love. Play up the buffalo theme with a side of celery sticks and light ranch dressing.
Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs
If you would rather not use tequila, you can substitute 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Start the grilling over direct heat to get good grill marks and charred bits, and then move to indirect heat to gently finish the cooking.
Honey-Wine Braised Chicken Thighs With Mustard Greens
Bringing Far East flavor to ordinary chicken, this is a great dish to add some variety to your weeknight meal routine. Serve with rice or lo mein noodles.
Chicken and Basil Rice Bowl With Cashews
Fresh basil perfumes the sauce in the stir-fry and makes a pretty garnish. You can substitute chopped unsalted peanuts for the cashews as well.
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
The flavor in this recipe is unparalleled with just the right amount of heat and sweet. Serve with rice and grilled vegetables to cool the plate down.
Ginger-Soy Chicken Thighs With Scallion Rice
If you can't find ginger preserves for these sweet and salty chicken thighs, you can substitute 1/2 cup apricot preserves plus 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger.
Fig-Glazed Chicken Panini With Brie
For sandwiches with great crunch, look for a rustic whole-grain bread boule. If you have trouble cutting 1-ounce slices across the width of the boule, cut it in half first.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Butter-Chive Pasta
You'll be amazed how crisp these schnitzel-inspired cutlets get with only 6 minutes of cooking.
Moroccan Chicken Thighs
Inspired by North African tagines, this Moroccan chicken recipe uses skinless, boneless chicken thighs and is ready in a little over an hour. Serve the chicken over couscous, and garnish with a cilantro sprig for color.
Jamaican-Spiced Chicken Thighs
Complete the menu with mashed sweet potatoes and a mixed green salad. For more heat, leave the seeds in the jalapeño.
Chicken Tikka Masala
This big-batch recipe is an unusual but brilliant choice for freezing. Moist chicken thighs hold up well, especially in the spicy tomato sauce.
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
Because you layer this Tex-Mex dish, lasagna-style, instead of rolling each enchilada individually, you save time in the kitchen, and the results are ultimately healthier because the tortillas don't have to be fried or softened in oil before you assemble the casserole.
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore
Serve this saucy dish over polenta or pasta. Transform leftovers into soup: Shred the chicken, and place in a pot with sauce. Add unsalted chicken stock, diced zucchini, and diced carrots; simmer until veggies are tender.
Chicken Thighs With Olives and Tomato Sauce
Add capers along with the olives, parsley, and seasoning for a more briny flavor, if you like. The parsley goes in last to keep its flavor and color intense.
Braised Chicken Thighs With Plums
When they are in season, plums are an excellent addition to braised chicken. Not only do they add sweetness and texture, but they also add a serving of fruit to the meal.
Fiery Thai Noodle Bowl With Crispy Chicken Thighs
Using the cilantro stems for the base of the sauce (instead of throwing them in the trash) is a flavorful way to stretch a buck or two. If you can't find skin-on boneless chicken thighs, purchase bone-in and bone them yourself or have the butcher do so.
Air-Fried Hot Chicken Thighs
If you’ve been fighting the temptation of fried chicken for the sake of your healthy diet, you can finally indulge guilt free. This spicy, crispy chicken emerges from the air fryer with all the flavor and crunch you’ve been craving. For the best flavor, be sure to let the chicken marinate as instructed—if you have the time, go the full 12 hours. The results are worth it.
Bonus: You can make those fries you see in the air fryer too! Get the recipe here.