Boneless skinless chicken thighs are all the rage these days. I think it’s because they cook as quickly as chicken breasts but are juicier and more full of flavor.
My favorite way to cook chicken thighs is in a frying pan. They get nice and brown and crispy that way. However, cooking on the stovetop is not hands-free at all. Therefore, on busy weeknights, my preference is to bake the chicken thighs. And if you realized they are still in the freezer, don’t worry. Find out how to thaw chicken quickly.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
How To Bake Chicken Thighs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. You want that slightly higher heat so the thighs brown a little bit.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. I usually use olive oil in a mister like this one.
Then just season the chicken thighs lightly with salt and anything else you’d like to use. I use black pepper and garlic powder usually. Sometimes a little bit of paprika or chili powder is a nice touch.
How Long To Bake Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs?
They actually don’t take very long. If you keep them rolled up the way they are in the packaging, they’ll take about 25 minutes.
If you unroll them before baking them so that they’re almost like filets, then they’ll be ready in 18-20 minutes. However you do it, be sure to use an instant read thermometer to make sure that their internal temperature is at least 165°F.
Should You Marinate Chicken?
Some people think that a marinade will make meat and poultry more tender. This isn’t true. And, in this case it’s irrelevant since chicken thighs are already very tender and don’t require any kind of tenderizing.
A marinade will add some nice flavor to your chicken thighs, though! Look for something that doesn’t have very much acid and does have some good flavor ingredients. My favorite chicken thigh marinade is over here. It has balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil for some nice rich flavor.
Should You Brine Chicken Thighs?
No. A brine uses salt dissolved in water to force extra liquid into the meat. Since chicken thighs are already very tender and juicy, a brine isn’t needed nor even advisable. You’d be taking a lot of time and adding sodium for no reason.
There you have it, my favorite hands-free way to cook boneless skinless chicken thighs. I hope you enjoy this and that you discover how tasty and versatile chicken thighs are.
More Baked Chicken Recipes
- Baked Chicken Breasts
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- How to Bake Chicken Leg Quarters
- Shake and Bake Chicken
- Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs
Podcast Episode About Baked Chicken Thighs
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this recipe, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
- Olive oil
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 green onion, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer on the baking sheet. You can leave the thighs rolled up or unroll them.
- Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Drizzle or spray (using a mister like this) the thighs with more olive oil.
- Bake until cooked through to 165°F as read on an instant read thermometer, 18-20 minutes for unrolled chicken thighs, and 22-25 minutes for rolled up chicken thighs.
- Garnish with green onions, if desired, before serving.
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This post originally appeared in August 2020 and was revised and republished in August 2023.