Baked chicken thighs, flavored with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic, parsley and a touch of sesame oil… Mmmmmm. Slightly sweet, slightly sour and so delicious. They are to die for. My kids absolutely love these chicken thighs.
The best way to bake chicken thighs
By far, one of the best ways to make baked chicken thighs is to cook them quick, at high heat. They will lose too much liquid and dry out more than you’d like if you let them bake for too long. This is especially true in case of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I like baking skinless and boneless thighs at about 425F to 450F. Not surprisingly, this is the cooking temperature that The Kitchn recommends too.
Skinless chicken thighs don’t brown too well, even at high baking temperatures. This is true both when baking at 450F for 15-20 minutes and when baking at 375F for 45 minutes. The meat will look pale and unappetizing. The good news is that this is easily fixable. You need to use a broiler at the end of baking.
I found that the best results are achieved when broiling on high heat and as close to the heating element as possible. That’s right. You want to give the thighs a very quick, yet very hot heat blast. This will brown the tops very quickly, without drying out the meat. If you broil on high but move the baking dish lower, the browning will occur at a lower pace but this extended high heat treatment will dry out the meat. This is, understandably, not desirable.
Just make sure to keep a very close eye on the thighs as they will brown very quickly. Pull them out of the oven as soon as they reach the desired color.
Looking for more great baked chicken thigh recipes? Check these out:
Baked Maple Chicken Thighs (Boneless and Skinless)Print Pin Rate
- 12 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves (pressed)
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, oils, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, pressed garlic and one tablespoon of chopped parsley. Mix well and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Mix once again and transfer the chicken thighs to a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the the thighs reach about 150F - 155F internal temperature. Move the baking dish to the top rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for a few minutes, constantly watching, until slightly browned.
- Remove the thighs from the oven, baste with pan juices and let rest for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.
How To Cook Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs in the Oven – The Kitchn
Turned out great, nice subtle flavor!
Happy to hear it. Enjoy!
I found this recipe today and made it for the family. Everyone loved it, and I have picky eaters in the house. It came out tender, juicy, and delicious! My only change would be to not use salt… I rarely cook with salt and even though I reduced the amount to 1 tsp, it was still a bit salty for all of us.
Good but you need to increase your total time to 55+mins. 30 mins + 20 mins cook +Broiler +5 mins rest.
Yummy. Mix marinade before adding chicken. I used a healthy squirt of Sriracha instead of garlic, and a big squirt of parsley paste (I find it more economical than buying fresh and throwing away most). Tender and flavorful.
Hi, wondering if this is freezer friendly?
Chicken is very freezer-friendly in general so this one should be just fine.
Fabulous tasty recipe. I made with skinless thighs and used a drizzle of honey, served with steamed veg and roasties, delicious.
Glad to hear it. Enjoy!
This recipe is very good! Would recommend! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing it!
You are very welcome. Enjoy!
I made this recipe with thighs, and it was delicious, everyone loved it!! I marinated for 24 hours. Would it be tasty with drumsticks too? What would the cooking time be?
I haven’t tried, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. I would suggest cooking them at 375F for 45-50 minutes, as in this drumstick recipe. I would recommend trying it too, it’s delicious.
How would I go about making this with boneless, skinless chicken BREASTS?
Kristen, my favorite way to make boneless, skinless chicken breast in the oven is low and slow, as described in this recipe. Use the seasonings from here, add some butter, and bake as instructed in the linked recipe. You will like it. Good luck!
The recipe sounds mouth watering awesome I am ready to go to the store and buy some chicken just to make this I am so excited thank you chicken recipe
You are welcome. Enjoy!
I made this recipe tonight with the only change being that I marinated the chicken a few hours. This was fantastic! Tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly. Thanks!
Great recipe! Instead of Maple Syrup I used Coconut Flower Syrup from Thailand…..
Glazed Carrots, Steamed Broccoli, Basamati Rice and Salad….Mmmmm
very tasty… I would use half the salt listed in the recipe
Great recipe! I have adapted it to use with bone in chicken thighs. I prep and let marinate the night before. Very easy and convenient for a weekday dinner. We plate with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans or broccoli. We love to use the extra “pan juices” for our mashed potato gravy.
Its not my first time to make this recipe, it’s really good.
So fantastic! I used molasses instead of maple syrup because that’s what I had. Just great!
I followed the recipe as listed. I took chicken breast and cut them in thirds as I only had 8 thighs and cooked them at 400 for 25 minutes. The maple syrup, vinegar and garlic flavors all came through even though marinaded for only 35 minutes. Will definitely let them marinade longer next time. Delicious!
Loved this chicken! So easy and so tasty! A new firm favourite!
One of our family go to’s for a quick, easy, and delicious meal. Even my 2 year old loves it!
if I only want four chicken thighs, do I divide the other ingredients by three? You can tell I’m not a cook 😉
No worries. The rule of thumb is when you do, make sure to use a proportionately small baking dish/pan. If you put less liquid in a large pan it will evaporate very quickly. To answer your question, you can use the same9x13″ pan and the same amount of liquid/sauce, or reduce it proportionately to the meat, but also use a proportionately smaller pan.
I baked the whole 12 and had guests for dinner. It turned out very nicely and I am definitely going to make this again! Thank you!
You are very welcome, Leslie.
Your recipe looks amazing! Can you please tell me what the approximate weight is of the recommended 12 boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Thanks! 🙂
I think it’s about 3 oz each.
I just wanted to know if the chicken could just be baked in the oven cause my broiler is not working well and if I could just bake it in the oven what degrees and how long should I bake it?
Hm… I think you missed that part in the recipe. The chicken IS baked in the oven and broiling is the last step to brown the tops. If your boiler is not working, just continue baking until at least 165F… I like my chicken thighs cooked to about 180F – 185F. Good luck!
This recipe sounds so delicious! I’m living in Germany and have only been able to find bone-in skin-on chicken thighs here. How would you recommend to cook those for this recipe? (Sorry if this is a newbie question…cooking is not my forte, but my family needs to eat, so I do my best).
Sara, it’s very easy to remove the skin and debone chicken thighs, so you can try doing that for this recipe. If you want to keep them as is, cook them over high heat (450F) for 20 minutes or so (see my killer chicken thigh recipe), or try that recipe. Or cook them similar to my Mojo Chicken at 375F for about 60-75 minutes. Hope this helps.
P.S. I worked in Germany back in the day, lovely country and the food was amazing.
Yes, this helps so much – thank you!
Tschuss! (We’ve had a wonderful time in Germany so far!)
Hi. This is our favorite chicken recipe of all time. Oven is on the fritz, and thinking of trying in a crock pot. Any suggestions?
You can follow the cooking instructions from this slow cooker chicken recipe. You can brown skinless breasts over high heat just a little if you want, or skip it. I am sure they will taste great regardless.
Italian parsley or curly leaf parsley?!
I use Italian most of the time but both will work.
I tried this tonight. I love anything with chicken thighs. I didn’t get any of the maple flavor. I live in NH, so I used local pure maple syrup. After it came out of the oven, I put the juices into a saucepan with more syrup, a little sugar and a little chicken broth. I was hoping to serve over waffles. Wasn’t quite what I expected with the maple flavor. But the recipe is solid. I would call this a fabulous marinated thigh … even good for the grill!
I don’t have apple cider vinegar, any substitution you would recommend?
White wine vingear, malt vinegar or even some lime or lemon juice will work well.
Can I substitute or omit the sesame oil? I dont have any 🙁
Regular cooking oil, or any oil you like will do.
I’m cooking skinless bone in chicken thighs. What do you think the adjusted cooking time should be? Thank you
About 5-10 more minutes. I like chicken thighs cooked to 185F.
Made these for dinner last night, it is so quick, had everything in the cupboard. I marinated it in the fridge in the same container I cooked it in. covered it in tinfoil and put it in the oven. Voila. But this was the key, I reserved some sauce on the side and made a gravy to pour over the chicken on a bed of basmati rice, Only change to the recipe I used hot chilli sesame oil and added an extra tsp of it and skipped the pepper,
Thanks again, excellent.
Sounds delicious, KC. Thanks for the tips.
A new favourite for the whole family! Thanks for sharing it!
Hi there! I was curious if you think this recipe would work in the instant pot?
Jamie, I’ve never tried cooking boneless skinless chicken thighs in a pressure cooker but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
“This one is a keeper!”
Easy to make, and the flavor is big for so few ingredients.
I had six small thighs, and had the perfect amount of juice to baste , and spoon over after plating.
My husband says this is now in his top ten!
Made this recipe today and it was FABULOUS! I used bone in chicken thighs with the skin removed and baked at 375 for 60 minutes. The meat was so tender and very moist and flavorful. This will be one that I make over and over!
I tried this recipe for lunch today. Followed recipe 100%. Once chicken was fully baked, I pulled chicken out and put on a plate. I drained all juices into a small sauté pan, added two tablespoons of sour cream, one teaspoon of cornstarch, and half cup of chicken broth. Sautéd till thickened then served over chicken thighs. Served with brown rice with mixed vegetables, and sautéd spinach pith mushrooms and purple onions. You can add sauce over spinach too. Was to die for. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Dorothy, that sounds delicious. You took this recipe to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the great recipe! Can I cook the chicken thighs on a charcoal grill?
I don’t see why not although I never tried this recipe on a grill.
This recipe worked fine for me on a Weber kettle bbq – fifteen minutes in a dish with indirect heat, then five minutes on the rack over the coals.
Thanks for confirming, Will. I am excited to try grilling too.
I want to try this recipe but we are 2 older adults with smaller appetites. If I made this as written then divide into smaller portions and freeze for future use do you think that would work?
Cassie, welcome to my blog. Fresh always tastes better so, whenever possible, make fresh. That said, cooked chicken freezes quite well for up to three months. The key is to defrost slowly in a fridge, then heat in the oven at 325F – 350F, covered with foil, until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.
Victor I love your site! I am making the boneless skinless thighs in bulk for a church function and want to know if this can be done ahead and if so how would you reheat for best results?( sorry I posted this question on another recipe too but the boneless skinless thighs are what I am making!
Hi Shirley, no problem. Boneless, skinless thighs can dry out so you have to be careful. I recommend reheating in an oven at 325F until the internal temperature hits 160F. Carry-over heat will raise the temp to 165F. You want to do it in a pan covered with foil to preserve moisture.
This is outstanding! I can only imagine how much better it would be if I had marinated for longer. Thanks so much. Definitely keeping this recipe.
You are very welcome! Check out my other recipes, I am sure you will find more great ones.
how long would I bake if using bone in chicken thighs?
At 425F it would take about 35-45 minutes or so. You can also bake at 450F as per this bone-in chicken thigh recipe. My favorite.
Delicious and so easy to make! Very tasty & moist, I’ll be adding this recipe to my keeper file! Thank you for sharing it.
You are very welcome, Shelly. Please, check out my other recipes.
Very tender, flavourful and juicy. Next time you will thicken the juices up with a little cornstarch slurry.
Just wondering what you would best recommend as a side dish with these. I’m trying this one out this weekend. Thanks – this sounds perfect for my needs!
Pasta or mashed potatoes will be great. For a lighter meal, roasted vegetables or simply a salad. I like the cucumber and tomato salad with my chicken.
This is DELICIOUS!! The thighs are so tender and juicy. All of the flavors blend so well — nothing overtakes the dish. The maple, garlic, and vinegar are a perfect flavor trio! I can’t stop saying great things about this recipe, and printing off copies for my friends! Here’s the highest honor: I have a baked chicken recipe that USED to be my favorite because the crispy skin was so good — but now, this is my favorite chicken recipe because the chicken meat itself is so delicious!! And it’s pretty darn healthy to boot! One disclaimer, I didn’t add the sesame oil as it’s not something I routinely keep in my kitchen any more — it’s a little too strong for us. THANK YOU for sharing this recipe!!
Your comment made my day, LAS. Thank so much for your feedback. Hope you try and enjoy my other recipes.
Do you put the marinade in the dish with the thighs?
Yes, I bake the chicken in the marinade. The marinade keeps the meat moist and you can use what’s remaining after cooking as a serving sauce.
If using bone-in thighs, would you double the marinade?
It’s not necessary as it will be the same amount of meat.
Thanks for responding! I have it marinating in my fridge and am looking forward to trying it tomorrow. I wondered, since the pieces are bigger with the bone in and I’ll need two pans, if extra marinade would be necessary for the sauce.
If you are doing it in two pans, I would definitely double the sauce.
Very good and easy.
Not a fan of chicken thighs, but, this recipe was easy, tasty and moist.
I was just wondering what is the longest I can marinade the thighs ? My last few chicken receipes have been under seasoned and dry:(
I find that marinating overnight and even up to 24 hours yields the best results. I do that every time I can.
Do you put the marinade in the baking dish too?
Yes, I do. It keeps the thighs moist and use can use the pan juices to pour over the thighs when serving. It’s delicious.
Tasted really good. Great for my diet.
I made this for my boyfriend, who is studying to be a chef… and we couldn’t get enough of these chicken thighs! I served them with your roasted vegetables, and I am going to make this again tonight!!! THANK YOU!!!
Glad to hear that liked my baked chicken thigh recipe. Thank you for the compliment!
Will this recipe work with boneless skinless chicken breasts?
Yes, but I would recommend baking at 325F for about 45-60 minutes, or until 160F internal temp is reached, followed by a 5 min rest.
I normally bake skinless and boneless chicken thighs for 25 minutes at 400, which I did with this recipe and it was perfect. The thighs were perfectly seasoned and I loved the slightly sweet and tangy profile. Wouldn’t change a thing. 😉
Glad to hear it, Erica. If 400F works for you, then definitely stick with it. Everyone’s oven bakes differently as they say.