30 Chicken Thigh Recipes to Love

Lemony Chicken Thighs with Burst Tomatoes and Swiss chard Pesto
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Chicken thighs offer flavorful, juicy meat, and in this roundup, we'll show you how to make the most of them with our favorite chicken thigh recipes. Try using them in a (quick!) Lazy Chicken-and Sausage Cassoulet, turning them into Dinner Hummus with Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower for the ultimate snack dinner, or making them the star of Super-Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches. The highly versatile cut can also be transformed into luscious Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragu. Read on for those and more of our best chicken thigh recipes.

01 of 30

Indonesian Coconut Rice with Chicken and Zucchini


Luscious is the word for this Indonesian rice dish. Coconut milk spiced with cumin and coriander cooks into the rice and sauces the whole dish.

02 of 30

Golden Chicken Thighs with Charred-Lemon Salsa Verde

Golden Chicken Thighs with Charred-Lemon Salsa Verde

The sauce for this dish is an excellent accompaniment to these crisp-skinned chicken thighs, but it's also great with roasted fish and vegetables.

03 of 30

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs

Spice-rubbed chicken thighs
© Petrina Tinslay

"I grew up on chicken thighs," says Top Chef all-star Tre Wilcox. "These days I season them with crushed red pepper and star anise and braise them in a sauce with tomatoes and red wine."

04 of 30

Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers

Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers
© Susan Spungen

Sauvignon Blanc adds zip to the lemon-and-caper-infused liquid here, which pairs perfectly with chicken.

05 of 30

Chicken Katsu

Chicken Katsu

For chef Roy Choi, these crispy egg-and-panko-coated chicken cutlets, generally made with pork in Japan, represent something major. "People think frying chicken cutlets is simple, but it's like cooking pasta," says Choi. "It's a dish that seems remedial, but when you get it right, it changes the whole ball game. I call it the cult of katsu."

06 of 30

Stir-Fried Chicken and Green Pepper with Cumin and Cilantro

Stir-Fried Chicken and Green Pepper with Cumin and Cilantro
Justin Walker

The Flavor Matrix author James Briscione encourages cooks to look beyond traditional food and wine pairings. He goes back to the very basics: the aromatic compounds that link ingredients (often in unexpected ways). Here he pairs the floral, grassy flavors of this stir-fry with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, also prized for its "greenness." The wine's long finish is also well suited to the chile heat in the dish.

07 of 30

Salt-and-Pepper Chicken Thighs with Herby Tomato Salad

Salt and Pepper Chicken Thighs with Herby Tomato
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Accompanied by an heirloom tomato salad, these super-crispy thighs, inspired by Jess Hereth, Operations Director and Wine Director at Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon, are gorgeous paired with orange wines. "Tomatoes are notoriously frustrating with wine, but the balance of acidity, tannin, and tropical flavors in orange wines seems to pair nicely," Hereth says.

08 of 30

Lazy Chicken-and-Sausage Cassoulet

Lazy Cassoulet Recipe
Alison Miksch

Cookbook author Molly Stevens' quick take on cassoulet includes boneless, skinless chicken thighs, smoked sausage, and plenty of white beans.

09 of 30

Slow-Cooker Burnt Honey Barbecue Chicken

Slow Cooker Burnt Honey Barbecue Chicken
Jen Causey

When it's so blazing hot outside that you can't bear the thought of firing up the grill, this no-fuss slow-cooker barbecue chicken recipe will come to the rescue. A quick sear in a cast-iron skillet awakens the flavors of the herbs and spices and gives the chicken a nice crust that makes the finished barbecue taste even better.

10 of 30

Braised Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Green Olives

Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Apricots Recipe
Jennifer Causey

"A stovetop chicken braise is in regular rotation on my weeknight dinner table for several good reasons: it's relatively quick, it's nearly foolproof, it's endlessly adaptable, and who doesn't love tender, flavor-drenched chicken thighs bathed in a savory sauce?" Molly Stevens says.

11 of 30

Crispy Chicken Thighs over Melted Zucchini

Crispy Chicken Thighs over Melted Zucchini
Victor Protasio

This one-pan chicken thigh recipe from cookbook author Ann Taylor Pittman is simple and quick, coming together in under an hour.

12 of 30

Hearty Chicken Stew with Pancetta Gremolata

Chicken Pot Roast Stew Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Full of tender chicken and barely sweet parsnips, this stew is remarkably hearty and yet light at the same time.

13 of 30

Dinner Hummus with Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower

Dinner Hummus with Chicken and Cauliflower Recipe
Victor Protasio

Cookbook author Leah Koenig's dinner hummus features homemade hummus, chicken and cauliflower, dried currants, and more—don't forget to have pita on hand for serving.

14 of 30

Shawarma-Style Chicken and Mushroom Kebabs

Shawarma Style Chicken and Mushroom Kebabs Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling Heather Chadduck

Starting over hot coals and finishing over low heat mimics the crispy-juicy results of shawarma, kebab, and al pastor shops around the world. After marinating, some of the chicken pieces may break apart; simply tuck those loose pieces in the center of the skewered stack. Use three skewers to stack and stabilize the shawarma so it's easy to maneuver on the grill.

15 of 30

Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragù

Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragu
Greg DuPree

This creamy chicken ragù is easy to make and boasts remarkable depth thanks to the flavors of an Italian-style sofrito made with onions, carrots, celery, and parsley.

16 of 30

Smoky Paprika Chicken and Crispy Chickpeas Over Escarole Salad

Salad with Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

The contrast between cool, lemony greens, warm spice-rubbed chicken, and crispy oven-baked chickpeas makes this main-course salad especially satisfying. Any sturdy salad green would be delicious here, from crunchy romaine to torn spinach leaves and thinly sliced cabbage.

17 of 30

Rice Noodle Salad Bowls with Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Rice Noodle Salad Bowls with Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
Greg DuPree

To make Vietnamese rice-noodle salad bowls, simply layer the ingredients in a bowl and let diners dress and mix up their own at the table.

18 of 30

Peruvian Chicken Skewers (Anticuchos de Pollo)

Peruvian Chicken Skewers
Greg DuPree

These Peruvian skewers are coated in a thick chile marinade that withstands the heat of the grill and clings to the chicken, yielding caramelized, charred bits.

19 of 30

Soupy Rice with Chicken and Vegetables

Soupy Rice with Chicken and Vegetables
Johnny Miller

Asopao de pollo, a Puerto Rican chicken-and-rice stew, is one of New York chef JJ Johnson's childhood favorites, what he calls soupy rice with chicken and vegetables. Just like his grandmother did, Johnson stirs briny, pimiento-stuffed olives into the finished dish.

20 of 30

Stewed Chicken Legs and Thighs with Fresh Herbs and Olives

Stewed Chicken Legs and Thighs with Fresh Herbs and Olives
Greg Dupree

Break down this recipe into make-ahead steps to yield an easy weeknight meal. Make the marinade on Sunday, and then add the chicken before you head to work on Monday morning. The wine and anchovies in this recipe form a mellow sauce; make sure you have plenty of bread on hand to sop up all the juices.

21 of 30

Chicken Freekeh Skillet with Warm Feta-Lemon Relish

Lemon Chicken Freekah Skillet Recipe
Alison Miksch

"Another quick-cooking staple in my kitchen is boneless, skinless chicken thighs," Ann Taylor Pittman writes. "They're always meaty and juicy and nearly impossible to overcook. I sear them first, then nestle them into the half-cooked freekeh to finish cooking under a layer of lemon slices to cut through their richness. My favorite part of this dish, though, is the relish. It's garlicky, a little spicy, herby, and full of surprises."

22 of 30

Brothy Braised Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Pernod

Brothy Braised Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Pernod
Antonis Achilleos

"Here, bone-in chicken thighs are browned then braised with fennel, leeks, and bit of Pernod, which intensify the snappy licorice-ness of the fennel," cookbook author Colu Henry writes. "After braising the chicken thighs, the whole dish is finished with a showering of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon for brightness. A hunk of good, crusty bread for sopping is all you need to round out this meal."

23 of 30

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spice-Roasted Radishes

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spice-Roasted Radishes
Victor Protasio

A stellar spice blend is one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavors of a dish, taking a simple seared pork chop or roasted chicken thigh (like this recipe here) to the next level.

24 of 30

Super-Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Super Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches Recipe
Eric Wolfinger

Seasoning boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a classic, Southern fried chicken spice blend and dill pickle juice makes for the juiciest, crunchiest fried chicken sandwiches. Choose a dill pickle brine without much sugar, which can burn during cooking.

25 of 30

Marghi Na Farcha (Parsi Fried Chicken)

Marghi Na Farcha (Parsi Fried Chicken)
Photo by Joel Goldberg / Food Styling by Mallory Lance

Chef Meherwan Irani's Parsi-style fried chicken is first marinated with an aromatic mix of ginger, garlic, chiles, and spices, and then dredged in flour and dipped in fluffy beaten egg for a crispy, golden crust. Basting the chicken while it cooks helps to crisp the outside while keeping the inside juicy and evenly cooked. Irani serves this dish with a quick slaw of shredded cabbage and carrots, chopped cilantro, and healthy dashes of vinegar and lime juice.

26 of 30

Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

Lemon Pepper chicken Thighs with Potatoes
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Instead of using dried lemon pepper seasoning, season chicken and potatoes with fresh lemon juice and zest, chopped garlic cloves, and ground pepper, along with some chopped fresh dill and oregano. While the thighs roast, the fat adds extra flavor and crunch to the lemony potatoes. After the chicken is done, the potatoes roast in the drippings for a few extra minutes until they start to brown. Serve the finished dish with lemon wedges.

27 of 30

Air-Fryer Fried Chicken with Hot Honey

Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Who needs a deep fryer to make fried chicken when you can get such delicious results from an air-fryer? Here, we start with a hot sauce and buttermilk soak, and then coat the chicken with a well-seasoned flour mixture. Next comes a dip in beaten eggs, then back into the flour mixture to ensure a crispy coating. The air-fryer will take it from there. This chicken is equally delicious the next day.

28 of 30

Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Cherry Tomatoes

Lemony Chicken Thighs with Burst Tomatoes and Swiss chard Pesto
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Tender tomatoes add bites of sweetness throughout this simple but deeply flavorful pan-roasted chicken dinner. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are browned on the stovetop and then transferred to the oven, where they bake with lemon slices, garlic, and cherry tomatoes.

29 of 30

Sheet Pan Baked Chicken, Feta, Tomatoes, and Kale with Pasta

Sheet Pan Feta Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Tangy feta and juicy tomatoes roast together in the oven, creating a creamy sauce that clings to pasta in this easy baked sheet pan dinner. The whole dish comes together in under an hour as the chicken, cheese, and aromatics bake in the oven while the pasta and kale quickly cook on the stove. Serve the dish hot, at room temperature, or as a chilled pasta salad.

30 of 30

Fried Tandoori Chicken

Fried Tandoori Chicken
© Marcus Nilsson

For extra-juicy—and flavorful—fried chicken, chef Rupam Bhagat of Ritu Indian Soul Food (formerly known as Dum Indian Soul Food) in San Francisco marinates his meat using the traditional two-step tandoori process: He first lets the chicken sit in a blend of aromatic spices for 12 hours and then folds in yogurt that helps tenderize the meat and caramelize the crust when it's fried.

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