Our Favourite Easy Baked Chicken Thighs (Oven Or Air Fryer)

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Have you got chicken thighs and some basic herbs and spices in the pantry? If so, add a couple of simple sides and you’ve got an easy but very delicious dinner. Bake in either your oven or air fryer!

A piece of meat on a cutting board, sliced

Skinless boneless chicken thighs are a staple supermarket purchase for me.

They’re just so versatile. Sometimes I throw them in a baking dish with veggies and other goodies to make a tray bake. Like in this sheet pan chicken tikka, or this amazingly delicious Greek chicken and potatoes.

But on days when I’m wanting something REALLY simple, to go with random veggies and sides that I happen to have in the fridge, I make THESE easy baked chicken thighs.

Why it’s the best recipe for simple baked chicken thighs

I love this recipe-that’s-hardly-a-recipe for a few simple reasons:

  • It takes only around 5 minutes to get the chicken into the oven.
  • After that your meal can be quite hands-off. Prepare a couple of sides (vegetables and/or potatoes or flavored rice work particularly well), then put your feet up for half an hour.
  • Although it’s easy, the herbs and spices make the chicken super tasty.
  • You can either bake the chicken in your oven for 35 to 45 minutes. OR you can bake it in your air fryer for around 15 to 17 minutes.

Ingredients you need

  • a pack of skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • a few basic herbs and spices: paprika, mixed Italian herbs (or whatever dried herbs you have), onion and/or garlic powder, salt and pepper

Adapting the recipe

One of the great things about this ‘recipe’ though is that you can adapt it a little according to what you like or what you have.

For instance, if you like, you can also add:

  • lemon zest
  • a pinch of fennel seeds
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • cumin
  • chili flakes

Use what you have. Throw any flavours together that you like and you’ll end up with a super tasty and easy dinner!

How to prepare the chicken

This is all you do:

  • Line a baking tray.
  • Mix the herbs and spices on a medium sized dish or plate.
  • Rub the thighs with olive oil.
  • Roll in the herb and spice mixture.
  • Place the chicken on the baking tray.

Then bake!

mixed herbs and spices for chicken
Throw whatever flavourings you have in your pantry in a bowl, and mix them up.
Easy baked chicken thighs before and after baking
Before and after baking in your oven or air fryer

Top Tip

Make the recipe even easier by preparing the all-purpose seasoning mix ahead of time and keeping it in the pantry to use on chicken or… in so many other ways!

Oven or air fryer?

If you happen to have an air fryer, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe is perfect for it.

Simply prepare the chicken the same way, then place it into your air fryer basket. The great thing is that you’ll only have to cook your chicken for around 15 to 17 minutes.

What to serve with them

Most often, I serve this with

AND (if you like) some kind of vegetable – either simple roasted vegetables (see recipe notes!) or simple pan fried or boiled fresh or frozen veggies. Unless you’re making a salad instead!

How about a simple sauce to go with this? Check out this list of 30+ easy sauces for chicken.

An overhead image of an easy baked chicken thigh sliced on a cutting board

Love this recipe? Learn how to air fry a whole chicken (rotisserie style!) for another very easy and versatile midweek meal, or air fry stuffed peppers for a tasty and fast Mediterranean twist on this classic dish.

More very simple meal ideas

If you’ve got:

EGGS + MILK + CHEESE + A BIT OF FLOUR + RANDOM BITS OF COOKED MEAT AND/OR VEGETABLES (for an incredible crustless quiche)

VEGETABLES LIKE PEPPERS/CAPSICUM, ONIONS, ZUCCHINI/COURGETTE, SWEET POTATO + CHERRY TOMATOES + SAUSAGES + PAPRIKA (for an easy baked sausage and peppers gnocchi)

CHICKEN THIGHS + GARLIC + CHORIZO + LOTS OF CHERRY TOMATOES + FRESH BASIL (for a ridiculously easy one pan baked chicken with chorizo and tomatoes)

Or take a look at all my easy meals here.

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Simple baked chicken thighs, sliced on a wooden cutting board
5 from 2 votes

Our favourite easy baked chicken thighs (oven or air fryer)

If you've got chicken thighs and some basic herbs and spices in the pantry, plus some simple sides, you've got an easy but delicious dinner! This is my go-to simple baked chicken thigh recipe. Bake in either your oven or air fryer!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 large chicken thighs, (or more smaller ones – about 17 ounces or 500 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin, (optional)
  • teaspoons mixed Italian herbs , e.g. basil, oregano, thyme (or whichever dried herbs you have)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, (approximately)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 355F/180C and prepare a baking tray by lining it with foil or baking paper.
  • Mix all the herbs and spices together on a small plate or bowl.
  • Rub each chicken thigh all over with olive oil, then roll in the herbs/spices until well covered.
  • Place the chicken on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear or internal temperature is 165F or 75C.
  • Serve 1 to 2 thighs per person with your choice of sides (potatoes or fries, sweet potato wedges, salad and bread, flavoured rice or risotto, vegetables).

Notes

Cooking time

Oven: I usually bake my chicken thighs for around 35 to 45 minutes, depending on their size. They are usually done after 35 minutes but if in doubt leave them for a little longer. You won’t ruin them – they’ll still be moist and juicy!
Air fryer: You’ll only need to bake your thighs for 15 to 17 minutes in your air fryer. 

Adapting the recipe

No garlic powder? Don’t like cumin? No problem! Just skip them, or add a bit of lemon zest, lemon pepper seasoning or a pinch of chili flakes instead. 
You can also rub the chicken thighs with a bit of honey before rolling in the spice mixture for a delicious hit of sweetness. 

Don’t have a wire rack?

No worries! Just bake the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper or foil. Turn it half way through cooking.

What to serve it with

I sometimes make some homemade fries/chips to go with our chicken thighs, or sweet potato wedges. 
How to make potato wedges/chips: Parboil wedges for 10 minutes, drain and let steam for a few minutes. Toss with olive oil on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 200C/390F until golden and crispy. 
How to make sweet potato wedges: Slice peeled sweet potato into thick wedges. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, a bit of paprika/herbs if you like. Place on a wire rack over a lined baking tray. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 230C/445F. Then grill/broil for a few minutes on each side to get lovely and crispy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 577kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 221mg, Sodium: 1050mg, Potassium: 535mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 711IU, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 3mg
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About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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4 Comments

  1. As soon as I can score some thighs (as scarce as hens teeth!) they’ll be in my oven, sounds good.

    1. There were quite a lot of thighs in stock at about 10am this morning at Coles, Ann. Last week we couldn’t get any though. What’s hard to get seems to vary from day to day! Hope you manage to find some!