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!
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
- chili flakes
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.
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
- an easy potato side, such as homemade potato wedges or sweet potato wedges (see recipe notes section if you’d like to know exactly how I make them). They’d also go really well with these air fryer smashed potatoes, mini garlic parmesan hasselback potatoes. OR
- some kind of flavoured rice or a simple risotto. How about this quick and easy lemony Mediterranean rice with chickpeas? OR
- a simple salad and olive oil toasts, or make it a fancier salad such as this beetroot feta walnut salad.
- a yummy Mediterranean side dish such as Greek giant beans (gigandes), creamy pea pasta or this amazing vegetarian eggplant lasagna.
- a vegetarian pasta: how about this penne pesto pasta with vegetables, this incredibly vibrant creamy pea pasta or just a classic Greek village salad!
- For a low-carb option, serve with this amazing baked eggplant with tomatoes and feta and these legendary crispy halloumi fries (with air fryer version).
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!
Love this recipe? Learn how to air fry a whole chicken (rotisserie style!) for another very easy and versatile midweek meal!
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): https://scrummylane.com/the-best-crustless-quiche/
VEGETABLES LIKE PEPPERS/CAPSICUM, ONIONS, ZUCCHINI/COURGETTE, SWEET POTATO + CHERRY TOMATOES + SAUSAGES + PAPRIKA (FOR A SAUSAGE & ROASTED VEGGIE TRAYBAKE WITH OR WITHOUT GNOCCHI): https://scrummylane.com/easy-baked-gnocchi-with-sausage-peppers-and-tomatoes-30-minute-recipe/
CHICKEN THIGHS + GARLIC + CHORIZO + LOTS OF CHERRY TOMATOES + FRESH BASIL (FOR A RIDICULOUSLY EASY SPANISH STYLE CHICKEN TRAYBAKE): https://scrummylane.com/one-pan-baked-chicken-with-chorizo-and-tomatoes/
Or take a look at all my easy meals here.
Our favourite easy baked chicken thighs (oven or air fryer)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 4 large chicken thighs (or more smaller ones – about 17 ounces or 500 grams)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 2½ 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)
- 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).