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57 juicy chicken thigh recipes for dinner tonight

From air fryer recipes to one-skillet dinners, here are our favorite ways to cook with chicken thighs.
RECIPE: Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
RECIPE: Air Fryer Chicken ThighsBecca Jacobs

Ask any omnivore what their favorite meat is and you can bet chicken will be at the top of the list. This universally beloved meat is a powerhouse of protein with endless flavor opportunities. Salt and pepper are enough to make chicken shine, but it can easily adapt to many different flavor profiles and seasonings. While we’ll always welcome a whole roast chicken, saucy wings on game day and breaded cutlets for chicken Parm, chicken thighs are the most versatile cut of the bunch. 

Chicken thighs are fattier than their white meat counterparts, which means they have a richer flavor — and happen to be more forgiving. Bone-in or out, skin-on or off, chicken thighs are nearly impossible to overcook, whereas chicken breasts dry out easily. Whether marinated, seared, braised, baked or grilled, there’s endless options for how to cook chicken thighs. It’s also worth noting that thighs are a more affordable cut than other chicken parts, which is always a win in our book. 

We’ve rounded up 57 of the juiciest chicken thigh recipes to offer dinner ideas for every night of the week. For weeknight dinners, we love Air Fryer Orange Chicken, Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Chicken and One-Pot White Chicken Chili. When it comes to summer barbecues, don’t miss Honey Mustard-Glazed Chicken Thighs, Barbecue Chicken Thighs and Grilled Beer-Glazed Chicken Thighs. For nights when you’re looking to show-off, you’ve got to try Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Sheet-Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Chicken Legs “Osso Bucco” with Gremolata. 

These air fryer chicken thighs couldn’t be easier to make. Rubbed with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and salt, the bone-in, skin-on thighs cook in just 20 minutes. The air fryer ensures perfectly crisp, crackly skin while keeping the meat tender and juicy. 

This recipe from chef Matt Abdoo delivers seriously big flavor — which is why it’s also one of our most popular recipes ever. First, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are rubbed with a homemade spice blend before getting grilled. Before the chicken finishes cooking, brush it with a sweet and spicy glaze made of honey, Sriracha and spices. 

We love anything inspired by a classic Caesar salad, and this chicken dish is no different. Here, romaine is swapped for broccoli, which takes on all the flavors of a classic Caesar dressing. The chicken thighs cook atop the broccoli until crispy, making this an ideal one-pan dinner. 

When it comes to summer cook-outs, chicken is always a must. There are two steps to perfecting these thighs. First, treat them with a wet brine of water, garlic, and salt to impart a ton of flavor into every bite. Then, marinate the bone-in thighs before grilling until they’re charred and smoky. 

Don’t be fooled by this luxe-looking dinner — this meal comes together in under 30 minutes with minimal effort. Start by searing chicken thighs in a pan until golden brown. Then, add them to a baking sheet along with grapes, shallots and herbs until the chicken has cooked through and the grapes are soft. Serve it up with creamy burrata and a simple pan sauce. 

The secret ingredient to making this chicken standout is Better Than Bouillon’s Smoky Chipotle Base. The chipotle adds a pleasant smokiness and heat, with little effort. We love serving these alongside mashed sweet potatoes, which pair perfectly with the warm chicken. 

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Cucumber Yogurt

Melissa Clark is an expert in delivering low-lift, high-reward recipes. Here, boneless skinless chicken thighs are baked with lemons, garlic and herbs on a sheet pan. While the chicken is in the oven, make a punchy yogurt sauce spiked with lemon and cucumber. 

Inspired by Chinese take-out, this chicken dinner comes together thanks to a handful of Asian pantry staples. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of hoisin, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger until fully penetrated with flavor. As the chicken bakes in the oven, make a side of garlicky kale to serve on the side. 

Sheet-pan chicken is here to answer your weeknight dinner woes. Honey mustard-rubbed chicken thighs are roasted alongside potatoes and green beans for an all-in-one meal. The key here is to add each ingredient in stages to ensure they’re cooked properly. 

A punchy scallion sauce does double duty in this recipe. Made with scallions, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and soy sauce, the chicken is first marinated in the sauce. After grilling, serve the charred chicken with additional reserved sauce for added flavor. 

Chicken thighs get the French onion soup treatment in this one-skillet dish. It’s an easy weeknight-friendly  recipe that nestles chicken thighs in saucy onions before getting finished in the oven. During the last few minutes of cooking, sprinkle shredded Gruyere cheese over the chicken for an ooey-gooey topping. 

This recipe captures all the flavor of barbecue chicken with just a handful of pantry staples. The chicken is first rubbed in a homemade spice mixture before getting seared on the grill. Brush the chicken with oil to achieve a glossy finish. 

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are made for weeknight dinners, thanks to their quick-cooking ability. These are seasoned simply with herbs and lemon before getting seared in a hot pan until cooked through. Pair with aromatic quinoa that’s loaded with mushrooms and flavored with browned butter. 

 Head of Garlic Chicken Thighs

A whole head of garlic does the heavy lifting in terms of flavor in this chicken dish. First, sear the chicken thighs until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Then, nestle olives, thyme, shallots and of course, garlic, around the chicken and finish the dish in the oven until saucy. 

Bobby Flay is known for delivering big flavors in every recipe, and this one is no different. Here, chicken thighs are grilled and glazed with a honey mustard sauce. To serve, the grilled chicken is sliced and tucked into lettuce leaves and topped with a pistachio and green olive relish along with tender herbs. 

Chicken and mushrooms are a classic pairing. Together, the pair are braised in the oven in a mixture of white wine, chicken stock and thyme. The key here is to rest the chicken thighs in the sauce without fully submerging them to ensure tender meat and crispy skin. 

This one-pan dish is a reliably delicious weeknight dinner that’ll be sure to get added to your rotation. After searing the seasoned chicken thighs, orzo, onions and green beans are added to the pan. To finish cooking, the whole thing gets placed in the oven until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through. 

While this dish couldn’t be easier to make, the technique lies in the timing. To get impossibly crispy chicken skin, let the chicken thighs rest uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to cook, pair the thighs with onions, garlic, lemon and herbs to deliver tons of flavor. 

The joy of chicken thighs is that they’re nearly impossible to overcook. Here, they’re seasoned simply and baked in the oven until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Serve the chicken alongside store-bought wild rice and tender carrots for a well-rounded meal. 

While typically relegated to a snack spread, spinach-artichoke dip is transformed into a one-pan dinner featuring boneless chicken thighs. After browning the chicken, the spinach artichoke dip is assembled in the same pan with milk, cream cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan. The dish finishes cooking in the oven to ensure the chicken is cooked through and cheese has begun to bubble. 

Orange chicken is a beloved Chinese-American staple that can be easily made at home, thanks to the air fryer. The key here is to double fry the chicken to ensure that every piece is super crispy and craggy. After frying, toss the chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce to coat and serve with steamed white rice. 

Figgy Sheet Pan Chicken

This dish takes a cue from the fan-favorite chicken marbella from "The Silver Palate Cookbook." Here, a few shortcuts are taken, like baking the whole meal on a sheet pan, to deliver maximum flavor with the shortest amount of time. Get a head start by marinating the chicken overnight with oil, vinegar, lemon figs, onions, garlic and herbs to ensure dinner gets on the table swiftly. 

Lemony Chicken and Rice Casserole

When you’re looking to feed a crowd, there’s no better option than a casserole. This easy recipe combines creamy rice, store-bought cream of chicken soup and chicken thighs for a family-friendly meal. Serve it with a side salad or sautéed vegetables for a well-rounded dinner.

Pinchos, a Puerto Rican appetizer, are savory skewered bites meant to be eaten during cocktail hour. While traditionally they can be made with pork, beef or seafood, we love this version made with chicken thighs. They’re marinated in a combination of oil, citrus juice, garlic and herbs before getting grilled and brushed with a homemade barbecue sauce. 

This Southern-inspired dish takes the classic chicken and grits to a new level. The chicken is brined in a spiced buttermilk mixture before getting fried and tossed in a hot sauce-spiked honey mixture. Serve it atop cheesy grits made with coconut milk for even more flavor. 

Traditionally, gyros are made by grilling layers of meat on a vertical spit for hours before shaving off thin slices. This recipe keeps all the flavors of gyros with decidedly less effort. Marinated grilled chicken gets tucked into pitas alongside homemade tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, romaine and crumbled feta. 

This is the epitome of a weeknight dinner. With only four ingredients, these saucy chicken tacos are a meal the whole family can get on board with. While the chicken can be made in a Dutch oven, we love that this recipe utilizes a slow cooker for even faster cooking. 

 Lemon Tarragon Chicken

This easy weeknight dinner highlights the classic pairing of lemon and tarragon. Combine the two along with olive oil, salt and pepper to create a simple but flavorful marinade for chicken thighs. Once ready to cook, the thighs are seared in a hot pan until charred and cooked through. 

Whether you’re making these lettuce wraps for a lighter weeknight dinner or serving them for an appetizer, you can be certain that they’re a real crowd-pleaser. The key here is marinating the chicken in a flavorful mixture of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and tamari for a burst of umami. Tuck the grilled chicken into butter lettuce leaves and top with crispy noodles to serve. 

This one-pan chicken dish is the answer to your weeknight dinner woes. Chicken thighs and fingerling potatoes are nestled together in a cast-iron skillet and baked until cooked through. To add some acidity and brightness to the dish, drizzle a punchy chimichurri over the top before serving. 

For cozy nights in, there’s nothing better than a pot of chili simmering on the stove. This version is made with chicken thighs instead of the usual beef, which keeps it lighter and brighter. To cut down on time, use shredded rotisserie chicken and stir it in just before serving. 

This grilled main riffs on the classic chicken marbella for summer. Instead of chicken quarters, boneless skinless chicken thighs are quickly cooked on the grill. While the flavors are reminiscent of the retro dish, they’re a bit brighter for warmer weather. 

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Tacos

Tacos get the Mediterranean treatment in this recipe mashup. Spiced chicken thighs are tucked into corn tortillas with melty mozzarella cheese and topped with a crunchy salad. The whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes, making it an ideal weeknight dinner option. 

Despite the short ingredient list, this hands-off recipe is all about delivering a ton of flavor. Here, chicken thighs are braised until tender and saucy. Thanks to the combination of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and honey, there are sweet umami flavors in every bite. 

Chicken cacciatore is a traditional Italian dish that combines chicken with a saucy base of tomatoes, onions and garlic. The joy of this recipe is that it actually gets better with time, as the flavors have a chance to meld, making it ideal for whenever you’re hosting and want to have dinner squared away in advance. Serve this crowd-pleaser over herby Parmesan polenta. 

Buffalo chicken isn’t just relegated to game day. Here, saucy chicken is scattered over pillowy pizza dough with blue cheese and celery. To cut down on prep time, we recommend using store-bought pizza dough. 

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs

These Texas-style spice rubbed chicken thighs are a year-round crowd-pleaser. Start by making a homemade spice blend and rub it all over the chicken. Then, sear the thighs until browned and finish braising them in the oven. Make use of the leftover juices by reducing them in a pan until thickened and spike with honey and vinegar to dress the chicken. 

Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, is the star of Eden Grinshpan’s easy weeknight chicken thighs. Together with olive oil, garlic, sumac and cumin, the chicken is marinated then grilled until charred. Take a cue from Grinshpan’s and serve the chicken alongside fire-grilled eggplant and homemade tahini sauce. 

Cashew Chicken

Cashew chicken is a beloved Chinese-American take-out dish that happens to be easy enough to make at home. Start by marinating the chicken in a flavorful base of soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, salt and sugar. Then, fry the chicken in a wok with aromatics, peppers and of course, cashews. 

Grilled Za'atar Chicken

These Middle Eastern-inspired chicken thighs couldn’t be easier to make. Start by creating a flavorful marinade with za’atar, olive oil, garlic, lemon and sumac. The chicken can be finished on the grill or oven, depending on your preference. 

In this chili, chicken and chiles take center stage. Alongside with beans and hominy, the chili comes together in a slow cooker to create a cozy and comforting meal that feeds a crowd. The secret here is puréeing corn tortillas with tomatoes to create a thicker sauce. 

Made with red peppers, chiles, garlic, lemon and spices, peri peri sauce is known for packing a flavorful punch. After the chicken is marinated and grilled, tuck it into a pita with lettuce, onions, and more peri peri sauce to serve. 

Mini Chicken Potpies

The only thing better than a pot pie is a miniature version you can have all to yourself. This recipe keeps it classic with a chicken and vegetable base spiked with herbs and aromatics. Top each individual ramekin with a layer of homemade pie dough for a dinner your friends are sure to remember. 

Made in one pan, this low-lift chicken piccata comes together quickly, making it a great weeknight dinner contender. The sauce is made with pantry staples such as white wine, chicken broth, mushrooms, capers and lemon, which add a ton of flavor. While chicken piccata is typically made with chicken breasts, Alton Brown opts for thighs, thanks to their juiciness and affordability. 

There are endless possibilities when it comes to making use of pulled chicken. Mixed with barbecue sauce, we love this chicken in enchiladas, on a sandwich bun or even tucked into tortillas. If you don’t want to make your own dry rub or barbecue sauce, store-bought is fine. 

Oven-Baked Chicken and Rice

The classic duo of chicken and rice get an upgrade, thanks to a few flavorful ingredients. Sweet red peppers, chorizo, olives and peas are all cooked with the rice, taking a cue from Spanish paella. This flavorful dish takes some time in the oven, but is a real crowd-pleaser when you’re looking to impress on the weekend. 

Riffing on chicken and rice, this recipe combines crispy chicken thighs with risotto. The chicken is foolproof, thanks to first searing it in a pan until the skin is deeply browned and finishing it in the oven. This risotto swaps the traditional arborio rice for barley, giving it a more toothsome bite. 

Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is one of the most beloved Filipino dishes, and for good reason. This saucy chicken dish is made in one pot with soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, bay leaves and garlic. The chicken is braised until tender and caramelized and pairs well with steamed white rice. 

For a lower-lift take on pot pie, we love this slow-cooker version that delivers so much flavor with way less work. By cooking the filling in the slow-cooker, the chicken and vegetables become almost stew-like and super saucy. To finish the dish, transfer the stew to a casserole dish and top with homemade biscuits before baking in the oven. 

Filipino Chicken Skewers

These flavorful Filipino chicken skewers work equally well for an appetizer as they do for a main meal. Marinated chicken is threaded onto skewers before getting grilled and basted until cooked through. While Sprite may seem like an unlikely ingredient in the marinade, the sugar helps tenderize and caramelize the chicken. 

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

These impossibly crispy fried chicken sandwiches are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Layered with a swipe of mayonnaise, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, pickles, hot sauce and, of course, fried chicken, this sandwich is the perfect balance of crunchy, spicy and tangy. The key to making this a lower lift project is to do as much prep work as you can ahead of time. 

This Mediterranean-inspired chicken dish comes together quickly, thanks to a handful of pantry staples. Made in one-pan, the recipe starts by browning chicken thighs. Canned tomatoes, jarred pepperoncini, canned black olives and capers come together to create a zingy sauce for the chicken to cook in. 

Grilled Beer-Glazed Chicken Thighs

If you’re a fan of beer-can chicken, you’ll love this riff made with chicken thighs. The beer is reduced into a glaze along with brown sugar, onion and salt, which is used to brush over marinated chicken thighs on the grill. We like chopping the chicken into bite-size pieces and serving over rice with a shower of tender herbs. 

Chicken Biryani

You don’t have to order take-out to get all the flavors of Indian biryani at home. This version, made with chicken thighs, comes together in under 30 minutes. Start by marinating the chicken in a spiced yogurt mixture, then finish them off in a pan along with the vegetables and rice. 

Al Roker took inspiration for these sliders from the ones his mother used to make. After brining the chicken in buttermilk, fry until golden brown and crispy. The chicken is served on a slider bun with barbecue sauce and pickles. 

Molly Yeh combines two of her favorite dishes in this mashup: chicken pot pie and tater tot hotdish. Classic pot pie filling made with creamy chicken thighs and vegetables gets topped with a layer of tater tots before getting finished in the oven. It’s a cozy and comforting dish that can easily feed a crowd. 

30 Garlic Clove Chicken

Garlic lovers, this one’s for you. While the preparation of this chicken dish couldn’t be simpler, the flavor is anything but. After searing the chicken, garlic, onions, and rosemary are sautéed until caramelized. Once aromatic, add the chicken back in the pot with a splash of wine and braise until the meat is cooked through and saucy.