Best Chicken Thigh Recipes

Anna Kurzaeva/Getty Images

Chicken thighs are the most delicious part of the chicken, and the perfect protein as you don't have to sacrifice flavor for convenience. Chicken thighs are juicier, cheaper, and easier to cook than chicken breasts. Plus, this meaty cut of chicken is so versatile, it works in plenty of different dishes. From tacos to Chinese take-out inspired recipes, we've got the best ideas here for delicious dinners you can make using humble, but mighty, chicken thighs.

  • 01 of 28

    Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

    Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

    The Spruce

    Love fried chicken, but don't love all the calories and fat in the traditional recipe for this comforting meal? You're sure to enjoy this healthier "fried" chicken recipe, in which the chicken is baked and not fried, but still has a crunchy coating on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside. Make these oven-fried chicken thighs any night of the week for a great go-to family meal.

  • 02 of 28

    Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Thighs

    Katie Workman / themom100.com

    The tastes of Greece add welcome savory, salty, cheesy flavors to this simple and inexpensive dish that's elegant enough to serve for company, but makes a great weeknight meal. Stuffed chicken thighs are ready in an hour start to finish and are a fantastic way to enjoy chicken.

  • 03 of 28

    Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    The Spruce

    Everyone's favorite chicken cacciatore just got easier to cook for dinner, thanks to the slow cooker. Boneless chicken breasts, sliced mushrooms, and garlic are cooked with sauce ingredients in your crockpot for a wonderful, rustic dinner that will make your family and friends ask for seconds. Using chicken thighs ensures juicy meat after hours of cooking. A delicious and comforting dish served over hot cooked spaghetti or another favorite pasta.

  • 04 of 28

    Chicken Thighs With Orange Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    Tender chicken thighs in a mouth-watering orange sauce make a fabulous everyday weeknight dinner. Chicken thighs are baked and glazed with a flavorful, simple, complex-tasting orange sauce that includes brown sugar and aromatic herbs. You could also serve this dish as a great, inexpensive meal for company, alongside some rice pilaf, a tossed green salad, and perhaps some white wine. Who says you can't eat like a king or queen on a budget?

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  • 05 of 28

    Crock Pot Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

    Diana Rattray

    Jambalaya is a tasty dish of Louisiana origin in which meat, vegetables, and rice mingle in happy harmony. This flavorful slow cooker jambalaya recipe combines three types of protein - chicken, sausage, and shrimp - for a filling and tummy-warming winter meal. With rice, tomatoes, vegetables, and Cajun seasonings, this great family dinner will fill your kitchen with down-home Southern aromas.

  • 06 of 28

    Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

    Cultura/Diana Miller/Riser/Getty Images

    What could be a more welcoming sight on a cold winter night than a steaming bowl of warm chicken and dumplings? Chicken thighs are used in this homey recipe that tastes just like something your grandmother would make. Fluffy, cloud-like dumplings nestle with tender chicken chunks in a delicious, comforting herbed broth.

  • 07 of 28

    Chicken Thighs With Mushroom and Wine Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    Can you serve chicken thighs when entertaining? Absolutely, you can! Inexpensive chicken thighs get the snazzy treatment in this delectable, aromatic, rich-tasting dish. Tender, sautéed chicken thighs are slathered in a creamy, satisfying sauce made from a little white wine, broth, garlic, cream, and mushrooms. It's so easy to prepare and makes a wonderful meal for company or a romantic dinner at home.

  • 08 of 28

    Poached Chicken Thighs in Coconut Curry

    Jonathan Lovekin / Getty Images

    Do you love Thai food but find it expensive? Here's a super easy and budget-friendly recipe that recreates the authentic flavors of Thai take-out food at home, with just a few ingredients. Store-bought red curry paste is the secret to this dish, which is ready in just 30 minutes, but tastes like it took all day to prepare. Chicken thighs are poached in coconut milk with curry paste, diced sweet potatoes, and fresh cilantro for a delicious dish you'll be proud to serve.

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  • 09 of 28

    Nashville Hot Chicken

    Nashville hot chicken with pickles, bread, and beer.
    Diana Rattray

    Is there any better way to consume chicken than to crunch down on the crackling of a crispy chicken thigh? We think not. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, this Nashville fried chicken recipe is inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken, a now-legendary institution that first served up the deep-fried, spicy bird in the '70s. Nashville hot chicken is characterized by its spicy, deep-red glaze, traditionally made with cayenne pepper. It's almost always served on top of white bread—plain white bread, the cheaper and sweeter the better—with some pickles on top.

  • 10 of 28

    Chicken Manicotti

    chicken manicotti
    grandriver/Getty Images

    Your family will think you spent all day in the kitchen when you serve up this super-easy pasta casserole recipe that's ready for the oven in 30 minutes. To make this classic Chicken Manicotti dish, tender, boneless skinless chicken thighs are baked in a casserole dish with manicotti pasta shells, store-bought spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings until the whole thing is hot, bubbling and ready to eat.

  • 11 of 28

    Crockpot Portugese Chicken

    Rita Maas/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Chicken and sausage taste fantastic together, so it's no surprise that they're the stars of this classic Portuguese dish that makes a warming, satisfying winter meal. Set it and forget it - the whole thing comes together in your slow cooker, so you don't have to do a thing once it's cooking away. Spicy chorizo sausage and chicken thighs are slow-cooked in your crockpot with tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives, for a festive and flavorful dish that is easily made with foods you'd easily find at any grocery store. Rich, fragrant, and flavorful, this recipe is perfect served over hot rice for entertaining.

  • 12 of 28

    Chicken Stroganoff

    Cultura RF/Diana Miller/Getty Images

    In this budget-friendly recipe with chicken thighs, classic beef stroganoff is transformed into chicken stroganoff. Chicken thighs are enveloped in a rich, smooth, savory homemade sauce made with mushrooms, broth, herbs, white wine, and cream. Serve it over egg noodles or your favorite long pasta noodles for an elegant, filling dish that's wonderfully warming and comforting on a cold winter's night.

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  • 13 of 28

    Lemon Chicken Scaloppini

    Anna Kurzaeva/Getty Images

    Chicken scaloppini is often made using chicken breasts, but this version uses flavorful and budget-friendly chicken thighs for a meatier flavor. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are pounded thin and cooked in a fragrant lemon tarragon sauce in this elegant recipe that's great for entertaining. Serve it over hot cooked pasta or rice.

  • 14 of 28

    Chicken Marbella

    Chicken Marbella

    Elaine Lemm

    This storied dish is adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, first published in 1982. Although that name might not ring a bell for younger generations, it was a standout cookbook in its time, and chicken marbella was its standout dish. This one-pan meal featured a whole skin-on chicken marinated in a brine of vinegar, olives, capers, and prunes, and then baked in the same dish, but ours uses chicken thighs. This recipe is a little sweet, a little salty, and perfectly balanced thanks to an acidic tang. Great with Spanish rice or mashed potatoes.

  • 15 of 28

    Hoisin Glazed Chicken Meatballs

    Diana Rattray

    Flavorful and sticky, hoisin-glazed meatballs are an easy-to-make Chinese food. Our chicken version can be finished on the stove top or in the slow cooker, and taste juicier and more full-flavored than versions prepared with chicken breasts. The spicy sauce is a snap to put together, but if you have a tight schedule, go ahead and use a purchased sweet and sour sauce or an Asian-style simmering sauce. These meatballs make a great party appetizer or main dish at family dinner. Serve over hot rice or noodles.

  • 16 of 28

    Buffalo Chicken Tacos

    Foodcollection/Getty Images

    Buffalo chicken tacos have a rich and meaty taste that is enhanced by the use of Mexican seasonings. Filled with tender chicken, celery, hot buffalo wing sauce, onion, and garlic, these tasty chicken tacos are a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken in a delicious family dinner.

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  • 17 of 28

    Halal-Style Chicken

    Halal Cart Chicken

     Anita Schecter

    Halal carts are popular spots for buying fast food on the streets of New York, and for good reason. The heaping plates of food served on these carts follow the rules of Ismalic traditions pertaining to the slaughter and consumption of animal products (except pork). Our version tries to emulate their complex and robust flavors and uses marinated chicken, rice, salad, and a special sauce to make a complete meal. Using chicken thighs makes it an economical choice while keeping the meat moist and flavorful. Our recipe is ready in just over 30 minutes.

  • 18 of 28

    Roasted Chicken Thighs With Brussels Sprouts and Pears

    Foodcollection/Getty Images

    This one-pan roasted chicken and vegetable dinner is pretty and delicious enough for entertaining guests, but easy enough for a weeknight meal. Bone-in chicken thighs are seared to golden perfection, then lightly brushed with honey-mustard sauce and finished in the oven. The Brussels sprouts, bacon and pear combination that accompany them make a fabulous side dish. Everything is cooked together in one large skillet or sheet pan in about one hour.

  • 19 of 28

    Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

    Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

    The Spruce

    Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, these chicken thighs are seared in a large, heavy oven-safe skillet on the stovetop to crisp up the skin, then moved into the oven to finish baking to perfection. Makes a fabulous everyday meal, and you just need salt, pepper, and oil, in addition to the thighs.

  • 20 of 28

    Classic Brunswick Stew With Pork and Chicken

    Diana Rattray

    Brunswick stew is a traditional dish that's popular in the Southern United States. This Brunswick stew recipe is made with cooked pork shoulder or leftover pulled pork, along with shredded, cooked chicken thighs and vegetables. Flavored with store-bought barbecue sauce and a kick of cayenne pepper, this is a rib-sticking stew is filling, moist, and great to feed a crowd.

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  • 21 of 28

    Oven Barbecued Chicken Thigs

    Oven barbecued chicken thighs

    The Spruce 

     Flavorful and inexpensive chicken thighs are baked with a homemade barbecue sauce for a delicious everyday meal. Store-bought grill seasoning flavors the chicken thighs, which are then seared and lastly baked to perfection, covered in a sweet and savory homemade barbecue sauce. For a quick version for busy weeknights, use your favorite store-bought sauce.

  • 22 of 28

    Crockpot Pulled Chicken

    crock pot pulled chicken

     The Spruce

    Pulled pork lovers, here's how to get that savory, sticky, sweet barbecue flavor in an inexpensive recipe that uses chicken thighs in place of the usual pork. An easy homemade barbecue sauce makes this easy slow-cooked, shredded crockpot chicken moist, tasty and juicy. This pulled chicken is a fantastic alternative to more traditional barbecue dishes, and it is just as delicious. Includes tips for tweaking the sauce to suit your own tastes, from spicy to sweet.

  • 23 of 28

    Chicken in Black Bean Sauce

    atlnav/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

     Tender chicken thighs lend flavor to this delicious stir-fry made with pungent fermented black beans. You can prepare the vegetables ahead of time, while the chicken is marinating, and just toss into the pan when you're ready to stir-fry. Makes a great-tasting and inexpensive dinner served over hot cooked rice.

  • 24 of 28

    Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Thighs

    Slow cooker tex mex chicken

    The Spruce

    This chicken thigh recipe is a great choice when you're looking for an easy and tasty slow cooker recipe. Boneless chicken thighs are affordable and easy to prepare, and our Tex Mex version mixes corn, black beans, and green chiles, for a delicious dish served over Mexican style rice, with a simple salad on the side.

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  • 25 of 28

    Sweet and Spicy Crockpot Chicken

    William Shaw/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    Inspired by the classic take-out dish, this easy recipe for sweet and spicy chicken combines two store-bought sauces - sweet and sour, and barbecue - with tender chicken thigh meat in a flavorful five-ingredient recipe. Served over hot cooked rice, this easy-to-make recipe needs very little preparation and practically no supervision while it cooks.

  • 26 of 28

    Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

    Honey mustard chicken thighs

    The Spruce

    This simple, fragrant, and wonderful recipe for honey mustard chicken thighs is ready in less than 30 minutes. The chicken is cut into strips and simmered in a rich, tangy honey mustard sauce along with carrots, onions, and garlic. Add your favorite vegetables to the mix and make this dish your own. It's great as a family dinner on busy weeknights served atop cooked couscous, brown rice, or pasta.

  • 27 of 28

    Lemon Chicken Thighs With Jerusalem Artichokes

    Henn Photography/Aurora Open/Getty Images

    This fragrant and mouth-watering lemon chicken dish was inspired by the Middle Eastern cuisine and its wonderful flavors and aromas. It uses plenty of garlic, saffron, fresh thyme, and pine nuts to flavor juicy, tender chicken thighs and nutty-tasting Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes). Chicken thighs are quickly browned before being slow-simmered in an aromatic garlic chicken broth with fresh lemon juice and grated zest. Saffron adds a delicious flavor and beautiful color to this dish.

  • 28 of 28

    Grilled Marinated Ginger Chicken

    Mental Art + Design/Stocksy United

    Grated fresh ginger adds an extra kick to the flavorful marinade that's used to prepare this delicious grilled chicken. The marinade does double duty as a basting sauce while the chicken thighs are grilling to keep them moist and juicy. This all-season recipe can be cooked on the grill in summer or using the oven's broiler when there is not outside cooking.