Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs With Panko and Parmesan Coating

Crispy baked chicken thighs with panko and Parmesan coating on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
518 Calories
33g Fat
14g Carbs
44g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 518
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1059mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 495mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Your family will love these oven baked chicken thighs, and they couldn't be easier to prepare. The panko crumb coating ensures a crispy, crunchy crust, and they're relatively light in taste and texture when compared to traditional deep-fried chicken. Chicken thighs are also easy on the budget, and they are juicier and more flavorful than chicken breasts. The breading and the fact that you're using thighs, which have more fat in them than breasts, keeps them from drying out in the oven. Make the recipe with whole chicken legs or chicken leg quarters if you'd like.

Panko crumbs, a dash of garlic powder, and shredded Parmesan cheese give these chicken thighs a tasty crispy exterior. They're dipped in honey (or maple syrup) and mustard before the crumb coating is applied for some tang and sweetness.

The chicken thighs are delicious with biscuits, garlic mashed potatoes, and peas or green beans, along with a salad. It's a great chicken for a picnic, too. Potato salad and coleslaw are excellent options as well.

A package of chicken thighs often contains large and small pieces. Larger chicken thighs might have enough meat—about 4 ounces—for one serving, but smaller pieces could yield as little as 2 1/2 to 3 ounces. 

"A great recipe for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. The chicken is super crunchy on the outside and juicy inside. The combination of mustard, maple syrup, and paprika is heavenly! For some heat, I recommend adding a bit of chili powder." —Tara Omidvar

Crispy baked chicken thighs with panko and Parmesan coating with salad greens
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons mustard (spicy or grainy)

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey)

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or about 1/4 cup grated)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon paprika, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients gathered for oven baked chicken thighs

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Heat the oven to 375 F. Set a rack on a large foil-lined baking sheet.

    Baking sheet lined with foil and a cooling rack on top

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Pat the chicken thighs with paper towels to dry them. Trim any excess fat or skin. The skin adds juiciness and flavor, but feel free to remove it if desired.

    Chicken thighs patted of excess moisture with paper towels on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

    Chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepper on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the mustard, maple syrup or honey, and garlic powder.

    Melted butter, mustard, maple syrup, and garlic powder combined in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko crumbs with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and parsley.

    Panko crumbs combined with Parmesan cheese, paprika, pepper and parsley

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Brush or rub the chicken thighs all over with the butter and mustard mixture and then press all sides in the panko mixture to coat thoroughly.

    Chicken thighs brushed with honey and coated with panko

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. Place the coated chicken thighs on the rack over the prepared baking sheet.

    Breaded chicken thighs on a wire rack

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  9. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F. The juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.

    Crispy baked chicken thighs with panko and Parmesan coating on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F. If in doubt, use a reliable instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest chicken thigh.

Recipe Variations

  • Omit the maple syrup or honey from the mustard mixture, or replace it with cane syrup or fruit preserves.
  • For additional heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper to the panko mixture.
  • Replace the salt with a seasoned salt blend or a Cajun or Creole seasoning mixture.
  • Make the recipe with whole chicken legs or a combination of thighs and drumsticks.