Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs With Panko and Parmesan Coating

Oven fried chicken thighs

The Spruce

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
553 Calories
32g Fat
15g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 553
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 164mg 55%
Sodium 389mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 49g
Calcium 101mg 8%
*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-fried chicken thighs, and they couldn't be easier to prepare and bake. The Panko crumb coating ensures a crispy, crunchy crust with Parmesan flavor, and they're relatively light 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. 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 great-tasting, crispy coating. They're dipped in a honey and mustard coating before the crumb coating is applied. See the variations for more ingredient substitutions and ideas.

The chicken thighs are delicious with biscuits, 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. 


  • 8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds, bone-in)
  • 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 Parmesan cheese (shredded, or about 1/4 cup grated)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon paprika (to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes (dried)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for oven fried chicken thighs
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a large baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

    Foil on pan
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  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 completely if desired.

    Patted chicken thighs
    The Spruce
  4. Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper.

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

    Combined butter, mustard and syrup ingredients
    The Spruce
  6. In another shallow bowl, combine the Panko crumbs with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, paprika, teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper, and parsley.

    Panko crumbs
    The Spruce 
  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 coated with panko
    The Spruce
  8. Place the coated chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet.

    Coated chicken in a baking pan
    The Spruce 
  9. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 F. The juices should run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.


  • 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 syrup or honey from the mustard mixture, or replace the syrup or honey 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.