20+ Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipes

3 comments

5 from 246 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Stuck on what to cook with chicken thighs? These healthy chicken thigh recipes will have you covered!

boneless chicken thigh recipes

While chicken breasts may be the most common part of the chicken to eat, the tastiest part is the chicken thighs. It’s delicious enough to eat on its own but also super versatile to use in a plethora of dishes.

These are the BEST healthy chicken thigh recipes and ideas that will ensure that come dinnertime, you’ll have something different to enjoy.

You’ll find recipes that involve baking, stir-frying, frying, and stuffing, made in one pot, slow cooked, and more. Plenty of options helps keep things exciting. Let’s jump in.

Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of cooking chicken thighs
  2. Calories in chicken thighs
  3. Simple chicken thigh recipes
  4. Baked chicken thigh recipes
  5. One pan chicken thigh recipes
  6. International chicken thigh recipes
  7. Keto chicken thigh recipes
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. 20+ Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipes (Recipe Card)

Benefits of cooking chicken thighs

As much as I love chicken breasts, the thighs are where all the flavor is. This is why almost every recipe I’m including here needs very little prep to make them shine.

  • It’s healthy. While chicken thighs are higher in fat than chicken breasts or turkey, they also contain more iron and zinc, along with protein and vitamin B12.
  • They are affordable. Thighs are one of the most affordable cuts of meat, making them a budget-friendly option for those who want to cook healthy meals without breaking the bank.
  • It’s so flavorful. Chicken thighs have more fat than chicken breasts, which gives them a richer, more flavorful taste. They also have a tender, juicy texture that makes them great for all kinds of cooking methods.
  • It’s versatile. This collection of recipes prove how many kinds of dishes this chicken can be based around.

Calories in chicken thighs

Chicken thighs come in three ways- skinless, boneless AND skinless, and skin-on. Each has similar calories, with the fat difference being the main differentiating factor.

  • Skinless chicken thighs– 220 calories, 32 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs– 206 calories, 32 grams of protein,
  • Skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs– 239 calories, 32 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat.

Simple chicken thigh recipes

These five recipes are staples in my household and should be in yours, too! They use classic kitchen equipment like an Instant pot or air fryer, and come together very quickly.

baked chicken thighs.

Baked chicken thigh recipes

Oven baking chicken is always a safe bet, and these four recipes will elevate your oven-baked chicken game.

  • Honey garlic chicken thighs. A little sweet, a little savory, and perfect to pair with almost anything.
  • Crispy baked chicken thighs. A tried and tested favorite, baking chicken thighs is hands-off and can be easily customized with a plethora of flavors.
  • Oven fried chicken– Oven fried chicken thighs are a healthier and easier alternative to traditional fried chicken, without sacrificing flavor or crispiness.
  • Pollo Asado. Mexico’s answer to grilled or oven-baked chicken. I like to shred the meat and serve them with salads or veggie sides.
oven fried chicken.

One pan chicken thigh recipes

Are you a fan of one-skillet dinners? Here are a range of delicious dinner ideas using chicken thighs.

  • Moroccan chicken. Full of spices and perfect over some couscous, this comes together in no time.
  • Hunan chicken. An easy-to-cook recipe that can be made within 10 minutes! It includes fresh vegetables stir-fried with tender chicken, finally covered with delicious Hunan sauce.
  • Black pepper chicken. A healthier version of the PF Chang’s popular dish.
  • Chicken masala. Who said Indian curries have to be high calorie foods? This homemade takeout favorite uses less butter, less oil, but is super flavorful.
  • Butter chicken. Like the masala, just because it has butter in it’s name does NOT mean it unhealthy.
  • Chicken Al Pastor. A healthier copycat version of Chipotle’s new chicken dish.
chicken al pastor.

International chicken thigh recipes

I consider myself a very worldly person, and these recipes prove just that.

  • Peri Peri chicken. My family LOVES Nandos, so I’ve made a homemade version that is lean, filling, and so flavorful. The spice mix is spicy, sweet, and so good.
  • Peruvian chicken. As the name suggests, this is Peru’s answer to baked chicken thighs. Don’t forget the green sauce.
  • Satay chicken. My dad’s top secret (well, not anymore) recipe for grilled chicken skewers. Don’t forget the peanut sauce.
  • Chicken Adobo. The #1 dish in the Philippines, chicken thighs are braised with an umami-forward sauce.
  • Huli Huli chicken. This Hawaiian style grilled chicken thigh recipe is flavored with a spicy pineapple marinade. It’s a summertime staple in my household.
peri-peri chicken.

Keto chicken thigh recipes

Following a low carb diet and want some low carb dinner ideas that use chicken thighs? I got you covered!

  • Keto quesadilla. While you can use chicken breasts, I personally love chopped and seasoned chicken thigh pieces. You can use some leftover ones from above.
  • Keto chicken soup. Cozy and comforting, the thigh meat falls apart making this soup utlra flavorful.
  • Keto stir fry. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
  • Keto fried chicken. Thighs work best for frying, because it’s super juicy and holds onto the breading really well.
  • Chicken parmesan. There’s nothing better than crisp and juicy chicken thighs made with two kinds of cheese and topped off with delicious sugo, marinara, or pomodoro sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I cook chicken thighs with bone-in or boneless?

Both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs have their benefits. Bone-in chicken thighs tend to be more flavorful and juicy, while boneless chicken thighs cook more quickly and have less fat.

Do I need to marinate chicken thighs before cooking?

Marinating chicken thighs before cooking can help enhance their flavor and tenderize the meat. However, with so many spice and sauce blends, simple seasonings work just as well too.

Can I cook chicken thighs from frozen?

Yes, you can cook frozen chicken thighs, but it is best to thaw them out first. This will ensure the chicken remains juicy instead of rubbery,

How do I know when chicken thighs are cooked?

The best way to know if chicken thighs are cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. They should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

boneless chicken thigh recipes.

20+ Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipes

5 from 246 votes
These healthy chicken thigh recipes are easy, versatile, and, most importantly, delicious! This simple crispy baked chicken is a family favorite.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 21 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 8 chicken thighs boneless
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 210C/425F. Season your chicken thigh fillets with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar and garlic. Transfer the mixture into a large ziplock bag, then add the chicken thighs to them and toss until combined. 
  • Let the chicken marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and place them on a large baking sheet lined with tinfoil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, before switching the oven to the broil setting so the sauce on top slightly thickens.
  • Remove the baked chicken thighs from the oven and serve immediately.

Notes

TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
TO FREEZE: Place the cooled baked chicken thighs in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
TO REHEAT: Either microwave the chicken for 30-40 seconds or in a preheated oven until hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thighCalories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 32gFat: 12gSodium: 654mgPotassium: 266mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 94IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe collection originally published January 2022 but updated to include new recipes for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

You May Also Like

5 from 246 votes (243 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for this delicious and very easy recipe. My husband and I loved it. He said it was a definite keeper 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe does not disappoint! I have made several times and it is loved by the whole family. Shared this with several friends who now follow your website – based initially on this one recipe! Love it!

  3. 5 stars
    Great all around chicken marinade. We grilled the chicken thighs. Will absolutely be making this again!