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Honey Baked Chicken Thighs

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These honey baked chicken thighs are easy to prepare and come out tender, juicy, and flavorful. The quick marinade gives the chicken an incredible depth of flavor and doubles as a delicious glaze. Serve these easy chicken thighs with truffle mashed potatoes and lemon chili broccoli for a complete meal.

Honey baked chicken thighs on a serving platter.

This chicken thigh recipe is an easy weeknight dinner that comes together with minimal effort. It is also a great dish to prepare in advance and pop in the oven when ready. 

If you like this recipe, try our baked chicken thighs or baked chicken quarters

Since chicken thighs are dark meat, they are naturally more juicy and flavorful than white meat. And because they are a fattier cut of meat, they will stay juicy even if slightly overcooked.

The honey marinade also helps to keep the chicken thighs moist and tender while adding flavor at the same time.

A honey baked chicken thigh on a plate with wild rice and tomatoes. Pouring honey herb sauce over the top.

❤️ Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • The honey garlic sauce acts as a marinade and keeps the chicken juicy and tender. Plus, it gets used as a glaze while the chicken cooks and mingles with the juices from the chicken to make a delicious sauce. 
  • It’s a quick and easy recipe that comes together in no time, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
  • Using bone-in chicken thighs makes this recipe more forgiving and less prone to drying out. The bones in the chicken thighs help insulate the meat and keeps it juicy.
  • You only need one dish for this recipe, so cleanup is a breeze. 

The Ingredients

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for these honey mustard chicken thighs. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Olive oil
  • Honey. Honey adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the marinade. When the sauce reduces down the honey will concentrate and create a slightly sticky chicken. 
  • Lemon juice. lemon juice adds a delicious brightness to the marinade and helps cut through some of the heavy flavors. You can substitute with apple cider vinegar if you don’t have lemon juice. 
  • Garlic cloves. Fresh garlic adds depth and complexity and has more flavor than dried garlic. However, you can substitute with dried garlic if you don’t have fresh. 
  • Dijon mustard. Mustard adds a twangy bite and compliments the honey and garlic. 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh rosemary. You can use dried herbs if you don’t have fresh. 
  • Chicken thighs. We are using skin on and bone in chicken thighs. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you reduce the baking time. 
Ingredients for honey herb chicken: chicken thighs, olive oil, honey, rosemary, garlic, dijon, lemon, salt, and pepper.

A dish of chicken thighs next to some herbs and a pepper grinder.

How to Make It

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with these honey garlic chicken thighs. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Mix the marinade in a zip top bag and add the chicken thighs. Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes or up to 8 hours. 
  2. Transfer the chicken thighs to a casserole dish and drizzle ½ cup of the marinade over the chicken.  
  3. Bake uncovered in the center of the oven until cooked through and golden brown. 

Tips for Success

  • Check for doneness with a meat thermometer. An instant-read thermometer should read 165°F. However, since chicken thighs have tough connective tissue, they will be more tender if you cook them to an internal temp of 175°F to 195°F. 
  • If you don’t have a meat thermometer, check for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken. The juices should run clear and the flesh should be white, not pink.
  • When the chicken thighs finish baking, let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving them. This will allow the juices to settle and redistribute, making them even more tender and flavorful.
  • For extra crispy skin, place the baked chicken thighs under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. 
  • The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken thighs or if you use boneless and skinless thighs. 

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the honey for maple syrup or brown sugar. 
  • Use hot honey or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade for more of a kick. 
  • Use dried herbs instead of fresh rosemary. A general guideline is to use half as much dried herbs as fresh herbs, but since fresh rosemary has a more robust flavor than dried, toss in a bit more. 
  • Use a different blend of herbs and spices. Some options that go well with these honey baked chicken thighs are thyme, oregano, Italian spice blend, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin (just to name a few). Use your creative culinary skills and experiment with different flavors. 
  • Add a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for a rich, umami flavor. 

⏲ Storage and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them covered in the fridge for three days.

You can reheat the honey herb chicken in the microwave by zapping them in short bursts and turning them frequently. 

You can also reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until warm. If you add a splash of chicken broth to the dish and keep it covered, the chicken will stay moist and juicy. 

What to Serve with Honey Baked Chicken Thighs

To complete your meal and make it extra delicious, serve these honey baked chicken thighs with a simple side salad like our classic wedge and our wild blend rice or coconut rice to sop up all the sauce.

This easy chicken recipe goes well with just about any side dish and makes an easy “all occasions” meal. Here are some more ideas for sides that will go well with this recipe. 

More Chicken Dinner Recipes

Nothing beats a delicious chicken dinner for a weeknight meal. Whether you’re looking for a healthy grilled chicken breast or something hearty and comforting like our chicken dumpling soup, we have some great recipes that add flavor and variety to your weekly menu.

A glazed chicken thigh on a plate with asparagus and risotto.

   

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use boneless chicken thighs? 

Yes, you will need to reduce the baking time by 10 minutes. The honey sauce may need to thicken more if the baking time is reduced. However, you can remove the chicken from the baking dish and put it on a plate. Then, place the baking dish back in the oven for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Can I use chicken breasts for this honey herb chicken recipe?

Yes, but you will need to reduce the baking time to 15 to 18 minutes. The honey mustard sauce will not have time to reduce and thicken, but you can cook the sauce some more after the chicken breasts finish baking. 

Do chicken thighs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Since chicken thighs are dark meat, they have more fat and connective tissue, so they will get more tender the longer you cook them. They are safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. However, they will become more tender if you let them cook to an internal temperature of 175°F to 195°F. 

These garlic honey baked chicken thighs are a quick and easy meal that will surely please the whole family. The honey marinade doubles as a glaze and delicious sauce, plus it helps keep the chicken moist and tender. 

Helpful Tools

Some of the following are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you click on these links and purchase something. You don’t pay any extra, but it will help us keep the lights on. Here are some items that will make it easier to make this honey herb chicken.

More Recipes You Will Love:

You will enjoy this simple recipe for Lemon Chicken Piccata cutlets with their tangy flavor. The tender chicken cutlets are coated in a briny caper sauce that gives them so much flavor.

The chicken cacciatore dish is savory and has very tender and moist chicken. The tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and herbs combine to make a flavorful meal.

Coq au Vin is a one pot dish that is deeply flavorful and incredibly easy to make. It is a comforting and delicious meal that is always a family favorite.

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Honey Baked Chicken Thighs

Honey baked chicken thighs are perfect for a weeknight dinner. The quick marinade doubles as a glaze and gives the chicken so much flavor.
For extra tender chicken thighs, bake them until the internal temperature reaches 180°F. It is finished cooking at 165°F, but dark meat in chicken thighs is better at 180°F.
4.81 from 36 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 376kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

  • cup olive oil
  • cup honey
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on

To Thicken the Sauce (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • Combine the first 8 ingredients in a closable plastic bag. Add the chicken thighs and seal the bag. Turn the bag to coat the chicken and allow it to marinate for 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Transfer the chicken thighs skin up to the baking dish and keep them in a single layer. Drizzle ½ cup of the marinade over the top (discard the remaining marinade).
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 175°F to 180°F. Baste the chicken thighs halfway through the cooking time.
  • Transfer from the oven when done and cover the chicken with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • To Thicken the Sauce (optional)
  • Transfer the sauce from the baking dish to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • In a small dish, whisk the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Pour into the sauce, whisking constantly. Cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Serve with the chicken.

Notes

Large chicken thighs will take a longer cooking time. Be sure to check for doneness with a meat thermometer which should reach 175°F to 180°F.
Juices from the chicken will mix with the honey marinade in the baking dish. It makes a thin, spoonable sauce. The optional cornstarch will thicken it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating




Sandy Donner

Sunday 13th of August 2023

My husband made this tonight for dinner. It’s delicious! And easy enough even a very novice cook can do. The fresh rosemary is fantastic. Now to see if my picky grandkids will eat it! Thanks for the great recipe. We’ll make this often!

Dahn Boquist

Sunday 13th of August 2023

Thanks for the comment, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it and I hope the grandkids like it.

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