Juicy Chicken Thigh Tray Bake is an ultimate easy dinner idea that everyone in your family will love! This simple recipe is packed with flavor.
Quick Chicken Thigh Tray Bake
If you are after some quick dinner recipes you came to the right place. Keep reading and I will show you how you can make a no-fuss dinner in an hour.
Why you will love this recipe:
These chicken thighs are delicious and full of Mediterranean flavors. They are also:
- Easy. Yes, this recipe is easy to make. There are actually no cooking skills required. Send it to your friend who might be just starting to cook at home. This is the perfect recipe for a beginner home cook.
- Healthy. It is full of antioxidants. This recipe has 6 different spices and all of them are a great source of natural antioxidants that are so beneficial for our health, especially when so many suffer from endless colds.
- Family-friendly. This is a perfect family dinner. My boys love it with freshly cooked pasta or rice and a simple salad.
- Budget-friendly. If you have all the required spices at home, and chances are you have, this recipe will only cost you as much as the chicken thighs cost. And they are usually very well-priced.
- Gluten-free. Like all recipes on aisforappleau.com this chicken thigh bake is 100% gluten-free.
What will you need to make these quick chicken thigh tray bake:
To make a chicken thigh tray bake we need some chicken.
- Bone-in chicken thighs, skin-on. You can opt for skinless and boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
The chicken marinade ingredients
As I mentioned above the marinade requires a lot of spices. Let's see what we will need.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Lemon juice from a fresh lemon. Fresh is the best.
- Italian seasoning. A mix of oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary, or whatever mix you have on hand.
- Vegeta. I found an organic variety and am absolutely loving it. It doesn't have anything artificial, only dried vegetables and herbs.
- Ground paprika
- Ground cumin
- Garlic powder
- Crushed dry chilli (optional). Leave it out if cooking for little kids.
See the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Yes, you absolutely can. While I find that dark meat is juicier and more flavorsome, this is obviously a matter of taste. Reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes if making this recipe with chicken breast.
In fact, you can use any part of chicken such as drumsticks, chicken leg quarters and even chicken wings.
How to make chicken thigh tray bake.
Making this perfect family dinner couldn't be easier.
- Preheat the oven to 400'F (200'C)
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken thighs into the bowl and mix so that all pieces of chicken are well coated with the marinade.
- Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight.
- Place the chicken thighs into a baking tray or a baking dish.
- Put the tray in the preheated oven and bake chicken thighs for 20-25 minutes at 200'C (400'F)
- Take the tray out, and spoon some of the formed juice onto the chicken thighs. This will help to add more flavor to the meat and crispen the skin.
- Bake for another 20 minutes or until chicken has reached 76'C (165' Fahrenheit).
- If you would like to get extra crispy chicken skin, change the oven setting to broil and cook chicken for additional 3-4 minutes until the skin is nicely browned.
That's it, the ultimate chicken dinner is ready.
Step-by-step instructions are also in a printable recipe card below. Or watch the video to see how I make it.
What to serve with baked chicken thighs
This oven-baked chicken thigh recipe is so versatile and you can serve it with many things. Here are a couple of ideas you might want to try.
How to store chicken thigh tray bake
Once the chicken thighs have cooled down to room temperature you can refrigerate them in an air-tight container for 3-4 days ready to be enjoyed on a busy weeknight. Simply warm them up for 20 minutes in the oven at 360'F (180'C). A no-fuss delicious meal is done.
How to freeze
Baked chicken thighs can be frozen in a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Take the frozen thighs out of the freezer and let them defrost naturally overnight in the fridge.
Make it a meal prep
This chicken thigh tray bake is a perfect meal prep idea. Combine fresh chicken with the marinade and freeze it immediately for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe ziploc or a container. Defrost it in the fridge overnight. The chicken thighs will marinate as they defrost. Follow the cooking instructions and enjoy a quick dinner.
Frequently asked question
To keep the chicken meat juicy and moist we bake the chicken thighs at high temperature. This will ensure the chicken will cook through without drying out. Crispy skin is a bonus 😉
Why are my baked chicken thighs are tough?
You most likely overcooked them. If you bake the chicken for too long it will become tough and dry.
400'F or 200'C is the perfect temperature for the chicken thighs to be baked in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Keep in mind that the size of the chicken thighs might vary considerably and so will the baking time. If you are not sure whether your chicken is cooked, use an instant-read thermometer. The chicken is cooked when the thickest part of the meat has reached 76'C (165' Fahrenheit).
You can also cut into one chicken thigh and see if the juice coming out is clear or light pink. When the chicken is cooked through the juice will be clear.
More popular easy chicken recipes
Quick Chicken Thigh Tray Bake
- 6 chicken thighs skin on, bone in
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced Approximately 3-4 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
- 1 teaspoon organic vegeta or use chicken boulion cube
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dry chili flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400'F (200'C)
- In a large mixing bowl combine all the marinade ingredinets.
- Add the chicken thighs into the bowl and mix to ensure the chicken is well coated with the marinade.
- Marinate the chicken for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Line the baking tray/dish with some parchment paper.
- Transfer the chicken thighs into a baking dish or baking tray.
- Bake the chicken thighs for 20 minutes.
- Take the tray out of the oven and using a tablespoon, spoon some chicken juice onto the chicken thighs and return the tray back into the oven.
- Bake the chicken for another 20 minutes. Check the inner temperature with a meat thermometer if not sure if the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve and enjoy!
Ooooh, this does sound fast and easy! Since chicken isn't a mammal, it's a safe food item for me with alpha-gal syndrome. However, I feel like we eat so much chicken so I'm super excited to have a new dish in rotation. Can't wait to give this a try!
Such an easy one to whip up! Love how juicy they come out, perfect for meal prep too!
I love the combination of spices in this recipe.
I'm all about building an arsenal of chicken thigh recipes. I've found as I get older a chicken thigh is just the right size for a serving versus a chicken breast. Can't wait to give this recipe a try!
This is such an easy and quick way to have a delicious chicken dish! Highly recommend!
This chicken turned out wonderful! It was easy to make and so juicy and flavorful!
Seema Doraiswamy Sriram
The baked chicken tray looks so tender and juicy. I love the finish of the dish.
I made these chicken thighs for dinner last night and my whole family loved them! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
awesome one pan meal with these juicy Chicken Thighs. I added a bunch of veggies into the tray and it was amazing
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Nancy. I also love adding vegetables to this chicken bake. Such an easy dinner!!