Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 Servings
5 — Votes 2 votes

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This is THE MOST flavorful baked chicken you’ll ever make. Lemon, garlic, and a few key ingredients (that you probably have in your pantry right now) come together to make for the tastiest and easiest chicken that will FOR SURE become your new go-to for a quick, tasty weeknight meal.

A white plate of wild rice and lemon garlic chicken thighs. Also on the plate: a squeezed lemon wedge and a gold fork and knife

Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken Thighs

I know what you’re thinking …really? All that flavor from just a few simple ingredients? My answer: YES. I am completely obsessed with this chicken recipe and can’t stop making it. Lemon, fresh garlic (fresh is key), chives, salt, olive oil, and some red pepper flakes come together in this delicious marinade. Then, you just bake them!

I like to serve these alongside rice (like you see here), but these are also ideal to make in bulk for a meal prep-friendly protein to enjoy all week long.

Ingredients For Lemon Chicken Thighs

This is a really simple recipe that is BIG on flavor. Here’s everything you’ll need for a fabulous lemon garlic chicken thigh marinade:

All of the ingredients for lemon garlic chicken thighs (chicken thighs, lemon, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, olive oil, and chives) on a marble surface.
  • 1½ pounds of chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon + zest
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup of chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Ingredient Modifications and Variations

  • Use a different cut of chicken – if chicken thighs aren’t your thing, grab chicken breasts instead – they’d be delicious in this marinade!
  • Skip the spice – while this recipe really doesn’t pack a bunch of heat, if you’re super sensitive to spice, feel free to omit the red pepper flakes. 

How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Lemon garlic chicken thighs are EASY and so, so yummy. Here’s how the magic happens:

A person using metal tongs to place chicken thighs in a large reusable bag.
A person pouring a small bowl of olive oil into a large reusable bag of raw chicken thighs.
A large reusable bag filled with raw chicken thighs, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and chives.
A large reusable bag filled with raw chicken thighs, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and chives.
A white enameled cast iron skillet with 5 raw lemon garlic chicken thighs on it.
A white enameled cast iron skillet with 5 cooked lemon garlic chicken thighs on it.
  1. Marinate – add the chicken to a bag, then add the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, chopped chives, olive oil, and sea salt. Massage the bag to mix the ingredients together, then let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to 24 hours).
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F – when you’re ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Bake – transfer the chicken thighs to an oven-safe skillet or baking dish, and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy – finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, then serve and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

  • Put the marinade ingredients straight into the bag – instead of whisking together the marinade in a separate bowl, toss each ingredient into the bag with the chicken, and use your hands to massage the bag and mix together the marinade ingredients.

Serving Suggestions For Lemon Chicken Thighs

The options are endless here, y’all! You can chop up the chicken and serve it atop a loaded meal salad (you know the ones that are packed with satisfying ingredients and actually keep you full) – this Chicken Cobb Salad is a DYNAMITE recipe. If you want to serve it as a main dinner protein alongside sides, though, these are our best picks:

Starchy Sides

Veggie Sides

Salad Sides

A white plate with wild rice and lemon garlic marinated chicken thighs. Also on the plate: a lemon wedge and a fork with a small bite of chicken on it.
Q What is the best method for cooking chicken thighs?
A

Any high-heat cooking method creates really delicious, crispy chicken thighs. You can bake your chicken at 375°F (like we did here), cook them over high heat in a skillet on the stovetop, or grill them.

Q How do I make my chicken crisp?
A

There’s a couple of ways that we locked in the crispy factor:

  1. We baked the chicken thighs at 375°F. This temperature is hot enough to create a really delicious, crispy end product.
  2. We included olive oil in the marinade. This is key! Introducing some fat in the marinade allows for maximum crispiness.

Q What is the cooking time for chicken thighs?
A

Chicken thighs are incredibly easy to cook, because they cook fairly quickly, but it takes A LOT to overcook them. This recipe calls for a 30 minute (up to 24 hour) marinate time and a 25 minute baking time.

Q Is chicken done at 165 or 180?
A

You’ll know that your chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. The great thing about chicken thighs, though, is that they can continue to bake and crisp up beyond that internal temperature without drying out.

Two bowls of green curry with chicken, eggplant, and snow peas in white bowls with rice. They are sitting on a white and black marble surface with two glasses of ice water and a couple of limes.

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Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 — Votes 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Marinate Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Servings: 5 Servings
Lemon, garlic, and a few key ingredients (that you probably have in your pantry right now) come together to make for the tastiest and easiest chicken that will FOR SURE become your new go-to for a quick, tasty weeknight meal.

Ingredients  

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup chives finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Add the chicken to a bag, then add the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, chopped chives, olive oil, and sea salt. Massage the bag to mix the ingredients together, then let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to 24 hours).
  • When you’re ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Transfer the chicken thighs to an oven-safe skillet or baking dish, and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, then serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
221
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11.3
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
2.3
g
14
%
Cholesterol
 
127.8
mg
43
%
Sodium
 
286
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
2
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
0.3
g
0
%
Protein
 
27.1
g
54
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Modifications and Variations
  • Use a different cut of chicken – if chicken thighs aren’t your thing, grab chicken breasts instead – they’d be delicious in this marinade!
  • Skip the spice – while this recipe really doesn’t pack a bunch of heat, if you’re super sensitive to spice, feel free to omit the red pepper flakes.
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy
copywriter: Brandi Schilhab
photographer: Jess Gaertner

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Melissa says

    Melissa —  01/19/2023 At 11:15

    I love all your recipes! Thank you!
    Would the temperature and cook time be the same if using chicken breast?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  01/19/2023 At 11:38

      We’re so glad, Melissa! 25 minutes should be enough time for the chicken breasts to cook!

  2. Danielle Hughes says

    Danielle Hughes —  02/03/2023 At 10:21

    5 stars
    This recipe is FANTASTIC!! We were low on groceries, and I didn’t know what to make for dinner, but I did have some thawed chicken thighs. I looked through the weekly emails, clicked on this, saw I had all of the ingredients, and…wow. It did not disappoint. Started prepping to marinate at about 5:30 and had dinner on the table by 6:30. My family gobbled it all up, so we may have to triple it next time! LOL

    I served with what I had — roasted carrots + asparagus, and white rice.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  02/03/2023 At 11:47

      We are so glad to hear that, Danielle! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this!