Enjoy the simplicity of chicken and vegetables with our pan-seared chicken thighs recipe. All you need to do is quickly sear the chicken and steam the squash and carrots, and there you have a healthy and delectable meal.
Reasons to Love Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
Deliciousness: Chicken thighs are flavorful no matter how you cook them. We sear them skin-side down to give them crispy edges, creating a slight texture contrast with the succulent meat. Aside from that, steamed squash and carrots are as tasty as ever.
Simplicity: This recipe can be a great starting point for new home cooks. Featuring three primary ingredients and a few pantry-ready spices, this dish is incredibly easy to put together and doesn’t take much time.
Customizability: This recipe leaves a lot of room for you to make changes. You can use a different chicken cut or replace the vegetables with your favorites.
Are Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs Healthy?
Yes, pan-seared chicken thighs are a healthy dish.
A 500-calorie serving of this dish has 8.5 g of saturated fat and 506 mg of sodium, all within the limits of our nutrition guidelines.
The two vegetables in this recipe, butternut squash and carrot, are nutrient-dense ingredients. They add dietary fiber and some much-needed antioxidants, most notably vitamins A and C.
As expected from a chicken course, this dish provides you with a generous amount of protein, specifically, 30.9 g per serving. Skin-on chicken thighs do come with a slightly higher fat-to-protein ratio than other white meat cuts, but worry not. We use only 1 tbsp of olive oil to cut down on the total fat of the entire dish.
[Video] How to Make
Ingredients for Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
We use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for their more profound flavor compared to other cuts. Moreover, when seared, the contrast in texture between the skin and the meat creates an appetizing dynamic for the dish.
Chicken breasts and drumsticks are also incredible choices. If you want to reduce the fat content, feel free to remove the skin.
We season the chicken with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to add color and subtly enhance the natural taste of the chicken.
Squash and carrots are easy to eat thanks to their tender texture and slightly sweet flavor.
Instead of steaming them, you can also roast them in the oven with olive oil and some spices. Roasting gives the vegetables more flavors while steaming places focus on their natural flavors.
If you’re not a fan of butternut squash and carrots, replace them with potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
Lastly, as a finishing touch, sprinkle chopped parsley on top of the chicken thighs.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips on preparing and cooking chicken.
Marinating chicken is a key part of the cooking process. At the least, let the chicken marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re planning a meal prep, you can marinate the chicken in the fridge overnight, but for no more than 24 hours.
Next up is searing. Always start skin-side down so it gets crispy with an inviting golden brown color.
Chicken thighs will take approximately 4 to 7 minutes per side to cook depending on the size. But to be absolutely sure, we advise you to check the internal temperature of the chicken. According to the USDA, the chicken is perfectly cooked when it reaches 165 °F on the inside.
The last step before serving is cutting the chicken. You should let it rest for about 5 minutes beforehand so its flavorful juice won’t seep out.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Pan-seared chicken thighs should last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer. Let the leftovers cool and transfer them to airtight containers for proper storage.
Thaw the frozen chicken by placing it in the fridge overnight. You can reheat the leftovers in a 350 °F oven for about 15 minutes or until warm.
What to Serve With Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
Here are some salads we love to serve with pan-seared chicken thighs:
In this pesto chicken recipe, the chicken is smothered in a homemade creamy basil pesto and oven-baked until it is fully cooked, tender on the inside, and golden brown on the outside. Bursting with basil pesto flavor, the creamy sauce will delight your taste buds.
This foolproof recipe provides a wide range of flavors and textures. For an earthy, savory dish, succulent chicken, fork-tender squash, meaty mushrooms, browned onions, and starchy chickpeas are seasoned and baked to perfection.
Prepare the chicken: Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels and set aside.
Cut the butternut squash: Put on gloves and peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Wash thoroughly to remove the sticky sap. Slice off both ends and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into 1-inch strips and cut the strips crosswise into cubes.
Cut the carrots: Slice off the top part of the carrot and peel the skin. Cut the carrot crosswise into 2 to 3 chunks. Cut the chunks lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips, then cut the strips crosswise into cubes.
Chop the parsley: Separate the leaves from the stems and gather them into a mound on the cutting board. Chop them finely with a knife.
Season the chicken: On a large plate, add 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper to 24 oz skin-on bone-in chicken thighs. Rub the seasonings evenly on the chicken thighs and let them marinate.
Steam the vegetables: Bring a pot with 1 inch of water to a boil. Add 20 oz butternut squash and 14 oz carrots into a steamer basket and place it in the pot over the water. Steam the vegetables for 20 minutes.
Sear the chicken: Prepare a pan over high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil when it’s hot. Add the marinated chicken thighs skin-side down and sear for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear for another 4 minutes. Remove from the heat when done.
Season the vegetables: Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt on the steamed butternut squash and carrots.
Garnish and serve: Sprinkle 2 tbsp parsley on top of the chicken. Enjoy!
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 514Calories from Fat 291
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8.3g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.3g
Vitamin A 32221.5IU
Vitamin C 38.2mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs Recipe
Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. A quick and satisfying meal for any night of the week.