The higher fat content makes them perfect for bodybuilders and people trying to gain weight. Therefore, if you’re looking to lose weight, you may want to keep your distance.
Chicken breasts tend to be the better option for weight loss diets since they’re lean meat.
But you can still include thighs in a healthy diet, and the following are ways to have them as a part of healthy meals.
It’s an Oven Affair: Baked Chicken Thigh Recipes
All of these flavorful recipes have one thing in common: they give you free time to do whatever you want as they sit comfortably in the oven. You can whip up a side, load that laundry up, or simply sit down for a while. All should be taken care of.
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Easy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
This easy baked chicken thighs recipe promises a satisfying dish of juicy chicken with crispy skin that’s been infused with intense spices and baked to golden perfection. Everything comes together in the oven, making it a no-fuss dish you can make for any occasion.
Today’s chicken thigh and marinade recipe show you an easy yet super tasty approach to the traditional baked dish. Chicken thighs are bathed in a savory and sweet soy-garlic sauce and cooked in the oven for a crispy outer layer and juice interior. Let’s learn how to cook it!
As simple as it may sound, this oven-baked chicken and bell pepper recipe will surprise your taste buds with a gorgeous mixture of savory and sweet flavors. It features crispy-skinned chicken thighs baked with colorful bell peppers, served with creamy mashed chickpeas.
Our Instant Pot chicken tikka masala is a quick and effortless version of the authentic Indian staple. The dish features bite-size chunks of chicken slowly simmered in a rich and spicy tomato-based sauce. The result is a buttery, aromatic tikka masala with a uniquely exotic hint of garam masala. The leftovers taste even more delicious.
This air fryer BBQ chicken recipe makes a satisfying meal with gorgeous golden-brown chicken thigh paired with tasty potato wedges, fresh lettuce, and cherry tomatoes. Perfect for weeknight dinners and special enough for guests.
Embrace the beauty of Vietnamese cuisine with this lemongrass chicken recipe. It infuses the savory chicken with a uniquely citrusy scent that creates a delightful aromatic twist. It’s served over steamy rice and fresh veggies, with an added sweet-spicy dipping sauce that ties everything together.
Sustainability has always been a key to healthy eating, so we always keep some easy, 15-minute meals on our sleeves. These favorite chicken pans of ours require just a few ingredients, plus spices, and just like that make you reheatable meals to save for the entire week.
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Chicken Risotto Recipe
This 30-minute chicken risotto recipe makes a quick and filling meal with deliciously savory chicken thighs on top of creamy mushroom risotto, perfect for lunches or weeknight dinners.
Are you ready for a Spanish-style chicken feast put together in less than one hour? Featuring well-seasoned chicken and fresh vegetables, our chicken Paella dish delivers complex flavors and exciting textures to your dinner table.
Al dente conchiglie and chunks of chicken thighs are tossed in a deluxe Cajun sauce, making an irresistible dish. This Cajun pasta is restaurant-quality at its finest yet takes hardly any time to pull together.
Cook up a lavish yet comforting and cozy meal with this braised chicken recipe. Pan-seared then left to simmer, the meat is tender and juicy with a slightly crispy edge. Each bite is filled with a rich mixture of savory, sweet, and spicy flavors, enhanced by soft and creamy potatoes.
This honey garlic chicken thighs recipe makes a delicious protein-packed meal with gorgeous golden-brown chicken thigh paired with wholesome bok choy. Serve with hot white rice for a well-rounded meal.
These are just a few of what we have. For more ideas, take a look at this collection with 39 chicken skillets, 13 chicken pots, and more.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs
You can bake chicken thighs for anywhere between 25-60 minutes — it depends on what temperature you set the oven to. We have an article that explains how long to bake chicken, which gives further details for various cuts.
In summary, you can set the oven temperature to 300°F and expect to wait for 55-60 minutes while the chicken thighs roast. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can crank the temperature up to 450°F, giving you a 25-30 minute cook.
The only caution is to avoid overcooking it. As much as it is naturally plump and juicy, overcooking will result in a dry piece of chicken that’s not as satisfying to bite into.
How Long to Boil Chicken Thighs
Boiling chicken thighs is a simple way to extract beautiful flavors. This method comes in handy when looking for effortless ways to cook chicken.
First, wait for the water to boil before adding the thighs, a technique similar to poaching.
After that, lower the temperature to a simmer and leave it to cook. A 6 oz chicken thigh takes about 12 minutes to cook, while an 8 oz piece takes 25 minutes.
You can tell it’s ready when the internal temperature reaches 165-170°F or when the flesh is no longer pink.
How to Debone Chicken Thighs
From the outside looking in, deboning chicken thighs might seem like a challenging task. We’re here to reassure you that it’s not.
Here are a few steps that will have you opting for the less costly bone-in chicken thighs the next time you go grocery shopping.
Step 1: Place the thigh onto a cutting board, with the skin side down so that you can see the bone.
Step 2: Cut vertically — from top to bottom — as close as you can to the bone without cutting too deep on both sides. Ensure to include the cartilage at the top and bottom of the bone.
Step 3: Make incisions under the bone and pull the chicken flesh from the bone. Scrape any excess flesh remaining.
Chicken Thigh Calories
A 5-ounce chicken thigh without skin contains 180 calories. That’s similar to the number of calories in a similar-sized piece of chicken breast.
So the difference in calories is not that big, and both score points in the healthy column.
One chicken thigh with skin, however, weighs almost 7 ounces and contains 427 calories — more than 2 times that of skinless thighs. This is owed to the chunk of fat that chicken skin provides.
If weight loss is the name of your game, we suggest you stick to skinless chicken thighs. This way, you get the best of both worlds with juicy chicken flavor and plenty of protein.
Protein in Chicken Thighs
The same 5-ounce chicken thigh, without skin, contains 29.3 grams of protein, a pretty large portion.
So if chicken breasts happen to be missing from the grocery poultry section, or you feel like having a juicier piece of meat, go ahead and select chicken thighs. They’ll be just as good for helping you stay satiated and building some muscle while working out.
If these recipes got you craving some more chicken, check out our list of best healthy chicken recipes. It’s our versatile collection of delicious and diverse chicken dishes!
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.
Amazing Chicken Thigh Recipes
February 9, 2023 at 7:59 AM
Made air-fryer Greek chicken and my daughter loved it.
I just want to say thank you!