My Best Chicken Thigh Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners




This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

chicken thighs with beans and wilted greens in blue pot

My Best Chicken Thigh Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners ~ chicken thighs are quick, cheap, and universally loved by everybody in the family, you simply can’t beat them for weeknight meals.

easy chicken dinners pin



 

Why chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs are probably the ideal cut

  • Many people think chicken thighs have the best flavor.
  • Chicken thighs are very forgiving, they don’t dry out during cooking like breast meat can.
  • When properly cooked chicken thighs are incredibly tender and juicy.

What’s the difference between white and dark meat?

Dark meat

  • Dark meat comes from muscle that is well used, like the legs of the bird, and contains more myoglobin, which contributes to its darker color. It’s referred to as red muscle.
  • Dark meat is a little higher in fat and calories than white meat (but still considered a lean meat)
  • Dark meat is slightly higher in vitamins and minerals.
  • Higher fat means dark meat is more tender, and has a stronger, more ‘chicken-y’ flavor.

White meat

  • White meat comes from muscle that does not get much use, like the breast and wings, and therefore has less myoglobin protein.
  • White meat is lean and pale in color. It’s referred to as white muscle.
  • White meat cooks more quickly and has a milder flavor.
  • White mean can become dry and tough if over cooked.

chicken thighs on a baking sheet

Skin on or off?

You’ll notice many (but not all!) the recipes featured here are skin-on. That’s because the skin adds flavor and texture to the finished dish, especially when browned first.

I generally buy skin-on thighs, unless my recipe calls for the chicken to be immersed in a sauce or soup. In that case I use skinless (the skin would become rubbery in liquid.)

However if you’re watching fat and calories, use skinless thighs, they’re definitely lower in fat: a skinless thigh has 6 grams fat while a skin-on thigh has 17 grams.

Any of these recipes can be adapted for skinless thighs.

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken 3

Bone in or boneless chicken thighs?

My personal preference is for boneless, but it is nearly impossible to find boneless skin-on chicken thighs in the supermarket, you’d have to ask the butcher to prepare them specially for you.  Fyi, it’s worth it!

Be aware that any meat on the bone will take a little longer to cook. Use an instant read thermometer inserted near, but not touching, the bone and it should read 165F when done.


 

My Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli Rice uses boneless skinless chicken thighs

and that means chopstick tender meat and a heart healthy meal. If you don’t see boneless skinless thighs in your supermarket, ask the butcher. It’s also easy to de-bone them yourself, just slice around the bone with a sharp knife to remove it.

Tasting teriyaki chicken with broccoli rice

 


 

My Chicken Thighs with White Beans and Greens is based on an Mediterranean classic.

The Italians have been combining beans and greens for generations, and when you add chicken thighs into the mix, you’ve got an extraordinarily hearty (and healthy!) meal that comes together in a flash.

chicken thighs with white beans and greens in a pan

 


 

Same pan, same Mediterranean theme, but Tuscan Chicken Thighs takes it in a different direction…

this recipe is so rich and comforting for chilly nights.  I make sure to keep the browned chicken skin above the bubbling sauce so it stays nice and crispy.

Overhead image of Creamy Tuscan Chicken Thighs in a pan

 


 

My Chicken Thighs in Lemon Sauce is a favorite around here,

and it proves that everyday meals don’t have to be bland or boring.  The silky smooth Greek lemon sauce is super creamy, but surprisingly dairy free.  It’s made with the same easy technique I use in my Greek Avgolemono Soup.

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is a quick and easy meal bursting with the flavors of the mediterranean! | theviewfromgreatisland.com

 


 

Speaking of creamy, my Chicken Thighs Marsala is so luxurious it can double as a romantic meal for two.

Marsala wine and a touch of cream make this a restaurant quality dish. Marsala is an Italian fortified wine with a long shelf life, and it’s the secret ingredient in lots of different sauces. But be sure to look for a good quality Marsala, and skip anything labeled ‘cooking wine’.

Chicken Thighs in a creamy Marsala mushroom sauce

 


 

This Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms is a welcome back to fall meal if there ever was one.

Wild rice and mushrooms are a classic Autumn pairing, and make these chicken thighs special. Wild rice is easy to cook and adds such a pop of color and texture to one pot dinners like this.

Creamy Chicken thighs with Wild Rice and Mushrooms is an easy and comforting meal whether yoy're having company or just sitting down with the family. ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

 


 

Lemon Chicken Biryani introduces an exotic note into the family dinner routine,

and yet this chicken thigh recipe still comes together in about an hour.  Once you’ve got the handful of easily available spices in your cupboard this aromatic chicken and rice dish will become a staple in your dinner rotation.

chicken thighs biryani style

 


 

Chicken Satay is traditionally made with boneless skinless chicken thighs.

The meat is marinated in coconut milk and rich spices which makes it even more tender and delicious. The little chunks cook in no time, making this perfect for busy weeknights.

chicken satay bowl with chopsticks and peanut sauce

email sign up prompt

 

You Might Also Like

9 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    jane stuppi
    September 3, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Haven’t tried these yet, look delicius

  • Reply
    Ralph Waddell
    September 2, 2019 at 8:58 am

    My thigh repertoire was getting tired – these are totally doable and look great! Thanks for making tasty, easy. I’ll be going through these asap!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 2, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Ralph ~ I love the phrase ‘making tasty easy’, I might have to steal that!

      • Reply
        Ralph Waddell
        September 2, 2019 at 4:49 pm

        A good trade then! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Tricia B
    September 1, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Each and every one looks like a winner to me! I’m ready to move on to fall recipes and these look like a great place to start. Yum!

  • Reply
    2sisters Recipes
    September 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

    All great and yummy recipes!! So funny I am about to post a chicken collection as well!! Have a great weekend Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 1, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      You can never have too many chicken recipes 😉

  • Reply
    Roy A Chefets
    September 1, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I really like chicken thighs because they are tasty, meaty and inexpensive. Plan to try some of your recipes real soon. They look delicious.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Roy!