Crispy Chicken Thighs – The Cookie Rookie®

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs taste just like fried chicken without the oil and hassle! This breaded chicken thighs recipe yields juicy, ultra crisp, and flavorful chicken thighs every time.

chicken thighs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet after baking

Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

Ditch the fryer, excessive oil, and kitchen mess with this oven baked chicken recipe! With only 15 minutes of hands-on time, this healthier alternative to fried chicken has become my go-to for busy weeknights.

One bite of these crispy chicken thighs and you’ll never go back to fried chicken again!

Why You’ll Love this Breaded Chicken Thighs Recipe:

  • EASY: Simple ingredients, simple prep, and simple cleanup.
  • BAKED: Fried chicken has nothing on these crispy chicken thighs. This oven baked chicken recipe is a much healthier and lighter alternative to fried chicken that the whole family will love.
  • VERSATILE: These baked chicken thighs go with everything!

These baked chicken thighs have that perfect crispy “fried” chicken coating yet remain juicy and tender inside.

step by step photos for how to make breaded chicken thighs
baked chicken thighs on a white serving plate

How to Make Crispy Chicken Thighs in the Oven

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Prepare the dredging stations.
  2. Coat the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken thighs on a prepared baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake.
baked chicken thighs on a white plate with mashed potatoes and corn with a fork
baked chicken thighs on a white serving plate
Can I use another cut of chicken?

Absolutely! Instead of chicken thighs, use 2-2 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Adjust the bake time as needed – typically chicken breasts don’t take as long to cook as thighs.

Can I use frozen chicken thighs?

Yes, but make sure the frozen thighs are fully thawed before using in the recipe. Let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

How long do chicken thighs take to bake in the oven?

Bake these chicken thighs for 20-25 minutes at 400°F.

How do I know when the chicken thighs are cooked through?

Chicken thighs are cooked through when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads at least 165°F.

Serving Suggestions

Oven baked fried chicken is delicious on sandwiches, sliced on salads, or served with classic sides like:

These baked chicken thighs are always a hit whenever I serve them!

baked chicken thighs on a white plate with mashed potatoes and corn


  • Instead of eggs, coat both sides of the chicken thighs in mayo before dipping in the bread crumb mixture.
  • Use a meat thermometer to guarantee the thighs are cooked through. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken – when it reads 165°F, the chicken is done.
  • Serve these thighs with your favorite dipping sauce.

With that same satisfying crunch as fried chicken, these crispy baked chicken thighs are a healthier alternative to your favorite fried chicken.

How can I cook these chicken thighs in an air fryer?

Prepare the thighs as directed and cook them in the air fryer for 12 minutes at 380°F. Make sure to flip them half way through cooking!

Can I use any kind of bread crumbs?

For best results, use Panko bread crumbs for the crispiest breaded chicken. Other bread crumbs will work, the coating just won’t be as crispy.

How can I add spice to these thighs?

For a little kick, add ½-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the bread crumb mixture in step 2.

baked chicken thighs on a white plate with mashed potatoes and corn with a fork

Quick and mess free, this healthier crispy chicken thighs recipe has become a favorite in my family!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

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