Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

$5.13 recipe / $0.64 serving

So, I got a really excellent deal on chicken thighs this week – $0.99 / lb. Ironically, the regular 2 lb. package was the same price as the large, 5 lb. “value pack.” No sale or anything! Sometimes you just need to look a little closer!

Obviously not every store will have this fantastic deal on chicken thighs, but this recipe will probably be pretty inexpensive either way. The other ingredients required are also fairly inexpensive.

I used 8 of the 10 chicken thighs in the package and froze the other two for later use. The thighs were pretty big, so I am costing it out at one thigh per serving. Also, I experimented with skin on and skin removed thighs and, I have to say, the skin off were much better!

If you’re not into spicy, you can leave out the cayenne and this recipe will still be excellent! The seasoning glaze is a great mix of sweet, smokey, and garlicky. The cayenne just gives it an extra kick.

This recipe is super easy to prepare and requires little attention, so you can use the extra time to prepare a salad or whatever side dishes you want!

Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

honey spice chicken thighs

4.6 from 17 reviews
honey spice chicken thighs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.13
Cost Per Serving: $0.64
Serves: 8
  • 8 (4 lbs.) chicken thighs $4.16
  • ⅓ cup honey $0.59
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp garlic powder $0.08
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • ½ tsp cumin $0.03
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine everything except the chicken thighs (honey, cider vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, and salt). Stir until combined.
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs if desired. Place the chicken thighs either on a roasting pan or a baking sheet covered with foil. A roasting pan can be simulated by placing wire cooling racks over a baking sheet to allow juices to fall below the chicken. Brush the honey spice mixture over the surface of the chicken thighs, using about half of the total honey mixture.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in the fully preheated oven. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs from the oven and use the remaining honey spice mixture to brush on a second coat. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Do not brush any of the honey spice mixture onto the chicken after it is finished cooking because it is contaminated with raw chicken. Use all of it prior to the last 20 minutes of cooking.


honey spice chicken thighs

Step By Step Photos

raw chickenThis is the chicken that I bought. I think I stared at the prices at the store for a good 2-3 minutes in disbelief. It was seriously the same price for a 2lb. package of four chicken thighs. Ha! I used 8 of the 10 and froze the other two.

prepare chickenI made my own roasting pan by placing two wire cooling racks over a baking sheet. I used the foil for easy cleanup. You can also cook them directly on the baking sheet if you don’t have the wire racks. I experimented with skin on and skin off. The skin off was definitely better and more flavorful. The honey does a great job of keeping the chicken moist even without the skin there.

honey and spicesThe honey spice mixture includes: honey, cider vinegar, chili powder (not spicy), garlic powder, cumin, cayenne (spicy), smoked paprika, and salt.

stirStir everything together.

coat chickenBrush about half of the honey spice mixture onto the chicken. Place it in a fully preheated, 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

second coatAfter 20 minutes, take the chicken out and use the rest of the honey spice mixture to brush on a second coat.

second coatAfter you’ve fully coated the chicken with the rest of the honey spice mixture, put it back in the oven and let it roast for another 20 minutes.

honey spice chicken thighsAnd then it looks like this and tastes delicious! Serve hot.

honey spice chicken thighsYUM.


  1. I just wanted to ask if the finish picture is showing the chicken served with home-fries and sour cream? Never tried that before and was wondering if there is a recipe for them… Love your website… Just found it today and will definitely be using it to make my cooking nights my cuddle nights with my sweetheart… :o)

  2. Valerie says:

    I just got a $0.99 deal on chicken thighs so I tried this out. It was great! I only made 3 thighs, skin removed (just for my husband & I), so I halved the sauce but the spice mixture and timings are absolutely spot on! I will definitely make this again, probably next week with more of the thighs I got! I served it with garlic roasted asparagus :)

  3. This is the best chicken thigh recipe I have and I never have leftovers when I cook this. I give this recipe 10 stars!

  4. This turned out really nice. My boyfriend gobbled it down in minutes. I had an interesting thought, keep everything in the recipe, but add maybe a tbsp or so of unsweetened cocoa powder & you’d have some delicious mole chicken. OR, add finely ground coffee for some breakfast eats. OR slice the chicken into strips, then roast for a shorter time, make some black bean salsa, slice up some veggies, get some tortillas & tadah, chicken burritos!

  5. I made some changes but it turned out perfect! I didn’t have honey so I used agave instead (honey would be better). I also left out the chili powder and cayenne. I used a homemade steak seasoning in its place. I also substituted celery salt for the regular kind. This was so good!

    • Babs says:

      So basically you made a completely different recipe.

      • Bree says:

        Thank you!! I hate reading reviews like this! I want reviews telling me what worked or didn’t with the original recipe.

  6. Making this nummy recipe for a football get together for Seahawks Sunday. A fan favorite.

  7. Andrea says:

    This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. I’ve been out of a couple of the spices a few times, and it’s still good. I usually make it with drumsticks.

  8. Lynn says:

    Made this on the grill with skin-on bone-in quarters. I cut the breast in half so that it was about the same size as the thighs. It was DELICIOUS.

  9. Courtnie says:

    This was great! It made enough sauce for 10 boneless thighs. So delicious and a perfect way to cook up a bunch of chicken for a party or for batch cooking for yourself :)

  10. Kate says:

    This was great! It was easy to mix up with stuff I already had in the pantry and it was so easy to just pop in the oven. Definitely a new addition to our ‘go to’ list.

  11. Theresa says:

    I really want to try this recipe! Are the chicken thighs you used bone in or boneless? Does bake time vary if I’m using boneless, skinless thighs?

    • Hi Theresa! I can’t believe that I didn’t mention in the recipe that those were bone-in. :P Sorry about that! You can definitely do this with boneless and cooking time will probably shorten a bit. Usually meat with the bone takes a little longer to cook through.

  12. G. McLaren says:

    Not bad but not the best Ive ever made.

  13. Shayna says:

    I agree.. I could probably drink the sauce lol! its soooo good. You can really taste the cumin which I love. I made the sauce without the cayenne and just sprinkled it on my boyfriend’s pieces but I don’t think that it would have been overly spicy if i added it into the whole thing. I think the cayenne would add the perfect kick to the dish.. I can see myself using this sauce for other items.. ribs like one person said is a good one.. I think it would go really well with drumsticks or chicken breasts :)

  14. Laura says:

    I made this one the other night, loved the spicing it was awesome. Served it with some potato salad and it was a wonderful summer dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Judy combs says:

      Loved it. I actually upped the spices. Because we love spicy. Great easy recipe.

  15. ChrisE says:

    I made this for my family. Two picky middle school boys both loved it (we all did!). Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  16. Cait says:

    I didn’t get quite as good of a deal as you, but managed to get a pack of 6 thighs for $1.29/lb. Made this tonight and man it was good. I’ve been pretty much living off of the recipes on your site. Thank you for all the great ideas! I love the variety of recipes you put up, and of course as a grad student I love how easy and cheap you make everything!

  17. W-TON Food Lover says:

    Sensational…. I could quite happily drink that honey mixture when its warm, its delicious. Thanks!

  18. Tracy says:

    I made this in crockpot and it turned out delicious! Great blend of spices.

  19. Rose says:

    I was looking for yet another new recipe and as usual I was not disappointed! We only had skinless boneless chicken breasts so I used that with my favorite kitchen gadget – our grill pan. My husband was so impressed and loved it. I only made one small addition of fresh minced garlic to the sauce.

    It was so good with enough heat to be flavorful but not overpowering and you can adjust as needed of course per taste. I’ll have to try roasting it next time!

  20. Susie says:

    We just tried this tonight with chicken thighs and the glaze was wonderful! I’m definitely saving this recipe, and am already thinking of other meats to use it with. Ribs on the grill comes to mind :) Thanks!

  21. made this last night, must say i was impressed, everything came out great! My husband loved it.

  22. Hi all! I’ve made this a couple of times, and because we grow most of our own food on our homestead, we added a spaghetti squash, cut in half, to the preheated oven about 10 minutes before the chicken. We cooked it all on the same rack and then used the spaghetti squash as a bed for the chicken. The sweetness of the squash was great with the spiciness of the chicken. Squash are cheap and it helped add a starch to the meal.

  23. Doug says:

    just made them tonight. what a hit! they tasted great and they are all gone! wish there were more for tomorrow!!!

  24. Katie says:

    Question regarding the chicken – if I were using just chicken legs would you change the cook time at all? Thanks!

    • Hmm, I guess it all depends on the size. I’m not sure how long they would take, exactly. I usually just keep an eye on them and take them out when they look good and done.

  25. Sara says:

    I used this recipe with chicken breast tenders and cooked them on the BBQ. I was totally blown away by how moist and flavourful the chicken turned out! I had it in a roll with some salad and it was honestly the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever eaten.

  26. Lauren says:

    This recipe is fantastic! I used the glaze on chicken breasts which I pounded thin and we grilled them. The glaze got a nice crisp to it and man was it good!

  27. Helena says:

    I made this with a whole chicken that I cut into parts. It was amazing. I don’t like siracha (don’t judge me), so I subbed that Korean spicy paste you can get at Asian markets, and I used rice vinegar instead of cider vinegar. I also took the skin off my chicken before cooking, and I totally got complimented by my husband on my ingenuity using the cooling rack in a baking dish (I owned up that it wasn’t my idea…eventually…). The only recommendation I can suggest is to grill the meat (we’re doing the marinade with pork chops this week) because the charred bits were sooo yummy.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious!I know what we’re having for dinner tonight. Thanks!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I just got 5lb of chicken thighs for 4.91. You just gotta catch them on sale or marked down. I’m making this tomorrow. Wish me luck!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sounds delish, but $4.16 for 4 lb of chicken? They are $3.99/lb where I live.

  31. Made this for dinner tonight, delicious! I used leg quarters because they were only .79/lb and cooking time was the same. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  32. It should be okay to mix the sauce and keep it. I’m not sure exactly how long it will last, but none of the ingredients are prone to spoilage. I would still suggest keeping it refrigerated, just in case.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Have been using this recipe for some time! Thank you :) I was wondering if I would be ok to store pre-mixed, in a bottle or jar. I have no idea how long it would keep for though.

  34. Ashley – Hmm, I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean cut the chicken up when raw, coat with the sauce, and then bake? If so, it will probably just cook faster due to the smaller pieces. I can’t say for sure how long, though, so you’ll just have to keep an eye on it. I wish I could help more!

  35. Hey Beth, if I cubed the chicken breast instead of putting it straight in the oven, how would I cook it?

  36. Ashley – This would definitely work with chicken breasts. It’s kind of a classic American dish so you could serve it with roasted potatoes, a pasta salad, a green salad, green beans, macaroni and cheese… things like that. Try to serve it with one vegetable and one starchy side dish.

  37. Could I use chicken breast with this recipe and what would it be best served with?

  38. Anonymous says:

    This recipe came out amazing…another winner from BB!! Everything on here is absolutely amazing; BB has never failed me! I used a little extra maple syrup in addition to the honey (I like it extra sweet!) and it came out great.

  39. Brooke says:

    This recipe sounds excellent! I love cooking Chicken Thighs in the broiler…about 7 minutes on each side and they are DONE! Easy!!!!

  40. Angela says:

    Yum!!! I used chicken breasts and cooked them 10 minutes, brushed them, then another 15, and they were perfect. I didn’t realize I was out of cayenne so we left that out, but it was still delicious!

  41. Anon – You’ll definitely want to thaw them first.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Can these be made with frozen breast, or do they need to be thawed? If so, how long do you cook the frozen breast for?

  43. Anon – they were bone in thighs, but I’m sure it would work with boneless as well.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Are these boneless thighs? I can’t quite tell from the pics.

  45. Paul S. says:

    Great Recipe! Made it tonight and LOVED it.

  46. This is an excellent recipe. We like things “thai hot” so we tripled the amounts on the spicy stuff, and it still came out great.

  47. Anonymous says:

    And it was great! Even better than expected. I loved it with the maple syrup instead of honey.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Oh and I also made the “loaded baked potato fries” that is served with this recipe and they both go very well together, boyfriend and I loved it!! and so did our dog :)

  49. Anonymous says:

    this was so delicious, i could still taste the flavor in my mouth after hours of eating it. My and my boyfriend loved it, ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Thank you so much for having an amazing blog and being an amazing cook/chef!! Its official, this is where i’m picking my everyday meals :)

  50. Anon – Sorry I didn’t respond to your vinegar questions in time!! I would probably use the red wine vinegar… or, actually, I think I’d try lemon juice before the red wine vinegar. I hope yours turned out well!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Cooking it now…with real maple syrup, since I’d run out of honey. Can’t wait – it smells great.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Trying this recipe tonight. It looks great. What other types of vinegar can I substitute for the cider vinegar. I have red wine, white wine and balsamic.

  53. Love this recipe!! I did add a TBSP of brown sugar to cut the heat because I have small kids. SO GOOD!! Thank you for sharing!!

  54. Anonymous says:

    WOW this was amazing!!! I will be making this weekly I am sure especially on the BBQ

  55. Balsamic would be okay, but I think lemon juice would blend better with the spices.

  56. Anonymous says:

    could balsamic vinegar work instead?

  57. Anonymous says:

    this looks so good. do you have any ideas for replacements of the cider vinegar?

  58. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We had it last night with sweet potatoes and asparagus and it was delicious! My hubby said it was the best chicken I had made in a long time.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Beth- Can I just say a heartfelt THANK YOU for your blog?
    The chicken recipe is divine – I grilled mine on the gas grill, and it was great! Good basic sauce, and a wonderful idea starter, as most of your recipes are. Thanks for all your inspirations! You are my go-to girl!!

  60. those look great! great idea for a glaze. trying this out soon :)

  61. great glaze! i used chicken breasts and they were a bit dry, so I definitely recommend reducing the cooking time by about 10-15 minutes and they’ll turn out amazing.
    Will try again!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Aww, as per usual, I disn,t have all the ingredients to make the exact same recipe-I’m a very bad grocery planner. BUt, I used honey, leftover onion soup, lots of chili powder, fresh garlic, mustard powder, bbq powder–It came out grrreat!
    My only gripe is that the delicious sauce somehow all dripped onto the foil liner of my makeshift roaster, and I had to take out the chicken 5 minutes before the end of cooking time. Good thing though, because I used drumstick and the cooking was perrrfect. :)
    Thanks for the inspiration/recipe! The drumstick came out moist & spicy–yum.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was a hit. The glaze is so flavorful, I think it would be tasty on pork chops or fish too.

  64. I think all of the moisture that comes out of the chicken while cooking would collect in the slow cooker and cause them to “stew” and then the honey spice rub would come off. I’m just not sure it would work out as well.

  65. prettymarley says:

    I was also thinking of doing this in a crockpot, maybe just add a little broth for moisture? Any ideas?

  66. Wooden Bird – You know, I’ve never tried to freeze cooked chicken on the bone. It seems like it would take a really long time to thaw and reheat it. I’m sorry I don’t have much advice in that department!

    Anon – Fresh garlic will work just fine. Try using one clove minced.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Would fresh garlic work too, Beth? I’m out of powdered garlic.

  68. How are these for freezing and re-heating?

  69. I made these tonight. Fan-freaking-tastic. I put them on a bed of white rice with a sriracha moat. Glorious.

    Thank you!

  70. Cbuffy says:

    Jess – these would work well in a toaster oven. WAY cheaper than the regular oven, both to purchase AND to operate.

  71. I wonder if I could make these in the crockpot somehow…our oven is busted and we are waiting on it to be fixed, but these look really good…

  72. that cooking light recipe is my boyfriends favorite thing ive ever made EVER. i make it at least 2x a month probably. if they dont have boneless skinless thighs at my grocery store (which they sometimes dont) i do boneless skinless breast. he LOVES it, and it makes a buttload of food, which he usually takes for leftovers at work, at least once!

  73. oooh this sounds awesome! can’t wait to try!

  74. Anonymous says:

    We just grilled chicken breasts with this recipe and they were so good! A+!

  75. making this tonight! Somehow I had everything on hand already, except for the chicken. I’m trying it out with some thighs and drumsticks. Any reason this wouldn’t work with drumsticks?

    Also I agree with the above commenter :D

  76. Steve1322 says:

    That’s what I’m talking about! The first visit to your blog, not only do I get a yummy recipe, but learned a trick for the roasting pan as well. I’ll be a regular visitor now. Thanks Bethany.

  77. Anon – Yes, those are potatoes on the plate and the recipe will be posted this week ;D

  78. Leanne – You could definitely do it with breasts instead of thighs. It would even be great as grilled chicken breasts. You can bake them like the thighs if you want, although I’m not sure exactly how long they’ll take.

  79. Anonymous says:

    What do you have on the plate with the chicken thighs? Some sort of potato? It looks great!

  80. Would it be possible to modify the baking time to do chicken breasts instead? My fiance doesn’t like dark meat but this sounds really tasty.

  81. Looks amazing! :-) PS love your blog! ;-)

  82. Sarah L. says:

    This looks awesome! My family loves a little spice so I can’t wait to try these at our next grilling.

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