Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs

$6.03 recipe / $1.21 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 13 votes
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Is there any food that isn’t good when drenched in garlic butter? It’s the easiest, most fool-proof way to make something insanely delish. So, because it’s the week after Thanksgiving and I don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I whipped up these quick Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs. They only require about five minutes of prep, about 30 minutes in the oven, and then they’re ready to eat!

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs in a baking dish, one being scooped out with a serving spoon

What to Serve with Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs

First things first, you’ll have a lot of delicious lemony garlic butter in the bottom of your baking dish, so you definitely want to serve this chicken with something to soak it up, or spoon it over. Today I served mine with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and some simple steamed green beans, both of which benefited from a generous drizzle. Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes would also be awesome, as would some Homemade No Knead Bread, or even just a bed of rice. Are you a garlic lover? Double up and serve Homemade Garlic Bread on the side!

Can You Make This With Chicken Breast?

The cooking times and temperatures listed below are specific to boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you prefer boneless chicken breast, I suggest following the instructions in my Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast recipe. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs will require a longer cooking time, but unfortunately I have not tested this with that type of chicken so I don’t know the exact time needed.

For the Best Results, Use a Meat Thermometer

Ovens can vary, baking dishes can vary, the size of chicken thighs can vary. All of these factors can affect baking time, which is why it’s so important to have a meat thermometer. The digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) I use is extremely affordable and let’s me know without a doubt whether my meat is cooked to a safe temperature, and whether I’m in danger of overcooking my meat. ;) 

A piece of Garlic Butter Baked Chicken on a plate with potatoes, green beans, and a black fork.

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Baked Garlic Butter Chicken Thigh Recipe

5 from 13 votes
Drenched in lemony garlic butter, these tender Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs are an easy and delicious no-fuss weeknight dinner recipe.
Overhead view of Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thighs in the baking dish, one being scooped out with a serving spoon.
Servings 5
Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter ($0.40)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced ($0.32)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 fresh lemon ($0.79)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) ($0.10)
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.25 lbs.) ($4.36)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the butter in a bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, salt, some freshly cracked pepper (about 1/8 tsp), and about a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Place the chicken thighs in an 8x8" baking dish. Spoon the garlic butter mixture over the chicken thighs, using the back of the spoon to spread it over the surface of the chicken.
  • Slice the lemon into half-rounds. Scatter the lemon pieces around the chicken in the dish.
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reaches 165ºF.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the baking juices over top of the chicken, then sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley over top just before serving.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 247.8kcalCarbohydrates: 2.04gProtein: 21.34gFat: 17.9gSodium: 329.18mgFiber: 0.48g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Juices being drizzled over the garlic butter baked chicken in the baking dish

How to Make Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs – Step by Step Photos

Garlic butter ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Add 4 Tbsp butter to a bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper (about ⅛ tsp), and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley.

Mixed garlic butter mixture in the bow with a spoon

Stir the garlic butter ingredients to combine.

Garlic butter being spooned over chicken thighs in a baking dish

Place five boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a baking dish, then spoon the garlic butter mixture over top. Use the back of the spoon to spread the garlic butter over the surface of the chicken thighs.

Lemon pieces added to chicken in the baking dish

Slice a lemon into half-rounds then scatter the lemon pieces in the baking dish with the garlic butter coated chicken.

Baked garlic butter chicken thighs in the baking dish with fresh parsley

Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF (use an instant read thermometer to make sure). Use a spoon to drizzle the juices from the baking dish over the chicken pieces, then top with another tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley just before serving.

Juices being drizzled over garlic butter baked chicken thighs on a plate with potatoes and green beans

Don’t waste a drop of that garlic butter from the baking dish! It’s great on the chicken, potatoes, to sop up with bread, or drizzled over your vegetables!

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  1. The chicken was tender, juicy, and tasty! The sliced lemons added just the amount of zing to the dish! Some changes that worked for me: I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper before putting it in the baking dish, increased the paprika to 1/2 teaspoon, and microbladed the garlic to incorporate fully into the sauce. Have to watch my cholesterol so four tablespoons of butter is too much for me: I substituted 2 T olive oil and 2 T dairy free butter. The parsley was perfect – I can’t imagine the dish without it! Served it with sauteed mushrooms and kale, jasmine rice, and a spinach salad.

  2. I don’t have any lemons…Will the recipe work without lemons or without a substitute for lemons?

    1. The onions definitely add a nice contrast in flavor to the rich butter, so the flavor might be kind of one-dimensional without them. I don’t think there is anything I’d use in their place.

  3. So delicious! I used lime bcus i had no lemons and it turned out fine. I will make this again!

  4. This is SO good and easy. I didn’t have parsley on hand so I left it out, and followed the rest of the recipe exactly. I baked my chicken thighs in an oven-safe non-stick skillet and they were fully cooked in 30 minutes; I’m glad I checked and didn’t leave them in longer. I had some leftovers today with garlic & herb rice pilaf – I’ll probably cut up whatever is left and enjoy it in a salad. The sauce congealed in the fridge due to the butter in it, but it melted easily when warmed in the microwave. I will be making these often as they are so versatile. Thank you Beth!

  5. When I baked the lemons with the chicken, the chicken turned out super bitter. So I’m going to do it without the lemons this time, and just add them after for the flavor. Great recipe though! 

    1. What causes that bitter flavor when cooking with lemons is usually the rind (the white part). So if you find yourself having this issue I’d reccomend peeling your lemons.

  6. This has been a COVID staple for our family. I have tried it with limes and lemons. I’ve also added apples. Next I am swapping out the lemon for orange. Really delicious!

    1. This would probably freeze okay, but I’m sure the flavors are going to be a little more pronounced when fresh. I’d probably freeze this with some mashed potatoes and maybe Brussels sprouts and make sure to spoon all that butter sauce over the mashed potatoes. :)

  7. If I have 2 chicken thighs in the freezer with 3 breasts, how can I modify this recipe to make sure they all cook the same?

    Thanks!

    1. Unfortunately I probably can’t give exact advice, since the cooking rate is really going to depend on the size of the pieces, but one thing that will help them cook at a more similar rate is to make sure to pound the chicken breasts until they are roughly the same thickness as the chicken thighs.