Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

$5.13 recipe / $0.64 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.71 from 34 votes
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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 was 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!

Close up of honey spice chicken thigh being pulled apart by fork

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Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

4.71 from 34 votes
These juicy Honey Spice Chicken Thighs are coated in a sweet and spicy rub and then baked until tender. 
Author: Adapted from Cooking Light
Servings 8
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 50 minutes


  • 8 chicken thighs (about 4 lbs) ($4.16)
  • 1/3 cup honey ($0.59)
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar ($0.06)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($0.15)
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder ($0.08)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.02)
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 22gFat: 5gSodium: 409mgFiber: 0.5g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Two cooked honey spice chicken thighs on white plate

Step By Step Photos

Package of raw chicken thighs
This 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.

raw chicken thighs on roasting pan
I 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 spice mixture in small mixing bowl
The honey spice mixture includes: honey, cider vinegar, chili powder (not spicy), garlic powder, cumin, cayenne (spicy), smoked paprika, and salt.

honey spice mixture stirred together in small bowl with spoon
Stir everything together.

raw chicken coated with honey spice sauce
Brush about half of the honey spice mixture onto the chicken. Place it in a fully preheated, 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

applying second coat of honey spice sauce to half baked chicken
After 20 minutes, take the chicken out and use the rest of the honey spice mixture to brush on a second coat.

fully cooked chicken taken out of oven with third coat of honey spice sauce brushed on top
After 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.

close up of honey spice chicken thighs
And then it looks like this and tastes delicious! Serve hot.

Top view of honey spice chicken thighs on roasting pan with one thigh plated on a plate

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  1. Delicious! I left the skin on and it came out crispy. Not too much heat just great flavor.

  2. I’m excited to try this! But I’m curious about the calorie count. It seems a little high and I just wanted to double check. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for noticing that! Indeed, the nutrition information was wildly high because the widget we use (Spoontacular API) was misidentifying one of the ingredients! I’ve updated the nutrition estimates, and you should see those changes at the bottom of the recipe now! ~ marion :)

      Just a reminder: These nutritional figures should only be considered a rough estimation, and they do not constitute actual health advice. If you have dietary restrictions related to a health condition, please consult a doctor or certified nutritionist for guidance on developing a meal plan that’s right for you. You can learn more about Spoontacular API and read our full nutrition disclaimer here: https://www.budgetbytes.com/nutrition-information-disclaimer/

    1. You could probably do something similar with chicken breasts, but I would use a different cooking method. I’d probably do them in a skillet instead to make sure you get that nice caramelization before the chicken gets overcooked.

  3. I just made this recipe. Yum! It has me curious about what else that apple cider & honey mix can go on! That was a nice balance of flavor! 

  4. Followed instructions, but my oven must be too hot; mixture started burning on chicken skin. I find recipes that use honey usually burn in my oven 🤔

  5. Beth’s recipes are AMAZING. and EASY! Love them ALL. I don’t think I’ve made this honey spice one – what are other good sides with this dish?

    1. 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.

    2. My mom makes this in the Crock-Pot, and it’s really good! It kind of creates a sauce that’s good over something like mashed potatoes or rice!