5 Quick & Easy Healthy Dinners Starring Chicken Thighs

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December 17, 2019
Cast iron chicken thighs
Photo Credit: Sabrina Modelle

Chicken breasts get all the love, but we think chicken thighs are even better. They’re less expensive than breasts, they cook faster, they’re more flavorful, and less likely to dry out. (That’s because they’re higher in fat, which isn’t a bad thing — remember, fat is good for you.) Plus, if you make chicken as often as we do, you’re probably ready for something different.

Whether you go for boneless, skinless, or leave them just as nature intended, it’s a good idea to buy organic if possible, or look for a label indicating the chickens were raised without antibiotics.

1. Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs

Photo Credit: Craving Tasty

We love BBQ no matter the season, and since this recipe uses the oven, you can have it any time. Simply roast the thighs until the skin is crisp, brush on a quick mix of barbecue sauce, hot sauce and garlic, and roast until done. The result: juicy, tender chicken that’s loaded with flavor.

Pro tip: Look for a barbecue sauce made without added sugar, like Good Food for Good.

2. Easy Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs

Photo credit: Paleo Running Momma

Who doesn’t love a healthy, flavorful dinner that’s made with pantry staples — and can be on the table in 20 minutes? This foolproof, fuss-free recipe is bound to become a family fave. Quick-sear boneless, skinless thighs, add a few simple ingredients to the skillet, cook down to a tasty pan sauce, and dinner’s ready. Plus: It’s gluten-free and Whole30-friendly.

3. Sesame Chicken

sesame chicken

Photo Credit: What Great Grandma Ate

Back away from the takeout menus! Why order in when you can enjoy this healthier version of sesame chicken in less than 30 minutes? Bonus: You can sauté it in a skillet or user your air-fryer, whichever you prefer. Whir a few ingredients in your blender, and you have a super-tasty sauce that’s sweetened only with dates, no added sugar. This sweet-salty-tangy dish will satisfy any craving and leave you feeling way better than anything you could have had delivered.

4. Crispy Curried Chicken Thighs with Wilted Greens

Cast iron chicken thighs

Photo Credit: Sabrina Modelle

This one-pan meal couldn’t be easier: Toss the chicken in a curry spice mix and sear, then transfer to the oven. When it’s done, while the chicken rests, use the same skillet to cook up flavorful onions and greens. It’s done in 25 minutes.

Pro tip: Any curry powder you have on hand will work, so go for a hot madras curry for some heat, or choose a garam masala if you like yours on the milder side.

5. Creamy Bacon and Mushroom Chicken Thighs

whole30 chicken and mushrooms

Photo Credit: Healthy Little Peach

Nothing screams “comfort food” like a creamy chicken and mushroom dish. Now you can have your chicken-and-mushrooms and feel good about it. This one-skillet meal has bacon and garlic to add loads of flavor, and it’s made with coconut milk, so it’s dairy-free.

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