Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs


Quick and delicious oven-baked lemon garlic chicken thighs are perfect for a stress-free weeknight meal. 

lemon garlic chicken thighs with broccoli

I don’t think chicken thighs get enough love. 

I know they have bones and skin to contend with, but that’s where the flavor and juiciness comes from. Do your chicken breasts turn out dry unless you soak it in a pound of butter? Thighs would never treat you that way. 

Juicy, tender chicken every time. 

And frankly, they’re a lot cheaper too. I often buy ten pound bags of chicken leg quarters and separate the thighs and drumsticks myself. 

That said, you can make this recipe with leg quarter and/or drumsticks as well as thighs. 

Ingredients for Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Aside from the chicken itself, most of the ingredients you need are likely already in your spice cabinet. While it’s optional, I also include broccoli in this recipe to take care of your vegetable, as well as your protein. 

chicken, broccoli, butter, lemon, and spices on a table.

  • Chicken thighs. I recommend skin-on chicken thighs, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli

These ingredients, for the most part, can be adjusted to your taste preferences. However, I highly recommend you not sleep on fresh parsley. It adds a subtle flavor that you don’t know you’re missing until you add it. 

Ideas for other vegetables and ingredients substitutions

As mentioned above, the broccoli is optional. If you just want to bake a protein, and not a vegetable, you can leave it out. 

You can also swap it for a different vegetable. 

Some great options are:

  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini

Also mentioned above, you can use chicken leg quarters instead of thighs. This recipe calls for six thighs, so you can use 3-4 leg quarters. 

Other switches could be drumsticks, breasts (I recommend skin-on), or turkey pieces. 

If you prefer dairy-free, switch the butter with olive oil

How to make Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs 

This is the easy part. 

Mix your spices together, and rub it allover the chicken and place in a greased baking pan.

Melt the butter and garlic together, and simmer for one minute, the spoon over chicken.

Zest a lemon over the top of the chicken, and then squeeze the juice of the lemon over it.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, cut your broccoli crown into florets, and chop your parsley.

Take chicken out of the oven and sprinkle with parsley, then wedge broccoli in around the chicken the best you can.

Pro tip: If there’s not enough room in the baking pan for as much broccoli as you need, you can always roast it on a parchment lined baking sheet instead!

That’s a pretty simple recipe, and goes really with with a side of steamed rice or thyme roasted sweet potatoes. 

FAQ and tips for making lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

This is a simple recipe that is easy to customize. Here are some guidelines.

How can I make these lemon garlic chicken highs dairy-free? 

Simple! Just switch the butter for light-tasting olive oil, or a butter substitute such as Earth Balance. 

Can I use other parts of the chicken? 

Yes, just adjust amounts and baking time for size, and keep in mind that cuts like chicken breasts will be drier. Especially if they’re boneless and skinless. Keep in mind, large pieces of bone-in chicken will take longer to bake.

My chicken skin is kinda rubber, what do I do? 

If you would like crispier chicken skin, remove the broccoli, or place the chicken in a clean baking pan, and put it under the broiler (about six inches away) for about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully though, as different broilers have different heat settings, and if could get dark very quickly. 

What sides should I serve with lemon garlic chicken thighs? 

For the vegetable, I obviously prefer broccoli, however you can switch it out as you prefer (suggestions above in the ingredient substitutions)

By itself, this recipe makes an excellent low carb dinner, which may appeal to you if you’re keto.

However, the rest of us probably want a starchy carb. I like steamed brown rice, oven fries, or other roasted potatoes. Sweet potato casserole is also good. You can also never go wrong with spinach mashed potatoes. 

How to store Lemon Garlic Chicken

Place leftovers in an airtight container such as a rubbermaid container with a tight fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

To reheat, place in a baking dish, and bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes until heated through. You can also microwave leftovers.

More simple main dishes to try

If you like lemon garlic chicken thighs, don’t miss these other easy and wholesome dinner recipes!


Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Elise New


  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups brocoli florets


  1. Preheat oven to 450º
  2. Place chicken thighs in a baking dish
  3. Stir paprika, onion powder, pepper, and salt together
  4. Sprinkle over chicken thighs
  5. Melt butter and garlic together, and simmer for 45-60 seconds
  6. Spoon over chicken, and brush to completely coat chicken
  7. sprinkle with lemon zest, and squeeze juice over the chicken
  8. Bake in center of oven for 15 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and add broccoli
  10. Brush broccoli with oil or butter, or spray with cooking spray (I use olive oil spray)
  11. Place back in oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until chicken is done through, and broccoli is tender
  12. Remove from oven, and garnish with more parsley if desired, and serve
  13. Enjoy!

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  1. The content of the article is very good and new. This is my first time reading information written on this topic. Thank you for sharing with me very interesting information.

  2. Good recipe! I do wonder when you want us to add the first bunch of parsley, though, since the recipe says to add more parsley, if desired, but never mentions adding it the first time.

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