Buffalo chicken thighs baked in the oven will be your new favorite way to make chicken. SUPER easy to make - they are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and coated in a finger-licking seasoned coating, then buffalo sauce. Are you ready? Bonus: make these keto by using crushed pork rinds.
❤️ Why You'll Love This
"I love buffalo wings - but you know what I DON'T love? There is no meat on them! A lot of work, little return. lol. These buffalo chicken thighs, on the other hand, are meaty, crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside - and you can rarely mess them up." 🙂 - Kori
I make these A LOT because they are super easy. Make the seasoning, coat the thighs, then bake. Only a few ingredients and you've got a main dish that your whole family will love.
These are seriously good. I'm not just saying that - they are loaded with flavor from the seasoned coating and buffalo sauce. Baking chicken thighs skin side down in a bit of butter creates a very flavorful and crispy buffalo chicken thigh.
I have always loved wings, but they just never have enough meat on them. Enter the chicken thigh - so meaty, extra juicy, crispy outside, easy to bake, and they rarely dry out. Who doesn't love a good buffalo chicken recipe?
A healthy homemade recipe I think you will enjoy. Here are a few ways to make them even healthier:
- These chicken thighs are oven baked instead of fried.
- Make it keto and low carb by using pork panko instead of flour. Brush the thighs with olive oil. Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch. Make sure your buffalo sauce is keto friendly.
- Want to lower the fat in this recipe? Omit the butter and use a fat free nonstick spray, dip chicken in water instead of brushing with olive oil. You could also go with skinless chicken thighs.
How To Serve
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve buffalo chicken thighs - including toppings, sauces, and side dishes:
- Garnish with cilantro, chives, or parsley.
- Serve with blue cheese sauce or ranch dressing. I always include celery and carrots sticks for dipping. They are often classic sides to buffalo chicken anyway.
- Sprinkle a little cheese on top, like blue cheese crumbles, queso fresco, or even parmesan cheese.
- Some side dishes that go well with these chicken thighs are: Blue Cheese Wedge Salad, Roasted Cabbage, Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad, and one of my favorite side dish casseroles - Baked Zucchini Casserole with Cheese.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Buffalo Chicken Thigh Recipe:
Be sure to see the recipe card for exact quantities.
- Bone-in Skin on Chicken Thighs - because this recipe tastes best with crispy skin and a juicy inside, I chose bone in and skin on. You can also use skinless and boneless chicken thighs if you are looking to lower the fat. Keep in mind that you will lose a little flavor and some of the crispiness, however.
- Butter - the butter is used to crisp the skin and give a golden brown color.
- Olive Oil - the olive oil is also used to crisp up the skin and help the coating to stick. You can dip the thighs in water if you would like to cut out some of the fat.
- Flour - use all-purpose flour, a baking mix like Bisquick, or if you are following a low carb or keto diet use pork panko.
- Kosher Salt
- Celery Salt - celery always seems to accompany chicken wings, so why not bring that flavor into the seasoning? It's delish!
- Smoked Paprika - using smoky paprika gives it amazing flavor, but you can use regular paprika as well.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Buffalo Sauce - make my 5-minute healthy buffalo sauce or any favorite brand or make your own.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions!
Equipment and tools needed to make these oven baked chicken thighs:
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- Gallon sized plastic bag
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Spoon
- Instant Read Thermometer
Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to your buffalo chicken thighs:
- Give them a garlic twist by adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Make buffalo chicken wings instead of thighs, bake in an oven at 400-degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (165-degrees F).
- Make a ranch-style buffalo thigh by adding 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix to the coating mix. Eliminate the celery salt.
Here's how to make these buffalo chicken thighs:
For complete instructions, please see the printable recipe card below.
Make Seasoned Coating
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the flour, paprika, salt, celery salt, and black pepper to a gallon-sized plastic bag or a medium-sized mixing bowl. Shake or stir to combine.
Line a baking sheet with foil, and place the butter on the sheet.
Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes until the butter is melted.
Brush the thighs with olive oil.
One by one, place each chicken thigh in the bag and shake.
Remove the chicken pieces from the bag and place them on a plate until ready for baking.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the butter around.
Place the coated chicken thighs on the baking sheet, skin side down.
Bake chicken thighs for 35 minutes and then turn over so they finish baking skin side up.
Return to the oven and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is done (165-degrees Fahrenheit).
Toss With Buffalo Sauce
Place chicken thighs in a large bowl and drizzle with buffalo sauce. Toss gently to coat.
Garnish with fresh parsley, cilantro, or chives with a side of ranch or blue cheese sauce. Serve and enjoy!
- Don't forget to get to melt the butter on the baking sheet - and place the thighs skin side down. The butter is flavorful and this step helps to give that oven-fried chicken taste with a crispy golden skin.
- Chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 165-degrees Fahrenheit - the USDA recommended safe cooking temperature.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes, partially. You can pre-mix the seasoned coating ahead of time, but don't coat the chicken until you are ready to bake.
You can also pre-bake the chicken a reheat it when you are ready to serve it.
How long will cooked chicken thighs keep?
Up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container.
Can you freeze this recipe?
Buffalo Chicken Thighs (Baked)
- 4 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin on)
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce
- Optional: blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing; fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a bowl or large plastic bag add flour, paprika, salt, celery salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place 3 pats of butter on the sheet. Place in oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the butter.
- Brush chicken thighs with olive oil, then place in the bag (one at a time) and coat with seasoning mixture.
- Place each chicken piece skin side down on the baking sheet, in the butter.
- Bake for 35 minutes, remove from oven and turn the thighs over. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches (165°F).
- Remove chicken from oven, put the thighs in a medium-sized bowl, drizzle with buffalo sauce, then toss to coat.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- SUBSTITUTIONS: To lower the fat in this recipe - use water instead of olive oil before coating the chicken, use skinless chicken thighs, and coat the baking sheet with a nonstick spray instead of butter (keep in mind you will lose some flavor, but they will still be good!
- VARIATIONS: Give these a garlic twist by adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder; make these a ranch-style buffalo thigh by adding a 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix to the coating mix. Eliminate the celery salt.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Garnish with cilantro, chives, or parsley; serve with Blue Cheese Dressing or ranch dressing. I always include celery and carrots sticks for dipping; a few side dishes that go well with this recipe: Blue Cheese Wedge Salad, Roasted Cabbage, Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
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You can freeze the baked chicken thighs and thaw them in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours before serving. The chicken will lose some of its crispiness, so it is best to reheat in your oven or an air fryer to crisp them up when you are ready to eat.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious chicken thighs recipes, check these out:
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Italian Style Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Chicken Paprika
- Low Carb Chicken in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Fajita Soup (Crockpot + Instant Pot)
- Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup (Slow Cooker + Instant Pot)