These delicious and easy blackened chicken thighs are tender, juicy, and packed with bold, smoky flavor. They're the perfect protein for salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and more!
Why You'll Love This Blackened Chicken Thigh Recipe
These incredibly easy blackened chicken thighs are one of my favorite mains. Delicious, simple to make, and so versatile, these seasoned chicken thighs will liven up any dinner.
They're savory, smoky, a tiny bit spicy, and so delicious. The juicy, tender chicken thighs are more moist and flavorful than chicken breasts.
Try them in salads, wraps, bowls, as a main course with vegetables, rice, or potatoes, shredded or chopped in tacos, in sandwiches... whatever you like!
Plus, they're perfect for meal prep. Just make blackened chicken at the beginning of the week, and serve it in work lunches, dinners, or as a snack.
It's a great one-pan chicken recipe to make on a weeknight, and who couldn't use more of those?
It's low-carb, too. I don't personally follow a low-carb diet, but I do have friends and family members who have, and this makes cooking for them simple.
- Why You'll Love This Blackened Chicken Thigh Recipe
- What You’ll Need
- Recommended Equipment
- How to Make the Best Blackened Chicken Recipe
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Store
- How to Serve this Easy Blackened Chicken Recipe
- Expert Tips
- More Easy Chicken Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
What You’ll Need
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Chicken Thighs I recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for easy and quick cooking. They are readily available in most grocery stores.
Cayenne Pepper I use cayenne pepper in this recipe for a spicy kick. You can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper depending on your personal preferences.
Thyme Using dried thyme adds a floral, savory flavor to this blend of spices. I don't recommend using fresh thyme here.
Oregano I recommend using dried oregano, too. It gives the chicken a subtle earthy flavor.
Black Pepper Freshly ground black pepper is best for this recipe. It is much more flavorful than pre-ground pepper and adds a wonderful bite to the seasoning blend.
Garlic Powder Having a well-blended spice mix allows the chicken to be evenly coated, so I opt for Garlic powder in this recipe. It adds tons of flavor to the dish!
Paprika I used sweet paprika in my blend, but smoked paprika or hot paprika would work as well. It adds a lovely red hue to the chicken and a nice, smoky flavor.
Kosher Salt I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my savory recipe development. It coats food better while being less salty by volume than table salt or sea salt. If you only have table or sea salt, divide the amount in the recipe by half.
How to Make the Best Blackened Chicken Recipe
Step One: Combine the spices to create the blackened chicken seasoning.
Step Two: Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil.
Step Three: Meanwhile, pat the chicken thighs dry and coat all sides of the chicken with the blackening spice.
Step Four: Cook the chicken on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken starts to turn golden brown and form a dark crust.
Step Five: Flip and cook the chicken for another 5 to 6 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step Six: Remove the chicken from the pan. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes! If you love the blackened chicken thighs at Sweetgreen, this recipe is an easy way to make them at home.
Blackening seasoning is a combination of spices and herbs that is used to season dishes like blackened chicken, shrimp, or fish. It is a smoky, spicy blend that is very similar to Cajun or Creole seasoning.
Cajun seasoning and blackening seasoning are very similar. They both have garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne. However, blackening seasoning adds other dried herbs and spices, like oregano.
Variations and Substitutions
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs: You can also cook this recipe in the air fryer. Just cook at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Oven: You can also try these in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Measure the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached 165.
Bone-In Chicken Thighs: Bone-in thighs can produce super tender and juicy dark meat that's crisp on the outside. They will take a little longer to cook. Make sure it has reached an internal temp of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check this recipe for cast iron chicken thighs for times and temperatures.
Onion Powder: You can add a bit of onion powder to the spice mix for more savory flavor.
How to Store
Fridge Store leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
Freezer You can freeze this recipe for up to 6 months. To reheat the chicken, thaw it in the fridge overnight and then heat it up in a pan with a bit of oil, in the air fryer, or in the microwave.
Reheating Reheat the chicken pieces either in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through, in the air fryer for a few minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit, or on the stove with a bit of oil over medium heat.
How to Serve this Easy Blackened Chicken Recipe
Can't decide what to serve with blackened chicken? Try some of the side dishes below!
Grain Bowl Add chicken strips to a grain bowl of your choice. You can swap the chickpeas for chicken in this Mediterranean grain bowl.
Pasta Try adding blackened chicken to a pasta dish like this aglio olio or serve with alfredo sauce over spaghetti or penne pasta.
Salad Greek Green Salad is a full meal with the addition of this blackened chicken recipe. You can also use chicken as a main dish with a side salad with lemon herb dressing or an arugula caprese salad.
- This recipe is easy to scale. You can easily make a big batch of this chicken to serve throughout the week or serve to a large crowd.
- Don't use a nonstick skillet. You never want to use a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. It will degrade the nonstick coating quickly and you'll have to replace your pans much more often.
- Use a meat thermometer. I always use an instant-read thermometer to get an accurate temperature reading. If the chicken is below 165 degrees Fahrenheit, continue to cook it for a minute or two.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
The Best Blackened Chicken Thighs
- Frying Pan or Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 pound chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado or grapeseed oil
- Combine the spices to create the blackened chicken seasoning.
- Place a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken thighs dry and coat all sides of the chicken with the blackening spice.
- Sear the chicken on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken starts to turn golden brown and form a dark crust.
- Flip and cook the chicken for another 5 to 6 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the pan. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve!
- If you only have table or sea salt, divide the amount in the recipe by half.
- Fridge These chicken thighs will last for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer You can freeze this recipe for up to 6 months. To reheat the chicken, thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat.
- Reheating Reheat chicken tenders either in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through, in the air fryer for a few minutes at 380, or on the stove with a bit of oil over medium heat.