Honey balsamic chicken thighs are simple to make and the whole family will love their great flavor. The sauce is amazing!
Why you’ll love it: The crispy chicken thighs are dressed up with such a flavorful sauce. You’ll want to pour this sauce on everything!
How long it takes: 45 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: small rimmed baking sheet, small saucepan
Looking for a simple chicken recipe? You’ll love the garlicky honey balsamic sauce on these chicken thighs. It really dresses up plain chicken and you can drizzle any leftover sauce on rice or roasted vegetables.
This chicken dinner is a great weeknight meal. It’s so easy to throw together. While the chicken is baking, put rice or potatoes on to cook and get the sauce simmering. Throw together a bagged salad or a simple veggie and dinner is ready.
Not fond of chicken thighs? Use chicken breasts instead, or buy a combination pack of chicken so everyone is happy. We also love this slow cooker pork loin with balsamic glaze.
I think you’ll find yourself turning to this chicken recipe frequently. It’s so easy, versatile, and delicious!
About This Recipe
The lip smacking sauce is a sweet and tangy combination of honey and balsamic vinegar, with a bit of garlic and olive oil added. It’s so easy to make and goes great on pretty much anything. You may even want to make a double batch.
The sauce is used as a glaze for the chicken after it’s been roasted. If you have picky eaters, serve the sauce on the side.
I’ll get you started on this super easy recipe here and throw in a few helpful tips. Look for the printable recipe card for complete instructions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Chicken Thighs: Look for bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, about one and a half pounds total for four servings. Other cuts of chicken can be substituted.
- Honey: Sticky and sweet, honey is the base of the sauce. You’ll need a quarter cup.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Rich dark balsamic vinegar is tangy and intensely flavorful.
- Olive Oil: Just a tablespoon is added to the sauce to give it a good consistency and rich flavor.
- Garlic: Start with one clove but if you’re a passionate garlic fan, go ahead and throw in two or more cloves. For a milder garlic flavor (or if you don’t happen to have fresh garlic), substitute a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Salt & Pepper
How To Make This Recipe
This is a really easy meal. Preheat your oven and prep a small rimmed baking pan by either spraying it lightly with nonstick spray or lining it with parchment paper.
Season the chicken thighs lightly with salt and pepper and arrange them on the baking sheet. There should be a bit of space between each piece.
Roast the chicken until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. The best way to tell if it’s done? Use an instant read thermometer. Poke it into the thickest part (not touching the bone). The internal temperature should read at least 165°F.
While the chicken is roasting, mix the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Once the chicken is roasted, drizzle the thighs with the sauce and serve. If you prefer more of a glaze topping, pop them back into the oven or under the broiler to set the glaze.
Garnish the saucy thighs with finely chopped green onions, parsley, or chives.
What to serve with honey balsamic chicken thighs
I recommend serving steamed rice with the chicken, either white or brown, to soak up any extra sauce. Or, since you have the oven on already, make baked potatoes and roast a vegetable to go with the chicken. Broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots are great choices. Roasted green beans are really good, too.
A glaze is a sweet sauce that coats the chicken with a shiny or glossy finish. The flavorful glaze can be “set” on the outside of the chicken by briefly broiling the chicken after applying the glaze.
The sauce should include a sweet element, such as honey or syrup, to help it cling to the meat. Simmer it long enough to thicken it; very thin sauce has a tendency to run right off the chicken. Skin-on chicken that’s been roasted until it’s crisp will retain the sauce better, too.
Make it your own
- Roast chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs (see roasted bone-in chicken breasts). They’ll take a bit longer to bake.
- Remove the skin before roasting if desired. The chicken won’t be quite as flavorful but you’ll reduce the calories.
- Increase/decrease the amount of garlic in the sauce or substitute garlic powder (¼ teaspoon per clove).
- Rather grill tonight? Try my balsamic chicken marinade recipe.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Cooked chicken will keep in the fridge for three to four days in a tightly covered container, or frozen for three to four months. The sauce can be stored separately or right on the chicken. Another option is to remove the chicken from the bone, shred it slightly, and combine it with sauce before storing it.
For best results, thaw frozen chicken overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave. Reheat larger amounts in the oven at 350°F for twenty minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Jazz up your chicken!
Chicken doesn’t have to be boring. Try:
- Marinating the chicken in one of my Chicken Marinades (9 recipes)
- Chicken Fricassee made in one pan
- White Wine Chicken, Mushrooms and Bacon — another one pan recipe
- Orange Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy
- Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger and Basil
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Easy Chicken Chili with just FIVE ingredients!
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, approximately 1.5 lbs. total weight (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Rice for serving, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare small rimmed baking sheet by spraying lightly with non-stick spray.
- Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, in pan. Season the thighs with salt and pepper. Bake the thighs until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear when the thighs are pierced with a fork, 30-40 minutes. Internal temperature should read at least 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
- While the chicken roasts, combine the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Sauce will continue to thicken.
- Once the chicken is done, baste each thigh with the sauce. If you prefer more of a glaze topping, pop them back into the oven or under the broiler to set the glaze. Serve warm with additional sauce and cooked rice, if desired.
- Recipe adapted from Poor Girl Gourmet by Amy McCoy.
- If you prefer white meat, substitute bone-in chicken breasts. Bake at 400°F for 45 to 55 minutes or until done.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.