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Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

Serve your family these Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs for tonight’s dinner. They’re a delectable blend of juicy chicken coated with spices and baked with a sweet-tart glaze.

Welcome to your new favorite recipe: Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs. This dish is a wonderful example of using just the right ingredients to create flavors that pop. 

A serving of chicken with green beans on the side.

This chicken recipe is full of sweet and tangy magic. I coat juicy boneless chicken thighs with a special blend of spices before drenching them in a honey lemon glaze.

The resulting entree is just delightful, and it takes less than an hour to prepare this company-worthy dish.

Of course, you could make this with wings, a whole cut-up chicken, or any pieces you like, but the thigh is the tastiest, juiciest part to me. I know everyone sings the praises of the white pieces, but they can be just a bit dry. Especially if you’re baking them for any length of time.

❤️ Why I Love This Recipe


  • Balanced Flavors – The combination of lemon and honey creates a glaze that’s both tart and sweet, providing a delightful contrast to the savory, spicy chicken.
  • Very Verastile – It goes nicely with a variety of sides.
  • Simple but Elegant – Despite its simplicity, this recipe delivers some nicely sophisticated flavors.

🛒 Ingredient Notes


All ingredients needed to make the recipe.

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  • Chicken Thighs: I’ve always preferred chicken thighs for roasting or baking. They’re juicier than white meat and, in my opinion, much for flavorful. For this recipe, use thighs with the bone-in and skin-on.
  • Honey: Adds a natural sweetness and caramelizes beautifully, creating a yummy, sticky glaze.
  • Lemon Juice: That bright, acidic quality cuts through the sweet honey and really enhances the flavor of the graze! I prefer fresh lemon juice. For even more lemon flavor, include a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest as well.
  • Spices (Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Chili Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder): The combination of spices used here really enhances the chicken’s natural flavors.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Lemon and Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  1. In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder together.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet. Coat both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture. Turn the chicken thighs with the skin side down.
  3. Place in the hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes on the second side.
  1. Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the honey and lemon juice.
  2. Remove the chicken from the oven and baste the thighs with the honey and lemon mixture. Make sure each thigh is entirely covered with the mixture. Return the pan to the oven and continue cooking until the honey starts to thicken (about 5-10 minutes).
  3. To check for doneness, test with a thermometer in the thickest part of a thigh. The temperature should be at least 165 F, and the juices should run clear with no trace of pink.
  4. Remove the pan from oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Finished chicken thighs on a serving plate.

❗ Recipe Tips


Preventing Dry Chicken

  • Temperature is Key: Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken thighs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F. 
  • Resting: Allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, preventing dryness.

Ensuring a Perfect Glaze

  • Watch the Broil: If you decide to broil the chicken for a final caramelization, keep a close watch on it. The glaze can go from beautifully browned to burnt very quickly.
  • Glaze Consistency: If you’ve tried the recipe and found that the glaze didn’t thicken as much as you’d like, it can be reduced on the stove over medium heat before applying it to the chicken. 

Achieving Crispy Skin

  • Pat Dry: Before seasoning, thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness.

Uniform Cooking

  • Size Matters: Try to use chicken thighs that are similar in size for even cooking. Larger pieces may require additional time, while smaller pieces may cook more quickly.
  • Flipping: Be sure to flip the chicken as directed to promote even cooking and browning on both sides.

🔀 Possible Recipe Variations


  • Citrus Variations: While lemon is classic, feel free to experiment with other citrus fruits. Try making an orange glaze for a sweeter, more mellow flavor or lime juice for a sharper, more pronounced tang.
  • Spicy Kick: Add more red pepper flakes to the spice mix or a spoonful of your favorite hot sauce in the glaze. Another option is to use chipotle powder instead of regular chili powder.
  • Herb Infusions: Rosemary, thyme, or oregano can be mixed into the spice rub or chopped and sprinkled over the chicken before serving. 
  • Mustard Glaze: Adding Dijon mustard to the honey-lemon mixture makes a nice, emulsified glaze that balances the sweetness of the honey and the tartness of the lemon.
  • Asian Twist: Add a splash of soy sauce and a hint of ginger to the glaze. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Finished chicken thighs on a serving plate.

🍽️ How I Serve Honey Lemon Chicken Thighs


There are so many ways to serve this delicious recipe! I sometimes serve it on a bed of fluffy, steamed rice (or cauliflower rice!) with grilled vegetables or steamed green beans on the side. It’s also great with creamy Southern potato salad and cornbread or paired with baked sweet potatoes. A lovely summer option is to make it part of a Mediterranean-inspired platter with hummus, pita bread, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes. 

🍚 How I Store Leftovers


Leftovers (if you have any!) can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They make for a deliciously easy meal prep option or a great addition to salads and wraps.

❓ Questions About Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs


Can I make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts?

Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe for any cut of chicken. The cooking time will need to be adjusted according to the chicken pieces you use.

Is it possible to prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the individual parts of this dish in advance to save time. The spice mix can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container. The chicken thighs can be seasoned with the spice mix and kept in the refrigerator for up to a day before cooking. The honey-lemon glaze can also be prepared in advance and refrigerated until needed.

Can I use frozen chicken thighs for this recipe?

Of course, you can use frozen chicken thighs, but they should be fully thawed before seasoning and cooking. Thawing in the refrigerator overnight is the best method. Ensure the thighs are completely thawed and thoroughly patted dry before adding the spice mix.

Can I use fresh garlic in the spice mixture?

If you’d like to use fresh garlic cloves, peel and very finely mince two fat cloves of garlic and add them to the lemon-honey glaze mixture.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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A serving of chicken with green beans on the side.

Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

Enjoy these Lemon Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs for dinner, a blend of juicy chicken coated with spices and baked with a sweet-tart glaze, 
5 from 8 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 316kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • juice of 2 lemons

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder together.
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet. Coat both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture. Turn the chicken thighs with the skin side down.
  • Place in the hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes on the second side.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the honey and lemon juice.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and baste the thighs with the honey and lemon mixture. Make sure each thigh is entirely covered with the mixture. Return the pan to the oven and continue cooking until the honey starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).
  • To check for doneness, test with a thermometer in the thickest part of a thigh. The temperature should be at least 165 F, and the juices should run clear with no trace of pink.
  • Remove the pan from oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Cool leftovers  and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Serving options include — on a bed of steamed rice with grilled vegetables or steamed green beans on the side. Also great with creamy Southern potato salad and cornbread or paired with baked sweet potatoes. 

Nutrition Information

Serving 1piece | Calories 316kcal | Carbohydrates 19g | Protein 19g | Fat 19g | Saturated Fat 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat 4g | Monounsaturated Fat 8g | Trans Fat 0.1g | Cholesterol 111mg | Sodium 384mg | Potassium 264mg | Fiber 0.3g | Sugar 17g | Vitamin A 221IU | Vitamin C 2mg | Calcium 13mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Lemon and Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs - Juicy chicken thighs coated with spices and glazed with honey and lemon. https://www.lanascooking.com/lemon-honey-glazed-chicken-thighs

— This post was originally published on July 20, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It sounds delicious, and I’ll be trying it soon. I have a question. You mention cooking on a higher temperature and then turning the oven temp down. But it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the cooking directions. Should it be cooked at 450 the entire time, or should at some point the oven temperature be lowered? Thanks for clarification! Enjoy your cooking blog!

    1. Hi Beverly. Thanks for asking! That instruction should have been removed when I recently updated this post, and the temperature should have been changed to 425. I’ve made the needed corrections now. Let me know if you have more questions!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for the quick reply. We’ll be having this for Sunday lunch tomorrow!!

  2. Alexandrea Magallanes says:

    This has seriously become a regular meal in my hom. My family absolutely loves it!! Thanks you!!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I’m so glad your family enjoys it, Alexandrea! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. Goodness on the bone! I will definitely steal this and tell everyone that it is my very own recipe.

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Please do! Help yourself!