Roasted chicken thighs is one of those meals that just make you feel at home. I don't think you can possible go wrong with baked chicken and potatoes for appealing to the whole family. The thyme isn't too overpowering and the lemon adds acidity and brightness without being overly lemony. My mom made thyme chicken with lemon all the time as a kid, since it's so easy to throw together and get on the table without a lot of effort. I'm sure that this will be a family favorite for you too!Jump to Video
One of the best parts about this herb roasted chicken recipe is the minimal equipment needed! You really only need a large baking sheet, but I also like to use silicone mats to roast chicken as well. It helps with cleanup and has little wires running through them that ensure the bottom is evenly heated. While you can certainly use aluminum foil, I prefer not to cook with aluminum in case it has negative health effects.
Ingredients and Potential Swaps
Roasted chicken with lemon and thyme has a lot of staple ingredients that you can keep in your freezer and pull out when you need a quick meal.
- Chicken - I usually use one Costco frozen package and just however many chicken pieces are in there. I would guess that this is about 1 pound, bone-less and skinless. This usually winds up being anywhere from 4-6 boneless chicken thighs so keep that in mind when feeding a crowd.
- Potatoes - Any kind will do! Just make sure that you cut them up to bite sized pieces that are uniform in size so that they cook evenly and quickly
- Onion - Whatever you have on hand will do, cut into slices.
- Whole Garlic Cloves - Roasted garlic is one of my very favorite things. They add a really amazing pop of flavor and crunch occasionally as you eat. Don't worry if you want to add more or less. You could also sprinkle garlic powder over the entire pan if that's what you have on hand.
- Olive Oil - This is important to make sure that your food doesn't burn and caramelizes nicely. Occasionally I will also spray the entire pan with an avocado oil spray just to ensure that everything is evenly covered. You can sub the olive oil with avocado oil as well!
- Lemon - This is key! You need an acid for your food to taste complete so don't leave this out. If you don't have or like lemon, I would recommend trying white wine vinegar!
- Thyme - I love thyme. It's a subtle herb that goes great in so many dishes. But this is a great place to change up flavor! I can see rosemary or oregano being natural substitutions. Don't be afraid to branch out! Cumin or paprika would also be great, so try any of your favorite spices! You don't even have to limit yourself to one just one! Doesn't roasted chicken with lemon thyme and rosemary sound amazing?
- Peas and Pearl Onions - So the first time I made lemon thyme chicken I forgot the peas and pearl onions and could not figure out what was missing. So while you can certainly leave these out, I don't recommend it! Feel free to substitute other vegetables though, or leave out the pearl onions if don't like them. I also recommend just going for frozen vs fresh. It's a lot less work and you can keep them on hand for on demand meals!
- Salt and Pepper - Seasoning is very important for flavor. Don't forget these!
Do I have to use boneless skinless chicken thighs?
Of course you don't! I would also recommend chicken breasts, bone-in chicken thighs, chicken wings, or drumsticks! You'll just want to make sure to adjust the time and remove them when they're fully cooked. Always cook your chicken to 165 degrees!
Recipe Tips and Notes
If you want to make the very best roasted lemon thyme chicken then you have to make sure that you do a few things to make sure that will make it taste best to you! For example, my mom cooks hers at 350 degrees for much longer until the onions and potatoes are super browned and crispy. She might even double the onion because that's her favorite part. Try that out if it sounds good to you!
Don't let the onions burn. If you don't get a lot of oil spread around or stir often, then you might burn the onions which doesn't taste the best.
Does thyme go well with chicken?
Thyme is great for a variety of different styles of cooking and is good for a lot of different things. I usually think if something would be good with basil or rosemary, it would be good with thyme too. It's one of my favorite spices and I love when it plays a dominant role is a dish.
Does it take longer to cook chicken thighs with the bone in?
Yes, absolutely. Anything with the bone in will take longer to cook. Boneless skinless thighs will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on the thickness. Bone-in thighs usually take between 30-45 minutes. If you're not sure how to tell then invest in a good meat thermometer! I have the ThermoPro TP-17 with Dual Probes which I love because it beeps when it reaches the temperature you have set. Never overcook you meats again!
How to cook perfect chicken in the oven?
You can't go wrong with roasting lemon thyme chicken in the pan along with the vegetables. I especially enjoy using this method in a roasted chicken dish because the potatoes soak up chicken flavor and get really caramelized and golden brown. If you are looking for a fool-proof way to roast bone-in chicken thighs, then try out the cast iron roast chicken method that I use in both the Cast Iron Chicken with Roasted Garlic Chimichurri and the Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Pasta with Chicken. This method has you sear the chicken prior to putting them in the oven for a perfect crispy skin.
How long will thyme chicken thighs keep?
I recommend keeping cooked chicken in your fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days after cooking.
What do you eat lemon chicken with?
The best part about roasting a one pan chicken meal is everything you need for the meal is cooking alongside the chicken. No additional side dishes required! See "ingredient swaps" above for more suggestions on what else you can use in this dish.
I can't wait for you to try out Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Thyme for your next family meal! Leave a comment with the changes you made and how you made this your own! If you like what you see here and want to get updates with new recipes, subscribe to my email list! I only send out new recipes so you won't want to miss them!
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Thyme
- Large sheet pan
- 5 whole boneless chicken thighs, salted generously on both sides (can also use bone-in skin on chicken thighs, see above for notes on time.)
- oil spray
- 2 cups potatoes, cubed (about 2 russet potatoes)
- 1 whole large onion, cut into slices
- ½ cup whole cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ pkg frozen peas, thawed (just leave them out when you start salting the chicken)
- ½ pkg frozen pearl onions, thawed (just leave them out when you start salting the chicken)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Spray a large roasting pan with your choice of olive oil spray. Place onions all around the pan. Place chicken spaced apart on top. Place potatoes and garlic cloves around the chicken.
- Pour olive oil and lemon juice over entire tray. Sprinkle thyme over entire tray (don't be afraid to use a little more if you want). Sprinkle salt and pepper around the chicken on the potatoes to taste (but air on the side of a little more since the potatoes will need it).
- Roast in oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165. Remove chicken from the oven. Stir around onions and potatoes and roast for an additional 20 minutes. Add peas and pearl onions to potatoes and sliced onions and stir to combine. Return chicken to the pan. Roast for a final 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately! Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag @thatzestlife in your photo! I would love to see what you made!
Looking for more one pan meals?
Check out our favorite one pan meals!