Jan 20, 2023
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This Pesto chicken thighs recipe is quick, healthy, and comes together fast with only 2 main ingredients: Chicken and pesto!
You can use store-bought pesto if you’re in a rush, or you could make pesto at home in minutes. Regardless, these thighs turn out lip-smackingly tasty and super juicy!
Baked Pesto Chicken Thighs
The best part about baked pesto chicken thighs? It’s a complete meal in itself!
In short, it is the perfect comfort food for days when you’re exhausted after work, don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen, have a lazy Sunday, or are expecting guests at short notice.
Just get out those chicken thighs, throw in some pesto, and let it marinate for a bit. Now, the only thing left is to bake the pesto-covered chicken to crispy perfection. And voilá, you have a meal ready in under an hour!
Pesto Chicken Ingredients
Sometimes the most flavorful dinner ideas come from the simplest ingredients. To make this recipe, you only need:
- Chicken thighs: preferably with the skin and bone intact; however, if you can’t find chicken thighs, you can go for chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs as well.
- Pesto: you can save time and make it easy by using store-bought or homemade pesto.
How to Bake Pesto Chicken Thighs
If you can turn on the oven and be a little patient, you can make these baked pesto chicken thighs! While I share a full recipe below, here is a summary of what you’ll be doing:
- Get the chicken ready:
Remove any excess fat from the thighs and pat them dry.
- Get marinating:
In a large bowl or zip bag, place the chicken thighs and pesto. Seal or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Prep the oven items:
Preheat the oven and prep the baking dish.
- Get baking:
Transfer the pesto-marinated thighs into the baking dish and bake.
Enjoy these thighs until your heart is content. You’re going to love them!
Remember to print the recipe below with measurements and step-by-step directions.
As you can see, this recipe is super easy and can be made ahead of time!
Watch the recipe video to see these juicy pesto chicken thighs from start to finish!
Perfectly Crispy Skin on Pesto Chicken Thighs
If you want your chicken thighs to turn out crispy, make sure to pat them dry before coating them in the pesto marinade. Oil and water don’t mix, so if the thighs are wet, the pesto will slide right off.
Since pesto contains olive oil, the chicken thighs should turn out nice and crisp!
Can You Use Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs?
Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs to make this pesto chicken recipe. However, you’ll need to shorten the cooking time to 30 minutes.
You can read more about cooking times and all the details about baking chicken thighs here.
What to Serve with Pesto Baked Chicken Thighs
These pesto baked chicken thighs pair great with a healthy side salad, shaved brussels sprouts and bacon salad, or any of these sides for chicken thighs.
Pesto Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- ½ cup prepared pesto or homemade
- Prepare the pesto sauce, if using homemade.
- For ultimate flavor, marinate chicken in a zip bag or airtight container by combining the pesto and chicken thighs. Seal and refrigerate to marinate for 4h or overnight. Otherwise, place the chicken in a baking dish, top with pesto sauce over and under the skin.
- Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 400F. Grease a baking dish.
- Transfer the pesto-marinated thighs into the greased baking dish. Spoon any pesto from the marinade bag on the underside of the skin or in and around the thighs. For extra flavor, rub some of the pesto under the skin.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until the tops are crispy and the chicken’s internal temperature is 175F.
Love the recipe, Laura! Chicken thighs turned out suuuuper tasty and with crispy skin. So so good!
OBSESSED with these pesto chicken thighs. So good!