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Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs

(Budget-Friendly, Easy-to-make, One-Pot Recipe)

Written By: Byron | March 22, 2023
A baking tray of Mediterranean chicken thighs sits beside some fresh parsley and some lemon

Baked Mediterranean chicken thighs are a quick and easy one-pot dinner recipe that uses delicious flavors from Mediterranean cuisine to create a healthy dinner option. This easy chicken thigh recipe is low in fat, high in protein, and can be whipped up in under an hour. 

When paired with our Mediterranean yellow rice recipe and some fresh leafy greens, it makes the perfect healthy and balanced meal.

Budget-Friendly Recipe | Meat & Poultry Recipe | One-Pot | Easy Recipe | Main Meal Recipe| Low Fat | High Protein | High Fiber

Serving:

Main 4 servings

Ready in:

45 mins

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Your favorite side

Ingredients for making baked Mediterranean chicken thighs is laid out on a table.

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Ingredients you’ll need 

(makes 4 servings)

    • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin and excess fat removed
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 ripe tomato, skin removed and grated
    • 2-3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
    • 1 lemon
    • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional) 
    • 5 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon of oregano
    • 1 teaspoon of Spanish La Vera smoked paprika 
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin
    • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
    • ½  teaspoon of white pepper
    • Salt (to taste)

    Equipment needed

     Watch step-by-step recipe video

    If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

    Why you’ll love this recipe

    • Budget-friendly
    • Easy to make (5 mins prep)
    • Full flavors of the Mediterranean
    • Smoky paprika flavor
    • Healthy and nutritious
    • High in protein
    • Low in fat
    • Ideal for batch cooking or meal prepping

    How to make baked Mediterranean chicken thighs

    Step 1 – Make marinade 

    • Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F
    • Grate the tomato directly into the baking dish, and add the lemon juice, smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, onion powder, and white pepper. Mix well, add the olive oil and crushed garlic, and mix until the marinade has an even consistency.

    Step 2 – Add chicken and bake 

    • Add skinless chicken thighs to the marinade. Add sliced onion between chicken pieces. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle a few sprigs of fresh rosemary on top. 
    • Bake for 40 minutes.

    Step 3 – Serve 

    • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
    • Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some chopped parsley or coriander.
    a tray of baked chicken thighs

    Meal pairing suggestions

    Chicken thighs are a great source of protein but should be paired with some leafy greens or vegetables plus some grains for a balanced meal. Consider serving with some steamed or baked rice, couscous, salad, chickpeas, or another grain source. 

    Here are a few meal-pairing suggestions:

    How long to marinate the chicken?

    For this recipe, there is no need to marinade the chicken for a lengthy period of time. In fact, we simply coated each chicken thigh with the marinate, then we popped them straight in the oven.

    The cooking process at temperature gives plenty of time for the juices to soak into the chicken thigh and add flavor. 

    If you prefer to leave your chicken thighs to marinate before cooking, 1-2 hours is plenty. Simply cover the thighs with sauce in the baking tray, cover, and refrigerate. 

    Chicken thigh or chicken breast: Which is healthier?

    Chicken breast meat is leaner than chicken thigh meat and the breast meat also has less cholesterol compared to thigh meat, however, both are considered healthy options when prepared in a healthy way. 

    For this recipe, we prefer the flavor of chicken thigh meat and it marinates better than chicken breast meat. 

    Chicken thigh nutrition

    According to the USDA, a 100g (3.5 oz.) serving of skinless chicken thigh contains the following;

    • 164 calories
    • 9 grams fat 
    • 2.4 g saturated fat
    • 0 g carbohydrates
    • 20 g protein

    While for the same size serving, chicken breast meat contains 3 grams of total fat and 0.7 grams of saturated fat.

    Healthy preparation of chicken thigh meat

    • Avoid using too much oil during preparation, and if you do use oil, use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for its nutritional benefits
    • Avoid adding too much salt. Also, avoid using processed flavoring such as tomato paste. 
    • Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to season and flavor your chicken thigh. 
    • Baking your chicken thighs is healthier than frying.

    Affordable protein source

    Chicken thighs are a great protein source when you’re on a budget. They’re often cheaper than chicken breast meat and other high protein sources such as fish or red meat. 

    A 100g / 3.5oz serving of chicken thigh (skinless) contains around 20g of protein, and cage-free chicken thighs cost around $2.84/lb making them an excellent affordable protein source.

    Quick and easy meal prep

    This recipe takes just 5 minutes to prepare and requires no special cooking skills or equipment. The result is a delicious, juicy, and full-flavored chicken thigh that’s healthy and nutritious. 

    Batch cooking

    If you are looking to prepare a bulk batch for midweek meal prepping, this recipe is ideal and can easily be scaled to suit meal prepping. Cooked chicken thighs can be reheated in the oven or with a microwave. When reheating chicken thighs in the microwave, be sure to use a microwave-safe dish with a lid or splash guard. 

    Storage 

    Baked Mediterranean chicken thighs will last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When frozen, they will last up to 3 months.

    Nutrition facts

     

    Serving size: 150g
    Servings: 4
    Amount per serving  
    Calories 371
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 20.7g 26%
    Saturated Fat 4.7g 23%
    Cholesterol 126mg 42%
    Sodium 131mg 6%
    Total Carbohydrate 7.4g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 1.9g 7%
    Total Sugars 2.3g  
    Protein 38.4g  
    Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
    Calcium 58mg 4%
    Iron 3mg 16%
    Potassium 478mg 10%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
    a tray of baked chicken thighs is garnished with some freshly chopped parsley
    a baking tray full of bbaked Mediterranean chicken thighs

    Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs (Easy One-pot, Low Fat)

    Baked Mediterranean chicken thighs are a quick and easy one-pot dinner recipe that uses delicious flavors from Mediterranean cuisine to create a healthy dinner option. This easy chicken thigh recipe is low in fat, high in protein, and can be whipped up in around 45 minutes.
    4.73 from 88 votes
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Course Main Course, meat
    Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain
    Servings 4 serves
    Calories 371 kcal

    Equipment

    • 1 baking tray or casserole dish with deep sides (around 2-inches/5 cm)
    • Oven

    Ingredients

    • 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin and excess fat removed
    • 1 onion thinly sliced
    • 1 ripe tomato skin removed and grated
    • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 lemon juice
    • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary optional
    • 5 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 teaspoon of oregano
    • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin
    • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
    • Salt to taste

    Instructions
     

    Step 1 - Make marinade

    • Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F
      An oven gauge turned up to 210c
    • Grate the 1 ripe tomato directly into the baking dish, and add nearly all the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 onion 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and ½ teaspoon of white pepper. Mix well, add the 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 5 garlic cloves, and mix until the marinade has an even consistency.
      1 ripe tomato, 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 lemon, 5 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of white pepper
      some spices in a small bowl

    Step 2 - Add chicken and bake

    • Add skinless 8 chicken thighs to the marinade. Add sliced onion between chicken pieces. Season with Salt to taste and sprinkle a few sprigs of fresh 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary on top.
      8 chicken thighs, 1 onion, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, Salt
    • Bake for 40 minutes.
      a baking tray full of bbaked Mediterranean chicken thighs

    Step 3 - Serve

    • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a final squeeze of fresh lemon and some chopped parsley or coriander.
      1 lemon
      a tray of baked chicken thighs is garnished with some freshly chopped parsley

    Video

    Nutrition

    Serving: 150gCalories: 371kcalCarbohydrates: 7.4gProtein: 38.4gFat: 20.7gSaturated Fat: 4.7gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 131mgPotassium: 478mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 2.3gCalcium: 58mgIron: 3mg
    Keyword baked Chicken, budget, budget-friendly recipe, chicken, easy, Easy Dinner ideas, mediterranean cuisine

    Cooking Tips and FAQs

    How long does this baked Mediterranean chicken thigh recipe take to make?

    • Prep time; 5 minutes
    • Cook time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes

    Is chicken thigh healthy?

    A 100g (3.5oz.) serving of skinless chicken thigh contains the following nutritional information: 

    • 164 calories
    • 9 grams fat
    • 2.4 g saturated fat
    • 0 g carbohydrates
    • 20 g protein
    • 20 micrograms selenium
    • 223 milligrams potassium
    • 1.7 mg zinc
    • 0.4 mcg vitamin B12
    • 0.9 mg iron

    Is chicken breast or chicken thigh healthier?

    Both are considered healthy options when prepared in a healthy way. Chicken breast has less fat and lower cholesterol per serving. 

    Can I use chicken breast to make this recipe? 

    Yes, simply cut the chicken breasts in half and give the chicken meat some extra cooking time when using breast meat. 

    Is chicken thigh dark meat?

    Yes, chicken thigh is considered dark meat. The white meat of a chicken is the wings, breast, and breast tenders.

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