Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs

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The best baked ranch chicken thighsthis recipe is my secret trick to please even picky eaters with tender, delicious chicken and a crispy, crunchy ranch dressing crust. It’s a great main dish for busy weeknights, meal prep, or dinner parties!

Low carb, mess free, a deliciously crunchy crust, in a huge family favorite that is sure to make anyone a fan of chicken thighs in under 40 minutes. This has been one of our fan favorite chicken recipes on Sweet C’s for almost a decade!

Chicken breasts on a white plate with herbs and baked ranch chicken thighs.
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baked chicken thigh on baking sheet.

Ranch Dressing Chicken Thighs

There is something about the tangy, zippy, bright, and salty ranch seasoning herbs that are totally addictive and crave-able – I can’t get enough! If you’re like me and can’t get enough of ranch flavor, this Easy Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs Recipe will become your newest favorite one pot dinner! These chicken thighs bake up to a delicious crispy crunch on the outside, with tender, juicy meat and a tasty tangy ranch flavor.

If you can’t get enough of ranch…. this is going to be your newest obsession. If you’d like to check out a fresh take on this ranch chicken, try my easy baked ranch chicken wings – or even Baked Ranch Pork Chops and a Baked Ranch Pork Tenderloin!

You can also use my air fried adobo chicken thighs to adapt this recipe to an air fryer or instant pot with broiler lid recipe.

I love ranch dressing seasonings in soups and casseroles, on pork chops and pasta, and on chicken thighs. These Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs are bursting with delicious ranch dressing flavor – and are a snap to make, and also work into a low carb diet!

These easy ranch chicken thighs are melt in your mouth delicious, and so easy – perfect for meal prep, dinner parties, potlucks, or busy weeknight dinners. They are great with rice or pasta, grilled veggies, or on their own! And they also taste delicious in sandwiches and salads for a truly versatile and easy chicken thigh recipe you will add to your weekly rotation time and time again!

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Ranch chicken thighs work really well with your favorite cream sauce, too! Try with alfredo or a cream cheese sauce to change things up.

crispy ranch baked chicken thigh on baking sheet.

How To Make Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs

To make baked ranch chicken thighs, we will use the following ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs (6, bone-in, with skin on): The chicken thighs are the star of this dish. They bring juicy, tender meat with a layer of crispy skin when baked. Bone-in, skin-on thighs offer more flavor and moisture compared to boneless, skinless ones.
  • Black Pepper (to taste): Black pepper is a seasoning that adds a subtle heat and depth to the dish. Its mild spiciness complements the ranch seasoning.
  • Dry Ranch Salad Dressing Mix (1 oz. packet): This pre-made mix contains a blend of herbs and spices, including buttermilk, garlic, onion, and dill. It serves as the primary seasoning for the chicken, infusing it with the classic ranch flavor profile—creamy, tangy, and savory.
  • Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): Olive oil is used to coat the chicken thighs, helping to brown and crisp up the skin during baking. It also contributes a pleasant fruity note to the dish.
  • Lemon Juice (1 tablespoon, to thin mixture if needed): Lemon juice adds a touch of acidity and brightness to the ranch seasoning mixture. It can be used to adjust the consistency of the seasoning mix to ensure it coats the chicken evenly.
  • Garlic (1 clove, pressed): Garlic is a flavor booster that brings a pungent, aromatic kick to the dish. It complements the ranch seasoning and adds depth to the overall flavor profile.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a Baking sheet in foil, nonstick side up. Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet, fattest side up. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake chicken: Bake Chicken for 25 minutes, when skin has started to crisp. In a small bowl, combine the dressing mix with the olive oil and minced garlic and blend. If needed, add lemon juice to thin mixture.
  • Mix and brush ranch on chicken: Brush the ranch and oil mixture over the chicken thighs. Continue to cook chicken in oven until crispy and golden brown, and internal temperature reads 165 degrees. To check the temperature, use an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a few of the largest chicken thighs, not touching bone.
  • Broil finish: To get a more satisfying crispy crunch, broil for 5 minutes – watching chicken closely so it doesn’t burn.
  • Enjoy: Serve with air fried french fries, a light salad, broccolini, and more!
Grilled chicken breasts on a plate with parsley, Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs

Tips to Perfect Ranch Chicken Thighs & FAQs

If you’re looking for the absolute best baked chicken thighs, you need to go off the chicken’s temperature – NOT the time listed in this recipe. Chicken thigh sizes can vary wildly, and differences in oven effectiveness, altitude, humidity in the air – they can all impact your cooking time, making it shorter or longer.

Don’t overcook. To avoid undercooked or dry chicken, its imperative to cook chicken to 160 degrees in the oven, and let it carryover cook to 165. Chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees internal temperature. Check your chicken thighs regularly as they cook to monitor temperature.

Let chicken rest. Let chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting or serving to continue carryover cooking and help chicken rest so juices don’t all rush out. To measure, be sure to insert thermometer in fattest part of meat – without getting too close to bone as it will throw off temperature.

Pat chicken thighs dry. Extra liquid and moisture on the chicken will keep the thighs from crisping – pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels before cooking to remove any excess liquid. This will help the fat to stick to the chicken better, and help the ranch seasoning sink into chicken for flavor.

If your chicken thighs are wet, the oil won’t have a chance to really sink in, so remove any excess packaging liquid/water with paper towels.

Dont trim fat. While you might want to trim off excessive fat, some fat is good on chicken thighs, even if you don’t usually like chicken fat. We’re cooking these chicken thighs long enough for the fat to render out and help make a crispy, crunchy outer crust – so don’t over-trim your chicken thighs.

This will allow the chicken to naturally crisp and add to the flavor of your chicken, so don’t trim too much away.

Let skin crisp. If you’re looking for additional crunchy chicken (especially important since we’re using skinless, boneless chicken thighs), you can pop the chicken thighs under the broiler for 2-4 minutes – be careful and watch the chicken closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. I always crisp mine a bit at the end for extra crunch – it makes this baked chicken thigh recipe crave worthy!

Unroll chicken thighs. If you’re often not a fan of chicken thigh texture, unroll the chicken thighs so they lay flat. This will cook the chicken thighs more evenly, and ensure a crunchy surface on the entire thigh – which makes it completely irresistible, and a bit easier for people who usually shy away from dark meat chicken. This makes your chicken thighs look a little weird – I have one friend who says they look like aliens – but chicken thighs taste SO much better unrolled, so consider trying it yourself!

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Try unrolled chicken thighs – when you add to the surface area of the baked chicken thighs, more of it can get a lovely brown crisp, and the chicken cooks faster, to prevent drying out. Adjust cook time a bit if unrolling thighs.

Grilled chicken breasts on a plate with parsley, baked ranch chicken.

Recipe FAQs

My dressing mix clumped up, what do I do?

Depending on your ranch dressing packet, it can sometimes be thick when mixing, and/or clump up. Simply add a teaspoon of water at a time to loosen mixture if too thick until it is easy enough to spread over chicken.

What type of chicken thighs should I use?

This recipe was designed to work for both skin-on or skinless chicken thighs – as well as boneless or bone-on thighs. The method you will use is the same overall (you might want to pan fry chicken skin a few minutes longer for more crunch if using skin-on thighs), but just know you’ll need to plan on a slightly increased cook time for bone-in thighs. Check your thighs while cooking and keep in oven until the fattest part of the thigh reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

What temperature do I cook chicken thighs to?

Chicken thighs are cooked when the fattest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.

Can you make this in the slow cooker?

Mix all ingredients in the slow cooker and toss to coat. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. The chicken won’t be crispy when cooked in the slow cooker so make sure you use skinless chicken thighs.

What are some other seasonings I can add to this recipe?

If you’d like to use additional flavor to add to your ranch dressing mix, try garlic powder, onion powder, buttermilk powder, chives, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper! Don’t add more than two teaspoons of additional flavor though, or it might be incredibly overpowering.

Can I use chicken breasts?

While this recipe was developed for chicken thighs, you can swap for chicken breasts. Cooking time will be a bit different, so watch the temperature as you cook.

How do I store leftover chicken thighs?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Always reheat leftover chicken stored in the fridge to the full temperature of 165 degrees.

Can I use the air fryer for this recipe?

Set your air fryer to it’s bake function, and continue as directed below. The air fryer is fabulous for crispy chicken skin with juicy meat!

baked chicken thigh on baking sheet

What to Serve With Ranch Chicken Thighs

If you’re looking for the perfect sides to go alongside this keto ranch chicken thighs recipe, please visit some of my favorites below:

  • Roasted Vegetables: Think colorful options like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Roasting enhances their natural sweetness, which complements the savory ranch seasoning.
  • Steamed Green Beans or Broccoli: These lightly cooked vegetables add a fresh, crunchy contrast to the tender chicken.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Their creaminess pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of the chicken.
  • Rice Pilaf: A lightly seasoned rice pilaf can serve as a subtle base that allows the flavors of the chicken to stand out.
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Their natural sweetness and crispy texture make them a fun and flavorful side.
  • Garden Salad: A simple salad with fresh greens, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast.
  • Dinner Rolls or Garlic Bread: Perfect for soaking up any extra sauce and adding a comforting, homey touch to your meal.
  • Couscous or Quinoa Salad: If you’re looking for a healthier side, these grains offer a nutritious and light complement to the chicken.
  • Additional Ranch Dressing: For dipping or drizzling over the chicken and sides.
  • Caesar Salad: For a more indulgent option, the creamy dressing of a Caesar salad can harmonize well with the ranch flavors.
  • BBQ Sauce or Honey Mustard: These can add a sweet and tangy element to the dish.

If you are looking for more gluten free dinners try sweet chili beef slow cooker lettuce wraps or my favorite bbq smoked pork ribs!

Baked ranch chicken thighs on a white plate with parsley.

If you love this Easy Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs Recipe recipe as much as I do, please write a five star review, and be sure to help me share on facebook and pinterest!

Baked ranch chicken thighs with a flavorful twist.

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A plate of baked ranch chicken with parsley on it.
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Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs

Baked Ranch Chicken Thighs are a super simple one pot baked chicken thigh recipe everyone loves – bursting with ranch flavor in only five ingredients! Low carb, mess free, a deliciously crunchy crust, in a huge family favorite that is sure to make anyone a fan of chicken thighs in under 40 minutes!
Course Chicken
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken thighs, baked ranch chicken, ranch chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 340kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, with skin on
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 1 oz. packet dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice to thin mixture if needed
  • 1 clove garlic pressed

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Cover a Baking sheet in foil, nonstick side up.
  • Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet, fattest side up.
  • Generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake Chicken for 25 minutes, when skin has started to crisp.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dressing mix with the olive oil and minced garlic. If needed, add lemon juice to thin mixture.
  • Brush the ranch and oil mixture over the chicken thighs.
  • Continue to cook chicken in oven until crispy and golden brown, and internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
  • To check the temperature, use an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a few of the largest chicken thighs, not touching bone.
  • To get a tiny bit more crunch, broil for 5 minutes – watching chicken closely so it doesn't burn.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 270mg

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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Recipe Rating




145 Comments

  1. Ashley says:

    Can I use breasts for this instead of thighs?

    1. Katherine says:

      Yes just don’t bake them quite so long.

  2. Wendy says:

    My lemon juice made the ranch dry dressing curdle and be hard lumps!

    1. Katherine says:

      Were you using regular extra virgin olive oil? It may help to combine the lemon oil, and garlic well before adding the dressing mix. Also make sure your dressing mix isn’t expired. I have never had that happen but let me know if these tips help.

    2. Elizabeth Thompson says:

      I had the same issue, could it be that I made the dressing too soon before using? I couldn’t get it to unclump so it didn’t spread evenly on the chicken

      1. Katherine says:

        If you are having trouble, you can try putting the fresh lemon juice over the chicken right after it comes out of the oven before saving for a similar result. Hope this helps!

  3. tsSLAueP says:

    5 stars
    1

  4. Debbie says:

    Good morning. I would like to make this, but I have boneless, no skin chicken
    thighs . It sound good to make it, can I still used this recipe?

    1. Katherine says:

      Yes, they won’t have to bake for as long. Thanks for asking, enjoy!

      1. Sherry says:

        How long should the chicken bake for if using boneless skinless chicken thighs?

      2. Katherine says:

        You can bake boneless skinless chicken thighs at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

  5. Shelley says:

    I made this for “Monday at Moms” and it was a hit. Even the 4 year old picky eater had seconds. I used bone in chicken thighs, salted them lightly on one side before cooking. (Chicken from the store already has with some salt in it, just look at the package labeling for “sodium solution” or something similar). I used grapeseed oil because it has a higher smoke point and will tolerate the 400 degree oven. I also used some white wine to thin the sauce down a little. It would be a great meal in a vacation rental kitchen since it has so few ingredients.

    We will have this again!

    1. Katherine says:

      Thank you for the comment! So glad you all loved it!

  6. Lowa says:

    So I’m actually putting it in the blender right? Also, at what internal temperature do I switch to broil?

    1. Katherine says:

      For the sauce no you just blend it (mix it well) with a whisk. You will want to have the internal temperature of the chicken at 165 degrees before you broil it. I use an internal probe thermometer inserted into one chicken thigh, when it registers at 165 remove the probe and broil. Thanks for noting that confusion, I have updated the recipe card to make it more clear.