★★★★★

Baked Chicken Thighs

A creamy garlic sauce elevates simple Baked Chicken Thighs to new heights. This delicious low carb dinner comes together in one skillet!

Skillet with baked chicken thighs in a creamy coconut, artichoke, and kale sauce.

These are not your everyday baked chicken thighs! These are, dare I say, exciting.

It sounds wild to call something as ordinary as a baked chicken recipe “exciting” but I mean it.

When you bake chicken in a garlic coconut sauce, kissed with lemon and crushed red pepper, it becomes downright sensational.

Baked Chicken

Along with Italian sausage, chicken thighs are among my “fall back” proteins. You know, the proteins I rely on to whip up an easy and tasty dinner using whatever other ingredients I have on hand.

I make some kind of chicken recipe for dinner at least once a week if not more.

While I love how easy baked chicken thigh recipes are, I do not love when the chicken gets dry and bland. That’s never a concern when I make THIS chicken.

It’s baked in an aromatic sauce with coconut milk, garlic, lemon and red pepper keeping it moist and imbibing it with heavenly amounts of flavor.

This meal also happens to be low carb and high protein! As much as I love cake, alfredo pasta, garlic bread and the rest of it, we all need a little balance in our lives.

Sometimes its nice to have a dinner that’s all focused on protein and vegetables–without sacrificing any taste.

Ingredients for baked chicken thighs.

One Pan Dinner

I have more good news for you about this baked chicken recipe: you only need one pan.

After browning the chicken thighs in a skillet, you use that same skillet to make the sauce. Finally, add the chicken back in the skillet with kale and artichoke hearts and bake it all together for 15 minutes.

I love that I don’t have to make a whole separate side dish to make sure we’re getting our greens. Kale is my favorite here but spinach is also tasty with the chicken and sauce.

Swap out the coconut sauce for a garlic parmesan cream sauce with the chicken thighs!! Also delicious idea.

Raw chicken thighs coated generously with seasoning for baked chicken.

How to tell when chicken is done

If you’re new to baking chicken, one of the trickiest things can be figuring out when it’s ready to come out of the oven.

For food safety, it’s important to make sure your chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.

When I bake chicken, I like to give it the double treatment: a pan sear and then a trip into the oven to finish cooking.

How to know when it’s time to flip chicken: The idea here is to give your chicken a golden brown edge on both sides before it’s baked in the sauce. The chicken is ready to flip when it no longer sticks to the pan. Repeat on the other side and your sear is complete.

How to tell when chicken is done baking: The most fool proof way to do this is with a meat thermometer. If you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend the investment! You get piece of mind and it takes the guess work out of cooking meat, especially chicken.

Another way you can tell if the chicken is done is by piercing it with a knife and fork. If the juices run clear, your chicken is done baking. If the juices still have a pink tint, leave those thighs in the oven!

Serving Ideas for Baked Chicken

The sauce makes the chicken ultra moist with plenty of garlic flavor. It’s perfect for serving over zoodles to make it a complete low carb meal!

A bed of cilantro lime rice is also delicious with this meal, if you’re not worried about keeping it low carb.

Not in the mood for rice? Serve this in a bowl with a loaf of cheesy garlic bread on the side for soaking up the extra sauce. It would also be delicious with a side of roasted broccoli and zucchini.

Baked chicken thighs in a skillet with kale and artichoke sauce.

Can this be made with chicken breasts?

Yes! You can substitute chicken breasts for the thighs in this recipe if you prefer.

Here are a few more substitution ideas:

  • Butter – I used coconut oil to brown the chicken this time. Butter works just as well if you prefer or don’t have coconut oil!
  • Spinach – Use this or another leafy green you love like collards as a swap for the kale in the recipe.
  • Sun dried tomatoes – To add a pop of color to the dish, add sun dried tomatoes in with the chicken before baking.
  • Thickened sauce – A bit of arrowroot powder makes the coconut sauce even thicker, but you can certainly omit it and still have a tasty sauce! I used arrowroot to keep it lower carb. Flour or cornstarch make great substitutes if that’s not a concern for you.
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More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

A creamy garlic sauce elevates simple Baked Chicken Thighs to new heights. This delicious low carb dinner comes together in one skillet!

Ingredients

For The Chicken Thighs

  • 4 bone-in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter

Creamy Garlic Coconut Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot (optional if you want a thicker sauce)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel and then season the chicken with basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat coconut oil or butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then place chicken thighs skin-side down in the skillet and sear for about 7-8 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. You can tell it’s ready to flip over when it no longer sticks to the pan.
  3. Flip chicken thighs then transfer the chicken to a plate, set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt butter for the sauce. Add garlic and onions, saute for 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent in color.
  5. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, whisk together.
  6. Add arrowroot at this time if you prefer a thicker sauce. Whisk together until smooth.
  7. Add the artichoke hearts and kale to the skillet and stir together.
  8. Add the chicken back into the skillet and carefully place the skillet into the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 165º.
  9. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven.
  10. Serve over rice, noodles, or zoodles.

Notes

  • Substitutions: feel free to swap out the kale for spinach. Add in sun dried tomatoes for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Not watching carbs? Swap out the arrowroot for either cornstarch or flour. Serve over jasmine rice.
  • Use chicken breasts instead of thighs, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 667mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

When it comes to easy high protein dinners, it doesn’t get any better than these Baked Chicken Thighs in coconut sauce!

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 7, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made this, it was very good. I didn’t have any rice and too many carbs, so just served with a salad. I will make it again. I used skinless boneless thighs and I wish I had the skin on ones as suggested in the recipe. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Made this last night and it was the best chicken I’ve made in a long time. Always looking for some new chicken recipes to try and really enjoyed this one. Thanks for posting!

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