Last Updated on May 25, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
I've made this easy sheet pan paleo chicken thigh recipe three times in the past week! It's SO good! Nothing too complicated -- just chicken thighs and some of my favorite veggies marinated and tossed in a bold, garlicky honey mustard marinade, with paprika and chili flakes for added spice! Then it's all baked in the oven until the veggies are tender and caramelized, and the chicken is crispy, juicy, and perfect!
I also love this sheet pan dinner because it's so flavorful, but so easy and customizable! You can adjust this recipe to your preferences and your schedule, and have a complete meal ready in no time! I'll share some of my favorite ways to customize this paleo chicken thigh recipe below!
Paleo and Gluten Free
The best part about this chicken thigh recipe is that it's paleo friendly and naturally gluten free! It's made with whole, unprocessed ingredients like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and honey, and boasts lots of protein and nutrients from the chicken and vegetables. This paleo chicken thigh recipe is certain to be a dinner you'll want to make over and over, not just because it tastes incredible, but also because it fits your dietary needs!
So now that you know why you'll love this paleo chicken thigh recipe, let's get into what you'll need to make it.
- bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs - this is my preference, but you can swap them for boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken drumsticks.
- sweet potatoes - I love the flavor of sweet potatoes with the honey mustard sauce in this paleo chicken thigh recipe!
- brussels sprouts - I leave my Brussels sprouts whole, but if you're using boneless skinless chicken you can cut your Brussels sprouts in half to cook faster.
- red onion - the red onion gets so sweet and jammy as it cooks in all the seasonings!
- garlic - I use about one clove of garlic per piece of chicken, but you can add more or tone it down as you prefer.
- olive oil - helps to crisp up the chicken and veggies.
- honey - this is my favorite party of the marinade! The honey complements the spicy and tangy flavors of the mustard and chili flakes, and caramelizes the chicken and veggies so nicely!
- organic dijon mustard - the bold flavor of dijon mustard is perfect in this paleo chicken thigh recipe! To ensure that your mustard is paleo-friendly, opt for an organic Dijon mustard that will be free of any additives.
- dried thyme - I like the ease of dried thyme, but fresh thyme is even better if you have it! Substitute 1 ½ tablespoons if you're using fresh thyme leaves.
- paprika - adds a bit of spice and color to this paleo chicken thigh recipe!
- red pepper flakes - you can adjust the amount to your preference, or omit them altogether - I like a lot of spice so I add a bit more!
- salt and fresh cracked pepper - the seasoning base for the chicken, to make sure it's nice and flavorful!
The most important tool you'll need to make these sheet pan chicken thighs is -- you guessed it -- a sheet pan! I like The Big Sheet Pan from Nordicware -- it's the perfect ¾ sheet size to fit neatly into my oven, and it's a great high-quality aluminum for even cooking. Other than a sheet pan, you won't need any special tools, but here's what I recommend:
Step by Step
- Trim your chicken and pierce the skin with the tip of a knife. Add to a large glass or ceramic bowl. This is where you'll toss the chicken with the marinade, so make sure the bowl has enough room for tossing! Season the chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together your marinade ingredients: garlic, olive oil, honey, mustard, paprika, thyme, and red pepper flakes. It's that simple!
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss it to coat all the chicken with the marinade. Then peel and chop your veggies and toss them in with the chicken and marinade, coating them well.
- Now, depending on your schedule you can pop it in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight, or you can just cook it right away. Marinating the chicken will intensify the flavor, but you'll still get lots of great flavor either way. If you're not planning to marinate the chicken ahead of time, you can skip the bowl altogether and just mix everything up directly on the sheet pan!
- When you're ready to cook your sheet pan chicken thigh dinner, preheat your oven to 425°F and spread everything onto a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper, with the chicken skin side up.
- Bake about 40-45 minutes, or until your chicken is cooked through and has reached an internal temp of 165°F, and your veggies are caramelized and tender.
Tips and F.A.Q.
To prep your chicken for cooking, make sure that it's trimmed well with a set of kitchen shears, cutting away any excess skin or fat. I also like to pierce the chicken skin and flesh to allow the marinade to penetrate as much as possible.
The best way to make sure your sheet pan chicken thighs are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. When you insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh meat, the temperature should read 165°F.
I'm sure you can, but I haven't been able to so far! Especially if you're using bone-in, skin-in chicken thighs, your chicken won't dry out, even if you cook it a bit longer than required. I actually like to cook my sheet pan chicken thighs a bit longer to crisp the skin up more, and the meat is always perfectly juicy!
Customize it to fit your life!
The best part about this paleo chicken thigh recipe is that it's fully customizable! You can adjust the ingredients, flavors, and cook time to fit your tastes, your schedule, and your preferences!
- Swap the bone-in chicken thighs for boneless, skinless chicken thighs -- boneless, skinless chicken will cook faster, so they're perfect if you're in a rush, and they're a leaner choice that's still full of flavor! They also absorb the flavors in the marinade particularly well. You can also swap in chicken drumsticks for an easy, budget-friendly option!
- Change the veggies for your favorites -- the honey mustard marinade for this paleo chicken thigh recipe is perfect for any veggies you enjoy! Try it with other hearty veggies like white potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, or carrots!
- Adjust the spice level -- the recipe calls for a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but if you're a spice lover like me you can add to that! Or you can cool down the spices by decreasing the chili flakes or omitting them altogether -- your sheet pan dinner will still be delicious!
- Adjust your marinating time depending on your schedule - if you're able to plan ahead with this paleo chicken thigh recipe, mix up your marinade the night before to maximize flavor! Or if you're in a rush, just toss the chicken in the marinade right before cooking. The longer you marinate, the deeper the flavors will penetrate, but either way it'll be great!
- Use this paleo chicken thigh recipe for meal prep! These chicken thighs and veggies are a great meal prep option because it's SO easy to make all at once! Just few steps on the weekend and then you're set to start your week with some complete, flavorful meals!
If you love this paleo chicken thigh recipe, I've got some more quick and easy meal ideas for you! My favorite is my Cast Iron Skillet Salmon with Maple Dijon Sauce. It's pan-seared for a perfectly browned outer crust and then served with a super-easy maple dijon pan sauce. It's so full of flavor and comes together in just 20 minutes!
Another quick recipe that would be great for lunch or dinner is my Rotisserie Chicken Salad. I always pick up a rotisserie chicken when I'm out shopping, and this chicken salad recipe is my go-to way to use the extra meat! It's a simple, yet super savory and flavorful recipe that I know you will love!
Equipment you may need
- Trim chicken thighs of any excess skin and fat. Pierce flesh and skin with the tip of a knife to allow maximum penetration of the marinade.
- Place chicken pieces in a large nonreactive mixing bowl and season liberally on all sides with salt and fresh cracked pepper, rubbing seasoning into the chicken.
- Add in vegetables and season them as well with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- In a bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, honey, mustard, thyme, paprika, and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Add marinade to chicken and vegetables and toss to coat evenly. If desired, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Spread chicken and vegetable mixture evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reads 165°F) and vegetables are tender.