These Italian-style easy-baked chicken thighs in a creamy sauce are flavorful, juicy, and perfectly served over rice or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. Enjoy!
Why you'll love this recipe
You'll love this delicious Italian-style baked chicken thighs recipe in a creamy sauce.
- Rich Italian Flavors: The combination of dried oregano, basil, and paprika brings a burst of authentic Italian flavors to the dish, creating a satisfying and savory taste.
- Juicy and Tender Chicken Thighs: Searing the chicken thighs before baking ensures a crispy skin while keeping the meat juicy and tender, providing the perfect texture in every bite.
- Creamy Tomato-Based Sauce: The creamy sauce, made with a blend of heavy cream and tomato paste, adds a luscious and velvety texture to the dish, enhancing the overall taste and providing a delightful sauce to coat the chicken.
This is one of those easy recipes you will make repeatedly! This recipe is easy to prepare without compromising taste.
- Chicken Thighs (Bone-in, Skin-on): Chicken thighs provide a juicy and flavorful base for the dish, with the bone and skin adding richness to the overall texture with the crispy skin.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the taste of the chicken, providing a balanced and savory flavor profile.
- Dried Oregano: A staple herb in Italian cuisine, dried oregano adds a robust, earthy aroma and taste.
- Dried Basil: Another classic Italian herb, dried basil contributes a slightly sweet and peppery flavor, enhancing the overall herbal notes.
- Paprika: Paprika introduces a subtle smokiness and a mild heat level, complementing the other spices and adding depth to the seasoning.
- Olive Oil: For searing the chicken, olive oil imparts a rich and fruity flavor, enhancing the dish's overall taste.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste serves as the base for the sauce, providing a concentrated tomato flavor and a natural thickening agent.
- Garlic: Minced garlic adds a pungent and aromatic element, infusing the dish with a savory depth.
- Chicken Broth: Chicken broth forms the liquid base for the sauce, imparting a savory and umami flavor while deglazing the pan.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream contributes to the creamy texture of the sauce, creating a luxurious and velvety consistency.
- Parmigiano Cheese: Grated cheese adds a rich and nutty flavor, enhancing the sauce's creaminess and providing a savory umami boost.
- Fresh Basil: Chopped fresh basil serves as a garnish, adding a burst of freshness and a hint of sweetness to the finished dish.
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh Italian parsley complements the flavors with its bright and herbaceous notes, adding freshness.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make Oven Baked Chicken Thighs in Sauce
Quick Preparation: These basic steps and oven-baking methods make this recipe a convenient choice for a delicious and satisfying meal without spending excessive time in the kitchen.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season each thigh with the spice mixture, ensuring they are well-coated on both sides.
In a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, and paprika.
Season the chicken with the spice mixture.
Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side
Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add tomato paste and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Pour in chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer.
Stir in heavy cream and cheese until the sauce is smooth and well combined.
Return the seared chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, placing them in the sauce.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the skin is crispy.
Garnish with fresh basil and parsley before serving.
Here are some potential substitutions you can consider based on ingredient availability or dietary preferences:
- Chicken Thighs: You can substitute bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are cooked through.
- Dried Oregano and Basil: If you don't have dried oregano or basil, you can use Italian seasoning as a convenient substitute. It typically contains a blend of dried herbs, including oregano and basil.
- Paprika: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for regular paprika if you want to add a smoky flavor. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat.
- White Wine Reduction: Deglaze the pan with white wine before adding the chicken broth. The wine adds a subtle acidity and depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Lemon Zest: Incorporate freshly grated lemon zest into the sauce for a bright and citrusy kick. This adds a refreshing element to the richness of the dish.
- Caprese Style: Season with basic Italian seasoning, then top the baked chicken with fresh mozzarella slices and cherry tomatoes during the last few minutes of baking. Garnish with fresh basil for a Caprese-inspired twist.
- Cast iron skillet is one of my favorite saute pans.
These chicken thighs in the sauce will last in the fridge for about 4 days. You can freeze cooked chicken thighs for up to 5 months. Freeze the sauce separately from the baked chicken thighs.
To freeze, use a freezer-safe container, leaving space for expansion, and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. When reheating, ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C)
Top tips for best results
- Quality Ingredients: Start with high-quality chicken thighs and fresh ingredients. This will enhance the overall flavor and texture of the dish.
- Room Temperature Chicken: Allow the chicken thighs to come to room temperature before cooking. This ensures even cooking and helps the chicken stay juicy.
- Proper Seasoning: Season the chicken generously with a well-balanced blend of salt, black pepper, and Italian herbs. This ensures that each bite is flavorful.
- Hot Searing: Sear the chicken thighs in a hot pan with olive oil to achieve a golden-brown crust. This step locks in juices and adds a delicious texture to the skin.
- Aromatics: Incorporate aromatic ingredients like minced garlic early in the cooking process. Sautéing them releases their flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
- Deglazing the Pan: After searing the chicken, deglaze the pan with chicken broth. Scraping up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom adds depth to the sauce.
- Creamy Sauce Balance: Achieve a balanced and velvety sauce by slowly incorporating heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Stir continuously to prevent lumps and ensure a smooth consistency.
- Oven Temperature: Preheat the oven to the specified temperature (375°F or 190°C) before transferring the skillet. Consistent heat ensures even cooking and a crispy skin.
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking time as boneless thighs cook faster than bone-in ones.
The chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
What pairs well with baked chicken? This dish pairs well with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to soak up the creamy sauce. Here are some delicious side dishes for this easy dinner recipe.
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.Print
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs cook 5 minutes less)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated freshly grated parmigiano cheese (Parmesan cheese)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, and paprika.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season each thigh with the spice mixture, ensuring they are well-coated on both sides.
- Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add tomato paste and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in heavy cream and cheese until the sauce is smooth and well combined.
- Return the seared chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, placing them in the sauce.
- Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parsley before serving.