These Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs are the perfect easy weeknight dinner. With juicy meat and crispy golden brown skin, this thigh recipe is a crowd-pleasing dinner that comes together in just 25 minutes! The crispy skin and tender meat are mouth-wateringly good.

Pan seared chicken in a frying pan on a wooden table.

Everyone needs a few classic chicken recipes in their little black cookbook, and this weeknight, easy pan-seared chicken thighs are the perfect addition! 

This recipe is for those nights when you want to impress someone with something homemade but don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen actually making something homemade. Like our one pan chicken and veggies, or pan-seared pork chops, this is a recipe that you can master to make dinner even on the busiest nights of the week. Start with a few chicken thighs, give them a good sear to get the skin nice and crispy, then finish them off in the oven to keep them juicy. 

These chicken thighs are perfectly tender, loaded with amazing flavors, and ready in under 30 minutes!

What are Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thighs make for a simple recipe on the stovetop or in the oven. Preparing them on a hot cast iron skillet allows you to cook them in about 15 minutes. They require very basic ingredients because the skillet helps flavor the mean. It’s the perfect chicken dinner with a golden crust! 

Ingredients for pan seared chicken thighs. Raw chicken, herbs, garlic, butter

Ingredients Needed to Make Stovetop Chicken Thighs Recipe

Find all of these ingredients at the grocery store, most are probably sitting in your pantry already.

  • Butter – use regular unsalted butter or clarified butter/ghee for Whole30.
  • Chicken Thighs – bone-on and skin-on for the best texture and flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper – salt and black pepper are simple choices, but add any seasonings you would like.
  • Garlic – use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs – you can use whatever fresh herbs you like! Sage, rosemary, tarragon, etc.
Pan seared chicken thighs in a skillet on a wooden table.

How to Make this Easy Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs Recipe

This is one of those easy chicken recipes that makes us wonder why we don’t cook chicken more often!

  • Pat dry with a paper towel and season chicken with salt and pepper
  • Melt butter in a skillet, sprinkle in fresh herbs, then add in the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes. Gentry try to lift the chicken once it has been sharing for a few minutes, skin side down. If it doesn’t come loose easily, it’s not done yet. 
  • Flip the bone in thighs, and toss in the garlic. Add in the remaining butter to baste the chicken as it melts, then sprinkle on more fresh herbs.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven preheated to 400ºF and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.
  • Serve with fresh herbs and your favorite side dishes.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to buy bone-in skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. The skin cooking on the cast Iron is what makes the best texture and adds a ton of flavor to the juicy dark meat. 
  • Use a cast iron skillet. Clean Cast iron conducts better heat, resulting in more even cooking and a better sear.
  • Season your cast iron. Learning how to season a cast iron will help you in the long run with flavor and caring for your cookware.
  • Pat it dry. Before you cook the bone in chicken thighs, pat off any excess moisture. The dry skin hitting the hot pan helps it get nice and crispy!
  • We have tested this recipe in a cast iron skillet, enamel-coated cast iron skillet, and carbon steel skillet, and it works in all of them. We do think the carbon steel delivered the best crispy skin.
pan seared chicken thighs with crispy skin in red pan with herbs, green beans and bread on the side

What to Serve with Skin-on Chicken Thighs

This easy pan-seared thigh recipe goes deliciously with hearty collard greens, green beans, a simple salad, or mashed potatoes. These chicken thighs are also delicious with a side of root veggies and a glass of soft white wine. If you’re a fan of cauliflower rice, try those on the side as well. 

Want to jazz up your chicken thigh recipes? Serve them in a zesty sauce like Hungarian chicken paprikash or give them some flair with homemade chimichurri.

Leftovers and Reheating

The leftover chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. To reheat, warm on the stove over medium heat or in the oven at 350ºF until heated through. You probably want to reheat it for about 10-15 minutes. 

finished pan seared chicken thighs with crispy skin in red pan with herbs

FAQs for Skillet Chicken Thighs


These chicken thighs only need to cook for 13-17 minutes. You’ll sear the chicken thighs for 5-7 minutes on a large cast-iron skillet to get the skin nice and crispy, then you’ll finish them out in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
When they’re done, the internal temperature should be 165ºF, so check with an instant-read thermometer before taking them out of the oven.


Sear first! This locks in the moisture and gives the skin that golden-brown crust before you finish out the cooking process in the oven. If you bake it first, the skin won’t get quite as crispy. The hot skillet is the key.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a little more flavor, check out this easy Traeger smoked chicken thigh recipe!

More Quick Pan Seared Recipes

The whole family will love these crispy chicken thighs! The cast iron pan gives them delicious flavor that won’t quit and it’s super easy to make. Serve the chicken pieces up with some amazing side dishes and you have a simple dinner any night of the week. 

The best part about this recipe is that it uses minimal ingredients for a busy weeknight meal. If you want flavorful meat, try these juicy chicken thighs tonight! Cooking chicken thighs is simple, especially when you have a nice cast iron skillet on hand.

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Easy Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs

5 from 45 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This Easy Pan Seared Chicken Thighs recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner when you are craving the classics. No fuss and crowd-pleasing; We call that a win. Bonus, this version is Whole30 Approved.


  • 4 tbsp clarified butter, or ghee Use regular butter if not on Whole30
  • 4 bone-on, skin on chicken thighs
  • dash salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 handful fresh herbs sage, rosemary, tarragon, etc


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Preheat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Peat the chicken dry and season liberally with salt and pepper.  
  • Swirl 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over the pan to coat when hot. Add some chopped herbs to the pan.
  • Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down. You should hear a nice sear happening. Allow to cook, without wiggling, flipping, or touching the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes to allow the skin to get nice and crispy. Adjust heat as needed to not burn. 
  • Flip the chicken and toss in the minced garlic allowing it to become aromatic. Add the remaining clarified butter and baste the chicken. Toss some more fresh herbs on top and carefully transfer to the oven to finish cooking 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • Use an instant-read thermometer to check for a doneness temp of 165. 
    If not at 165, allow the chicken to cook longer, as needed. 
  • Serve with fresh herbs on top. Season with salt and pepper as desired. 


Make sure to buy bone-in skin on chicken thighs for this recipe. The skin cooking on the cast iron is what makes the best texture and adds a ton of flavor. 
Tip: Gently try to lift the chicken once it has been searing for a few minutes, skin side down. If it doesn’t come loose easily, it’s not done yet. 
Leftovers: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the oven on 300 degrees for 15 minutes.


Calories: 351kcal | Protein: 18g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 231mg | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The ease-to-deliciousness ratio of this recipe is fantastic! I used fresh rosemary and nice chunks of garlic. Also made carnivore noodles to sop up the butter sauce. My hubby and I both loved it! Thank you 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This method of hot skillet straight into the oven chicken cooking has been a game changer for me. The kids love how crispy the skin turns out!