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BBQ-Spiced Chicken Thighs with Tangy Honey Glaze

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You can make these flavor-packed, BBQ-spiced chicken thighs in under 30 minutes!

Inspired by one of the most popular Cooking Light recipes, these BBQ-spiced chicken thighs are a huge family pleaser and super-easy to prepare. The chicken is seasoned with a Southwestern rub, broiled for 10 minutes, brushed with an apple cider vinegar-honey glaze, and then flashed under the broiler again until caramelized and juicy. Finally, the chicken is doused with a bit more vinegar to balance the sweetness of the honey and also create a delicious pan sauce. Start to finish, the recipe takes under 30 minutes! (In case you’re wondering, this recipe will work on the grill, but you’ll definitely miss those tasty pan juices for spooning over the chicken.) Serve the chicken thighs with any simple corn dish: corn on the cob, spoon bread, cornbread, corn muffins, sautéed corn, or corn salad, to name just a few.

What you’ll need to make BBQ-Spiced Chicken Thighs With Tangy Honey Glaze

ingredients to make bbq-spiced chicken thighs with tangy honey glazeIt’s important to use boneless, skinless thighs as opposed to chicken breasts. They stand up better to the bold seasonings, are more flavorful, and won’t dry out. Just be sure to trim off most of the fat; I like to use kitchen shears as opposed to a knife, as it’s much easier.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, combine the olive oil and spices in a large bowl.

olive oil and spices in a large bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked oil and spices

Add the chicken thighs and toss with the spice rub to coat evenly.

tossing the chicken thighs with the spice rub

Arrange the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up.

chicken thighs on foil-lined baking sheetBroil for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Meanwhile, combine the honey and cider vinegar in a small bowl to make the glaze.

tangy honey glaze in a small bowl with a fork

Brush the cooked chicken with half the glaze, then broil for 1 to 2 minutes.

brushing the chicken thighs with the glaze

Flip the chicken over, brush with the remaining glaze, and broil for a few minutes more until the chicken is nicely caramelized.

broiled chicken thighs with pan saucesSprinkle the chicken with the remaining cider vinegar and serve with the pan sauces.

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BBQ-Spiced Chicken Thighs with Tangy Honey Glaze

You can make these flavor-packed, BBQ-spiced chicken thighs in under 30 minutes!

Servings: 4-6
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2½ lbs), trimmed of fat

For the Tangy Honey Glaze

  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided

Instructions

  1. Set an oven rack in the top position and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Broil the chicken for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  4. While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk the honey with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and brush half of the glaze on the chicken; broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken thighs over; brush with the remaining honey glaze and broil for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the exterior of the chicken is caramelized. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Transfer the chicken and pan juices to a platter and serve.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 thighs
  • Calories: 321
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugar: 26g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Cholesterol: 130mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Delicious! The skin was beautifully caramelized. The spices are well balanced, with just a hint of heat. I added sumac to the mix. The meat was moist and fell off the bones. I grilled drumsticks on a gas barbecue and they were done in 20 minutes. The glaze was a great finishing touch. I omitted the vinegar drizzle.

    • — Sadie on September 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is great, thank you for publishing it! I just have one question: I made it two times and followed the recipe exactly, but my chicken never caramelized properly and never reached that beautiful color like in your photo. Any ideas on what can cause that? Thanks!

    • — AK on September 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • HI AK, Sorry you’ve had a little problem with this — is your oven rack in the top position when you’re broiling?

      • — Jenn on September 12, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks for responding, Jenn. My oven rack is in the second top position, around 5″ from the heating element. I don’t have experience with broiling and was afraid that the top rack is too close. Should I have used the top? Thanks again for the recipe, the flavor is super yummy and it’s so easy to make!

        • — AK on September 13, 2022
        • Reply
        • My top rack is closer to the broiling element so I guess that accounts for the difference. I’d suggest that when you return the chicken to the oven after brushing on the glaze, you put it on the higher rack. Just keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! Hope that helps. 🙂

          • — Jenn on September 14, 2022
          • Reply
          • Bringing the rack closer to the heat definitely helped. Thank you, Jenn!

            • — AK on September 17, 2022
  • This was so easy and delicious! Loved how quick it was to put together. My husband asked for this more often based off how good it was!

    • — Kendyan on September 8, 2022
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  • Absolutely delicious! The chicken was succulent and juicy. Thanks so much for another wonderful recipe!!

    • — Linda on September 7, 2022
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  • Super easy and super delicious. It was a hit with everyone and will be a regular on our dinner table. I couldn’t belive how fast it came together and how delicious it was.

    • — Patty on September 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this twice in a week, it was that good. The cayenne gives it a perfect kick and as someone who is not a fan of vinegar, the splash of vinegar at the end was not strong enough to make the chicken taste too vinegar-y. Easy to make with not a lot of clean up.

    • — Becca on August 31, 2022
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  • This was seriously so delicious and incredibly easy.
    Thank you!

    • — Donna Jones on August 26, 2022
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  • Wow! These are so good and easy, and I don’t usually like chicken! I only used 6 thighs but I feel anymore would have stretched the seasoning too thin. I might even increase the seasoning next time. Also I was a little concerned it wasn’t totally cooked. I’ll probably add 5 mins of broiling the next time I make this, which will be very soon

    • — Nicky on August 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • The only thing I didn’t like is the fact that it doesn’t mention what temperature to broil on. I have an oven that requires me to add a temperature. I started at 300 but after 10 minutes it didn’t look at all cooked. So, I upped it to 400. Otherwise, super easy and very yummy. I am going to try this on the grill next time for added BBQ flavor. Great recipe!

    • — Jamie Lynn Harmon on August 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Enjoyed this recipe. Used Aleppo pepper instead of cayenne, and cooked on gas grill. The honey burns fast, so best to keep your eye on it. Will try broiler next time!

    • — May on August 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this and it was a huge hit. I was not in the mood to make dinner and I saw the email with the link to this recipe so I decided to make it. Simply put, it is easy and fantastic! Will 100% make again!

    • — Lisa at Black Walnut Farm on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve always wondered something about boneless, skinless thighs. They typically have a large amount of excess fat on them which I usually try to trim. If I don’t trim them, will the fat burn off on the bbq or under the broiler or will I be left with big clumps of cooked fat?

    • — Lynda Freedman on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lynda, Some of it may burn off, but much of it remains. Hope you enjoy the chicken if you make it!

      • — Jenn on August 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Definitely a 5star recipe love it! things I did differently:
    I halved the chili powder (I can eat extremely hot/spicy foods but the original amount of chili powder was far too hot for me).
    halved apple cider/vinegar
    used smoked paprika instead
    omit the cumin and cayenne
    mixed all the ingredients incl vinegar and oil together
    brushed the mixture onto the chicken, baked 150degrees Celsius for 30 mins, during the 10 minute mark I took the chicken out and re-brushed then did that again at the 20 min mark.

    • — Sharon on August 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • you did not make the recipe, so why did you give it 5 stars?

      • — Slick on August 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Just an fyi…the link to the side dish salad to serve with this is not working.

    • — Susan on July 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, That’s strange as it’s working for me! Here’s a link to it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this several times now, each time barbequing the chicken rather than broiling in the oven. I like to “marinate” the chicken in the spice mixture for at least a few hours. Takes about 10 minutes per side on the bbq. Glaze after turning once. It’s a real winner at my house.

    • — Lisa V on June 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • It was fantastic!! It tasted just like I made it on a grill! I live in a condo this is the first ever recipe that tasted just like it was grilled! I followed the recipe exactly (except 4 thighs turned at 4 minutes a side). The seasoning was spot on delicious. I’ll be making this often!

    • — Eileen on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • OMG I can not stress how amazing this was. As an avid cook I was a bit skeptical on the cooking method and time but always follow a recipe the first time and am so glad I did. My teenage kids couldn’t get enough and asked me to make it again tonight (for context I only made it last night). Do not hesitate

    • — Nicola Kastner on May 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • This is one of my favorite Cooking Light recipes that I used to make all the time. I had forgotten about it. Looking forward to making these again!

      • — Kim on August 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Outstanding! I had to add an extra 5 minutes at the end on low broil. Will definitely make again. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

    • — Doris on April 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • My ovens broiler has a high and a low setting. Any recommendations on which setting I should try with this recipe? Thanks!

    • — Morgan on April 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Morgan, I always use the high setting on my broiler. Hope you enjoy the chicken!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • These chicken thighs are phenomenal! Fairly average calories per serving for a dinner, but PACKED with flavor. If you’re tracking meals or counting calories this is an excellent option. I feel like this recipe was almost too easy – like I had missed a step where you need to cook something for like 30 minutes. But nope! It’s just an incredibly easy recipe. I love it and will definitely make it again.

    • — Joseph on April 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow, thank you so much for this recipe. It was quick and easy. Half an hour and dinner is ready. Very tasty. Definite keeper. Spicy, yet not overwhelming. I was afraid of that honey glaze but it is not overpowering, just a perfect compliment to the spice.

    • — katarina on April 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Everyone loved this. Even I had a second piece and I don’t usually care for chicken thighs. The only problem I had was my oven began to smoke and I had to move the chicken down to a lower rack.

    • — Kara on March 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was AMAZING!! A huge hit for my family. Tasted like they were grilled! Definitely making this again:)

    • — War Eagle Mom on March 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best! I had chicken I needed to cook for four giant 17-year-old boys in my house. They devoured this (thankfully I was able to double it) and I had two moms text me for the recipe the next day. Thanks, Jenn, I pretty much only cook from your recipes lately!

    • — Margaret Spencer on March 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe, and I’m wondering if anyone has tried it in their InstantPot! I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same, but I’d love any tips if you’ve tried it. Thanks!

    • — Amy on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • This recipe was delicious, and it came together and cooked quickly. I’ll be making this again for sure!

      • — Gigi on March 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • I tried the oven method first because we had people over and I was a little hesitant about testing out the broiler with company. I ended up with a lot of liquid and the glaze sort of. washed away. Chicken had great flavor but seemed a little dry. I decided to retry with just my spouse and use the broiler. Success! It was perfect. Juicy, spicy, and a little sweet. Spouse kept saying yum. Will make again for sure.

    • — Carol D on February 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight as directed except I forgot the extra vinegar at the end.
    It was wonderful. A delightful blend of sweet and spicy. My husband is a picky eater and went back for seconds. I paired it with air fryer roasted potatoes.
    Will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • — Michelle on February 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I need to make an effort to leave more reviews on Jen’s website! I have told more people about Jen that in my world, she is simply known as ‘my chef’. This is one of my go to meals for a fast weeknight, don’t know what to make dinner that takes no marinating time and little cooking time. I’ve made it for a dinner party and friends are so impressed (shhhhh). It’s great for camping road trips in the cooler or for picnics on the beach. Forget dragging along a bbq to the beach anymore. Jen, you have changed my cooking forever. It started with me being off work with a bad concussion and then all that time in lockdown. I have made COUNTLESS of your recipes. I used to be so frustrated after having spent the time, effort and money to make a recipe that I thought would be good and it was bad or simply just ok. I know I can count on Jen to have tweaked to perfection everything that is on her site. Our kids gave me her first cookbook as a gift. I think it’s because they love her food! I just keep sending anyone I talk to about cooking to her website and I always hear that they love it. My 19 year old university student son goes to Jen for his recipes every time! He knows they taste so good that I find him cooking! To me, that basically says it all when a young guy is willing to take the time to cook . He and his roommate made the same five meals each week in a different order! He’s in computer science and loves the ease of the interface. Thank you Jen! I’m really hoping that you post more vegetarian mains. We are trying to eat less meat in our house.

    • — kathryn Zdriluk on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • My family devoured this dish! I followed the recipe exactly except I marinated the thighs in fridge all day and took them out one hour before broiling. I also skipped the vinegar sprinkle and left that part optional,which was a good call for my kids. Best chicken thighs I have ever made!!! Would be fabulous in a sandwich or over a salad. You knocked it out of the park again Jenn!

    • — Tara on January 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen! What would the time difference look like if I used bone in skin on thighs? Would that work for this recipe?

      Thank you!

      • — Lindsey Vargo on July 13, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Lindsey, I think you could use bone-in, skin-on thighs – I’d bake them for 50 minutes at 400°F, then brush on the glaze and broil it as the recipe instructs. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

        • — Jenn on July 16, 2022
        • Reply
        • Could you use bone in thighs/legs and take skin off? I feel if you keep the skin on it will take away all the flavor if you take skin off after its done cooking… which I do. Would you still bake it at f400 for 50 minutes?
          I’ve made this exactly like original recipe states and it is fantastic!!! Was hoping to try it with bone in next.

          • — Daneal Haupert on September 2, 2022
          • Reply
          • Hi, yes, you could remove the skin before cooking it. This chicken doesn’t typically get baked but because it will have bones, I’d bake it first in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes and then broil both sides as the recipe indicates. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

            • — Jenn on September 7, 2022
  • As usual…incredible! We loved it! So different and so easy!

    You’ve been bumped above Ina in our kitchen!!! The best!

    • — Shelly Bartz on January 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This marinade is delicious, and the chicken tasted great but it did not turn out looking carmelized with crispy bits like in your lovely photo. After the 5 min per side broiling, there was a lot of liquid in the pan- I then applied the glaze, but due to the pan liquid it kind of “washed off” each time I flipped the chicken. Next time would you suggest I pour off the pan liquid before brushing on the glaze? Cheers, and thanks so much!

    • — Dena on November 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Dena, Sorry to hear you’ve had a problem with this. Yes, I would either pour off the liquid or broil the chicken on a rack. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this twice so far and it turned out great both times. I love this recipe because it’s easy, affordable, and very tasty!!!!

    • — Celine on October 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love all your recipes, big fan here, and just ordered the new ebook! Thank you for making my cooking so much better! Going to make this tomorrow…the link for the side dish is no longer active, can you suggest another side to pair it with?

    • — Rebecca on August 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes and thanks for your support with a cookbook! That’s strange that the link is not working for you. I’d suggest the roasted carrots with time and have linked to them here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2021
      • Reply
      • Tried this last night for the first and it was great. All the recipes I have tried have not disappointed. Excited to receive delivery of your send book this week.
        Thank you for the great recipes! Gerri C

        • — Gerri Canitano on September 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • Oh my, this was really tasty! I too worried about just broiling, so I convection baked at 425 for 20 minutes, and then broiled for 1-1/2 minutes each side after glazing. Followed the recipe to a tee otherwise. Don’t skip the last part about sprinkling with vinegar, and be generous with it! It cools down the spicy heat. I made Jenn’s pureed cauliflower as a side dish, and it was a super delicious accompaniment!

    • — Deb Kacher on July 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t see what temperature to set the oven for.

    • — Leila on June 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Leila, The oven should be set to the broiler setting. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was so easy and delicious! Only every now and then do I put a new recipe in the regular rotation…this goes on the list by a unanimous vote in our family of seven. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Amanda W on June 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • I will be trying this recipe this week. I am curious as to what the side dish is that you have this photographed with…it looks awesome. Thanks

    • — Darlene on June 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Darlene, that’s an Epicurious recipe. You can find it here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • I love every recipe of yours I have ever made, and this one was no exception. Delicious and feels gourmet despite being super easy. Another win!

    • — Milly on May 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can another type of vinegar be used? I don’t have cider vinegar.

    • — Kathy on May 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, You could get away with using white wine vinegar instead. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Piling on to everyone’s love for this recipe! I was wondering how it would turn out with sprinkled apple cider vinegar, but my husband couldn’t even tell it contained it. 🙂

    • — Lulu on April 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another excellent recipe from Once Upon a Chef! Very easy to prepare and my wife loved it.

    • — mikermeals on March 15, 2021
    • Reply

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