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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!

BBQ-Spiced Chicken Thighs with Tangy Honey Glaze

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


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


  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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  • Jen, this is THE best way to make chicken! My family loves it!!! I have been asked to bring it to a Hawaiian party. What can I do to make it fit the genre? Add ginger maybe? Or coconut milk? Please advise! I hate to tweet it as it is so perfect but I want to be part of my friend’s theme. Thanks!!

    • — Robin MacGillivray on September 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Adding a little ginger would be nice and perhaps serving it with a mango or pineapple salsa would be a good way to go.

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • Just made this chicken tonight and it was fantastic! I did use 2 TBS of Hot Honey and 3 TBS of regular honey, but it was moist, so flavorful and bone-sucking good! (I had thighs and legs and removed the skin). Thanks for this recipe!

    • — Jada Lindsay on August 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another delicious recipe. It was so quick & easy to make. Moist & flavourful.

    • — Joanne on August 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Not sure when the caramelization
    Is suppose to happen, they would be dried out before that happens.

    • — Arthur Lindsey on July 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for my whole family. Everyone enjoyed it, including my kids (ages 6, 3, 2). We all agreed it would be delicious as a meal prep option to make various wraps, bowls with quinoa or rice throughout the week. I paired it with the Vivian Howard corn and made a wrap the next day with the chicken, corn, a little cheese and romaine- delicious! Thank you for the recipe, Jenn. I would love a similar recipe with a different spice combo to mix it up!

    • — Olivia on July 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness so easy and so delish! Finally moist, flavorful chicken! Didn’t need the cayenne IMO. Will be making this regularly!

    • — PNWBear on June 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious! All of the family loved it!

    • — Angela York on May 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • The BBQ Chicken Thighs were delicious…just like the rest of your recipes! Thank you!

    • — Tami on April 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Super Easy! Super Quick! Super Yummy! A winner on all fronts! Thank you!

    • — Kathy on March 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • These were just amazing! Definitely a keeper recipe. I was nervous about broiling as I never use my broiler that much but will definitely be making these again. I did spray my foil lightly with nonstick spray before putting the chicken on it and had no trouble with sticking. I used 1/4 tsp cayenne (me, Ms. Mild, lol) and it was just the right amount and my lips are a bit tingly. I served with baby potatoes and a salad. Thank you for a great recipe!

    • — Kim on March 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I had both of your recipe books out today and was scrolling your site because you my dear are a fantastic chef and food writer. I landed on this chicken and your stuffed peppers to do some meal prep this week (as well as some braised cabbage from another blog). This chicken is amazing! I substituted maple syrup bc of a honey intolerance my husband has, and I needed to massage the seasoning mix onto the chicken bc it was too thick to just toss around the meat in. The chicken is flavourful and crispy on parts and juicy. A real winner. Thanks again! Happy fed family over here.

    • — Danielle on March 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was wonderful! I made it as written, but used 4 thighs for two of us, and let them marinade in the seasonings for a few hours. If I were to used 8 thighs, I’m sure I would double the seasoning blend. Paired it with your take on cilantro lime sweet corn for one of the most delicious lunches we’ve ever had. This is yet another in a long series of successful recipes I’ve made from here and your book. Thank you, Jenn.

    • — John M. on February 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2023
      • Reply
    • So so so good. We make this weekly now. Even cold leftovers are excellent!

      Make sure you have your fan and a window open though, our smoke alarm did go off with the broiler on, but I like those charred bits! Thanks for an incredible, easy recipe! A keeper and will be on regular rotation.

      • — Monica on March 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • Loved the recipe although I did have to alter how I cooked the chicken. Broiled for 10 minutes and then cooked an additional 15 at 380

    • — Milan on February 22, 2023
    • Reply

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