Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly, and incredibly easy to prepare.

Inspired by one of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly (they’re not too spicy), and incredibly easy to prepare. The chicken is seasoned with garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and then broiled with a sweet and tangy honey glaze. The side dish is a Quinoa Salad with Peaches, Arugula & Pickled Red Onions from Bon Appétit — it’s wonderful with the chicken and so pretty too!

What you’ll need to make Spicy Chicken Thighs

Before we get started, a few words about the chicken. It’s important to use skinless, boneless 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 so that they are pleasant to eat. I like to use kitchen shears as opposed to a knife; it’s much easier.


How to make Spicy Chicken Thighs

To begin, combine the trimmed chicken thighs with the olive oil and spices and mix until evenly coated.


Arrange the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up, and broil for five minutes on each side.


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


Brush the cooked chicken with half the glaze, then broil for one minute. Flip the chicken over, brush with the remaining glaze, and broil for a few minutes more until chicken is nicely caramelized.


Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining cider vinegar and serve. Enjoy!



– As the recipe was originally written in Cooking Light, I found it much too sweet. I increased the vinegar by a lot to get the right balance. I also added a bit of olive oil, more salt and some smoked paprika for a little smokiness (you can check out the original recipe here).

– You might be wondering how this recipe would work on the grill. I’d stick to broiling, as the pan collects the sauce, which would get lost on the grill.

– For young kids, use only 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or none at all).

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Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, these chicken thighs are delicious, family-friendly, and incredibly easy to prepare.

Servings: 4-6
Cook Time: 12 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes


For the Chicken

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

For the Honey-Vinegar Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided


  1. Set an oven rack in the top position and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Prepare the glaze by combining the honey with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar in a small bowl; stir well.
  4. Broil the chicken for 5 minutes on each side (for a total of 10 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oven and brush half of the glaze on the chicken; broil for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn over; brush the chicken with the remaining honey mixture and broil for 1-2 minutes more, until the chicken is nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle it 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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Reviews & Comments

  • 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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