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

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ - ½ 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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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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    • Hi Morgan, I always use the high setting on my broiler. Hope you enjoy the chicken!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2022
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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    • This recipe was delicious, and it came together and cooked quickly. I’ll be making this again for sure!

      • — Gigi on March 6, 2022
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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    • 💕

      • — 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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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