Crispy Mediterranean Baked Chicken Thighs



Pan of crispy baked chicken thighs surrounded by olives and caramelized onions

These baked, Mediterranean-inspired chicken thighs are the BEST: smoky, satisfying, and SO quick and easy! Tender, crispy skin chicken is surrounded by roasted onions, olives, and (optional) dates. It’s the ultimate sweet and savory party and everyone’s invited! 

Just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes required, friends. Send that RSVP!

Dates, olives, chicken thighs, olive oil, onion, salt, and spices

How to Make Crispy Mediterranean Baked Chicken Thighs

These Mediterranean-inspired chicken thighs begin with a FLAVOR-PACKED spice combo: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. It’s equal parts smoky, sweet, spicy, salty, and just SO good.

Rubbing smoky spices onto bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

After rubbing the chicken thighs with the spice blend, we sear them in a cast iron skillet to create a golden brown, crispy crust.

Kalamata olives and onions surrounding crispy pan seared chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

Sliced onions, dates, and kalamata olives then join the party to add even more sweet and salty flavor. Everything bakes together until tender, caramelized, and ready to finish with a final squeeze of lemon juice for brightness.

Cast iron skillet of crispy baked Mediterranean chicken thighs with olives, dates, and onions

These Mediterranean baked chicken thighs are the best! They’re:

Quick & easy
Tender on the inside
& Crispy on the outside!

They’re amazing with rice, quinoa, or potatoes for a simple meal. Or for more veggies, pair with our Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad (6 Ingredients), Mediterranean-Inspired Cucumber Chickpea Salad, or Chickpea Shawarma Salad.

More Mediterranean-Inspired Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of rice topped with a chicken thigh with crispy skin and tender meat

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (Servings)

Course Main Course

Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired

Freezer Friendly No

Does it keep? 2-3 Days

  • 4 (6-8 oz each) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (pasture-raised, organic when possible)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (1/2 small onion yields ~3/4 cup sliced)
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and place a large cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) on the stovetop.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Then season the chicken thighs on both sides with the seasoning mixture. They should be seasoned well and evenly coated.

  • Heat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the olive or avocado oil. You want a very thin layer of oil so the skin gets crispy. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs and sear on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until a golden brown crust has formed.

  • Turn off the heat and add the onion slices to the pan, placing the chicken thighs skin side up and adjusting so some of the onions are underneath them. Then add the olives and dates (optional) around the chicken.

  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is ~170 degrees F (making sure the thermometer doesn’t hit bone to get an accurate reading).

  • Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for ~5 minutes before serving. We like to serve ours with a squeeze of lemon over roasted potatoes, rice, or quinoa. Also, baking the chicken with the olive oil and onions makes a really delicious juicy sauce that can be served on the side to pour over the chicken!
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot. Not freezer friendly.

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 300 Carbohydrates: 3.6 g Protein: 19.3 g Fat: 23 g Saturated Fat: 5.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 110 mg Sodium: 852 mg Potassium: 266 mg Fiber: 0.8 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 324 IU Vitamin C: 0.9 mg Calcium: 18 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

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