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Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs

Rosemary lemon chicken thighs are ready in about 30 minutes, making it a great choice for a weeknight dinner. Full of flavor, light on effort, and super easy, this is a recipe you’ll come back to again and again.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my bourbon jalapeño chicken thighs and my chicken thighs with chili and ginger recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my chicken recipes in one place.

Rosemary lemon chicken thighs with sprigs of rosemary and slices of lemon on a white platter.

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Why you should make this recipe

  • 30 minute meal – These juicy chicken thighs bake up in about half an hour.
  • Low effort – Actual hands-on time is roughly 10 minutes, so you can sit and relax while the oven does most of the work.
  • Easily adjust portions – The recipe, as written, feeds 4 people. We are a household of two, so I often cut the recipe in half. If you have a larger household, you can easily double, or triple the recipe.
Lemon and rosemary chicken thighs on white platter.

Rosemary lemon chicken thighs

This is one of our go-to dinner recipes. It is in a regular rotation because it is fast, easy and requires very little effort. Because the flavors are a classic combination of lemon, garlic and rosemary, you can pair almost any side with it – which is good news if you get stuck on sides like I do sometimes.

The most laborious part of it is taking the chicken from the sauté pan and putting it on a sheet pan, and you don’t even have to do that. As long as your pan is oven-safe, you can cook it right in the same pan.

Crispy, golden brown chicken thighs with lemon slices and rosemary on a white platter.

Weeknights can get a little crazy and while it is easier to order a pizza, making this chicken dinner requires very little effort. The best thing about this recipe, besides how good it is, is that it is done in about half an hour.


A handful of ingredients are all you’ll need to make this quick and easy chicken thigh recipe.

Ingredients for rosemary lemon chicken thighs on white background.
  • Chicken thighs – Bone in, skin on chicken thighs roasted until golden brown and crispy are the perfect weeknight meal.
    • Substitutions: You can swap out skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. If you are looking for a boneless, skinless option, you can do that too, just reduce the cooking time.
  • Lemon – Bright, citrusy flavor from the lemon makes this chicken so delicious.
  • Rosemary – A hearty, woodsy herb that has a hint of lemon, it pairs perfectly with this dish.
  • Garlic – Roasting the garlic with the chicken mellows the flavor making it almost sweet. The garlic will get really soft and caramelized in the oven. If you are a fan of garlic, you can smash a few cloves and slather it on the chicken (or a piece of bread!).
  • Salt & pepper – Everything needs to be seasoned.

How to make

Here’s a quick summary of how to make rosemary lemon chicken thighs. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe. 

Step by step photos showing how to make crispy chicken thighs with lemon and herbs.
  1. Prep – Preheat oven to 400°F // 200°C. Sear the chicken thighs until the skin is golden brown and begins to crisp up.
  2. Add aromatics – Make a “bed” of rosemary, garlic and lemon for the chicken thighs. Set the chicken on top. This will perfume your chicken thighs with all that delicious flavor.
  3. Roast – Bake the chicken in a hot oven until the skin is golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through. A meat thermometer should register 160°F.
  4. Garnish the chicken with chopped rosemary and lemon zest.

The key to getting these chicken thighs nice and crispy is a hot oven. I roast them at 375°F / 190°C with a convection oven. If your oven is not convection, you could crank it up to 400°F / 200°C.

Close up of baked chicken thighs with lemon zest and chopped rosemary on top.

Rosemary lemon chicken thighs FAQ’s

Can I make this ahead?

Yes, you can make the chicken thighs ahead of time. Reheat in a warm oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

How long will it last in the fridge?

Store leftover cooked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Can I make this with chicken breasts?

Absolutely! Swap out the thighs for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.

Variations and substitutions

  • Herbs – You can swap out rosemary for other hearty herbs, like oregano or sage.
  • Marinate – If you have time, you can also make a marinade of these ingredients and leave the chicken overnight in the refrigerator to marinate.
  • Swap out thigh meat – If thighs aren’t your favorite, you can make rosemary lemon chicken breasts instead. You will follow the recipe exactly as you would with thighs, with one change: reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.

Serving suggestions

This is also a great recipe to make if you are having guests over for dinner. It is easy, delicious and always a crowd-pleaser. You can easily double it or triple it to feed as many people as necessary. Lately, this Strawberry Arnold Palmer has been the thing that we’re drinking around here.

For sides to go with this lemony garlic rosemary chicken, sauteed broccoli is one of our favorites, as are these melting potatoes with garlic.

One of our favorite easy desserts are these no bake blueberry cheesecake bars – it is one of the most popular recipes here for a reason. For a more decadent dessert, this triple chocolate bread pudding is a crowd favorite.

Crispy chicken thighs on white platter with chopped rosemary.

Helpful tools and equipment

  • Heavy duty sheet pans that hold up to high temps without warping.
  • Parchment paper sheets are MUCH easier to use than tearing pieces off of a roll.
  • Pepper mill – If you appreciate a really good pepper mill, take a peek at this one.

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Chicken thigh image for Pinterest.

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Recipe card image of chicken thighs.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs

Cheryl Bennett
An easy weeknight dinner, rosemary lemon chicken thighs are ready in 30 minutes.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 595 kcal


  • 4 lbs. bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, about 8 // 1.8kg
  • 2 lemons zested and cut into small wedges, reserve zest for garnish after cooking
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary reserve 1 to chop for garnish, if desired
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves or a big handful // 60mL
  • 3 tbsp. neutral oil canola, vegetable, avocado, grapeseed
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper or to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) with convection fan on. If your oven does not have convection, you can increase temperature to 400°F / 200°C.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, on both sides. When pan is hot, place chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down.
  • Cook undisturbed, until skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. (*see note)
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place garlic cloves, rosemary and lemon, on the sheet pan. Transfer chicken to sheet pan, skin side up, placing it on top of the lemon, garlic, and rosemary.
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and skin is golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from oven, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and lemon zest while warm, if desired.


  • If you prefer to cook the chicken in the same pan, remove chicken thighs and place garlic, lemons and rosemary into the pan, then flip chicken skin side up and return to the pan. Proceed with recipe as written.
  • Chicken thighs will get crispier all over if cooked on a sheet pan vs a sauté pan, especially in a convection oven, because the sides of the sauté pan block the air flow around the chicken as it is cooking. They will still get crispy, but on a sheet pan that has very shallow sides, the air can move around the chicken much better and the skin will become SUPER crispy and crunchy.
  • Cook time will vary slightly depending on the size of the chicken thighs. If they are on the small side, you might cook them 2 minutes less. If they are large, add a few extra minutes to ensure they are done or use a meat thermometer – it should register 160° and allow chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Store leftover chicken thighs in an air tight container for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 595kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 108gFat: 74gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 53gCholesterol: 581mgSodium: 1374mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1g
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  1. Cheryl – can chicken breasts be substituted for the thighs? If so, what changes to the recipe will I need to do. This sounds easy enough that I think even I could make it!!!

    1. Jenny- you can absolutely use chicken breasts! Reduce the cooking time to about 25 minutes (unless the chicken breasts are huge, then don’t) and you should be good to go! 🙂

  2. This is gorgeous and reminds me of the lemon chicken dish I made for my wedding lunch (and many times since). Yours looks so delicious and whoa a whole hell of a lot better than a bucket!

    1. Hooray!!! I love it when a recipe is a hot with anyone, but ESPECIALLY with picky eaters 😉

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