Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes! Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!

Looking for more chicken dinner ideas to change things up? Be sure to try our Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken SkewersSmoky Chicken Tinga Tacos, and Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs!

crispy cooked chicken thighs

Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

Let's talk about these crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs that just happen to be Whole 30 compliant but are every bit as satisfying as fried chicken in my opinion.

First though, a confession: I used to not like chicken thighs. I don't really know why but I think I thought they were too greasy or I didn't like the flavor of dark meat or whatever.

But for ages the only cut of chicken I would make were chicken breasts!

Raw bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on a wooden cutting board.

Until I tried Our Best Bite's spicy honey chicken recipe, which called for boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts. And I couldn't get over how delicious they were! It's still one of our favorite chicken recipes and a go-to dinner for us.

cooked chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

Those spicy honey chicken thighs are what finally convinced me to leave my prejudice against thighs behind me. And it's a good thing because these crackling, crispy cast iron chicken thighs are my other favorite way to prepare that particular cut of meat.

Except in this recipe you will use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and a good cast iron pan. I love cooking meat with the bone in because it keeps it so juicy and moist and adds so much flavor!

Overhead shot of crispy pan fried chicken thighs.

This recipe is really as much about technique as it is about ingredients, which are minimal. Other than a super simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder, there isn't much else to the prep work for these chicken thighs.

Seven cast iron chicken thighs with crispy skin in the skillet they were cooked in.

How to Make Chicken Thighs in a Cast Iron Pan

To make them, you first want to heat up your oven because after an initial sear skin-side down in a hot cast iron pan with just a tiny bit of oil, the chicken will get finished off by roasting in the oven until cooked through.

While the oven heats, mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sprinkle it evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs. Then heat up your cast iron pan nice and hot over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to it. I actually have two cast iron pans and will double the recipe just so I have plenty for leftovers as well!

raw chicken thighs on cutting board next to measure spoon and bowl of seasonings

The chicken goes in skin-side down and then you need to just leave it alone so the hot cast iron pan can do it's magic. I first saw this technique on Stupid Easy Paleo back when I was doing my first Whole 30 and immediately fell in love.

I mean, it takes all of 1 whole minute to season the chicken, and stick it in the pan, then the rest of the cooking process is just flipping the chicken once and sticking the pan in the oven. No babysitting dinner means I have time to make a side, set the table, or read a book to my girls while the food finishes cooking.

In addition to not liking chicken thighs, I also used to not like chicken skin. But that's because I had only ever had it with breaded, fried chicken from a certain fast food place that I'm not a particular fan of. It was greasy and heavy and breaded and I just found it blechy.

But man oh man, the skin on these pan fried chicken thighs is something else entirely. Once they have seared for about 7 minutes or so, a wonderful crust forms and the skin is just full of flavor and crispy goodness. My girls rave about it and it's always the first thing they go for when it's time to eat.

close aerial view of cooked chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

One word of caution: because you are rendering the fat from the chicken skin, it is going to create quite a bit of splatter. A splatterguard really comes in handy to keep cleanup to a minimum later. Also, you're going to want to make sure to have your vent hood fan on.

What to Serve with Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

Serve these pan fried chicken thighs with some stir-fried baby bok choy or green beans and cauliflower rice and you've got an easy Whole 30 compliant dinner!

A white plate with a crispy cast iron skillet chicken thigh and stir-fried baby bok choy on it.

And if you aren't doing Whole 30, go ahead and serve these chicken thighs with mashed potatoes or a rice pilaf!

Crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs in a cast iron pan with a white plate holding one piece of chicken and stir-fried baby bok choy.

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Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

4.82 from 148 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!


  • 2 ½ lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6-8)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and pepper, then sprinkle over the meat on both sides.
  • In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Place chicken thighs into the pan, skin side down and cover with a splatterguard. Cook without moving for 7-9 minutes so that the fat can render and the skin can get nice and crispy.
  • Once the chicken releases from the pan and has a nicely browned crust on the skin, flip the chicken pieces over using tongs. Transfer the skillet with the chicken to the oven and roast for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant read meat thermometer.  



Because chicken thighs can vary pretty significantly in size, you may need to adjust cooking times in the oven for larger or smaller thighs.  


Calories: 655kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 278mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! Such a gorgeous color on that chicken! I love your tip about keeping a splatter guard handy. I often figure that out way too late and make a bit of a mess.

  2. 5 stars
    I love a good chicken recipe and if it's crisp on the outside I'm in heaven. Love the flavors you have going here. Cast iron sure makes a good crisp chicken. Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    Made these last night and they were amazing!! Usually my husband grills thighs to get crispy skin, but this was just as good with none of the work! I will definitely be saving this as one of my go-to quick and delicious meals! Also, I have a big 15 inch skillet and was able to fit 8 thighs in one batch.

  4. Just made these with chicken breast n legs with my black skillets n they where amazing I love using cast iron skillet a set in house n one in the camper use nothing else

  5. 5 stars
    I made this twice last month & had to search for it to make it again tonight. I'll save it this time! Wonderful dish!
    P.S. I too love my camera, travel, my husband & 4 kiddos (ages 10-15), & cooking (less than the others) - & am a SAHM/previous doctor (OB/GYN).
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love that we have so much in common! And that you were able to find this recipe again! It's a favorite in our family as well.

  6. Once you flip these on the stovetop do you immediately put in oven or keep it on stovetop for a while? Wanted to make sure I’m not missing that.

  7. 4 stars
    Splatter guard is a must..... I made an amazing mess!! I know what i'll be doing tomorrow, cleaning the oven.... As for the chicken!!! It was worth it!! Fantastic...Crispy and Juicy.

  8. 5 stars
    This is my favorite go to for Crispy thighs and these taste as good or better than fried. Pop's came over for dinner last week and I made these with the stir fried Bok Choy and it was a hit. I now added this to my Keto rotation. The only changes I made was I seasoned the chicken with Spice Caves Paleo seasonings Wind and Land. And I doubled the Boy Choy and used coconut aminos. So good!

  9. I switched it up and made it with legs my kids absolutely loved it!! I cooked it just a little longer on the stove. Best chicken ever 3 simple ingredients.

  10. 5 stars
    This was my first time cooking whole chicken thighs, and they came out perfect! Thank you for the easy to follow recipe

    1. Im making these right now with drumsticks. I removed the skin because my family doesn't like it. How do i adjust the cooking time?

  11. 4 stars
    This recipe is great when you have an entire day to read the novel sized preface. Its superb images showing the the chickens maillard reaction draw you in to prove once again, that a picture is worth a thousand words.
    Seriously. All most people want is a good recipe and a quote like "Great recipe, you won't be disappointed"

  12. 5 stars
    The printable version says medium heat for the pan, the text says medium-high. I'm guessing medium-high is the correct setting.

  13. 5 stars
    I use my cast iron skillet all the time. I finished it off on my pellet grill and it came out perfect. Thank you!!

    1. Maybe not enough oil on the pan to begin with? I always use med heat on my cast iron. Let it pre heat at high, bring heat down to med for the initial cook.

  14. These turned out great! I used my go to chicken spices that I call Scarborough Fair (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) along with salt and pepper. Will definitely make these again and again, so easy!

  15. Sounds yummy! The chicken thighs I got are huge. I have 4 and they total out at 2.5 pounds.  How long would you bake for? 

    1. Whoa, those definitely are huge chicken thighs! I would recommend really relying on a meat thermometer since, yes, they will likely take a bit longer to cook through.

  16. I love my cast iron skillet and I love the flavor and juicyness of chicken thighs. When I saw only 5 ingredients were needed I had my doubts. Throwing my doubts aside I made chicken thighs with your recipe and I'm so glad I did. Your instructions are extremely easy to follow and cooking times for both stove top and oven were so accurate it took out any guess work. I'll definitely be making House of Nash Eats Crispy Chicken thighs again and exploring more of your recipes. House of Nash Eats Rocked my home tonight. It was thoroughly enjoyed and there were NO leftovers or room for dessert!

  17. Oh boy... Well, l sure do feel like that kid made to sit in the corner with a big pointy DUNCE hat!!
    Believe it or not, l'm in my 60's and just bought my first cast iron skillet last month!! Well l've spent all that time just seasoning it and this is my virgin meal!!
    It was delicious!!! With that said though, when l knew the chicken would release, l went to turn them over with tongs and the skins just sort of SLID OFF the meat!
    I did roast them after... just placing the skins on top... But it just didn't look as nice as yours!
    Do you have any advice for that?? Thanks too for this easy and simple recipe... I'll just have to figure that part out!!

  18. Hello!

    Made this just now and it turned out delicious! My husband ate three pieces! I see why now you make enough for leftovers.

    I was looking for an alternative to fried chicken and this was a very straightforward recipe and technique. As you stated a splatterguard is an absolutely must! 

  19. Just saw your recipe for the Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs and would love to try it for dinner tonight if possible. It looks great! I have one question though. When you transfer the skillet to the oven do you cover it for the rest of the cooking time? Thanks.

  20. Thank you!  So easy and delicious.  Cooked green beans and pasta and everything was ready at same time & easy to clean up (: 

  21. These were amazing! Just followed the instruction exactly, and PERFECT! Wouldn’t change a thing. This is our new favorite, go-to chicken thigh recipe!

  22. Have done this several times and chicken always comes out perfect! For two of us, four good sized thighs fit in my 10" cast iron pan and take no more than 20 min. in the oven. Try 'em, you'll like 'em!

  23. This is so much better than fried chicken. Granted your stove top is going to be splattered, but this recipe is well worth the clean up. I can't believe how easy and tasty this recipe is. You would think you are grandma's country fried chicken. This is going to be my go to recipe when I want some simple home cooked comfort food.

  24. Love this recipe! It's so easy and they come out so good - nice crispy skin and super moist meat. This is the only way I cook chicken thighs now. Thank you!!

  25. These were a big hit all around! 8 and 15 year old boys plus my husband and I all LOVED them!! We don't typically eat the thighs unless part of a casserole or something. The way these crisp up they don't have that "fatty" thigh thing going on. Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Totally! But you probably won't need to bother with finishing them in the oven since they will easily cook through all the way just in the pan. But otherwise the seasoning will be the same. The cooking time might be slightly less on each side as well because there won't be any skin on it.

  26. Tried this recipe and loved the result! This is a new favourite that will be in our regular meal rotation. Thank you!

    1. No honey in this recipe. I think you are referring to the spicy honey chicken thighs that I linked to in the post, which is a different recipe.

  27. We love this recipe! It is one of our go to dinners. Was wondering, if going camping and no oven is available, could you just put lid on pan after flipping and turn down heat to finish cooking?

  28. This is a winner and so easy. The "Family Package" was huge, and the thighs were SO huge, I could only fit four in the skillet at a time, so I did them in batches and put them on a broiling pan to put in the oven, but I used the cast iron skillet to roast veggies from the garden: carrots, potatoes, beets, and Jerusalem artichokes. My partner works in a group home for mentally disabled adults and the guys there like his cooking so he cooks every night. Sunday is his first day off, so I try to make a special dinner for him every week after Zoom church. He doesn't like leftovers; he wants something different every day. The punchline is that there is only ONE thigh left and he asked me if I'd make them again tomorrow. Altering the coating provides endless possibilities. Tomorrow I may use Italian spices and cover with tomato sauce. I've got some za'atar spice and may serve it with dolmades. Curry with tikka masala sauce?

  29. An easy and delicious recipe! As others mentioned, you definitely need a splatter guard (which I am now going to order...finally!) I added a little paprika but followed all other instructions to the "T". Thank you for sharing!

  30. I just wanted to say I've giving up on chicken for a long time. It either comes out tough/dry or rubbery/chewy... until I tried this method! It turned out perfect. A nice crust on the outside and juicy tender chicken on the inside. Just Salt, Pepper, Basil, Garlic and Olive oil while cooking. The best part is you can use this exact method and cook from frozen!

    Just rinse off ice and pat dry. Seriously good. Thanks.

  31. I am not a great cook, my stuff is "doable". My husband gave me 3 cast iron skillets for me for Christmas. I came upon your receipe of chicken thighs, and made them tonight. He loved the chicken thighs!!! The receipe was simple (doable) and i liked the chicken thighs, too!!! Thank you very much!!!

  32. Made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my qhole family. It has even begun to convert me into liking dark meat. Great recipe, thank you.

  33. This is my absolute favorite!!! 
    I’ve had chicken every way possible and yet I keep coming back to cooking it this way!! 
    My family loves it, even my picky 1 and 2 year olds!!!