This sheet pan chicken thigh recipe is perfect for a busy Monday night

Madeline Buiano
·3 min read

And just like that, Monday has rolled back around. It's a day for getting things in order for the week ahead, like meal prep and putting laundry away (in between downing a few cups of coffee), in addition to putting in a full day of work,. With all of that on your plate, who really has time to think about what's for dinner? Luckily this sheet pan chicken thighs recipe is a fuss-free dinner option that saves you time on cooking and clean-up. A two for one.

Leftover Chicken Recipes You’ll Make Again and Again

If you're a chicken lover, chances are you're familar with the breast vs. thigh debacle. What's better? What's better for you? And most importantly, which should you cook for dinner? Although chicken thighs are fattier than the breast, they're loaded with flavor. The layer of skin that coats the dark meat allows the chicken to retain all of its moisture during the cooking process. And -- let's be honest -- dark meat just takes the cake when it comes to the winningest flavor.

Now that you know why we're working with chicken thighs in this recipe, we can get to the how. This sheet pan meal prioritizes convenience and flavor. Just season the chicken thighs with lemon, olive oil, olives, a lot of garlic and thyme, then spread the chicken, skin-side down on the pan. Then pop the chicken in the oven and walk away. Serve with whatever you have leftover in your fridge, be it mashed potatoes, rice from Saturday night's Chinese takeout or some salad.

Baking the chicken thighs will give you a nice crispy coating without losing any moisture. The best part about this dish (besides the flavor) is how easy it is to clean up. The ease of a good sheet-pan dinner is not to be overlooked and shouldn't be relegated to just Monday night meals. Check out more of our one-pan recipes, from sweet potato and egg hash to fish and chips.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Lemon and Olives

This recipe is by Leah Eskin and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.


  • 2 lemons

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan

  • 1 cup pitted olives, spicy or not

  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 6 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), bone-in, skin-on

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: Slice points off lemons. Cut into 1/3-inch thick slices. Quarter each slice. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup olives, 8 cloves garlic and 2 teaspoon thyme.

Step 2: Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Toss chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread out chicken, skin-side down, on the pan.

Step 3: Slide into a 425F oven and let roast, 25 minutes. Scatter on the lemon and olives mixture. Continue roasting until chicken skin is crispy brown and flesh is tender and measures 165F on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes more.