Juicy baked boneless chicken thighs get a Middle Eastern makeover with a bold garlicy marinade with one of my favorite warm spice blends, baharat. The BEST chicken and potatoes dinner you'll make!
Middle Eastern Boneless chicken thighs
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a home cook’s best friend. They’re convenient, inexpensive, and hard to mess up!
Anyone who’s been at my dinner table has probably eaten chicken thighs in some form: grilled with a side of garlicky yogurt, cooked in a skillet with deeply caramelized onions, or tossed in some marinade and baked to juicy perfection.
Today’s comforting baked boneless chicken thighs with potatoes falls into the third category, and the star ingredient in the marinade is baharat! And if you haven’t tried this magic Middle Eastern spice blend, you are in for a treat!
Baharat (Arabic for “spice blend") is a fragrant mixture of spices often including cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and more. It has warm and sweet undertones similar to allspice, but even deeper!
In Middle Eastern and North African kitchens, baharat is often used as an all-purpose seasoning for things like grilled meats (particularly lamb), chicken, stews and soups, sauces, and even roasted vegetables.
You can find my favorite baharat blend here our online shop, unless you want to spend the time grinding and blending your own.
Aside from boneless, skinless chicken thighs and some baby potatoes, what makes this recipe special is the bold Middle Eastern marinade with lots of fresh garlic and baharat. Here is what you need for the marinade:
- Lime juice - Helps give you juicy, flavorful chicken.
- Extra virgin olive oil - I used our Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO, a fruity, slightly bitter oil that works well in this marinade.
- Minced garlic - While you need 10 to 15 cloves (about a whole head) of garlic, the marinade is just garlicky enough without being overwhelming.
- Tomato paste - For umami and rich color.
- Baharat - The star seasoning in this baked boneless chicken thighs recipe, baharat is spicy and sweet, and full of comforting, warm flavor.
- Red pepper flakes - Use ½ to 1 teaspoon, depending on how much spice you like. Or simply leave it out if you don’t like it spicy.
You don’t need hours for the chicken to marinade: Even 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature will do the trick.
How to make baharat baked chicken thighs
This one-pan dinner is so simple to put together! Here’s how to make it (printer-friendly recipe below):
- Make the baharat marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine the juice of 2 to 3 limes, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 10 to 15 cloves minced garlic, 4 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 teaspoons baharat, and ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional).
- Prepare the potatoes and shallots. Halve 1 pound of baby potatoes. Also halve 3 large shallots and cut them into thick slices. Place them into a mixing bowl with about ¼ cup of the baharat marinade. Toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes and shallots on the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan. I used a 9”x13” cast iron pan. Bake on the center rack of a 425 degrees F heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Toss the chicken in the baharat marinade . While the vegetables are in the oven, pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with kosher salt. Add it to the mixing bowl containing the marinade and toss until the chicken is well coated. Let it marinate for 15 minutes or so at room temperature. (If you have the time, you can cover and refrigerate the chicken for 2 to 4 hours).
- Toast the sesame seeds. Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds and toss constantly until they gain a little color. Sesame seeds burn very quickly, so do not leave them unattended on the stove.
- Bake the baharat chicken. Remove the baking pan from the oven (wear oven mitts!) and gently nestle the marinated boneless chicken thighs between the vegetables. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. (Cooked chicken will have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer.)
- Garnish. Finish the chicken and potatoes with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for how to make the best boneless chicken thighs
- Marinate the thighs for at least 15 minutes. Chicken thighs are very forgiving because they do not dry out easily. But I like to infuse them with moisture and flavor by allowing them to sit in a marinade for a little while. (You don’t need to marinade boneless thighs for too long, but if you do want to work ahead, you can allow the chicken 2 to 4 hours in the fridge to soak up more of the flavors).
- Use a meat thermometer. Well-done chicken thighs can sometimes still look slightly pink, which makes it difficult to tell whether they are actually cooked. A meat thermometer removes any guesswork. Cooked chicken will have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (when the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken), but remember it will continue to cook for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven.
Make ahead tips
As I just mentioned, to work a few hours ahead, you can let the chicken sit in the marinade for 2 to 4 hours, refrigerated.
You can also slice the shallots up a night ahead and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I recommend only cutting your potatoes right before roasting them. Potatoes oxidize very easily, which makes them turn a gray-brown color. While still safe to eat, they look very unappetizing.
Serve it with
You could easily serve this chicken and potatoes dinner by itself, that's the beauty of a one-pan dinner! But for some color and crunch, start with a big salad like fattoush, this hearty bean salad, or simple tomato salad would all work well!
You could also serve these baked boneless chicken thighs and potatoes over a bed of couscous or rice (for my carb-loving friends).
Leftovers and storage
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
More baked boneless chicken thighs recipes
Browse more chicken recipes. Browse all Mediterranean Recipes.
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Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs with Baharat
- 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
- 3 large shallots, halved, and cut into thick slices
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1.5 pounds
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- Parsley for garnish
For the marinade:
- Juice of 2 to 3 limes
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 to 15 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Baharat
- ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, add the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, Baharat, and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine.
- Season the potatoes with kosher salt and toss them with about ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and arrange them, along with the shallots, in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan (I used a 9”x13” cast iron pan).
- Place the baking pan with the potatoes and shallots on the center rack of your heated oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with kosher salt, then add the chicken to the mixing bowl and toss until the chicken is well-coated with the marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes or so.
- Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toss constantly until the seeds gain a little color. This will not take long. Sesame seeds burn very easily, so don’t leave them unattended. Set aside once toasted.
- Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven and nestle the chicken between the potatoes and shallots. Return the baking pan to the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and finish the chicken with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Enjoy!
- Tip: Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.
- To make ahead: You can let the chicken marinate for 2 to 4 hours, refrigerated. You can also cut up the shallots up to a night ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Serve baharat chicken with: This is a filling meal by itself. But for some color and crunch, serve it alongside a big salad. My bean salad, simple arugula salad, or cucumber salad would all work well! You could also serve these baked boneless chicken thighs and potatoes on a bed of couscous or rice.
- How to store leftovers? Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
- Visit our Shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices (like baharat, the star ingredient in today's recipe).
If I try it with chicken breast, do I need to adjust the cooking time ?
So I decided to try this recipe with just the chicken thighs. And I didn't have limes handy for the marinade.
Holy cow - that was delicious! I had it with steam fried broccolini with garlic as the side dish.
I can only imagine how much better it would be with the lime juice, but even without, the chicken was excellent! I'm enjoying exploring the recipes and flavors here - some I'm familiar with being Greek, some are new.
Would ras el hanout work instead of baharat?
Hi, Linda. That's not something we've tested before, but it may work. The dish would just have a totally different flavor profile due to the difference in the spices.
Made it today and it was extra super delicious and easy to make,i even mixed the baharat myself, yummy 😋
I loved this and it was a hit with my family! Besides chopping up 15 garlics, it wasn't very hard to prepare. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out very flavorful and delicious.
I made this 3 times and it's the most amazing chicken dish!! My husband and I love it and it's a keeper! I will be making it again and again! I love the fact that it's a one pot, baked recipe! Suzy, you have great recipes and you are so personable in your videos, you are so adorable! Thank you Suzy, for all your recipes and your tips for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes!!! Do you think you can make the NYC Halal Cart chicken, white sauce and rice recipe? I know you would make that recipe amazing!! Please make it!!!
If I want to omit the potatoes, would I need to adjust the cook time?
I'll be using your Baharat seasoning. It smells great.
Hi, Melinda. If you omit the potatoes, there is no need to adjust the cooking time for the chicken. Just skip steps 2 and 3. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
It was amazing. All 9 of us loved it. We added it to our menu. Thanks so much for sharing.
(I didn’t have limes so I used lemon juice and I also just used yellow onions instead of shallots). Wonderful!!
The flavors melded together so well that the outcome was amazing! No need to have anything added like a salad. The chicken and potatoes make up a full meal.
This recipe is a keeper for sure! Thank you, Suzy!
We live in Canada, and unfortunately your spices cannot be delivered here.
Can you please share your Baharat blend recipe, so we can make this dish as you intended it?
We love your recipes! Thank you, Ghada
Hi, Ghada. Baharat is usually made with a combination of warms spices, such as allspice, chili peppers, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and peppercorns. Unfortunately, Suzy doesn't have an exact recipe to share at the moment, but it sounds like something we need to add to the to-do list!
Hey Ghada, I'm from Calgary AB and there's a spice shop here that sells Baharat: https://silkroadspices.ca/products/turkish-baharat?_pos=1&_sid=a0751d6cf&_ss=r
They ship across all provinces. Hope this helps!
I made this dish for my husband. I was expecting it to be okay, but I was mainly banking on him liking it and trying something new. This was delicious. It was nothing like I expected and we both LOVED it. The baharat blend gives it such a cozy flavor and is balanced out with the savory garlic and sweet shallots.
First time making this. As with your other recipes it was sooo good. I made my own baharat spice mixture as I always have those spices in. This along with your creamy chicken pasta, and mushroom shwarma is now going to be part of my regular rotation. So happy I discovered the Mediterranean Dish and you are so talented. I always have everything I need in stock for all your recipes. Tastes good and so healthy! Thank you
Thank you so much, Liz!
Please may I ask should the baharat measurements not be measured in tablespoons as opposed to teaspoons?. I am looking forward to making this tomorrrow night UK time
Ever so grateful if you could revert back ASAP thank you so much love watching you make delicious meals xx
Hi, Viki. If you wanted to measure in tablespoons, you would need 2/3 Tablespoon baharat spice. We found it's just easier to measure it in teaspoons (2 whole teaspoons worth).
Hello thank you
I think my explanation was wrong. I thought the recipe required 2 tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons as it seemed so little. (2 tsp). You now confirm it must be 2 tsps. What has confused me is that you say if I use tablespoons I need 2/3 but tablespoons are bigger measurements 🤦
I tried this recipe 2 nights ago. It was delicious! The instructions were simple to follow and everything came together easily. There is a lot of garlic in the marinade. I may cut back a little bit next time.
Since I rarely plan ahead, I ran into a problem with the baharat spice blend. Could not get it in any store nearby. I found a reasonable looking recipe to make your own which I did (already had 7 of the 9 spices on hand) I think it came out okay.
Overall - this dish was very good - very savory.
Thanks so much, John!
Could you make this with bone in thighs?
You sure can! Bone-in thighs will take a bit more time, though. We highly recommend using a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thighs in order to determine doneness. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
I have made this for our Recovery ministry on Friday nights and for our senior “Meet and Eat” ministry. This is anywhere from 50-90 people each time. It is truly loved by all.
Oh, wonderful! Thanks so much, Maureen!
I was so excited to try this recipe but disappointed with the outcome.
It was a bit too tangy and overall it tasted dull though the aroma of the spices while cooking was amazing. The recipe called for 2-3 limes. I used the juice of 3 limes. In my opinion it made it too tangy. I would appreciate an exact measure for the lime juice in teaspoon/Tablespoon.
Maybe the addition or butter or cream would enhance the flavor and make the flavor more rich. My son and husband both said that they would like the addition of rice or couscous to the meal.
Thanks for the feedback, Peggy!
I agree. This smelled amazing before, during, and after cooking, but I didn't enjoy the finished product. I used three limes and probably should have used 2. Also, the tomato paste was overpowering; I'm wondering if I should have wiped off some of the marinade before placing the chicken in the pan. I also suspect that I did not use enough salt. My husband enjoyed it. I did not enjoy the taste of the chicken but the potatoes, which seem to take up just the right amount of marinade, were delicious. I would be interested in other recipes that make use of this spice blend.
Just received my mix & match bundle of spices - including baharat. Can't wait to try this chicken recipe!
Hope you enjoy it, Sue!
Hi Suzy, this was super delicious thank you! Followed exactly and served with your couscous recipe. Can't wait to make it again.
I made this dish last night for dinner. It was easy and quick which I always like on a Friday night. The taste was amazing and my husband really loved it. Definitely a keeper.