These easy sheet pan chicken thighs have spice and smokiness from harissa, freshness from dill and arugula, and cool brightness from lemony yogurt. Almost no prep, all you really have to do is cut up some potatoes and dinner is ready!
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We all love sheet pan dinners! At least we should. And if you're going to cook something on a sheet pan, chicken thighs are a very good choice. They don't need babysitting, they don't dry out, the skin gets crispy and everybody's happy.
For this adventure, I'm using harissa—a spicy chili paste that hails from Tunisia originally—but you can find variations from many Middle Eastern countries as well. Its spiciness is rounded out by fresh dill and arugula, and a kiss of creamy yogurt with lemon juice and zest.
These sheet pan chicken thighs require almost no prep. They are perfect for an evening when you want a lot of flavor without a lot of work. I like them on a Saturday movie night because everything can go from one pan to one plate, side dish already included.
Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, with Arugula, Herbs, and Lemon Yogurt
Adapted from NYT Cooking
Preheat the oven to 425 F
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, 1 tsp salt, the cumin, and harissa.
Use a good chef's knife and slice the potatoes in half, then into slices about ½ inch thick.
Season the chicken thighs with salt on both sides and under the skin. Then add chicken, potatoes, and the harissa mixture to a large bowl. Toss to thoroughly coat the chicken and potatoes and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
Place the chicken thighs skin side up on the sheet pan and spread potatoes out in one layer and place in the oven. After about 20 minutes, remove the sheet pan and stir the potatoes around, flipping over the slices that are getting very brown.
Do you need to flip chicken thighs when baking?
No you do not need to flip the chicken thighs. As they cook, the skin will render the fat and get crispy on top just with the heat of the oven! (and that good chicken fat will get slathered all over those potatoes!)
Place the sheet pan back into the oven and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until the chicken thighs are crispy and potatoes are golden brown.
How long does it take chicken thighs to bake?
It depends a little on the size of the thighs and the temperature of the oven. At 425 F, it could take anywhere from 25-40 minutes, depending upon the size of the chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are also very forgiving, so there's not too much danger of overcooking. Once the juices run clear and the skin is crispy, you're ready to go!
While the chicken and potatoes are baking, use a Microplane grater and grate the zest from one lemon. Then add yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a small bowl and stir to combine. You can add a touch of black pepper if you like.
Remove the chicken and potatoes from the oven, sprinkle dill and arugula over the top. Dollop with the lemon yogurt sauce. Serve any remaining yogurt sauce on the side. I like extra!
Tips for making this recipe
- Different brands of harissa vary in spiciness. Be sure to taste first, and adjust the amount in the marinade to your liking. You can find harissa online, at Trader Joe's, and at international grocery stores.
- When you remove the sheet pan at 20 minutes, wait just a couple of minutes before you stir the potatoes. If you give them a minute to cool slightly, the potatoes will let go of the pan and be easier to flip. This way you won't lose that crispy surface you've worked so hard to get.
- If you don't like dill, you can use parsley or cilantro instead. If you can't find arugula, you can use watercress.
More recipes with chicken thighs
- One Pot Chicken Thighs with Rice and Black Beans
- Chicken Escabeche with Jalapeños, Golden Raisins, and Mint
- Chicken Thighs with Coconut Milk Creamed Corn, Green Chiles, and Cilantro
Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken Thighs and Potatoes with Arugula, Herbs, and Lemon Yogurt
- 1.5 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)
- 1 lb yukon gold potatoes
- 2 tbsp harissa
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more for chicken thighs
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- fresh dill or other soft herb such as parsley or cilantro
- fresh arugula
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Slice the potatoes in half, then into slices about ½ inch thick.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, 1 tsp salt, cumin, and harissa.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt on both sides and under the skin. Then add chicken, potatoes, and the harissa mixture to a large bowl. Toss to thoroughly coat the chicken and potatoes in the marinade and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Place the chicken thighs skin side up on the sheet pan and spread potatoes out in one layer and place in the oven. After about 20 minutes, remove the sheet pan and stir the potatoes around, flipping over the slices that are getting very brown. Place the sheet pan back into the oven and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until the chicken thighs are crispy and potatoes are golden brown.
- Remove the chicken and potatoes from the oven, arrange dill and arugula over the top. Dollop with the lemon yogurt sauce and serve.