These juicy and tender oven baked Asian chicken thighs are paleo, Whole30, and soy free as well! They are easy to make and so flavorful, with a touch of natural sweetness from coconut aminos.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are hands-down my favorite cut of chicken. Not only are they juicier and way more flavorful than chicken breasts, they are hard to overcook because of their higher fat content. I just love to cook them with a delicious marinade or sauce like in these Whole30 baked chicken thighs.
Oven Baked Asian Chicken Thighs Recipe
Most Asian style chicken thighs recipes that I’ve seen use honey or sugar to make them a bit too sweet for my liking. Just like restaurant-style sauces, they taste great the first few bites, then I can’t eat much more from the sweetness. For these paleo baked chicken thighs, coconut aminos is used to make it soy free, and it’s naturally sweet so you don’t need to use any sweetener. Don’t worry though. These Asian baked chicken thighs are full of flavor and incredibly tender!
Ingredients in Paleo & Whole30 Chicken Thighs
The ingredients in these baked bone-in skin-on chicken thighs are simple. Besides the thighs, the rest of the ingredients are for the sauce that get blended together for minimal work. Here are the ingredients for these paleo baked chicken thighs:
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: If you are using boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or even breasts, you may need to adjust the baking time so they don’t overcook.
- Coconut aminos: This is a grain free and soy free alternative to soy sauce, and it’s so tasty. I use it in place of soy sauce in all of my Asian paleo recipes. This is the one I used in this recipe.
- Rice vinegar: If you don’t have rice vinegar on hand, you can use 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar instead.
- Garlic cloves
- Sesame oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes: The amount used in this recipe doesn’t make these paleo chicken thighs spicy. It just gives a slight heat that provides a depth of flavor to the sauce. Use more or less, depending on your preference.
How to Cook Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs, Asian Style
Don’t let the long-ish cooking time fool you. These Whole30 baked chicken thighs are very easy to make with simple steps. Here’s how to cook bone-in skin-on chicken thighs in the oven with Asian sauce.
- Preheat the oven, and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a baking dish or oven-safe pan just big enough to fit in a single layer.
- Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and turn the meat a few times to coat. Turn the chicken so they are skin-side down.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flip, then bake for another 15-20 minutes until the skin is golden brown.
- Spoon the sauce over the meat before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if desired.
Notes & Substitutions
- You don’t need to marinate these Whole30 chicken thighs. The chicken actually soaks up the sauce really well while baking and becomes very flavorful. However, if you want to, you can choose to marinate with the same sauce the meat will bake in for 1-2 hours in the fridge.
- Make sure to use a baking dish or an oven-safe pan that is just big enough to fit the chicken thighs all in a single layer. This allows the chicken to soak up the sauce while baking. If the pan is too big, the sauce will be too shallow in the pan for the meat to cook in.
- If you don’t have coconut aminos and want to use soy sauce instead, do not salt the chicken and use half the amount of soy sauce (use 1/4 cup instead). You can cook everything else the same way.
- If you want to crisp up and brown the skin more on these paleo chicken thighs, you can broil them at the end for 4-5 minutes. This step is optional, and they turn out delicious either way!
If you enjoyed these Asian baked chicken thighs, you might also like…
- Paleo Chicken Lo Mein (Whole30, Low Carb Option)
- Chicken with Creamy Tomato Sauce (Paleo, Whole30) – Instant Pot or Stovetop
- Whole30 Chinese Chicken Salad with Dates (Paleo, Gluten Free)
- Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken – Stovetop & Air Fryer Method
- Paleo Mongolian Chicken with Shishito Peppers (Whole30)
- Whole30 Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Recipe (Paleo, AIP)
Baked Asian Chicken Thighs (Paleo, Whole30)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place the thighs in a baking dish or oven-safe pan just big enough to fit them all in a single layer.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients (from coconut aminos to crushed red pepper flakes) to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and turn the chicken a few times to coat, then turn the chicken skin side down.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, then flip the chicken skin-side up. Bake for additional 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
- Optional: Broil the chicken for 5 minutes to crisp up the chicken.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve, topped with sesame seeds and green onions, if using.
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