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I always get requests for easy chicken dinner ideas, and I’m here to deliver! You’ll love this easy balsamic chicken recipe that takes just 5 minutes to prep. Just whip up my simple balsamic chicken marinade with just 4 basic ingredients (that are probably already in your pantry!), marinate the chicken thighs, and bake.
Why You’ll Love This Balsamic Chicken Recipe
- Sweet, tangy flavors
- Juicy, succulent chicken
- 6 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Super easy to make
- Naturally low carb, gluten free, & healthy
- Quick, easy, and flavorful chicken dinner
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for balsamic marinated chicken, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
I used boneless skinless chicken thighs for this balsamic chicken recipe. If you want to use bone-in, follow my baked chicken thighs recipe for temp and time.
You could also use boneless skinless chicken breasts, they would take a bit longer to bake at the same temperature, depending on their size. If you use chicken breasts, I highly recommend first using a salt brine before marinating, as described in my healthy baked chicken breast recipe.
Balsamic Chicken Marinade:
This balsamic marinade for chicken is similar to my balsamic steak marinade, and needs just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have:
- Olive Oil – Makes up the base of the marinade and locks in moisture. I used regular olive oil, but you could also use extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or any neutral cooking oil.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor, and is the key ingredient in balsamic chicken marinade! You can substitute red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but it will no longer be balsamic chicken. 😉
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic will give your marinade the best flavor, but you could use 3 teaspoons of jarred garlic to make it faster, or 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder in a pinch.
- Italian Seasoning – I prefer to make my own homemade Italian seasoning when I can (it takes just 5 minutes), but store bought will work just fine. You can also keep it simple and just use one type of dried herbs, such as dried oregano or dried basil.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
VARIATION: Add honey!
To make honey balsamic chicken with a hint of sweetness, add 1-2 tablespoons of honey (or sugar-free honey) to the marinade.
After cooking, I like to finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a balsamic glazed chicken, but this is totally optional.
How To Make Balsamic Chicken
This section shows how to make balsamic chicken thighs, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together balsamic chicken marinade ingredients. Add chicken and move around to coat.
- Marinate the chicken. Refrigerate the chicken in the marinade, turning to coat halfway through.
- Prep for baking. Preheat the oven. Line one extra-large or two regular baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the baking sheet(s).
- Bake balsamic chicken. Place the pan in the oven and bake until cooked through.
- Rest and serve. Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes. If desired, drizzle with balsamic glaze (or service it on the side as a sauce) and sprinkle with fresh herbs, like parsley or basil. (I like to garnish with a few grape tomatoes, too!)
Tips For The Best Balsamic Chicken
Use these simple tips to cook balsamic chicken perfectly every time:
- Use chicken pieces of the same thickness. This ensures that they cook at the same rate. If some are thicker than others, use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to get them to an even thickness.
- Marinate for the right amount of time. Ideally, the meat should marinate between 3 and 12 hours. Do not go over 24 hours, or the chicken will get mushy.
- Give the chicken space. Arrange the pieces on the pan so that they aren’t touching each other. This ensures that they cook evenly (and also faster).
- Use a meat thermometer. This is the best way to know your chicken is cooked perfectly.
- Get the right internal temperature. For best results, cook dark meat like chicken thighs to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. (This is more juicy than the minimum safe temperature of 165 degrees F, and the opposite of what you’d do for white meat.) If you’re cooking chicken breasts, go for 165 degrees F instead.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: You can marinate up to 24 hours ahead, or bake balsamic chicken up to 4 days in advance. It’s delicious for meal prep, or over a low carb salad for lunch!
- Reheat: Warm in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. The microwave will work as well, but dries out the chicken more.
- Freeze: Store chicken in a freezer-safe container or zip lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What To Serve With Balsamic Chicken Thighs
I like to serve this balsamic chicken recipe with a simple side, and there are so many options to choose from! Here are some reader favorites:
- Veggies – For a quick, healthy weeknight meal, I pair this chicken with a side of roasted asparagus. It’s just as delicious with other oven roasted vegetables, or make sauteed zucchini or air fryer broccoli while you have the balsamic chicken in the oven.
- Salad – The best side salad for this dish is a Caprese salad (or an avocado Caprese salad). The Italian flavors go together perfectly. It also works well sliced over a simple arugula salad for a meal, or swap the steak in steak salad for balsamic chicken.
- Potatoes – A side of roasted potatoes or an air fryer baked potato makes the perfect pairing, but if you’re watching the carbs, try cauliflower mashed potatoes or roasted rutabaga.
- Rice – Chicken and conventional rice make a great pair, but if you need a lighter option, try cauliflower rice instead.
More Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes
Looking for more easy chicken thigh recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
Balsamic Chicken Recipe
Balsamic Chicken (So Juicy & Easy!)
Make this baked balsamic chicken recipe (with simple 4-ingredient balsamic chicken marinade) for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and move around to coat in marinade.
Refrigerate chicken in the marinade for at least 1 hour, up to 2 days, ideally turning the chicken to coat in marinade halfway through.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Line one extra-large or two small baking sheets with parchment paper.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the lined baking sheet(s), mostly without touching each other. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F measured using an instant read thermometer).
Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before eating. If desired, drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve.
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Serving size: 2 chicken thighs
Nutrition info does not include the optional balsamic glaze.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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