Easy Spicy Barbecue Chicken Thighs

These sweet and spicy Barbecue Broiled Chicken Thighs cook in ten minutes and make an easy weeknight meal.

268 CAL 26g CARBS 8g FAT 23g PROTEIN
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When life gets busy, I almost always turn to broiled chicken thighs for an easy dinner option. They are fast, easy to make, and full of flavor. Lately, I have been all about adding spice to my dishes, so I love this Spicy Barbecue option but you could try these Broiled Asian Chicken Thighs for a less spicy option.

Let's talk about chicken thighs for a minute. I am someone who genuinely love chicken thighs. They are so much more juicy and tasty than their boneless, skinless breast counterparts. I know not everyone agrees with me there but that's okay. I'm happy to eat your portion. And in case you are wondering, this recipe will definitely work with chicken breast as well. Just marinate the breasts and then cook them on the grill, in a skillet, or in a hot oven. I wouldn't recommend broiling, since they may burn before being cooked through.

The good news is, these chicken thighs only take about 10 minutes to cook. But the bad-ish news is that you will need some advanced planning for the marinade (because, well, marinades have to sit a bit by their nature). But don't worry too much, as the marinade itself is a simple homemade barbecue sauce that’s I've spiced up with some Sriracha. Then, after marinating, the same sauce is boiled to thicken up and create a savory dipping sauce to serve along with the chicken. So that's a win-win right there if ever there was one. Easy and sure to please — my favorite kind of recipe.

Broiled Chicken Thighs with a spicy barbecue sauce on a plate with cilantro.

How Do You Make a Spicy Barbecue Marinade?

To make this spicy barbecue marinade, I recommend you go ahead and chop up all the shallots, garlic, and cilantro and have it at the ready. Next, get out all of the other ingredients and get ready to pour and mix.

Combine the following ingredients into a bowl in no particular order: soy sauce, shallots, vinegar, honey, ketchup, cilantro, Sriracha, garlic, and sesame oil. Whisk all of this together until it's good and combined.

From there, add the chicken thighs to a Ziploc bag and then pour the marinade on top of the thighs. Seal the bag up, try to squeeze all the air out, and then put the whole bag into the fridge for up to three hours or overnight.

What sides go well with Spicy Barbecue Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thighs may have my heart at the moment, but they are not alone. I like to pair them with so many side dishes for a well-rounded, nutritious meal. Try:

  • A side salad. Make it a meal by adding corn, diced red onions, avocado, and tomatoes to the lettuce. Top with more barbecue sauce as a dressing.
  • An Asian slaw pairs really great with chicken thighs.
  • Looking for a low-carb side dish? Look no further than these 70 options.
  • I like to have a nice side of rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice on the side of my barbecue chicken thighs.
  • Do you love cooked spaghetti squash as much as I do? On the side, sprinkle with cilantro and cumin and dig in!
  • Of course, baked potatoes are always a great choice with any barbecue chicken. Make them baked, roasted, or grilled with your favorite seasoning.
  • Try roasting up a big batch of veggies. You could do root vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts — you name it, it'll be roasty-toasty delicious with these Barbecue Chicken Thighs.

How to broil chicken thighs?

Start by seasoning your chicken thighs. You can use any spices, herbs, or marinades you like. Then wrap a baking sheet in foil (the easiest for clean-up) and place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet. Once the broiler is hot, cook the chicken thighs for 4-5 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and cooked through. They should be at least 165 degrees to ensure they are cooked through and safe to eat.

Broiled barbecue chicken thighs in homemade sweet and spicy sauce with a salad.

Are Chicken Thighs Dark Meat?

Yes, chicken thighs are considered dark meat. Since chickens use their legs to walk around on, the muscles are used more often and become darker. Dark meat also contains more iron because of the way these muscles metabolize energy so their nutritional value varies slightly from white meat.

And, while dark meat is a tiny bit fattier, it's nothing to be afraid of. A lot of chicken fat comes from the skin, so that's why I remove the skin before cooking with chicken thighs. I tend to think that chicken thigh meat is juicier and has a stronger flavor than skinless, boneless breast meat. But that's my personal preference. You could also substitute skinless breasts for the thighs and use the same marinade.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, let me know. And stay tuned for more delicious chicken thigh recipes coming your way!

The Recipe
Broiled spicy barbecue chicken thighs on a plate with cilantro and a salad on the side.

Easy Spicy Barbecue Chicken Thighs

268 CAL 26g CARBS 8g FAT 23g PROTEIN
PREP TIME: 3 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 3 Hours, 15 Min
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  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed or coconut aminos)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup (look for no sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

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In a bowl combine the soy sauce, shallots, vinegar, honey, ketchup, cilantro, Sriracha, garlic, and sesame oil.


Add to a large ziploc bag and add the chicken thighs. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is even better.


Grilling: Preheat the grill on high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes to create a sauce. Grill on high for 4 minutes on each side, keeping the grill closed. Serve with sauce.


Broiling: Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes to create a sauce. Whole the marinade thickens, broil the chicken for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 99mg
Sodium 941mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 23g
Protein 23g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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