Lemon Paprika Chicken Thighs

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This 10-minute Lemon Paprika Chicken is made with just six simple ingredients! This easy chicken thigh recipe is great for quick weeknight dinners and meal prep. Make it on the grill or under the broiler.


This is an incredibly easy and affordable weeknight dinner solution. Boneless skinless chicken thighs marinated in a delicious combination of smoky paprika, lemon, thyme, and garlic. It can be cooked on the grill or under the broiler and is ready in just 10 minutes. It couldn’t get much simpler!

These easy lemon paprika chicken thighs are also extremely versatile. Serve them right off the grill with some grilled green beans and cilantro brown rice. Make a double batch and use leftovers to make a smoky chicken salad with greens. It even works for tacos with the smoky flavors. Just add corn tortillas, avocado, and pico de gallo.

It’s also low carb, Paleo, gluten-free, and clean eating friendly. This makes it a winning dish for lots of different diets.

Love paprika? Don't miss this Paprika Lime Chicken, Pork Paprikash, or Red Pepper Paprika Chicken.

Ingredients and Swaps

  • Chicken Thighs: For quick and easy chicken, boneless skinless chicken thighs are an excellent option. They come out juicy and moist every time. They are also affordable. With that said, this recipe and marinade work for chicken breasts, drumsticks, and bone-in chicken. 
  • Lemon: Lemon helps tenderize the chicken and also adds flavor. Fresh lemon juice is always best. Add lemon zest as well for even more lemon flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika is slightly sweet, slightly smoky, and full of flavor.  If you don't love smoky flavors, swap in sweet paprika.
  • Garlic: This aromatic complements the flavors in the smoked paprika. Garlic powder can be used as well.
  • Dried thyme: Thyme pairs really well with smoked paprika, like in blackening seasoning. Dried oregano, basil, or rosemary could be used as well.

Side Dishes for Lemon Paprika Chicken

This chicken dish works with all kinds of side dishes since the flavors are fairly neutral. Here are some favorites:

How long to marinate chicken thighs?

If you are short on time, this marinade will impart lots of flavor in just 30 minutes since it has lemon juice. For more flavor, leave it marinating for 2-4 hours. If needed, this can be marinated for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to the most common questions about making these paprika chicken thighs.

This recipe works great with chicken breast as well. It will come out best if you pound the chicken thighs into a uniform thickness, about 3/4-1 inch thick each. Chicken breasts cook quickly, so make sure not to overcook them.

Chicken thighs need to be cooked to at least 165 degrees. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Tent them with foil to keep them warm.

Smoked paprika, sometimes called pimenton or Spanish paprika, is made from smoked peppers. This gives it its smoky flavor, but it still has some sweet notes from the peppers. It doesn't usually have a spicy flavor. It is a deep red color. 

The Recipe
Lemon paprika chicken thighs on a plate with greens.

Lemon Paprika Chicken Thighs

PREP TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 1.33 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

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In a bowl combine the olive oil, juice from the lemon, zest from half the lemon, garlic, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper.


Add to a large ziploc bag and add the chicken thighs. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better.


Grilling: Preheat the grill on high. Remove the chicken from the marinade letting excess drip off. Grill on high for 4 minutes on each side, keeping the grill closed.


Broiling: Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off, and place on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Broil for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221
Calories from Fat 33
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 131mg
Sodium 237mg
Total Carbohydrate 3g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 29g

* 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
On Lemon Paprika Chicken Thighs
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Mimi Lewis
January 13, 2018 - 07:03
Add a Rating:
So simple and soooo good. Marinated overnight then baked. Perfection.
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Karen Garrison
August 24, 2017 - 10:31
Add a Rating:
My Family loved this Chicken!
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