Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs (Mediterranean-Inspired)

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Pan of crispy baked chicken thighs surrounded by olives and caramelized onions

These baked, Mediterranean-inspired chicken thighs are the BEST: smoky, satisfying, and SO quick and easy! Tender, crispy skin chicken is surrounded by roasted onions, olives, and (optional) dates. It’s the ultimate sweet and savory party and everyone’s invited! 

Just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes required, friends. Send that RSVP!

Dates, olives, chicken thighs, olive oil, onion, salt, and spices

How to Make Crispy Mediterranean Baked Chicken Thighs

These Mediterranean-inspired chicken thighs begin with a FLAVOR-PACKED spice combo: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. It’s equal parts smoky, sweet, spicy, salty, and just SO good.

Rubbing smoky spices onto bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

After rubbing the chicken thighs with the spice blend, we sear them in a cast iron skillet to create a golden brown, crispy crust.

Kalamata olives and onions surrounding crispy pan seared chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

Sliced onions, dates, and kalamata olives then join the party to add even more sweet and salty flavor. Everything bakes together until tender, caramelized, and ready to finish with a final squeeze of lemon juice for brightness.

Cast iron skillet of crispy baked Mediterranean chicken thighs with olives, dates, and onions

These Mediterranean baked chicken thighs are the best! They’re:

Quick & easy
Tender on the inside
& Crispy on the outside!

They’re amazing with rice, quinoa, or potatoes for a simple meal. Or for more veggies, pair with our Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad (6 Ingredients), Mediterranean-Inspired Cucumber Chickpea Salad, or Chickpea Shawarma Salad.

More Mediterranean-Inspired Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of rice topped with a chicken thigh with crispy skin and tender meat

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs (Mediterranean-Inspired)

Smoky, savory, Mediterranean-inspired baked chicken thighs! Crispy skin and tender meat surrounded by onions, olives, and dates. Just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Skillet of our Mediterranean Baked Chicken Thighs with dates and olives
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Main Course
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 4 (6-8 oz each) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (pasture-raised, organic when possible)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (1/2 small onion yields ~3/4 cup sliced)
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped (optional)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and place a large cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) on the stovetop.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Then season the chicken thighs on both sides with the seasoning mixture. They should be seasoned well and evenly coated.
  • Heat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the olive or avocado oil. You want a very thin layer of oil so the skin gets crispy. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs and sear on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until a golden brown crust has formed.
  • Turn off the heat and add the onion slices to the pan, placing the chicken thighs skin side up and adjusting so some of the onions are underneath them. Then add the olives and dates (optional) around the chicken.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is ~170 degrees F (making sure the thermometer doesn’t hit bone to get an accurate reading).
  • Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for ~5 minutes before serving. We like to serve ours with a squeeze of lemon over roasted potatoes, rice, or quinoa. Also, baking the chicken with the olive oil and onions makes a really delicious juicy sauce that can be served on the side to pour over the chicken!
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot. Not freezer friendly.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 300 Carbohydrates: 3.6 g Protein: 19.3 g Fat: 23 g Saturated Fat: 5.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 110 mg Sodium: 852 mg Potassium: 266 mg Fiber: 0.8 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 324 IU Vitamin C: 0.9 mg Calcium: 18 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Taylor M-B says

    This is EXCELLENT. So good. I can’t recommend more. I didn’t have coriander so that was omitted. The cinnamon makes it perfect. The dates and olives bring it to another level. Will be sharing this recipe with family to make, it’s just so good.

  2. Saoirse says

    Super easy and turned out great. I skipped the dates and olives because I didn’t have olives and hand and completely forgot the dates. My kids loved it. Accompanied with roasted potatoes and a salad. Perfect weeknight meal.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum, that sounds like a delicious meal! We’re so glad it was a hit with the whole family. Thank you for sharing, Saoirse! xo

  3. Nelle says

    Seriously, incredible and easy for weeknight dinner. The dates and olives are a must. The flavors of this chicken are on point. And I’ll admit to scoffing at the idea of olives and dates and chicken together. Well, I was very mistaken and my husband has declared that this is our official when-we-have-guests-over dinner and he wants me to make it frequently haha!
    Thanks for another gem of a recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad it was a winner for both of you. Thank you for the lovely review, Nelle! xo

  4. daniel lipson says

    wow, such an amazing recipe. We would love so much to collaborate with you because all of your site contact is so exceptional. Here at Elite Maui Chef, we offer the Premier, private dining experience in Maui.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Daniel, We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe! Thank you for sharing! We aren’t doing any collaborations at this time. Best of luck to you!

  5. Jenn Terbeek says

    Amazing. I love the combinations of flavors with the dates and onions and olives, absolutely delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Brionna. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  6. Ance says

    Absolutely delicious. Sauce is so tasty, salty and sweet. This recipe was beyond easy and by the time i finished bathing my baby the meal was done! Thank you!

  7. Ellie Sears says

    I doubled this recipe and made it for my mom and aunts alongside your recipes for roasted potatoes and green beans – it was a hit! I was nervous because my family members are such excellent cooks and I’m a bit of a novice. Super easy to follow the steps and the chicken came out so moist and flavorful. Also not typically a fan of olives, but this recipe completely changed my mind about them, particularly in combination with the dates! Absolutely delightful meal, my aunt couldn’t stop talking about how good the chicken turned out. Thank you for helping me impress my family :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear that everyone enjoyed this. Thanks for the great review, Ellie!

  8. Robin K Dixon says

    Flavor packed! I did have to triple the spice rub for 12 chicken thighs but this recipe I’ll make over and over. I gravitate towards bone in chicken for the flavor. This flavor combo a super keeper!👍🏻

  9. Claudia says

    P.S. I added 1/2 Cup of white wine to deglaze the skillet which created a light sauce to serve over the chicken & potatoes.

  10. Claudia Hallas says

    Wow!!! My first right turn to trying one of your non vegan meals. My weekdays are dedicated to being my daughter (a 4.5 year brain cancer survivor) and son-in-law’s personal vegan chef. My husband is always looking for a non veggie option & tonight he came back from seconds. The dates are a must ;-0 I paired this with your parmesan garlic green beans from your “Everyday Cooking” & air fryer little mini yellow potatoes seasoned with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Thank you, Dana. Love your recipes & creativity.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      What a lovely meal, Claudia! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing! xo

  11. Kelsey says

    What a fun recipe! I took your suggestion and served this with roasted potatoes and it was such a flavorful, comforting meal. Never would’ve thought to pair dates + olives, but they worked so well with the spices!

  12. Kathyanne Vetro says

    I love chicken thighs! I rarely use chicken breasts anymore because the thighs – with or without skin/bone just has so much more flavor and is more tender (not to mention much less expensive). I made this and it was delicious. I will get several meals out this during the week.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sharon, we’re not seeing it labeled vegan anywhere. Is it possible you’re mixing up the labels with the recipe key which appears on every recipe showing what each symbol means?

  13. Mandrel says

    This recipe is awesome, as the other recipes on your site. Would I be able to air fry this recipe? Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Mandrel! Thank you for your kind words and lovely review! We haven’t experimented much with an air fryer, but it should work. Let us know if you try!

  14. Bridget says

    This recipe was the trifecta: fast, easy and delicious!! The only thing I did differently was to serve it over couscous. Can’t wait to make it again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Bridget. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  15. Ama says

    I made this last night, and it turned out great! My husband really enjoyed this, liking it more with every bite. I think this recipe will make it into our regular meal lineup.

    I substituted sundried tomatoes for dates since I didn’t have any on hand. Then I served it over Mediterranean-style yellow rice, which seemed to complement the flavor very well. Even basic frozen peas and carrots proved to be a harmonious mix-in.

    Since I made a big batch of skinless chicken thighs, I skipped the pre-frying and it still came out very flavorful. The spices sound intimidating, but they come together to make a very warm, comforting essence. I think this is actually a good dish for people who are trying to widen their palates, but aren’t ready to get too exotic yet.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Ama!

  16. Heidi says

    This was delicious. And the leftovers, chopped up, make a wonderful chicken salad (add vegan mayo and sliced grapes).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Heidi. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  17. Patsy Fournier says

    I’m not the biggest fan of Kalamata olives. What might be the best substitute? I love the spice combo tho!! Thanks I’m anxious to try it!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patsy, olives just give them a salty, briny flavor! You could leave them out entirely or try adding a few capers.

  18. Mandisa Ngubane says

    I’m vegan so I made this using giant mushrooms instead of the chicken breasts and it was scrumptious. 😋 TY.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modification, Mandisa!

  19. De Upson says

    I love Minimalist Baker and have followed you forever from just starting your social presence. I have been in the hospital and away from the kitchen for several months. I have noticed chicken in your recipes. This is new for me. I’ve never recalled a menu item with meat in it. Is it my memory or is this new platform change? I am a Vegan and have been for 2 years now. Prior to that I was a Vegetarian for 30 years. I so enjoyed all of your recipes and new mixes make life so much easier. I’m just curious about the meat, is this new or has it been there all along? I feel like I may need some supplements to help with memory and recall couldn’t hurt lol. You are a Goddess in my book so creative! Martha Stewart eat your heart out! L!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you for your kind words! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! We’ve never been an exclusively vegan blog, but did begin introducing more non-vegan recipes in 2019.

  20. Megan says

    So good! I needed a chicken recipe this week and this magically came across my Instagram feed. I used all the called for ingredients, only modified the chicken as I had already purchased boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Flavor combo was delicious, make sure to include the optional dates. I paired it with diced, roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus, with a riesling to drink. My husband said he would eat it again, changing nothing and we should make it for other people.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed them, Megan. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  21. SNL says

    Well I know what I’m going to make when the kalamata olives pot is open (I’m putting together a list of food as it’s a big pot for 2)! I’m shocked that this idea hasn’t occurred to me before haha.

    Just to clarify, is pan frying only necessary if you plan to eat the skin (and not just freeze it with the bones for stock) :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! The crispy skin also helps keep the center moist, but just baking would probably work well too!

      • SNL says

        Thank you. Yes, I agree with you. I was going to mention my process and then felt it was too long and complicated. So I’ll put it as a reply instead :). My process: I remove the skin, put spices or just seasoning on the meat to flavour it directly, and then wrap it back up in the skin (like pigs in blankets). Once cooked, I can see what thickness the skin is. If it’s thin, it will go crispy when baked for another 5 minutes (spread out on a flat tin). If it’s thick, it takes too long to crisp haha, so it goes in the freezer for chicken stock (fat gets released and will be used as a cooking oil for max flavour dinner in no time)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Just baking would probably work with boneless skinless thighs. Pan frying first just creates a crust on the chicken!