Kid-friendly chicken thigh recipes

When it comes to quick and tasty chicken dinners, we head straight for chicken thighs. They’re juicy, flavourful and cook faster than chicken breasts or other bone-in cuts. That’s because they’re thinner than other chicken parts. They’re also easier on the budget—and if you find value packs on sale? Grab them. We’ve got all the chicken thigh dinner ideas you need, from our favourite chicken sheet pan recipe, to those sweet, sour and sticky sauces that kids love.

These recipes are also simple enough for kids to help with. Get them whisking up a marinade or tossing together a few simple ingredients. Sure, it might be a little messier, but raising kids who love cooking is worth it, right?

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Grilled maple chipotle chicken thighs

Ready in: 1 hour

Why we love it: Sweet and sour with a hit of smoky heat—these juicy chicken thighs speak to all our barbecue cravings and the kids love them too. If you don’t want to barbecue, no problem. They’re easy to cook on a stovetop grill pan instead.

How kids can help: Let the kids measure and mix the marinade ingredients before you throw it all into the blender. They can also help toss the chicken in the sauce—just make sure they wash their hands well before and after.

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This is one of those delicious chicken marinades perfect for making ahead. You can even freeze the chicken right in the marinade for an easy meal on hand when you need it.

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Sweet curry chicken

Ready in: 50 minutes

Why we love it: This chicken curry recipe is full of flavour. If your family prefers meals with a bit of a kick, up the spiciness with a teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can even make your own homemade curry powder—it only takes five minutes.

How kids can help: Grinding whole spices is fun! But if you’re not feeling up to it, at least you can let the kids get their hands dirty marinating the chicken. (Again, wash those hands, little people!)

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Curry powder, with its mixture of turmeric, coriander, cumin and other spices, is said to have loads of health benefits including potentially reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol.[1]

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Sweet spiced chicken thighs

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: This Caribbean-inspired dish is a crowd pleaser and perfect for kids who like their chicken less saucy. Serve with a side of rice and peas and tangy coleslaw for dinner with all the fixings.

How kids can help: There’s almost nothing to this recipe—all the more reason to let kids do the prep! Simply combine brown sugar, salt and spices, coat the chicken and add it to a roasting pan with butter.

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Chicken rice with vegetables

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: This flavourful one-pot meal is a complete dinner that mostly relies on pantry and freezer staples. Just grab some fresh chicken thighs and you’re good to go!

How kids can help: Kiddos love to stir. Get them to mix in the veggies and diced tomatoes with the other ingredients in the pan.

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Greek style chicken thighs and potato salad

Ready in: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Why we love it: Just three simple ingredients—yogurt, lemon and garlic—make a creamy and flavourful Mediterranean-style marinade. You can easily sub the chicken leg quarters in this recipe with kid-friendly boneless chicken thighs. They’ll cook quicker too.

How kids can help: Put your kid’s muscles to work crushing garlic. You can also let them mix up the marinade and help dress the potato salad, including picking the feathery dill fronds from the stem.

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Oven baked tarragon chicken thighs

Ready in: 50 minutes

Why we love it: This is one of those easy, healthy dinner ideas that has it all—golden-baked chicken thighs and potatoes with roasted tomatoes all on one baking sheet. The prep is so easy for this sheet-pan dinner—the oven does most of the work for you.

How kids can help: This recipe was practically made for helping hands. Just dump all the ingredients onto your baking sheet, toss with olive oil and basil and mix it all up.

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens out there. It’s super high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.[3]

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Chicken with cream sauce

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: Crispy boneless chicken thighs in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce is a comforting and kid-friendly weeknight dinner. Serve with a side of pasta, rice or a big bowl of mashed potatoes for extra indulgence.

How kids can help: Let kids practice their chopping skills on those tender cremini mushrooms. A butter knife or plastic serrated knife is all they need.

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This easy chicken thigh recipe only takes 10 minutes to prep but if you don’t have time to watch it simmer over the stove, you could easily made it in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

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Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: This fragrant, saucy and creamy butter chicken takes only 5 minutes to prepare and it’s always a family favourite with a side of rice or naan.

How kids can help: Ask them to measure out the ingredients you’ll use to sauté, including garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, Kashmiri chili or paprika and coriander.

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Chicken paprikash pasta

Ready in: 5 hours 25 minutes

Why we love it: If your kids love egg noodles, then this delectable chicken paprikash pasta dish makes for the perfect kid-friendly dinner. This recipe earns bonus points for taking only 25 minutes to prep before the slow cooker does the rest of the work.

How kids can help: Who’s ready to chop onions like a big kid? If your child is up to the task, they may want to get their goggles out (or embrace the good kind of tears).

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TIME-SAVING TIP
This easy chicken thigh recipe is an ideal make-ahead meal. It will be super tender and juicy with the extra marinating time. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

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Article Sources

  1. 9 Surprising Benefits of Curry Powder. Healthline.
  2. Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline.

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