My 1-Ingredient Upgrade for the Most Flavorful Chicken Thighs of Your Life

published Apr 3, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

I’m no stranger to onion soup and dip mix. Those affordable and handy packets are a standby in my kitchen (along with sour cream) in case we have any impromptu guests come over (my husband is one of six kids, so it tends to happen more often than not). But the greatness that is onion soup mix extends beyond the nostalgic two-ingredient dip. 

As I learned last summer when I tested this recipe for French onion dip chicken thighs, you can mix the contents of a single packet with mayonnaise and slather it on chicken thighs for a juicy, tender, and incredibly flavorful chicken dinner. My kids loved it (which is saying a lot, as they’re picky eaters), plus it couldn’t have been easier. These days, I tend to keep two boxes of onion soup mix in my pantry so that an easy, flavorful chicken dinner is always within reach. 

Why Onion Soup Mix Makes Chicken Thighs Even Better

Onion soup mix adds rich, savory flavor and texture to just about anything, owing to the double whammy of dehydrated onions and onion powder in there. The dehydrated onions pack a delightful crunch, while the onion powder adds balance and a depth of flavor. While the recipe calls for stirring the mix with mayo before spreading it on chicken thighs, you can skip the mayo and instead toss the chicken with the soup mix and a cooking oil of your choice or even melted butter. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Use Onion Soup Mix on Chicken Thighs

You’ll season skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs first with salt then sear them in a hot pan until golden-brown. At this point, you’ll smear a mix of mayonnaise and onion soup mix onto each piece of chicken, making sure to get it into every crevice. Slide the pan into a 400-degree oven and roast until the chicken registers at least 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer. 

You can apply the same mayo-onion soup mixture on skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Simply toss the chicken in that mayo mixture, arrange them in a baking dish in a single layer, and roast in a 425-degree oven to an internal temperature of 165ºF. 

Other Ways to Use Onion Soup Mix

Once you’ve tried onion soup mix on chicken thighs, you can branch out even further. Here are a couple other ways it can show up on your dinner table. 

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: My 1-Ingredient Upgrade for the Most Flavorful Chicken Thighs of Your Life