Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs

Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs

Maple mustard chicken, infused with flavors and baked in the oven, is one of our simplest, most delicious and popular recipes. It’s all we crave when Autumn rolls in!

Some things are just difficult to explain.For example, how can one man be so attractive yet so clearly resemble an otter? (Yes, I am referring to Benedict Cumberbatch. Click the second link if you want to laugh for 45 minutes).

Also, how can I be so excited about Outlander, when GAME OF THRONES is back on Sunday! (Hey, I can see you making a face but the blog is called NERDS with Knives so it’s not like you were misled.)

And finally, how can the easiest dish to cook also be the most delicious thing ever? This sounds like hyperbole, which granted, I am guilty of a million times per day but I’m not yanking your chain here. This seriously might be the best weeknight dinner we’ve ever made.

Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs

There’s something about the combination of spicy dijon mustard and sweet maple syrup that is just insanely good. I’ve had people who claim that they don’t like either mustard or maple syrup say this is the best chicken they’ve ever had. It’s weird. I can’t explain it and I’m not going to try but I encourage you, even if you think you don’t like mustard, to give this one a go. I’ve even made it without the garlic and rosemary, and it was still fantastic.

I especially like making dishes like maple mustard chicken on weeknights when my brain is simply too tired to fuss around. I just want to mix some stuff together, bung it in the oven and not have to think about it until it’s ready. That’s the beauty of a recipe like this. It’s very hard to mess up. In fact, this would be a perfect recipe for someone who is learning to cook and is maybe not that comfortable in the kitchen because it’s not a lot of work but the results are spectacular.

I like to substitute a couple tablespoons of grainy mustard for the smooth because I love that texture.
Covering the edge of the baking dish with foil helps with clean-up. Always a plus, right?
Nerd Tips:
  • Don’t wash raw chicken! If it’s wet, just dry it well with paper towels.
  • You can mix the sauce together with the chicken and let it marinate up to a day ahead. When you’re ready to cook, place the chicken and all the sauce into a baking dish. This is helpful if you have a bit of time in the morning and want to just throw it in the oven at night.
  • Don’t like (or have) rosemary? Thyme, sage or tarragon would also be yummy.
  • Dried herbs are much stronger than fresh so use less than half the amount listed if substituting.
  • If you’re using breasts instead of thighs, be careful not to overcook them or they can get dry. They also tend to cook faster so check them after 25 minutes.
  • Two useful items for this recipe. An 8 x 8 inch baking dish and an instant read thermometer.
I love the little brown bits on the top.
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Baked Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 3 -4 servings


  • 6 boneless skinless thighs or breasts
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard you can substitute up to 2 tablespoons of grainy mustard for smooth if you like that texture
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup not pancake syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or grated (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450º F.
  • (Note: you can marinate the chicken up to a day ahead, or cook immediately. If marinating, place the sauce and chicken in a sealable bag and mix to make sure it's entirely coated. Then follow the cooking direction below)
  • In a medium bowl, mix together everything except the chicken. Line the sides of an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil (this helps with cleanup since the sugar in the sauce tend to burn.) Place the chicken in the dish making sure there is enough room for each piece to fit easily. Pour the sauce over and mix it around to ensure each piece is coated on both sides.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, basting the top of the chicken once or twice, until meat is fully cooked (165ºF on an instant-read thermometer). If it's not dark enough, you can broil it for a minute or two but be careful not to burn it.
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes, then serve with extra sauce spooned on top.
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!



31 thoughts on “Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs”

  1. Big thumbs-up from a small family! We really loved this dish, and were left wanting more. This is definitely going into the recipe book!

  2. Since about a week ago I’m your newest biggest fan. I’ve been doting on your recipes and amazing pictures to my friends and on reddit and am now an Insta follower. Yall rock!

    With that said, I made this chicken this week and holy cow, from a foodie like me, it was one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten and that’s not even exaggeration. How’s that for a superlative!?

    Thank you from one nerd to another. Cook on friends

  3. What a fantastic dish! I decided to go with bone-in with skin thighs but followed the rest of the recipe to the letter. I made it for myself on my night off but my roommates couldn’t help but snag a few of the thighs. This dish and the Skillet Chicken with Wine, Shallots and Mustard are my go-to comfort meal dishes!

    Keep the great recipes coming!

  4. Wife-to-be and I made this last night, it was awesome. We both work, and we struggle to find good meals that we can make quickly (or the night before). Here’s hoping your blog helps us put an end to the “let’s just have PB&J” nights!

    • Hi Ashley, I’ve never made them in the crock-pot (though I think I will next time!) so I’m not exactly sure but I would probably cook them on low for a few hours (maybe 3-4). If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

    • Hi Eileen, I understand your concern because we are all so used to doing it but many studies have shown that washing chicken actually spreads bacteria and causes a much greater risk of cross-contamination. Water itself doesn’t kill any bacteria so there is no benefit. By all means, use whatever method you are comfortable with but it’s incorrect to say that it’s dangerous not to wash chicken.

        • Bacteria is killed by heat so as long as you cook your chicken to the proper temperature (165 degrees F) there is very little risk. Of course it’s always wise to buy any meat from somewhere you trust, like a butcher shop or grocery store with a good meat department.

          • I’m a professional chef. You do not wash chicken, or meat in general. Ever. I guess if you slaughter it yourself you should to make sure all the feathers and fresh blood are gone, but that would be it. I’ve been making chicken for seniors for 10 years, no one gets sick, it’s all about the temperature.
            This recipe looks lovely and i’m excited to use it for my seniors. Thank you!

  5. Hi! I’m thinking of making this for dinner tomorrow night and was wondering what you’d recommend as some good side dishes to go with?


    • Hi Kelly, the chicken has so much flavor that you could go with something extremely simple, like boiled or roasted potatoes (baby Yukon Golds are great) and an easy salad of tomatoes and basil. Another good option is sautéed greens (like chard, kale or spinach). I use a little olive oil, thinly sliced garlic and some red chili flakes. It’s a great combination. Hope you enjoy it!

      • Thank you for the recommendations! It has been over a year since I first found this recipe and I still continue to make this dish – it’s in the oven as we speak! I mixed it up tonight and put a combo of thyme and rosemary.

        As a side I’m roasting a honey nut squash and a grilled romaine salad!

        Easy to make and easy to clean up. Nothing beats that! Thanks again

        • So glad you like it, Kelly! It’s probably the chicken we make most often too and I never get tired of it. I’ve probably been making it for 15 years 🙂

          And I just bought honey nut squash for the first time this week. So cute! Can’t wait to try them.

  6. WOW! This turned out insanely delicious and everyone in the family devoured it (including picky children!) – thank you for the inspiration!! One tip for the lazy cooks like me: I marinated as directed, then transferred the thighs onto a **parchment paper** lined baking sheet – they cooked perfectly and there was nothing to clean after. . . (I find that works better for me than foil, which can rip, leak, etc.)

  7. I never leave comments, but this was just absolutely delicious and I had to thank you for sharing!! I used chicken breast and cooked for about 25 minutes and I think it was just about the nicest chicken dish I’ve ever eaten. Just amazing 🙂

  8. Love your blog and recipes!
    You have such unusual crockery..what pattern /brand do you use for your
    Maple mustard chicken please?

    Thank you

  9. I love the idea of using maple and mustard for marinade as I generally use combination of honey, Dijon mustard and soy sauce for my chicken marinade and think maple will also give same glaze and nice taste to the dish.

  10. Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! It’s made me so much less afraid of cooking. I’ve made it multiple times in the past couple months since discovering it.


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