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Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto

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For a great tasting dinner dish you have to try my Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto. This is a simple rice based dish, the Creamy Parmesan & Spinach Risotto is topped with seasoned chicken thighs, before being baked in the oven, until this chicken is golden. Risotto is a real comfort food dish for me, and the flavors in this risotto are ones the whole family will enjoy.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with a fork.  

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH RISOTTO 

In my house I love easy chicken dishes that I can bake in the oven and get on the table easily.

These Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto is comfort food in a bowl.

If you like my Moroccan Chicken Thighs, these Easy Baked Chicken Thighs with Cranberry or this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Rice you have to try today’s recipe. 

I like to make the Parmesan risotto and stir through some spinach to add those healthy leafy greens.

The seasoned chicken is added on top of the cooked risotto to roast in the oven.

I have chosen to make this Easy Spinach Risotto without wine and instead have added the juice of a lemon to add acidity to the dish. Acidity is really important in a risotto to balance out the creamy elements.

This healthy risotto recipe is a filling meal on its own, so I like to keep any side dishes simple.

Salads are always a great option like my Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, or this Easy Lebanese Salad.

Alternatively if  like to pair vegetable side dishes, try these Lebanese Green Beans, or Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto ingredients.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE THESE BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS?

CHICKEN: I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make this dish as I find the dark thigh meat has the best flavor. You could also use chicken breast if you prefer, just cut it into smaller sized pieces for cooking.

ONION: I suggest using a white or yellow onion for a real hint of onion flavor, but you could use red onion too which is a little milder or even some shallots.

RICE: It is important to use a risotto rice. I try to find Arborio rice as it is readily available in most stores.

BROTH: I have used chicken broth, but vegetable broth would work too.

SPINACH: I added 3 cups of fresh spinach that is stirred through the finished risotto, just until wilted. You could substitute with similar leafy greens like kale, arugula or Swiss chard.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto risotto in a skillet.

BUTTER: I like to use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe but any butter is fine. 

CHEESE: Grated Parmesan cheese finishes the risotto and adds great flavor to the dish. 

LEMON: The juice of 1 lemon adds acidity, which balances out the rich flavors in this risotto. I wanted to make this spinach & Parmesan risotto without wine, but you could replace the lemon with some white wine if you prefer.

SEASONINGS FOR THE CHICKEN: I make my own seasoning, by blending the following ingredients together in a small bowl:  salt, black pepper, paprika, dried thyme and garlic powder.

If there is a flavor you don’t like swap if for something you do. For example swap the dried thyme for some oregano instead.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with parmesan cheese.

HOW TO MAKE OVEN BAKED CHICKEN THIGHS 

TO START. Preheat the oven to 325F°. Place the chicken thighs into a bowl, add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and all of the seasonings for the chicken.

Mix well so the chicken is evenly coated in the spice blend.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto chicken with seasonings.

SEAR THE CHICKEN. Now heat the skillet over a medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the chicken to the skillet and sear the chicken for 3 minutes then flip over and sear for an additional 3 minutes on opposite side.

Remove the chicken from skillet and set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe the skillet with some paper towel.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto seared chicken in skillet.

SAUTE THE VEGETABLES. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and place over a medium high heat. Now add garlic and onions to the skillet and cook until the onions become tender. 

ADD THE RICE & BROTH. Add the arborio rice to the pan with the veggies and stir until the becomes translucent. Add chicken broth to the skillet, one cup at a time.

Allow each cup of chicken broth to be absorbed into the rice, before adding the next cup of broth.

Don’t walk away from the stove and stir the risotto often. Once the rice has just about soaked up all the broth, remove the skillet from heat. 

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto risotto in a skillet.

BAKE THE RISOTTO. Add spinach to skillet and fold into the rice. Next add the butter, juice of 1 lemon, and Parmesan cheese to skillet and stir well to combine. 

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto in a skillet with lemons.

Place the chicken on top of rice mixture and place the skillet into the oven and bake at 325F° for 30 minutes.

To serve garnish with some extra Parmesan. 

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto in a skillet with a spoon.

OTHER FLAVOR VARIATIONS:

The flavors in this simple chicken risotto recipe can be easily adapted.

Here are some suggestions for you to try.

  • Veggies: Swap the fresh spinach leaves for some kale, Swiss chard, brocollini, sliced mushrooms or some green peas.
  • Herbs: Stir through some fresh herbs along with the spinach leaves. Parsley and basil would both work with the flavors in this dish.
  • Go Vegetarian: For a meat free version of this dish, swap the chicken thighs for some cubes of squash instead. Coat the squash in the spice blend and place on top of the rice to roast in the oven. Just remember to replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth too.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto on a white plate.

DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT TO MAKE RISOTTO?

There is no special equipment required to cook risotto. 

You can use a large skillet, just ensure that the skillet is oven proof so you can transfer it easily from the stove to the oven. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, and a spatula or spoon to stir the risotto.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO STIR RISOTTO?

I recommend staying close to the stove when making risotto as it is really easy for the rice to stick to the bottom of the skillet and burn.

Instead stir often as this agitates the rice, releasing the starches in the grains of rice as they rub against each other. This results in the creamiest of risottos.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with cut up chicken.RECIPE HINTS & TIPS:

  • It’s ok if the rice hasn’t completely soaked up that last cup of broth prior to removing from the heat! It will finish absorbing all the broth in the oven. 
  • Wiping the skillet clean after cooking the chicken keeps your dish from turning brown.
  • Leftover risotto can also be made into arancini for a quick and simple lunch or dinner.
  • Store risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • This dish can be reheated in the microwave, or on the stove top. If the risotto looks a little dry, simply add a splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with fork.

OTHER CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SLIDERS

YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN

GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH GREEK MARINADE

MOROCCAN CHICKEN THIGHS 

GREEK CHICKEN WITH TZATZIKI 

SUN-DRIED TOMATO GOAT CHEESE CHICKEN

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with logo.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto with a fork.

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

For a great tasting dinner dish you have to try my Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Risotto. This is a simple rice based dish, the Creamy Parmesan & Spinach Risotto is topped with seasoned chicken thighs, before being baked in the oven, until this chicken is golden. Risotto is a real comfort food dish for me, and the flavors in this risotto are ones the whole family will enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken broth {or vegetable broth}
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

    1. Place chicken in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and all of the seasonings for the chicken. Mix well so chicken is evenly coated.
    2. Heat skillet on medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    3. Sear chicken for 3 minutes then flip and sear for an additional 3 minutes on opposite side.
    4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Discard excess oil and wipe skillet with paper towel.
    5. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pan and heat on medium high heat.
    6. Add garlic and onions to skillet and cook until onions become tender.
    7. Add arborio rice and stir until it becomes translucent.
    8. Add chicken broth one cup at a time to skillet. Wait before adding next cup until the rice has just about soaked up all of the previous cup. Remember to stir often.
    9. Once the rice has just about soaked up all the broth, remove skillet from heat.
    10. Add spinach to skillet and fold into the rice.
    11. Add butter, juice of 1 lemon, and parmesan cheese to skillet and stir well.
    12. Place chicken on top of rice mixture and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
    13. Garnish with extra parmesan, if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

  • It’s ok if the rice hasn’t completely soaked up that last cup of broth prior to removing from heat! It will finish in the oven.
  • Wiping the skillet clean after cooking the chicken keeps your dish from turning brown.
  • Store risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • This dish can be reheated in the microwave, or on the stove top. If the risotto looks a little dry, simply add a splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.

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