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Baked Chicken Thighs With Special Green Sauce


These baked chicken thighs with herb-rich green sauce are full of flavour and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Paleo, Whole30 and keto friendly.

Baked Chicken Thighs With Special Green Sauce

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my live video story of making these juicy baked chicken thighs with a special, secret green sauce. I promised that I would the recipe up on the blog, so here it is!

This recipe is fantastic for using up any fresh herbs and leafy greens. The sauce is similar to salsa verde and is used both as a marinade for the meat before it’s baked and as a condiment served over the top or alongside this dish. It’s also quite versatile and can be used with any other meat, fish or seafood. I like it on top of scrambled or poached eggs in the morning, and as a base for a salad dressing.

Baked Chicken Thighs With Special Green Sauce (Gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30)

Cook’s notes

  • I am using chicken thighs with skin on and bone in but you can easily use chicken thighs without the bone and without the skin. If the thighs don’t have the bone in, they will need a little less time to cook. Similarly, you can use chicken breasts or turkey steaks. Pork steaks or fish fillets would also work well. You will need less time for those.
  • You can use any fresh herbs you like. I prefer to use ‘soft’ herbs like basil, parsley, coriander and so on, rather than ‘hardy’ herbs like rosemary, sage or thyme. Celery leaf is a flavourful addition and a great way to use up the whole celery. Rocket or spinach can also be added. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to a week.

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5.0 from 11 reviews
Baked Chicken Thighs With Tasty Green Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Poultry
Serves: 4
  • 8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in, see notes for alternatives)
For the green sauce
  • Handful of celery leaves
  • Handful of coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Handful of parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano leaves
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Juice of ½ large lemon (plus extra for serving)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. I leave the flat oven tray in the oven to heat up as well.
  2. Place the green sauce ingredients in a small blender or a food processor. Whiz up for a minute, processing into smooth, thick sauce. Scrape the sides half way through. Alternatively, you can chop all the ingredients very finely and mix the marinade by hand.
  3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sauce in a small bowl and pour the rest over the chicken thighs. Mix well, making sure the pieces are evenly coated.
  4. Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in the preheated, large, flat oven tray or a sheet pan. Place the chicken pieces, skin side down, on the tray and scoop any remaining marinade from the chicken bowl on top of the pieces (not the reserved sauce, as we’re using it right at the end). Sprinkle the chicken with a little more sea salt. Place the oven tray in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes rotate the tray (not the chicken) to ensure even cooking. Turn the oven down to 180 C / 380 F. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove the tray and turn the pieces over, placing them skin side up. Then back in the oven for the final 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate, facing them skin side up (or whichever way you like). Scoop a teaspoon of the reserved green sauce on top of each piece and garnish with a fresh herb leaf, if you like. Serve with extra lemon on the side.


Baked Chicken Thighs With Special Green Sauce (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole30)


  1. WOW.

    I made some changes based on what I had available and it turned out wonderfully but I’m sure the original is fantastic too! Here is what I did differently:

    For “herbs” in the sauce I only used leaves of 2 bunches cilantro, handful celery leaves & handful baby spinach. The rest of the ingredients I followed exactly.

    I used a ceramic casserole dish in oven so I added 5 minutes to the cook time after rotating the dish then I used coconut oil in frying pan to crisp the skin after all of the baking was done because the skins did not crisp in the oven. (I imagine they would have on a sheet pan.) Everything else I followed exactly.

  2. These are on my list to make for dinner next week, what vegetables would you serve with them to make a complete dinner time meal?

    1. You could make some sweet potato and cauliflower mash, which would soak up that lovely green sauce and add some sweetness to the meal. Lightly steamed green beans, broccoli and carrots are also simple and nice. Otherwise, a gorgeous coleslaw would go well as well.

  3. Pardon my ignorance! But, for clarification and from those that have made this recipe. #4 and #5 instructions both say “skin side down.” At any time are the thighs cooked skin side UP? Thank you for the clarification. I want to make these! But, as an amateur I don’t want to mess up!

    1. Hey Brenda,

      Yes, it’s meant to be skin side up in step #5! My copy mistake. I have amended the steps. Thank you for spotting this.

      Irena x

  4. Made this tonight…was delicious, thank you
    It will be on high rotation as all the family loved it ?

  5. Gorgeous recipe and I love the photos! I really love making sauces that are packed full of herbs – am pinning this one to try in the week. Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. The ingredients in the green sauce are brilliant! I was wondering as I clicked through what it was going to be made of and it exceeded my expectations! Looks great!

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