zesty Italian chicken thighs

Zesty Italian Chicken Thighs

April 16, 2022 17 Comments

A dry dressing packet and just 2 other ingredients are the only things you need to make the most delicious zesty italian chicken thighs.

Zesty Italian Chicken Thighs

From the recipe collection of Tara Ippolito

As far as quick, easy and delicious dinner recipes go, this zesty Italian chicken is right at the top of the list.

I can’t stress enough how easy this is to put together.

zesty Italian chicken thighs

All you need is a dry zesty Italian dressing packet, some brown sugar and boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Mix everything together in a baking dish, pop it into the oven and boom! You’re done.

plated zesty Italian chicken thighs

The flavor the you get from the Italian dressing packet mixed with the brown sugar is incredible!

Its both sweet and zesty at the same time.

I love this one for a super fast, no fuss weekday dinner. 

cooked chicken thighs

It became an instant family favorite recipe at my house and I hope it becomes one at your house too.

Other easy dinner ideas

If you’re looking for other simple and delicious dinners, here are a few ideas you’ll love also.

Doritos taco pizza

Do I have to use chicken thighs?

Not necessarily.

I just love chicken thighs because they’re juicier and don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts do.

zesty Italian chicken thigh cooked

If you aren’t into the thighs or have some chicken breast in the fridge instead then use it.

That would totally work as a substitute.

Recipe variations

The dry Italian dressing packet that I’m using is the zesty one.

There are two other packet options that would be amazing though also.

dry Italian dressing packets

The regular Italian dressing and garlic and herb.

Either one of these would be great to try mixed with the brown sugar.

What to serve zesty Italian chicken thighs with

Of course, whatever you want to serve as side dishes is completely up to you.

If you need a little inspiration I like to make rice as one side or Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes

vegetables, rice and chicken thighs

The chicken produces a lot of juices when it’s cooking. The rice is nice because it soaks all of that goodness up.

Then I go for a vegetable. I did peas and carrots this time but I love roasted broccoli with this too.

Any vegetable any way would be great though.

vegetables, rice and chicken thighs

Zesty chicken thighs, rice/potatoes and a vegetable. Perfect!

Zesty Italian chicken thighs ingredients

zesty Italian chicken thigh ingredients
  • Zesty Italian dressing dry packet
  • Brown sugar
  • Chicken thighs


First add the chicken thighs into a baking dish. Feel free to trim the fat if you want.

raw chicken thighs

Now add the brown sugar.

raw chicken thighs and brown sugar

Next add the dry packet of zesty Italian dressing.

raw chicken thighs, brown sugar and Italian dressing

Mix everything together until it’s evenly coated onto the chicken thighs.

mixing ingredients in a baking dish

Now bake it in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.

preheating oven

Take the chicken out of the oven and baste it in all the juice that it made when cooking.

basting the chicken thighs

Then continue baking it for another 30 minutes.

zesty Italian chicken thighs in baking dish

Then spoon some of the sauce over the plated chicken

spooning juices ovet chicken thighs

Serve warm over rice and enjoy!

plated zesty Italian chicken thighs

Zesty Italian chicken thighs recipe video

Zesty Italian Chicken Thighs

Only 3 ingredients to these delicious zesty Italian chicken thighs.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 3 ingredient dinner, chicken thighs recipe, italian dressing recipe, zesty italian chicken thighs


  • 1 .06 oz Zesty Italian Dressing Packet, dry
  • 3 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Then add the chicken thighs to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  • Now add the Italian dressing packet and the brown sugar
  • Mix everything together until the chicken is evenly coated
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes
  • Baste the chicken in all the juice that it produced
  • Bake for another 30 minutes
  • I like to serve this with rice and veggies but choose whatever you'd like. Serve warm and enjoy!

Easy dessert ideas

Now that you’ve got dinner covered, here are a few super easy dinner ideas you’ll love, too.

cinnamon roll apple pies
Tara Ippolito

About Al Dente Diva

Tara Ippolito is a self taught home cook from New Jersey and cookbook author of Fast, Simple, Delicious. Better known as “T” across social media, she makes easy to follow recipes using familiar ingredients. T uses her Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest channels to share recipes and cooking tips for everyday people. Her motivation to share with her followers is simple. To inspire people to cook and become more comfortable in the kitchen.

As a wife and busy mother of two little boys she she’s always cooking fast family friendly meals. Sharing her kitchen with others that want to learn is a true passion of hers. As her social media platforms continue to grow she is committed to delivering consistently delicious content to her followers.

Al Dente Diva

Hello there! My name is T & I’m a home cook from New Jersey. I love to share easy to make recipes, cooking tips & kitchen hacks with people who love to cook like I do. My recipes are all easy to follow & use ingredients most people are familiar with. Being a busy stay at home mother of two, I have to cook delicious budget friendly meals that are fast to make. I hope you find something helpful here. Thanks for coming by.

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  • Patrick April 19, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    The thought of the brown sugar and zesty Italian is making my mouth water, can’t wait to try this!

  • Anonymous April 19, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    I agree! Looks so good

  • Betty Gilmour April 19, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    About how much brown sugar did you use?

    • Al Dente Diva April 19, 2022 at 9:16 pm

      Oops I forgot to upload the recipe card! Thank you I just added it. It’s 1/2 a cup

  • Liz May 11, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    I’m making it tonight! Can’t wait to try it. Your recipes are a godsend. 😊

  • Vanessa Cabrales May 19, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    Hi. I’m making this for a family of 8. Can this be doubled? Thanks!

  • Jimmy Dooley May 22, 2022 at 12:44 am

    Wow, This was really crazy good! I used bnls chicken breast cause I had it in the fridge. (Cut down the cooking time just a little) Can’t wait to use bnls thighs! Thanks for this one!

    • Al Dente Diva May 22, 2022 at 12:48 am

      It’s my pleasure. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you!

  • Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts July 24, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    […] Zesty Italian chicken thighs […]

  • Daniela Salemo August 4, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    I made this chicken for dinner last night. One of the best chickens I’ve ever made. It was so tender and delicious. My family loved it! Your recipes are great and super easy!

    • Al Dente Diva August 7, 2022 at 4:23 pm

      Yay this makes me so happy. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Anonymous August 24, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Curious if you’ve tried this as a crockpot recipe. I love chicken thighs in the crock pot and we’re a busy family! Looking forward to trying it either way 🙂

    • Al Dente Diva August 25, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      Hi! I’ve never tried it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

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