When it comes to an easy weeknight meal, pan fried stove top chicken thighs definitely fit the bill. They are healthy, tasty, and pretty simple to make. All you need is a little fat to cook them in. But this recipe ups the flavor by adding in tomato sauce, bacon and cheese!
I’m always looking for quick and easy dishes to feed my family. There are a few picky eaters, but they all love chicken and bacon. That’s why I came up with this simple dish to please them all!
Pan frying chicken thighs on the stove top is a great way to cook them, as it results in crispy and juicy meat. I like to season the meat with salt, pepper, sage, and oregano. But the choice of seasonings is totally up to you.
I also find that boneless chicken thighs are a lot easier to eat but leaving the bone and skin intact does add additional flavor to the meat. However, I’ve upped the flavor of the dish by adding tomato sauce with bacon and cheese.
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This simple recipe is made with every day ingredients you may already have in your pantry and refrigerator. If you don’t have everything, you can easily change it up.
The dish is made with boneless skinless chicken thighs which has a much richer flavor than breast meat. But since there’s added fat in the recipe from the bacon and cheese, you could use a leaner cut of meat instead if that’s all you have.
It’s true that everything tastes better with bacon and that’s why it’s added to this chicken dish!
There’s no need to waste your time peeling and dicing tomatoes. The recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes that you just dump in.
If you want to please the kids, a little cheese goes a long way. Pepper jack and cheddar are called for, but feel free to use whatever cheese you prefer.
Although you can leave it out if you don’t have it, celery give a little bit of crunch to the dish. Celery leaves also make a nice garnish.
A little bit of chicken broth adds flavor to the sauce and makes it taste much better.
There’s plenty of seasonings added to make the chicken more flavorful. The recipe adds in garlic powder, onion powder, sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Feel free to change up the herbs and spices to suit your own taste.
Just follow these easy step-by-step instructions to make delicious pan fried boneless chicken thighs with cheesy tomato sauce.
Prepare the chicken
Season the meat with salt, ground black pepper, ground sage, and ground oregano. Then let the seasonings soak in a little by placing in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Prep the bacon
Cut three strips of bacon into small one inch squares. The remaining bacon is cut in half.
Fry all the bacon in a large skillet until brown and crispy. Then remove to a plate. To save time, you can use pre-cooked bacon.
Once the cooked bacon is removed from the skillet, add in the seasoned chicken to the hot bacon grease and cook boneless chicken thighs until the meat is browned on each side.
Add the diced tomatoes , marjoram, thyme, and chicken broth to the empty skillet. Allow to bowl for several minutes.
Add the celery and cooked chicken to the sauce. Simmer on low for five minutes, turning the chicken over once.
Add the pepper jack first and simmer for three minutes, stirring it in as it melt. Then add the cheddar and stir it in as it melts for another three minutes.
The final step is to garnish with the bacon and a few celery leaves before serving.
- Use a microwave bacon tray. You can cook bacon in the microwave on a special tray that collects the grease as it cooks. This will reduce the overall cooking time.
- Cut bacon with shears. Sharp kitchen shears are much faster at cutting the stacked strips of bacon than using a knife and cutting board.
- Season the meat ahead. It’s best to allow the seasonings to sit on the meat in the refrigerator before cooking. To save time, you can do this earlier in the day or the night before.
If you’re following a low-carb eating plan, try serving this chicken over a keto rice alternative. Cauliflower rice is our preferred side dish.
Before getting to the stove top chicken thighs recipe, I wanted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about cooking thighs on the stove top.
Boneless chicken thighs can be cooked on top of the stove in about 8 minutes.
Bone-in thighs cook in about 25 minutes on the stove.
Chicken thighs have more fat than chicken breasts, which means they take longer to cook. The fat keeps the chicken from drying out, so it takes a little longer to cook all the way through.
If you love this low-carb recipe, you may want to try out some of our other popular keto-friendly dishes.
- Keto egg muffins are a great way to prepare portable breakfast ahead of time.
- Air fryer marinated chicken breasts are juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside!
- Keto shrimp fried cauliflower rice makes a tasty and filling lunch any that’s quick to prepare.
- Smoked salmon frittata is a dish that works for any meal of the day.
- Keto eggplant lasagna has all the flavor you love without the high carb noodles.
Pan Fried Stove Top Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 10 strips bacon
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in tomato juice drained
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese freshly grated
- ½ cup cheddar freshly grated
- 3 stalks celery thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ cup chicken broth
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Properly wash chicken and pat dry. Season with with salt, ground black pepper, sage and oregano. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours in a sealed container.
- Cut 7 strips of bacon into into half. The remaining 3 strips cut into bacon squares around 1 inch size.
- In a large skillet or deep fry pan, cook bacon without oil at low heat about 2 minutes on each side for the 7 strips cut into half. Cook the remaining bacon for 1 minute on each side. Drain. Leave bacon oil on the pan.
- In the same pan with bacon oil/drippings, brown chicken thighs about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan without oil, pour diced tomatoes in tomato juice and sprinkle dried marjoram and thyme. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low then add browned chicken thighs and celery. Simmer for 5 minutes, turning chicken on the other side.
- Add pepper jack and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add red cheddar and continue to simmer at low heat for 3 minutes. Stirring occasionally as cheese melts.
- Before serving, top with celery leaves and bacon pieces around the sauce then add crisp bacon slices over chicken thighs.