Do you love chicken thighs but don’t know how to make them delicious?
If so, then look no further!
Chicken thighs are a great source of protein and can be cooked in many different ways.
But if you want to take your meal up a notch, the key is in the sauce.
Whether you’re looking for something sweet or spicy, there’s sure to be a sauce that will tantalize your taste buds.
In this article, I’ll share with you 10 of the best sauces for chicken thighs – ranging from classic BBQ to tangy teriyaki – that will have everyone at the dinner table asking for more.
So let’s get cooking!
Why Serve Chicken Thighs With A Sauce?
Serving chicken thighs with a sauce is an excellent way to add flavor and moisture to the dish.
Here are three in-depth reasons why:
- Chicken thighs have more fat than other cuts of chicken, which helps keep them moist during cooking. This makes them ideal for braising or slow-cooking, as they won’t dry out like leaner cuts can. A flavorful sauce will help enhance the natural flavors of the meat while also keeping it juicy and tender.
- The dark meat from chicken thighs has a richer flavor than white meat, so adding a sauce can really bring out those flavors even more. Sauces such as BBQ, teriyaki, or honey mustard all work well with this cut of poultry because they complement its bold taste without overpowering it.
- Serving chicken thighs with a sauce adds visual appeal to your meal by providing color contrast on the plate and making it look more appetizing overall. Additionally, sauces provide texture that can make your dish feel more complete and satisfying when served alongside sides such as mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.
10 Best Sauces for Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs are a delicious and versatile cut of meat.
The key to unlocking their full flavor potential is choosing the right sauce.
Here are ten sauces that pair perfectly with chicken thighs, each offering its own unique taste and texture:
1. Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Creamy Mushroom Sauce is a rich and creamy sauce made with mushrooms, butter, cream, and herbs.
It’s a versatile sauce that can be used to enhance the flavor of many dishes.
- To Make It: To make Creamy Mushroom Sauce, start by sautéing mushrooms in butter until they are golden brown. Then add garlic and herbs such as thyme or rosemary for extra flavor. Once the aromatics have cooked through, add some white wine to deglaze the pan and reduce it down until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Next, stir in heavy cream and simmer until thickened. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste before serving over your favorite dish.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have any heavy cream on hand, you can substitute it with half-and-half or even milk if necessary. You can also use other types of mushrooms such as shiitake or portobello instead of button mushrooms if desired.
- Common Uses: Creamy Mushroom Sauce is commonly served over chicken thighs but it can also be used to top steak or fish fillets for an added layer of flavor. It’s also great served over pasta dishes like fettuccine alfredo or linguine carbonara for a delicious twist on classic Italian recipes!
2. Garlic & Herb Sauce
Garlic & Herb Sauce is a flavorful and versatile sauce made with red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest.
It’s a great way to add flavor to any dish without overpowering it.
- To Make It: To make the sauce, start by heating the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Simmer for another minute or two until everything is well combined. Remove from heat and let cool before using.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, if you don’t have red pepper flakes you can use chili powder instead; if you don’t have fresh garlic you can use garlic powder; if you don’t have lemon juice or zest then white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work as well; finally, if you don’t have olive oil then vegetable oil will do just fine too!
- Common Uses: This sauce is great for adding flavor to chicken dishes like roasted chicken thighs or grilled chicken breasts. You can also use it as a marinade for fish or vegetables before cooking them in the oven or on the grill. Additionally, it’s a great way to add flavor to salads or pastas.
3. Creamy Mustard Sauce
Creamy Mustard Sauce is a classic French sauce made with Dijon mustard, heavy cream, and white pepper.
It’s a rich and creamy sauce that pairs perfectly with chicken thighs or other poultry dishes.
- To Make It: To make the sauce, combine equal parts of Dijon mustard and heavy cream in a small bowl. Whisk together until combined. Add freshly ground white pepper to taste. Heat the mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once heated through, remove from heat and serve immediately over chicken thighs or other poultry dishes.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to Dijon mustard, you can substitute whole-grain mustard instead for a slightly different flavor profile. You can also use half-and-half instead of heavy cream if desired for a lighter version of this sauce.
- Common Uses: Creamy Mustard Sauce is commonly served over roasted or grilled chicken thighs as well as pork chops and steaks. It’s also delicious when used as a dip for vegetables such as carrots or broccoli florets, or even french fries!
4. Parmesan Sauce
Parmesan sauce is a creamy, cheesy white sauce made with butter, flour, milk, and Parmesan cheese.
It’s often used as a topping for pasta dishes or as a base for other sauces.
- To Make It: To make parmesan sauce, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly to avoid lumps from forming. Once all of the milk has been added, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened then remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese until melted.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have any Parmesan cheese on hand, you can substitute it with other hard cheeses such as Asiago or Romano cheese. You can also use cream cheese instead of Parmesan if desired but keep in mind that this will change the flavor of your sauce significantly.
- Common Uses: The most common use for parmesan sauce is as an accompaniment to chicken dishes such as chicken thighs or breasts served with pasta or vegetables like broccoli or spinach. It can also be used as an ingredient in casseroles and soups or even spread onto sandwiches for extra flavor!
5. BBQ Sauce
BBQ sauce is a condiment made from a combination of ingredients such as tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
It is used to add flavor to grilled or smoked meats like chicken, pork, beef, and fish.
The sauce can be either thick or thin in consistency and can range in flavor from sweet to spicy.
- To Make It: To make homemade BBQ sauce you will need tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar (or honey), garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika (optional), cayenne pepper (optional), black pepper and salt. Combine all the ingredients together in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes before removing it from the heat. Let cool before using or storing in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand for making your own BBQ sauce there are some substitutions that can be made such as using ketchup instead of tomato paste; molasses instead of brown sugar; soy sauce instead of Worcestershire; chili powder instead of smoked paprika; and hot sauce instead of cayenne pepper.
- Common Uses: BBQ Sauce is most commonly used as a marinade or a condiment to add flavor to grilled or smoked meats. It can also be used as a dip or spread on sandwiches or burgers. It can also be used as a base for sauces, glazes, and dressings.
6. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory Japanese condiment made from soy sauce, mirin (a type of rice wine), sake, sugar, and ginger.
It is used to marinate or glaze meats and vegetables before cooking.
- To Make It: To make teriyaki sauce at home, combine equal parts soy sauce and mirin in a small pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar for every cup of liquid used. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer until it thickens slightly. Finally, add freshly grated ginger to taste.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to mirin or sake, you can substitute them with dry sherry or white wine combined with an additional teaspoon of sugar per cup of liquid used. Alternatively, you can use honey instead of sugar for a sweeter flavor profile.
- Common Uses: Teriyaki sauce is commonly used as a marinade for chicken thighs before baking or grilling them; it also makes an excellent dipping sauce for fried foods such as tempura shrimp or vegetable fritters. Additionally, it can be added to stir-fries just before serving for extra flavor and sweetness.
7. Honey Dijon Sauce
Honey Dijon sauce is a condiment made from honey, Dijon mustard, and other ingredients.
It has a sweet-tangy flavor that pairs well with poultry, pork, and seafood dishes.
- To Make It: To make honey Dijon sauce at home, combine equal parts of honey and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Then add some minced garlic or shallot for extra flavor. For creaminess, stir in some mayonnaise or Greek yogurt until the desired consistency is reached. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have any Dijon mustard on hand, you can substitute it with yellow mustard or whole grain mustard instead. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey if desired.
- Common Uses: Honey Dijon sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or tenders but it can also be used as a marinade for grilled meats such as chicken thighs or pork chops. It’s also great served over roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or broccoli for an added kick of flavor!
8. Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce is a spicy condiment made from Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, white vinegar, and garlic powder.
It is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or other fried foods.
- To Make It: To make buffalo sauce at home, combine equal parts of Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture and stir until combined. Then add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the mixture and stir until everything is well blended.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand to make your own buffalo sauce, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, if you don’t have hot pepper sauce on hand, you can use Tabasco or any other type of chili-based hot sauces instead. You can also substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar if desired.
- Common Uses: Buffalo Sauce is most commonly used as a dipping or coating for fried chicken wings or other fried foods such as French fries or onion rings. It can also be used as an ingredient in marinades for grilled meats like chicken thighs or pork chops; it adds flavor while helping to keep the meat moist during cooking.
9. Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is a condiment made from a combination of sweet and sour ingredients, such as sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine to add flavor to dishes.
- To Make It: To make sweet and sour sauce at home you will need the following ingredients: 1/4 cup white sugar; 1/4 cup white vinegar; 2 tablespoons ketchup; 2 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 tablespoon minced garlic; 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root; 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water. Combine all the ingredients except for the cornstarch mixture in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until combined. Simmer for an additional minute or two until desired thickness is reached. Remove from heat and let cool before serving or storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have any of these ingredients on hand there are some substitutions that can be made such as using honey instead of sugar or apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. You can also use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce if desired but it will change the flavor of the final dish. Additionally, you can add additional spices such as red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to make the sauce spicier.
10. Kung Pao Sauce
Kung Pao Sauce is a spicy, savory sauce made from dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, ginger, sichuan peppercorn and vinegar.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine to add flavor to dishes such as stir-fries and noodle dishes.
- To Make It: To make kung pao sauce at home, combine 1/4 cup of dark soy sauce with 1/4 cup of regular soy sauce in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and 1 teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorns. Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar until the ingredients are well combined.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to Sichuan peppercorns or don’t like their flavor, you can substitute them with black pepper or red pepper flakes for a spicier version. You can also use other types of vinegars such as apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar instead of rice vinegar or white wine vinegar if desired.
- Common Uses: Kung pao sauce is most commonly used as a marinade for chicken thighs before cooking them on the stovetop or baking them in the oven. The marinade helps keep the chicken moist and flavorful while it cooks and adds an extra layer of flavor when served over cooked rice. Additionally, the sauce is a popular addition to stir-fries, noodle dishes and other Chinese dishes.
In conclusion, there are many delicious sauces that can be used to enhance the flavor of chicken thighs.
From creamy mushroom sauce to sweet and sour sauce, there is something for everyone.
The best sauces for chicken thighs are creamy mushroom sauce, garlic & herb sauce, creamy mustard sauce, parmesan sauce, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, honey dijon sauce, buffalo sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and kung pao sauce.
Each of these sauces has its own unique flavor and can be used to create a variety of delicious recipes.
No matter which sauce you choose, your chicken thighs are sure to be a hit!
10 Best Sauces for Chicken Thighs
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Garlic & Herb Sauce
- Creamy Mustard Sauce
- Parmesan Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Honey Dijon Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Kung Pao Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a sauce recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.