These Baked Chicken Thighs with Ginger Scallion Sauce are a simple dinner, baked on a sheet pan. It’s a perfect meal for weekly meal prep or batch cooking. The chicken has sweet notes from cinnamon and nutmeg and a peppery tang from the ginger scallion sauce.
A couple years ago I was gifted some garam masala (floral Indian spice blend) and I was SO happy. Honestly as far as gifts go, spices and kitchen products are at the top of my list. Diamonds are not a girl’s best friend, cooking tools are! Actually, for my birthday last year, I went on a World Market shopping spree and I cleaned up on all types of kitchen goodies. But I digress…I used up all of the garam masala I was gifted a while back but wanted to make a similar baked chicken thigh recipe to the one I used to make with garam masala.
In the previous version of this recipe, I used greek yogurt for the marinade. To make it a little lighter and also lactose free, I choose to use my homemade vegan buttermilk. It’s provides the same tang and moisture to the meat but without the belly bloat…WIN WIN. Also, since I no longer had any garam masala, I decided to use sweet, earthy spices I had at home for these baked chicken thighs. I went with nutmeg and cinnamon and it turned out great! Tip: Whenever you’re using nutmeg, it’s always better to use whole nutmeg and grate it fresh, the flavor is a lot stronger than the pre-ground version, so a little goes a long way.
The Healthy Swaps for this recipe are:
- Buttermilk → Almond Milk + Lemon Juice
- Sour Cream/Dairy Thickener → Pureed Coconut Flakes
Ginger Scallion Green Sauce:
As you know I’m always looking for healthy swaps, so in this recipe I tried to find a way to sweeten the sauce and mellow out the strong ginger and scallion flavor without using sugar. ENTER COCONUT FLAKES. The coconut flakes in this recipe provide a subtle sweetness but also act like as a thickening agent for the sauce. If you’ve ever made pesto or romesco sauce at home, you know that those sauces uses nuts as thickeners. The coconut serves the same purpose here but also adds a little island flair. The best thing about this sauce though is that it’s all pulsed up in a blender or food processor in a minute or less. Tip: If you have any leftover sauce, it tastes delicious on baked salmon, roasted cauliflower or roasted carrots!
I ate these baked chicken thighs with brown rice, but there are a lot of other options. See the list below↓ for suggestions.
The BEST Healthy Side dishes to eat this chicken with:
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes: The sweetness will blend really well with the bold ginger flavor in the sauce
- Brown Rice: Simple and easy, can’t go wrong!
- Roasted Cauliflower: It’ll soak up the sauce in the florets like a sponge! Tip: Toss the roasted cauliflower with a little but of ginger scallion sauce so it has a light coating on it
- Sauteed Yellow Squash: Since the squash has a mellow flavor, it’s a great vessel for soaking up extra green sauce!
For the best flavor, I highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight. If you’re short on time though, 2 hours will get the job done. Once the chicken thighs are marinated they cook nice a quickly on a sheet pan. Check out the full recipe below!
Baked Chicken Thighs with Ginger Scallion SauceRate this Recipe:
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg ideally freshly grated
- 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 lime, zest only
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
- pinch of cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
Ginger Scallion Sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 2 scallions cut in chunks
- 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbspq water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a glass bowl add chicken thighs, almond milk (or your preferred milk) and lemon juice and stir. Add in nutmeg, cinnamon, lime zest, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir again.
- Let the chicken marinate 2 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place marinated chicken thighs on a lined baking sheet (try to let any excess liquid drip of before placing on the baking sheet). Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Heat the oven to broil (high) and put the chicken in the broiler 3-5 minutes until slightly charred.
- Ginger Scallion Sauce: Add ginger, scallions, coconut flakes, olive oil, water, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Puree until ingredients are combined and a thick sauce is formed, about 30 seconds - 1 minute, depending on the strength of your blender/food processor.