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Baked Mesquite Chicken Recipe

a quick, easy meal for the family

A quick, easy meal for the family

You can feel good about serving this Baked Mesquite Chicken recipe as the family enjoys the herb-spiced sweet and smokey flavor, and you know that it’s a nutritious, health-supporting dinner that everyone enjoys.


A few health benefits of this dish


Chicken thighs are a good source of complete protein (all nine essential amino acids) including tryptophan, the amino acid that helps to raise serotonin levels (1).  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, memory, anger, appetite, stress, and sleep, and also regulates insulin and glucose uptake in muscle tissue helping to balance blood sugar levels (2).  Chicken thighs also provide us with immune-supporting nutrients like zinc to prevent bacterial and viral infections (3).

For more information on the benefits of consuming chicken thighs and another chicken recipe, check out this blog post.


Mesquite seasoning is made up of many different spices with paprika, cumin, and onion powder being a few key ingredients.  Paprika is a good source of bioactive compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols that have beneficial antioxidant properties to help prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and certain cancers (4).  Cumin is a spice derived from a small annual plant grown in many areas like the Middle East, India, and the Mediterranean region (5).  The cumin seed contains bioactive substances like phenols, terpenes, and flavonoids, that protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungus, and have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties as well (6).  Onion powder, derived from the common vegetable, contains sulfur-containing compounds like cysteine sulfoxides and onion A, which exhibit antitumor effects in animal studies (7).  Further, onion contains other bioactive compounds that act as antioxidants and antimicrobials and are anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic (7).


Baked Mesquite Chicken Recipe:
1 ½ - 2 lbs. chicken thighs
1 tbsp. mesquite seasoning*
¼ cup onion, diced
2 scallions, chopped
Optional: ½ cup cheddar cheese


*Mesquite seasoning recipe: 1 tbsp. smoked paprika, 1 ½ tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. sweet paprika, 1 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. dry mustard, ½ tsp. black pepper. Optional (added sugar):  2 tbsp. raw honey


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season each side of the chicken thighs with the mesquite seasoning and place them into a glass baking dish.  Spread the onion and scallions over the chicken.  Add a bit of water to the bottom of the dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes, turn the chicken thighs over, return to the oven, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cooked. Add more water if needed.

If using the cheese, add the cheese to the top and return the dish to the oven, cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

This dish pairs nicely with baked potato wedges, and green beans or your favorite green salad.


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