Crispy and Tender Baked Chicken Thighs

Prep: 10 min Bake: 1 hour Temp: 350 degrees


8 bone in chicken thighs, with skin (you can use boneless, skinless just adjust baking time*)

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp onion salt

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground thyme

1/4 tsp paprike

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

OR: use 3 T Italian Seasoning


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray

Arrange chicken thighs on the prepared baking sheet

Combine all the seasonings together in a small container/bowl. Mix thoroughly

Sprinkle spice mixture liberally over chicken thighs

Bake chicken in the preheated oven until skin is crispy, thighs are not longer pink at the bone, and the juices run clear. OR use an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees

*NOTE: If you are using boneless/skinless thighs, lightly coat in flour, shaking off excess flour. Then sprinkle with the seasonings

Creamy Parmesan Rice


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley (optional)
  • Splash of milk, if desired


  1. Sauté garlic and rice in butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant (about 3-4 minutes). 
  2. Add water, milk and salt then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low (or maybe a little higher depending on your stove – you want to keep it at a slight simmer), cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Don’t mess around with your rice too much – just stir occasionally with a fork to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom.
  3. Stir in parmesan cheese and parsley. If you would like yours to be creamier, add a splash of milk. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Cover, turn off heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Taco Rice with Queso


Taco Rice:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt & pepper for beef
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Queso Sauce:

  • 8 ounces Velveeta Queso Blanco cheese
  • 3-5 tablespoons half & half


Taco Rice:

  1. Add ground beef and onion to a large skillet then season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until meat is cooked through. Do not drain. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Add rice, taco seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to cooked beef then mix well. Add chicken broth then stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to a gentle boil then reduce heat to low. Cover skillet then cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. When ready to serve, drizzle mixture with queso sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

Queso Sauce:

  1. Combine Velveeta and 3 tablespoons of half & half in a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 2-3 minutes or until melted through, stirring every 30-45 seconds. 
  2. Add additional half & half until sauce reaches desired consistency.


I adjusted the recipe to add more salt, pepper and garlic powder.
We need the pan drippings from the ground beef for flavor and richness but if your beef produces an excessive amount of fat, drain some of it if you prefer.
Feel free to use whichever queso sauce you like best. I’ve been known to order an extra cup from the Mexican restaurant just to use with this recipe.
If you can’t find the Queso Blanco variety of Velveeta, use any flavor.
You can also heat heavy cream and white American cheese to make queso sauce (it’s actually better than using Velveeta but I never feel like standing in line at the deli to get the white American cheese).
I don’t know if this can be made with Minute rice or brown rice because I’ve never cooked either type of rice.
I don’t know how this could be converted to a slow cooker recipe.

Do not open the lid to the pot/pan or stir more often than necessary.
Only stir with a fork and scrape the bottom of the pot/pan when stirring.
Keep temperature at the lowest temperature possible while still maintaining a simmer.
Don’t stir or open the lid of the pot/pan the last 10 minutes of cooking.