Trader Joe’s Zhoug-Roasted Chicken Thighs

published Dec 15, 2022
Zhoug-Roasted Chicken Thighs Recipe

Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce is the key to the ultimate weeknight chicken dinner.


Prep5 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 35 minutes

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Credit: Kelli Foster

Of all the items I’ve purchased at Trader Joe’s over the years, and there have been many, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than their dips. I’ve worked my way through just about each and every Trader Joe’s dip. You’ll find Everything And the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip, creamy hummus, and vegan kale pesto regularly in my cart. (I’m also still mourning the discontinuation of that creamy cilantro and chive dip.) But the real MVP of the Trader Joe’s dip case is their zhoug sauce. Between its big, bold flavor and versatility, it’s a total powerhouse and there’s nothing it can’t do.

The Trader Joe’s zhoug sauce is the key to the ultimate weeknight chicken dinner. It’s a hands-off (we’re talking no-more than three minutes of prep!), budget-friendly dinner that you can get on the table in under 30 minutes. With just two ingredients, it packs in such a wild amount of flavor.

Zhoug is a fiery herb-based sauce with Middle Eastern roots. Recipes can vary, but this version is made with cilantro, canola oil, jalapeño peppers, chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, sea salt, and cumin seeds. It’s bright and vibrant, with a bold flavor that really brings the heat, and the texture reminds me of other herby sauces like chimichurri and pesto. It’s intense, but in the best way possible.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Two Quick and Simple Tricks for More Flavorful Chicken Thighs

I used to feel very conflicted about cooking bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with a sauce. It’s delicious and adds flavor, yes, but as soon as that skin slides off, the meat of the chicken loses the bulk of all that great flavor.

I have a smart solution to fix that. Instead of just rubbing a sauce or marinade over the outside of the chicken pieces, start by gently loosening the skin to pull it away from the meat (without removing it). Then take a minute to rub the sauce between the skin and meat. This way the flavor of the sauce will also infuse into the meat. Use this trick anytime you cook skin-on chicken with a sauce or marinade, regardless of the recipe. You’ll get more flavor for it.

Second, prep the chicken before heating up the oven. Because zhoug sauce is packed with big, bold, herbacious flavors, these chicken thighs have a great flavor with no marinating. But add even just a short five- to 10-minute marinating time and the taste really ramps up.

Zhoug-Roasted Chicken Thighs Recipe

Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce is the key to the ultimate weeknight chicken dinner.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4 cup

    Trader Joe’s Zhoug

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 4

    bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  2. Place 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Zhoug, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

  3. Pat 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Use your fingers to gently loosen and pull the skin away from the meat without removing it. Add to the bowl. Rub all over with the sauce, working it gently under the skin. Place skin-side up in a single layer on the baking sheet. Let marinate at room temperature while the oven heats. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.

  4. Roast until the chicken is browned, cooked through, and registers at least 165°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, 25 to 35 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.