Air Fryer Chicken Thighs ⋆ 100 Days of Real Food


These air fryer chicken thighs are golden crispy on the outside and tender inside! They are juicy, hearty, and savory. This quick and easy recipe takes only 20 minutes. Great for family dinners, busy weeknights, leftovers, and meal prep!

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These air fryer chicken thighs are tender, juicy, crispy, and delicious! This is the fastest and best way to make chicken thighs. This is a healthy alternative to fried chicken thighs. They are low in oil but high in flavor. Nothing is better than making dinner in under 25 minutes. Use this chicken in soups, stews, casseroles, tacos, sandwiches, burritos, and more!

Air fryer chicken thighs.

If you like a bit of spice, try this blackened chicken or this popular chicken marinade. Chicken has never tasted this good! This yummy yogurt-marinated grilled chicken is another healthy chicken dish to try. I use my air fryer almost every single night. These chicken thighs are one of my favorite family dinners for busy weeknights! Kids and adults love this recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These air fryer chicken thighs are the ideal family dinner.
  • Kids will go crazy for them!
  • These air fried chicken thighs are as delicious as fried chicken, just healthier.
  • They are great as leftovers too.
  • This recipe is versatile.
  • Use the leftover chicken in sandwiches, tacos, burritos, soups, and casseroles.
  • Or, add the leftovers to salads, pasta dishes, bowls with grains and other veggies, and more.
  • Perfect for back to school and school lunches.
  • Whip up the quickest mid-week dinner ever.
  • This recipe yields the softest, most tender air fryer chicken thighs.
  • Low in oil but bursting with juicy goodness and lots of flavor.
  • This recipe is great for many different lifestyles and diets.
  • It is naturally Paleo, Whole30, low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and sugar-free.
  • Check out these Air Fryer Chicken Breasts for another easy dinner recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutes

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full air fryer chicken thighs recipe.

Boneless skinless chicken thighs in the air fryer are the juiciest cut of chicken. They absorb seasonings beautifully and rarely dry out.

Use any neutral-flavored oil like olive oil or avocado oil.

Garlic powder adds a well-balanced savory flavor. Try fresh, grated, or chopped garlic if you don’t have garlic powder.

Onion powder pairs well with the garlic powder to deliver beautifully seasoned chicken thighs.

Ingredients for air fryer chicken thighs.

Paprika is optional but it does give the chicken a wonderful color and glow.

Taste & Texture

These quick skinless air fryer chicken thighs are plump, juicy, and flavorful. The chicken soaks up the seasoning while cooking in the air fryer.

The garlic and onion powder season the chicken perfectly, giving it a mouth-watering taste.

How to Make

Step 1

First, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Add chicken thighs, olive oil, and all seasonings to a large bowl. Toss until the chicken is completely covered.

Step 3

Arrange the chicken thighs in one even layer in the air fryer. If needed, air fry in two batches.

Air fryer basket with chicken thighs.

Step 4

Air fry for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken thighs. Cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crispy thighs in a basket.

Step 5

Finally, remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve!

Chicken thighs with crispy skin.

Expert Tips for Success

Preheat the air fryer. While you are seasoning the chicken, get the air fryer pre-heated and ready to go. This will ensure the best results and the crispiest skin. This step also promotes even cooking.

Season adequately and generously. You want your air fryer chicken thighs to be full of flavor. Ensure you use enough salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder to achieve this. Feel free to play around with alternate seasonings. Add some spices, herbs or try a wet or dry marinade.

Space out the thighs. To encourage even cooking, space the thighs out in the basket. Do not overcrowd them.

Rest before serving. To allow the internal juices to settle. This will result in moist chicken and prevent the air fryer chicken thighs from drying out.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

  • BBQ bliss: Create a simple spice rub by combining smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and coconut sugar. Add the black pepper and salt to this and rub it all over the chicken. Once cooked, top with BBQ sauce.
  • Lime and herb: Mix dried Italian herbs with the other seasonings. Add a splash of fresh lime juice for a bright, zesty flavor combo.
  • Cajun spices: You can buy a premix or combine paprika, garlic, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, and cayenne with salt and pepper.
  • Teriyaki: Whisk together a little rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey soy sauce, and freshly grated ginger. Brush the air fryer chicken thighs with them for a totally delicious flavor.
Potatoes with chicken thighs.

How to Serve & Store

Serve air fryer chicken thighs with tasty sides like this Italian pasta saladthese smashed potatoesor these air fryer potatoes.

Kids will love it with this cheesy mashed potato casserole or with me healthy oven-baked cheese fries.

Cool the chicken completely before packing and storing it. This is an essential step for food safety. Once it has cooled, load it into an airtight container. Seal the container. Place it in the refrigerator.

The chicken can stay frozen for about two months. To freeze the chicken, pack it in a freezer-friendly container. It is a great idea to space out the chicken when freezing it. This will make the thawing process more straightforward, especially if you only want to take out one or two thighs without having to thaw the whole lot.

Bone-In Versus Boneless Chicken Thighs

Bone-in chicken thighs yield juicy and flavorful results. During the cooking process, the flavors inside the bone seep out and into the meat. This provides a deeper flavor and slightly more tender meat.

A lot of people don’t like to eat chicken (or any meat) with bones in it. In the case of these air fryer chicken thighs, the result will be tender and succulent due to the nature of the air fryer cooking. This cooking method will lock in flavor and moisture, so choosing bone-in meat is unnecessary.

Air Fryer Advantages

Making chicken thighs in the air fryer is quicker than oven roasting.

No need to heat up the whole kitchen by turning on the oven. The air fryer is smaller and easier.

The air fryer gives the chicken a delicious crispy exterior.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer?

Air fryer chicken thighs take approximately 20 minutes in total to cook.

How long and what temperature do you cook chicken thighs?

Set the air fryer to a temperature of around 375°F (190°C) and cook the chicken thighs for approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the thighs and the specific model of your air fryer.

What internal temperature should chicken thighs be?

Air fryer chicken thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Can you use frozen chicken thighs?

Yes, the cooking time must be extended by 10 to 15 minutes more.

Do I have to use skinless chicken thighs?

Yes, skinless chicken thighs are recommended for these air fryer chicken thighs.

Meat with crispy potato wedges.

Equipment Needed

Air Fryer: This air fryer is easy to use! The basket style makes this recipe super simple.

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Enjoy this air fryer chicken thighs recipe!


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