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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (Crispy & Juicy!)

by Capri Lilly

These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are incredibly flavorful and cooked to perfection with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Seasoned with just a few spices, lemon, and oil, this quick and easy chicken recipe is convenient enough for a weeknight dinner or a healthy meal prep.

Want more air fryer chicken recipes? Then you have to try our Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Air Fryer Buffalo Wings, or Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Wings next!

crisp chicken thighs made in the air fryer served on a plate with onions and peppers

Whenever I am unsure what to cook for dinner, Air Fryer Chicken Thighs is my go-to. It is simple but so satisfying! This chicken entree pairs perfectly with pretty much any side you can imagine. Plus, it is easy to customize the flavors to suit whatever you are craving that particular night.

Using the air fryer is the best way to cook chicken thighs for that extra crispy skin and without using an oven. Once you air fry chicken, you’ll want to do it all the time. Let me prove it to you!

You’ll love this Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Recipe Because:

  • It’s quick and easy to make
  • Requires only a few simple ingredients
  • No need for excessive amounts of oil to get perfectly crispy chicken
  • This chicken pairs well with just about anything!
plated seasoned chicken

Ingredients Needed

  • Bone-in chicken thighs: I prefer this cut of meat over chicken breasts because the meat is juicier and more flavorful. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs but then you should reduce the cooking time by a few minutes on each side. This will prevent over-cooking which results in dry chicken.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This helps the seasoning stick to the chicken.
  • Lemon: Not only does this add flavor but it also tenderizes the chicken.

Dry Rub For Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

While you can season chicken thighs in so many ways, I love this combination of smoky and savory. It is a blend of common spices that you probably already have stashed in your pantry.

  • 3 tsp Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning 
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder 
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
seasoned chicken on a plate

How To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer? (Easy as 1,2,3!)

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with spices, lemon, and olive oil. 
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 15 minutes. Then, flip the chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
three vertical images of a step by step visual of how to make chicken thighs in the air fryer

Want to make your chicken thighs extra extra crispy? 

Use these methods:

  • Before seasoning the chicken, pat it dry; removing as much moisture as possible. Cut off any excess skin with kitchen shears.
  • Add a tablespoon of baking powder when seasoning the chicken. The baking powder helps to dry out the skin, resulting in super crispy chicken skin when cooked. Be sure to use aluminum-free baking powder NOT baking soda.
  • Make sure the chicken thighs are evenly coated in the oil when adding the seasoning. Then spray the air fryer basket lightly with cooking spray before adding the chicken. This helps get the skin super crispy and prevents it from sticking to the basket.
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer. Leave some room in between the chicken pieces to allow the skin to get crispy.
close up of air fryer chicken

Tips For Making The Best Crispy Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer

  • For the best results, thaw the chicken first before cooking in the air fryer.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer skin side down first but remember to flip them mid-way so that the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Let the chicken marinate in spices, olive oil, and lemon for at least 30 minutes. You’ll be happy you did when you take a bit into this super flavorful, juicy chicken. 
  • While they are still hot, toss them in your favorite sauce. I recommend my sweet, tangy BBQ sauce.

What To Serve With These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

three pieces of honey cornbread stacked on one another
Honey Cornbread as a side dish for the air fryer chicken thighs

Storing Leftovers

Once they have completely cooled, place chicken thighs in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Want to store them for longer? Place the chicken in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the chicken thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Whole30 Air Fryer Chicken Thighs! 

Yes, these chicken thighs are whole30 compliant (and Paleo-friendly) as they are made with simple ingredients and a few spices! They are also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.

FAQ: Cooking Essentials

Are chicken thighs healthy?

Chicken thighs are a great source of protein and they contain vital nutrients like zinc and iron.

What temp for air fryer chicken thighs?

To get the perfect crispy skin and juicy interior, cook the chicken thighs in the air fryer at 400°F. 

How long to cook boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer?

Boneless chicken thighs cook a bit faster than bone-in chicken thighs. Cook boneless chicken in a preheated air fryer of 400°F for 12-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. You can use a meat thermometer to check.

Can you cook frozen chicken thighs in an air fryer?

Yes. Cook frozen chicken thighs in a preheated air fryer at 380°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. 

How to reheat chicken thighs in the air fryer?

Reheat the chicken thighs in the air fryer at 375°F for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remember that the time may vary depending on whether the chicken thighs are bone-in or boneless. 

Four crispy chicken thighs with tomatoes and onions

I hope you enjoy this Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe! 

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes!

Plate of four crispy chicken thighs alongside roasted vegetables

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are full-flavored and cooked to perfection with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Made with a delicious dry rub, this quick and easy chicken recipe is convenient enough for a weeknight dinner or a healthy meal prep.
5 from 49 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 4 Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning 
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Onion powder
  • ½ tsp Salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp Ground black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 3 minutes. After preheating, spray with cooking spray.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Then. add the chicken thighs to a large bowl and cover with the spices, lemon, and olive oil. If time permits, let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minute. (Or you can make the chicken right away.)
  • Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin side down, for 15 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F.
  • Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Notes

Tips For Making The Best Crispy Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer
  • For the best results, thaw the chicken first before cooking in the air fryer.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer skin side down first but remember to flip them mid-way so that the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Let the chicken marinate in spices, olive oil, and lemon for at least 30 minutes. You’ll be happy you did when you take a bit into this super flavorful, juicy chicken. 
  • While they are still hot, toss them in your favorite sauce. I recommend my sweet, tangy BBQ sauce.
**Please note that different air fryers can cook slightly differently at the same air fryer temperatures. You may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature according to the brand you are using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.4g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 1.1g | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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11 comments

Kayla DiMaggio July 27, 2022 - 6:52 am

5 stars
I am really wary of making chicken in my air fryer, I have this overwhelming fear of it being undercooked. However, I tried this recipe and it was SPOT ON. It was so amazing and delicious, the whole family raved!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 27, 2022 - 6:54 am

Hi Kalya! I am so happy to ease your worries and that you found the recipe helpful! Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

Reply
Gloria July 27, 2022 - 6:55 am

5 stars
Chicken thighs are the best part of the bird. These look juicy and crispy at the same time. My family will love them.

Reply
Capri Lilly July 27, 2022 - 7:17 am

Yes, definitely the best part! Enjoy! 🙂

Reply
Giangi Townsend July 27, 2022 - 11:17 am

5 stars
I love chicken thighs and your recipe is absolutely amazing and super easy to follow. Thank you, my family and I love it.

Reply
Capri Lilly July 28, 2022 - 4:01 am

Thank you!! I am happy to hear you and your family loved the recipe!

Reply
nancy July 27, 2022 - 4:32 pm

5 stars
fantastic and super juicy !!

Reply
Brianna May August 1, 2022 - 9:02 am

5 stars
The air fryer is the only way I will make chicken thighs! This recipe was perfect. I love how crispy the skin got.

Reply
Capri Lilly August 2, 2022 - 12:31 pm

I totally agree! It turns out great every time 🙂

Reply
Chandrika Wilkins August 3, 2022 - 3:23 am

Hi I want to try but I’m curious for using the baking powder do I put it on the chicken before the seasoning and oil?

Reply
Capri Lilly August 4, 2022 - 9:15 am

Hi! Yes, I listed a few tips under methods to make extra crispy chicken. You can add the baking powder when you add the seasonings. I like to add it first, then add the seasonings and lastly the oil. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Reply

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