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You’ll love this air fryer chicken thighs recipe that is ready to eat in as little as 20 minutes, with minimal prep. Making chicken thighs in the air fryer is very similar to air fryer chicken legs or air fryer chicken breast, and you can make them using bone-in thighs or boneless. Try them for an easy dinner or meal prep them for a healthy lunch.
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Flavorful, juicy chicken
- Perfectly crispy skin
- Just 5 minutes prep time
- Cooks in less than 20 minutes
- Healthy chicken dinner
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the ingredients for the best air fryer chicken thighs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken Thighs – For the best flavor, use bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on. Boneless chicken thighs would also work for this recipe, but the cook time would be much faster (see time recommendations below). If possible, choose chicken thighs that are similar in size, so that they cook at the same rate.
- Avocado Oil – Oil makes the skin crispy and helps the seasoning stick. Olive oil also works.
- Spices – Sea salt, dried thyme leaves (or substitute dried oregano or rosemary), smoked paprika (or sweet paprika will work), garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
VARIATIONS: Try different seasoning blends!
Italian seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, or Cajun seasoning are all delicious on air fryer bone-in chicken thighs. You could also use pork chop seasoning, which is equally great on chicken. If you use a seasoning blend that doesn’t contain salt, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of bone-in thighs.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to make air fryer chicken thighs with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season chicken. Place the raw chicken thighs into a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt, dried thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Mix to coat.
- Arrange. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, cooking in batches if necessary to avoid crowding. (You want some space between the pieces.)
- Air fry. Cook the chicken in the air fryer, flipping halfway through cooking.
- Rest. Remove the basket and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving, which lets the juices settle so that your chicken is more juicy.
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer?
Bone-in chicken thighs in the air fryer take about 15-20 minutes. Boneless thighs will take about 12-14 minutes.
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer?
Yes, you can air fry frozen chicken thighs. Cook time will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the thigh.
Tips For The Best Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Follow these tips for the best air fried chicken thighs:
- Pat the chicken skin dry. Drying the chicken with a paper towel before seasoning ensures the chicken will get crispy.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Leave some room in between the chicken pieces to allow the skin to get crispy.
- Flip halfway through. Flipping the chicken helps it cook more evenly. It doesn’t really matter, though, if you place it skin side down first or skin side up.
- Use a meat thermometer. For the juiciest results, cook air fryer chicken thighs to an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees F. (They are safe to eat at 165 degrees F, but cooking them to this higher temperature helps break down connective tissue, which will result in a juicier, more tender chicken thigh.)
- Store: Keep leftovers in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Warm up the chicken thighs in the air fryer again (I find 350 works best for reheating), or in a 350 degree F oven.
- Freeze: Wrap chicken tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn, place in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What To Serve With Air Fried Chicken Thighs
Serve air fryer chicken thighs with a healthy side dish. Here are some reader favorite side dishes:
- Air Fryer Sides – If you want to make your entire meal in the air fryer, you can! Tent the chicken with foil and then quickly make crispy air fryer broccoli, tender air fryer green beans, or honey glazed air fryer carrots.
- Vegetables – If you’d rather cook your veggies at the same time while you have the chicken thighs in the air fryer, try garlicky sauteed mushrooms, crispy smashed brussels sprouts, or simple roasted cauliflower.
- Potatoes – Make it a comfort food meal with air fryer baked potatoes (cook them first as they’ll stay warm for longer than the air fried chicken thighs), roasted sweet potatoes, or even Greek lemon potatoes.
- Salads – Try creamy cucumber salad, 5-ingredient BLT salad, or warm spinach bacon salad.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you like this recipe, you might also like some of these other chicken recipes made in the air fryer:
- Air Fryer – I’ve tried a few air fryers and this one is by far the best. The basket is large, while the whole appliance is compact.
- Instant-Read Thermometer – Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken thighs are cooked perfectly!
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air fryer chicken thighs are super juicy, with crispy skin, all in 20 minutes! Make them with simple ingredients like oil, herbs, and spices.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Place the chicken thighs into a large bowl. Drizzle with avocado oil and mix to coat.
Season the chicken with salt, dried thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Mix again to coat.
Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer in a single layer, so that they are only minimally touching each other, if at all. (Do this in batches if needed; do not crowd the air fryer basket.)
Air fry bone-in chicken thighs for 15-20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees F. (Alternatively, for boneless chicken thighs, air fry for 12-14 minutes.)
Remove the chicken from the air fryer and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Serving size: 1 chicken thigh
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Help! why can I not get my chicken to crisp up in my air fryer/toaster oven? Marj
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Marj, Make sure you don’t over crowd your air fryer that will help with making the skin crispy. Also cooking at a slightly higher temperature could give the chicken skin a better texture.
This recipe is awesome. The flavor is great and the chicken was juicy. My granddaughter gave me her approval.
These were delicious! I’m still very new to air fryers, so I think I overcooked the thighs; also, some (I made 5) browned up much more beautifully than others…. Was that because they were not fully dry? Thanks again, Maya, for a wonderful keto recipe! Strawberry muffins tomorrow!
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Katy, Yes, that could have made a difference in the color of the chicken thighs.
Juicy, crispy deliciousness! Loved the thyme and smoked paprika. They really amped up the flavor.
Sooooo good. I could eat skin-on chicken thighs every single day! These cooked perfectly in my air fryer, and we served them with some cauliflower mash.
The chicken skin was so nice and crispy and the inside of the chicken was incredibly juicy! It turned out incredible! Will be making again! Also yes get the air fryer liners! Such a lifesaver!
I made these along with your air fryer carrots for dinner last night. It all turned out great! Thanks for the easy to follow recipes!
These thighs are absolutely perfectly cooked. Great recipe and so fast!! Juicy chicken too.
Yes, you can buy the parchment air fryer liners for square are round ones I love them, especially the ones made like bowls all the grease goes in them no mess at all try them I think you will love them flat ones are great also.
I’m wondering how you keep the air fryer from filling up w the drippings. Last time I cooked air fryer chicken thighs, I had a LOT of drippings left behind. What a mess to clean up! 😕
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Carol, Unfortunately, that happens when using an air fryer, next time you could try an air fryer liner.
Just love your recipe for the air fried chicken thighs. Made it, and will make again.
Fabulous recipe! Thanks for posting!
Maya, can I do breasts and thighs together?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Eric, Yes, that would work.
OMG! Another good one, Maya! I absolutely love this seasoning mix. I am thinking of quadrupling putting it in a single container so I can use it as my go-to for chicken.
Worked perfectly, done from frozen.
Delicious Recipe! My husband and I have made this a weekly go to! Thanks for sharing!
Nice and easy. I enjoyed this simple recipe, the chicken came out juicy and flavorful.
George S Horn0
Mixing dry ingredients together, beforehand, will give an even coating, and assure flavor profile is same throughout. The use of the lemon as garnish is a good idea, because dark meat can be bitter and the lemon can help to cut bitterness. Maybe you should explain the lemon so others can either use or omit.-GSH
This recipe came out so well, it will be a weekly item. I used boneless thighs and it was great!
Wow! Thanks! I was wondering about boneless 🙂
This was so delicious! My kids could not stop eating it!!
Loved the flavor of these – the spices were perfect! And so easy to make in the air fryer – I’ll be making these again for sure!
The best thing about fried chicken is the crispy skin. Thanks so much fro showing me just how to achieve that in my air fryer! This chicken was delicious!
My kiddos love munching on these because the outside is so crispy!
I love this Air Fryer Chicken recipe!! With your step by step instructions, my chicken thighs turned out perfect and they were so easy to make.
My picky eaters love this!! It’s tasty & juicy! The air fryer makes it so easy!
Yum- so juicy and delicious. Easy to make – I recommend this recipe!
I love how easy it is to make air fryer chicken thighs!
Just got a new air fryer and this recipe was first on my list to make! It was SO delicious. The skin was super flavorful and crispy and the chicken was perfectly moist and tender on the inside. Definitely making again!
What a great way to cook chicken thighs. The excess oil dripped off and they were perfectly tender and juicy.
These chicken thighs are the best! Loved how easy they were to make, and they were so crispy and flavorful!
Perfectly tender, juicy, & they are so tasty!! Good thing I have a ton of chicken…on the menu this week!
This recipe has the perfect balance of crispy outside and juicy inside, thank you for sharing this recipe!
I love that this is quick and so easy to make! It is so tasty and delicious!