These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are juicy, tender, crispy and perfectly seasoned! Making chicken thighs in the air fryer takes less than 25 minutes and they are so, so good. Serve with your favorite veggies and creamy mashed potatoes or mac and cheese for the ultimate delicious and easy dinner!
Ex-thigh-ted for chicken thigh recipes? Try my Creamy Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs, Greek Chicken (it’s even a sheet pan recipe!), or delicious Chicken Fricassee!
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
Another air fryer recipe that will completely change the way you cook! Is the air fryer the best kitchen invention of the century? It just might be. Make your life easier and save time by cooking up these amazing Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. No marinating, no oven preheating, no fuss. Just coat, rub, and air fry to perfection. Great for adding to pastas or serving with comforting classics like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese, or even carving up and adding some protein to your favorite salads! This recipe is as versatile as it is incredible!
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer
For this recipe, the chicken thighs will cook for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The length of time will largely be determined by the size of your thighs. The best way to determine how long to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer is to use a meat thermometer. You want the internal temperature of the chicken to reach 165°F.
Why You’ll Love These Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer
Why do I love these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs?
- The taste and texture. The chicken comes out crispy on the outside while staying juicy and tender on the inside! It’s truly the very best of both worlds.
- No marinating required. You can place the rub on the chicken and cook immediately. No having to wait around for a marinade to sink in and prolong dinner or prep work.
- Quick and easy. With just minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the air fryer, this is one of those easy dinner recipes that take hardly any time and are so worth the little effort required.
The Best Air Fryer Recipes
Love your air fryer as much as we do? These are some of our favorite, go-to air fryer recipes:
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer Bacon
- BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Baked Potato
- Air Fryer Shrimp
What You’ll Need
Juicy Chicken Thighs in the air fryer? Yes please! This is is one of our favorite ways to cook chicken thighs. The chicken comes out so delicious and juicy and takes hardly any prep time at all. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
- chicken thighs – I prefer to use bone in and skin on for the most flavor. You can of course use boneless, skinless thighs if you prefer.
- oil – The oil helps the seasoning to adhere to the chicken. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil for this recipe. You want to use an oil with a high smoke point.
- smoked paprika and paprika – That’s right, TWO paprikas for double the flavor! The smoked paprika adds so much flavor so don’t omit this ingredient.
- kosher or sea salt – Either works in this recipe so use what you have on hand.
- garlic powder – I like to use dried garlic powder instead of fresh garlic in the air fryer because I feel like fresh garlic has a tendency to burn and turn bitter. Add more if you prefer more garlic flavor.
- black pepper – I think lemon pepper is also a delicious addition to this dish!
- fresh parsley and lemon slices – Use these for optional garnishes before serving.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer
- Prep. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the fryer basket (or use an air fryer liner for less waste) and spray with your favorite cooking spray. This will make clean up SO easy! Pat the chicken thighs dry using a paper towel and be sure to get all sides.
- Season. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat the chicken in a bowl. Whisk the seasonings together in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning mix evenly over the chicken thighs and rub until you have an even coating on the meat.
- Air Fry. Set the thighs skin side down in a single layer inside the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the chicken in batches to avoid crowding the basket and ensuring the chicken cooks through.Cook the chicken for 9-11 minutes, flip, and continue cooking for an additional 9-11 minutes. The skin should be golden brown and crispy with the internal temperature of the chicken reaching a minimum of 160°F.
- Rest and Enjoy. Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer. Let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure nice and juicy thighs. Serve hot and ready with a garnish of fresh parsley and lemon slices. Enjoy!
You can store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. It’s best to reheat leftovers back in the air fryer or the oven to keep that crispy outside texture.
You can also freeze these chicken thighs in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely, overnight in the refrigerator, before reheating in your air fryer.
You sure can! This recipe is great to play around with when it comes to seasoning. Try something with more of a Cajun spice mix, BBQ blend or even some Greek seasoning! The method will stay the same when cooking so experiment and make this chicken work with whatever you have on the menu!
For best results, this chicken is the crispiest when made fresh or when you’re able to reheat in the air fryer or oven. However, it can be prepped in advance and will stay fresh after cooking for up to 4 days. To prep, go ahead and coat the thighs with the oil and seasoning mix and leave in a sealed bag until ready to air fry!
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has internally reached its safe to serve temperature.
- Try preheating your air fryer to get extra crispy skin.
- Don’t skip patting the chicken thighs dry. The extra moisture won’t allow the skin to crisp up like we want and it also will repel the oil which means the seasoning won’t adhere to the skin.
- Customize your seasoning blend or adjust the ingredients to your taste.
Need A Side To Go With Your Thighs?
Here are some of our favorite side dishes to serve alongside these chicken thighs:
- Pea Salad
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Mashed Potatoes
- Nana’s Famous Green Bean Recipe
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or another oil with a high-smoke point
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper lemon pepper is also delicious in this recipe
- parsley freshly choped
- lemon slices or lemon wedges
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Use an air fryer liner or cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the air fryer basket. Spray with cooking spray (use a high smoke point cooking spray like avocado oil), if desired.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry on both sides with paper towels and then place them in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the thighs with the oil and toss to coat the chicken evenly.
- Whisk together the smoked paprika, paprika, salt, garlic powder and black pepper in a small bowl and then sprinkle the seasoning evenly all over the chicken thighs. Rub the seasoning into the chicken until evenly coated.
- Place the thighs, skin side down, in a single layer, on the prepared liner or parchment paper (if using) in the air fryer basket. The chicken should not be touching so you may need to cook the chicken in multiple batches.
- Air fry the chicken for 9 to 11 minutes, flip the chicken over and continue cooking for another 9 to 11 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the chicken has reached a minimum of 160°F internally, use a meat thermometer.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. (The chicken will continue cooking after removed, to the FDA recommended 165°F internal temperature.)
- Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley and/or lemon slices, optional.
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