This Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe is quick and easy with just 5 minutes of prep time to make the best crispy air fryer chicken thighs. Made with minimal seasonings, these flavorful chicken thighs cook in the air fryer and come out crispy on the outside and so juicy on the inside.
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Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer Bone-In
Chicken thighs in the air fryer with bone-in are so easy to make and always come out perfectly crispy and juicy with this recipe. The bone adds a lot of flavor along with simple spices and minimal kitchen prep time and you can have a delicious chicken dinner for the family on any busy week night.
Not only are chicken thighs cheaper to buy than chicken breasts but they have more flavor and the perfectly spiced skin tastes amazing. You can also enjoy them without the skin if you want to cut the calories but the seasoned skin is so good!!!
I find myself using the air fryer more and more since it uses so much less oil than frying and really is so easy to use for perfectly browned chicken every time.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy air fryer chicken thighs
- Just 5 minutes of prep time
- Simple ingredients that add so much flavor
- Perfect chicken dinner on any busy night
- Budget-friendly chicken recipe
- Chicken Thighs – 4 bone in skin on fresh chicken thighs as the bones help provide structure and so much flavor, while the skin is perfectly seasoned and delicious
- Olive Oil – provides flavor that helps to coat the skin to get that crispy texture and also binds the seasoning to the chicken
- Italian Seasoning – contains a blend of fragrant herbs and spices, that provide a balanced mix of flavors. It is an easy convenient way to season and enhance the overall taste of your chicken thighs
- Smoked Paprika – adds a mild heat and distinct smoky flavor along with a deep rich color to your spice mix
- Onion Powder – is an easy to way for an even distribution of onion seasoning for more flavor
- Garlic Powder – easy convenient way to get garlic flavor instead of using fresh garlic
- Lemon – adds a bright and acidic element to help balance the flavors
- Salt – sea salt enhances the flavor and texture which helps to season the chicken
- Pepper – fresh black pepper adds a distinctive robust flavor that enhances the overall flavor of this recipe
You can use any of your favorite spices in this chicken thighs recipe.
Substitute Italian seasoning by using a mix of oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary. Smoked paprika can be substituted for with regular paprika.
Can I make air fryer boneless chicken thighs?
Yes you can! Use this recipe to make boneless chicken thighs with skin on in the air fryer. When using boneless chicken thighs you will need to reduce the cooking time.
Step by step instructions for how to cook chicken thighs in an air fryer
You’ll also want to start with the skin side down then flip halfway through cooking. The skin side will crisp up during the second half of cooking.
STEP ONE – Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (or 204 degrees C).
STEP TWO – In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and smoked paprika. Using a fork or a whisk, stir to combine them all. Set aside.
STEP THREE – Prepare the chicken thighs by patting them dry and trimming off any excess fat and skin.
STEP FOUR – Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl.
STEP FIVE – Drizzle the oil over the top of the chicken thighs, along with the lemon zest and juice.
STEP SIX – Then sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the top of the chicken.
STEP SEVEN – Using your hands, rub the oil and spice mixture over all of the chicken thighs (front and back).
Optional step: Allow the chicken to sit with the lemon juice and spices to help marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes before cooking for an even more flavorful chicken thigh!
STEP EIGHT- Add the chicken thighs skin side down without touching each other into the air fryer basket.
STEP NINE – Cook the chicken thighs at 400 degrees F (or 204 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes. **The chicken thighs are done when an instant-read thermometer (or meat thermometer) reads 175 degrees F (or 79 degrees C).
STEP TEN – Remove the chicken from the air fryer and allow them to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Allowing them to sit for 5 minutes really helps keep the chicken thighs juicy!
One of the best things about chicken thighs recipes is how easy it is to mix up the spices and flavors you want to enjoy with them.
Air fryer Bbq chicken thighs using my amazing semi homemade bbq sauce in my slow cooker chicken thighs recipe.
You can also make air fryer chicken thighs breaded by using Panko or a teriyaki air fryer chicken thighs with soy sauce and a honey garlic air fryer chicken thighs using my sauce from my honey garlic pork chops.
What to serve with air fryer chicken thighs?
We love chicken thighs with salads and easy side dishes here are some of our favorite.
- Kale Salad
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
- Parmesan French Fries
- Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole
- Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Best Twice Baked Potatoes
- Crispy Air Fryer Tater Tots
- Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Top tips for making the best air fryer chicken thighs
- All air fryers cook a little differently so it is best to know your air fryer and adjust cooking times or watch closely
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket as you will want space in between each chicken thigh so the air flows and cooks your chicken thighs evenly
- Using similar sized chicken thighs will help the chicken cook and be done at the same time
- You can use parchment paper liners that fit your air fryer for easier cleanup and less sticking
- Make sure that the internal cooking temperature of the chicken thighs hits 165°F (or 74°C), using a thermometer insert it at the thickest part of the thigh (without hitting the bone) for safe eating.
How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer?
It takes about 20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.
Why are my chicken thighs not crispy?
If your chicken thigh does not come out crispy, you may have overcrowded the air fryer basket. You’ll want to make sure there is some room in between each chicken thigh for the best results.
How to reheat chicken thighs the 3 best ways?
Reheating chicken thighs in air fryer
To reheat the chicken in the air fryer, place the chicken in the air fryer basket and air fry at 350 °F for about 7 to 8 minutes. Check the temperature to make sure that the chicken has warmed throughout.
Reheating chicken thighs in microwave
To microwave, place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and microwave using 30 second intervals until it’s heated all the way through.
Reheating chicken thighs in oven
Reheat using an oven-safe dish at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated though. Watch closely so they do not dry out.
How to store leftover chicken things?
Store any leftover chicken thighs in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze cooked chicken thighs?
Yes you can! Freeze using a freezer-safe container for 2 to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.