Our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are juicy on the inside and perfectly seasoned and crispy on the outside. This easy dinner idea is ready in a fraction of the time it takes to bake chicken thighs in the oven! 

Air frying is one of our favorite methods for cooking healthy weeknight meals. We love recreating our favorite recipes in the air fryer, from crispy Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes to Air Fryer Chicken Wings, and of course this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs. The air fryer is well-loved in our home.

Four air fryer chicken things on a white plate garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

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Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

This is our go-to, never-fail recipe for perfectly juicy air fryer chicken thighs. These thighs turn out delectably tender throughout with crisp, well-seasoned skins, ready in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven. We love Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs (and Grilled Chicken Thighs), but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in an evening. That’s when we turn to this air fryer recipe.

Air-fried chicken thighs are easy, flavorful, and perfect to serve with just about any side, from rice to veggies. Plus, the leftover chicken keeps well, perfect for healthy meal prep ideas and lunches all week long. Serve your chicken thighs with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and a Garden Salad for a flavorful and memorable meal.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Video

Watch Natasha air fry chicken thighs seasoned with a savory blend of herbs and spices. The air fryer is the best method for irresistibly crispy chicken! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Fast and Easy – Chicken thighs cook up quickly in the air fryer, and there’s hardly any cleanup.
  • Kid-Friendly – These chicken thighs are very flavorful and not spicy which our kids appreciate.
  • Great for Meal Prep – Air fryer chicken thighs are perfect to prepare ahead. You can refrigerate them uncooked in the seasoning rub, or store leftover cooked chicken for easy lunches.

Ingredients

Below is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make these perfectly seasoned air fryer chicken thighs. Remember to refer to the print-friendly recipe card below for the full amounts and details.

  • Chicken Thighs – We love using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. Look for chicken that’s air chilled, free-range and/or organic for the best flavor and freshness.
  • Olive Oil – Use good-quality olive oil or avocado oil for coating the chicken thighs. Oil helps the seasonings stick and also makes the skins crisp up nice and golden.
  • Seasoning – We season our chicken thighs with a blend of garlic powder, fresh or smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Simple, yet so delicious.
  • Garnish – Add a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley to the cooked chicken for a pop of green.
The ingredients for making chicken thighs in the air fryer.

Pro Tip: You can use boneless chicken thighs instead of bone-in thighs. However, you’ll need to shorten the cooking time (see the Common Questions section).

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer

Sometimes the simplest recipes truly are the best. Here’s how easy it is to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer: 

  1. Mix the Seasoning Rub – First, stir together the seasonings with olive oil.
  2. Prepare the Chicken – Brush the tops of the chicken with half of the seasoning blend, then flip and coat the underside. Place the chicken thighs into the basket of your air fryer, skin-side-down. Make sure to leave enough space between the thighs to allow the hot air to circulate.
  3. Cook – Air-fry the chicken thighs at 375ºF for 18-22 minutes (see tip below). Flip your thighs halfway through the cooking time to ensure the thighs are evenly cooked throughout.
  4. Rest – Lastly, transfer your cooked chicken thighs to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes before garnishing and serving.
Photo collage showing the process of making the seasoning rub and preparing the chicken thighs for the air fryer.

Pro Tip: The cooking times for chicken thighs can vary depending on the size and style of your air fryer and the size of the thighs themselves. Toaster-oven-style air fryers take about 18-20 minutes, while a basket-style air fryer will take about 20-22 minutes. Check the chicken for doneness as it nears the earliest suggested cooking time, and go from there.

Common Questions

How to test chicken thighs for doneness?

Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the chicken without touching the bone. The internal temperature should reach at least 165ºF (I prefer letting dark meat chicken go to 175˚F).

Can I use boneless skinless chicken thighs?

Yes, but you’ll need to reduce the air frying time to 12-15 minutes for boneless chicken thighs. Remember to flip halfway through as usual, and check that the internal temperature reaches at least 165ºF.

Why let the chicken rest after cooking?

Just like steak, chicken needs to rest after it’s cooked (at least 5 minutes) to let the juices redistribute throughout the thighs.

Should I rinse my chicken thighs?

The USDA suggests not rinsing chicken as it can spread bacteria in your kitchen. Instead, pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.

Four cooked air fryer chicken thighs in the air fryer basket.

Variations

This straightforward chicken thighs recipe leaves lots of room for variations. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Seasoning – Change up the seasoning blend with other spices like onion powder, cayenne, Cajun spice, and fajita seasoning from our Chicken Fajitas, or even Taco Seasoning. It’s also delicious with the seasoning from our Lemon Pepper Wings.
  • Herbs – Instead of parsley, sprinkle over fresh rosemary, thyme, or chopped cilantro. You can also try dried herbs like dried parsley, basil, and oregano.
Close up of four cooked air fryer chicken thighs in the air fryer basket.

What to Serve with Chicken Thighs

Chicken dinners are on regular rotation in our house. There are so many ways to make juicy air fryer chicken into a healthy family meal:

Make-Ahead

Whether you are marinating ahead, or cooking ahead, these air fryer chicken thighs keep well. Here’s how to store them:

  • Marinating Chicken in Advance: Add the thighs to a zip-top bag along with the seasoning. Give it a good shake to coat, then press out the excess air and place the sealed bag into the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to cook it, cook in the air fryer as directed.
  • To Refrigerate: Store your cooked chicken thighs airtight and refrigerate them for up to 3-4 days. We like to remove the bones and add cold leftover chicken to rice bowls, salads, or sandwiches.
  • Reheating: Reheat chicken thighs either in the air fryer or covered in the oven at 350ºF until warmed throughout. 
  • To Freeze: Store the cooked chicken thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze them for up to 2-4 months. Thaw the chicken completely in the fridge before reheating and serving.
A forkful of cooked chicken thigh cut away from the the rest of the thigh on a plate.

We love using our air fryer all year round as a quick and convenient alternative to baked recipes. These air-fried chicken thighs come out so incredibly tender and full of flavor, you’ll want to make them every week!

More Air Fryer Recipes

The air fryer is our most-used small kitchen appliance. We love it so much we have two! If you love this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs, try these other delicious air fryer ideas:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe

5 from 16 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs served on a plate with parsley garnish
Air fryer chicken thighs are juicy on the inside, seasoned and crispy on the outside, and ready in a fraction of the time it takes to bake chicken thighs in the oven.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 4 servings

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add the olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir together to make a paste.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels and set it in the basket of your air fryer or on a plate. Brush half of the seasoning mix onto the chicken then flip and brush the second side evenly. Alternatively, you can shake the chicken in a zip-top bag with the seasoning (which is great if marinating ahead). Set the chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer, skin-side-down.
  • Air fry at 375ºF for 18-22 minutes (flipping halfway). Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF at the thickest point on an instant-read thermometer. Cook times may vary depending on your air fryer and the size of your chicken thighs (see note).
  • Once cooked through, transfer to a plate and rest for 5 minutes then garnish with chopped parsley if desired and serve.

Notes

Toaster-oven-style air fryers will cook the thighs in about 18-20 minutes. Basket-style air fryers take 20-22 minutes.

Nutrition Per Serving

353kcal Calories2g Carbs24g Protein28g Fat7g Saturated Fat5g Polyunsaturated Fat13g Monounsaturated Fat0.1g Trans Fat142mg Cholesterol694mg Sodium325mg Potassium0.5g Fiber0.1g Sugar368IU Vitamin A0.03mg Vitamin C22mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
353
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
28
g
43
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
13
g
Cholesterol
 
142
mg
47
%
Sodium
 
694
mg
30
%
Potassium
 
325
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
2
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.5
g
2
%
Sugar
 
0.1
g
0
%
Protein
 
24
g
48
%
Vitamin A
 
368
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
0.03
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
22
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer chicken thighs, chicken thighs in air fryer
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 353

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Sue leoniy
    January 26, 2024

    hi I made the air fryer chicken thighs last light I was skeptical being the first time I used fryer but your recipe was spot on thank you your recipes are both easy and quick to follow love them

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 26, 2024

      Hi Sue! That’s wonderful to hear. So glad you are enjoying the recipes.

      Reply

  • Thao
    January 16, 2024

    Quick, easy and so delicious!

    Thank you so much for the recipe, Natasha ❣️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 16, 2024

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply

  • Mardi
    November 1, 2023

    I like the flavor that you get from these quick ingredients. Excellent cooking instructions. Turn out perfect!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 1, 2023

      Hi Mardi! Thank you for trying my recipe! I’m glad it was enjoyed!

      Reply

  • Amanda
    September 12, 2023

    My picky eaters LOVE this recipe! It is delicious and everyone I have made it for loves it.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 12, 2023

      That is the best when our picky eaters love what we moms make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Adrienne Wright
    September 11, 2023

    I have a ninja Foodi air fryer and I can’t wait to try it. Don’t know if anyone else has tried it in theirs if so let me know. It shouldn’t matter, but after I do try it I will write another comment. I’ve tried other recipes of yours and they’re great, thanks Natasha.

    Reply

  • Robert
    September 2, 2023

    Made this for dinner in my instant pot air fryer conversion and it came out great. Time and temp had to be adjusted to get crisp, but that was alright with me. The spice/oil rub made this a delicious tasting chicken. I think i found my new fried chicken.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 2, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Robert! Thanks for the feedback.

      Reply

  • JoAnn
    August 29, 2023

    Just made the chicken and it was delicious – a new regular. Also how ease in the air fryer, a plus. You are my go to for recipes and you never disappoint
    THX!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 29, 2023

      Thank you so much for your trust. I hope you’ll enjoy all the recipes that you will try!

      Reply

  • Becky D
    July 28, 2023

    I made this last night. It was delicious. My husband loved it. Would you recommend using smoked paprika in place of the regular Paprika?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 28, 2023

      Hi Becky! That’s wonderful. I think smoked paprika would work great too!

      Reply

  • Gerald L Riggleman
    June 20, 2023

    You are great on video. I really enjoy watching you and trying your recipes. Thank you for being you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 20, 2023

      Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Gerald!

      Reply

  • Cathi
    June 16, 2023

    What brand air fryer oven are you using, we are using the Nuwave Bravo smart oven and it has an air fryer mode and 11 others that we are loving, going to have to try this recipe out

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 17, 2023

      Hi Cathi! I hope you love the recipe!
      I have the air fryer linked in step 2 of the recipe card. It’s a Cuisinart brand. You can also find it on my amazon shop by click on “shop” at the top of the page.

      Reply

  • Ronna Mcneil
    June 16, 2023

    We have a Chefman a or fryer with ba sket and tray. What do you recommend? Also, how do you clean your basket and tray? I wash ours after every use but it still has stuff stuck on it that I have tried scrubbing off

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 17, 2023

      Hi Ronna! I’m not familiar with that. If your air fryer has a regular air fry mode, then I assume you can proceed with the instructions as written in this recipe. It may require some experimentation. You can also search online for the best cleaning methods for your air fryer. Sometimes, the manufacturer will have these instructions on their website. I hope that helps and I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Margie
    June 12, 2023

    I made these for the first time last night. They were so delicious. I’m new to air frying. I purchased the Cosori 5.8 qt that is listed in the appliances that Natasha uses. Couldn’t be happier. This one does not have a bad smell like another that I tried. And the clean up is easy. Can’t wait to try more of Natasha’s air fryer recipes.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 12, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Margie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Be sure to check out our air fryer category for some great ideas!

      Reply

  • Kevin Bogdanow
    June 7, 2023

    I made this tonight for dinner. It was very delicious. Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 7, 2023

      You’re welcome, Kevin. I’m glad that you enjoyed our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs recipe!

      Reply

  • Juliane Wonsul
    May 24, 2023

    I would like to try this with “skinless” thighs. Anybody have luck with that? What changes would be needed?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 24, 2023

      Hi Juliane! See my notes above under the “common questions” section.

      Reply

  • Kathy
    May 23, 2023

    LOVED this recipe. I prefer thighs over breasts. Very juicy.
    This definition PINNED as a Favorite ❤️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 23, 2023

      Thanks for sharing, Kathy! Good to know that this is one of your new favorite recipes.

      Reply

  • Lydia
    May 18, 2023

    Hi Nat ! Great recipe…we love the thighs but we also do drumsticks using the same recipe and they are so delicious also, thanks…oh ya..forgot to mention I tried the lemon pepper wings… delicious !! Thanks😃

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 18, 2023

      Hi Lydia! So glad you loved the recipes, thank you!

      Reply

  • Margi
    May 9, 2023

    I made you Air fryer Chicken, Oh my goodness it was delicious!
    I marinated in a clip lock bag so easy and no mess.
    Sorry we ate it before I thought to take a photo. 🥴
    Thanks Natasha for all your hard work and for sharing.
    Cheers. Margi.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 9, 2023

      Love it! Thanks a lot for this review, we’re glad that you enjoyed it and no worries about the pic. You can share next time!

      Reply

  • Cindy Sawin
    May 8, 2023

    Just made the air fryer thighs…fabulous! My husband loved it. Great to make ahead and use in a cold buffet with salads. I love your recipes 😍

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 8, 2023

      Hello Cindy, love that you’re both enjoying my recipes! Thanks a lot for your good comments and feedback.

      Reply

  • Olivia
    May 8, 2023

    I love how easy this was to make in the air fryer! The chicken thighs turned out perfect and were a hit with the whole family!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 8, 2023

      Easy recipes are our favorite! I’m so glad your family loved it, Olivia!

      Reply

  • Nesa
    May 7, 2023

    Love air fryer recipes. Can we use breast piece instead of chicken tight for this recipes? Do we have to keep the skin on?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 8, 2023

      Hi Nesa, we prefer thighs but I think that’s going to be fine too.

      Reply

  • Charlotte
    May 6, 2023

    Just fixed these chicken thighs this evening, and my oh my, it made a wonderful dinner. The seasoning mix was excellent – so yummy. Thank you so much – I will be making this quite often as it’s so easy and so delish!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 8, 2023

      You’re welcome, great to hear that you loved it!

      Reply

  • Anahera Sebi
    May 6, 2023

    Hey. Do you know how to make chocolate using cacao pods?? Would be great if you shared with us. Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 6, 2023

      Hi Anahera! No, I do not have a recipe for that, sorry.

      Reply

  • Sharina
    May 5, 2023

    Kids love these air fryer chicken thighs! They were perfectly seasoned and cooked – thanks to the air fryer, sooo easy! Such a keeper!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2023

      That is the best when kids love what we parents make. That’s so great, Sharina!

      Reply

  • Donna
    May 5, 2023

    Can you please tell me 375 for 10 minutes and then you flip it and then you air fry it for 10 more minutes so it’s 20 minutes total I don’t understand when they say halfway?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2023

      Hi Donna, the recipe says, “Air-fry the chicken thighs at 375ºF for 18-22 minutes (see tip below). Flip your thighs halfway through the cooking time to ensure the thighs are evenly cooked throughout.” So you would flip them halfway through the 18-22 air-fry time. Let the chicken thighs air fry for about 10 minutes, flip them, and bake them again for about 10 minutes (example if baking for 20 minutes total). I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Kristyn
    May 5, 2023

    What a beautiful, golden color!! The air fryer makes these an easy dinner that the whole family loves!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2023

      Truly the best you will try! THank you for your lovely review, Kristyn!

      Reply

  • Judy
    May 5, 2023

    This was delicious! Never go wrong with any of your recipes! You’re my go – to for everything I plan to make!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 5, 2023

      That’s so great to hear, Judy! Thank you.

      Reply

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