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:

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe

5 from 17 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's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Judy
    June 19, 2024

    I tried your recipe for the first time, and my family and I loved it so much!!❤️ it has become our home favorite. Thanks Natasha😊

    Reply

  • Ann
    May 27, 2024

    We live in an RV in Yellowstone National Park, so I’ve been learning to cook main dishes in my small air fryer. This dish was fabulous and I won’t hesitate to make it again. Small adjustments needed to be made because I have a smaller air fryer, otherwise the ingredients stayed the same . Very, very good!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 27, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Ann! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!

      Reply

  • Mark
    May 20, 2024

    Best chicken thighs I’ve tasted. I have cooked this several times. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 20, 2024

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Mark!

      Reply

  • Jan Vaitkus
    April 2, 2024

    You have helped me so much.
    I have not found a bad or hard recipe.
    Thank You

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 2, 2024

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Jan. I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Aeil
    March 24, 2024

    Thanks again for a wonderful recipe
    Five stars and two thumbs up 👍👍

    Reply

  • Lorraine Amos
    March 23, 2024

    My family loved this recipe !!! I did remove the skin first and followed the recipe my chicken was delicious and juicy . Thank you ❤️

    Reply

  • 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

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