Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

5 from 26 votes

Cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer is so quick and easy! Perfectly juicy and crispy every time, serve with your favorite sides for an effortless weeknight meal.

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With minimal prep and only a 15-minute cooking time, these air fryer chicken thighs are perfect for an easy family weeknight meal. Chicken thighs can take a long time to cook on the stovetop and may require the oven sometimes. Air frying is faster, and easier and results in the crispiest and juiciest chicken every single time!

air fryer chicken thighs on a white plate
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Whether you’re a working parent with hungry kids to feed or just someone who appreciates a hassle-free meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor, this air fryer chicken thighs recipe is about to become your new fav! Try them with my favorite Garlic Smashed Potatoes!

“Yumma is my all-time favorite blogger. She’s never made a recipe I didn’t love, this is my go-to chicken for meal prep, and it makes eating throughout the busy week so easy & delicious! Thank you!!” Naya

Recipe at a glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Air Fryer
Key Flavor: Savory
Skill Level: Beginner


  • Flavors that fit: Air fryer chicken thighs can be easily adapted to fit your cravings; savory, sweet, Middle Eastern, Asian, or Mexican-inspired.
  • Huge time saver: A recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners or busy nights. Requires minimal prep and cleanup.
  • Fast cooking method: 15 minutes of cooking time brings juicy thighs to the table in half the time!
  • Budget friendly: Chicken thighs are one of the most underrated cuts of meat. That’s good for us in the long run, as it costs only a few dollars to put this meal together, and it’s still super tasty!

Ingredients to make air fryer chicken thighs

  • Chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are known for being the juiciest and most tender part of the chicken. I like to use skinless and boneless, but if you prefer skin-on and bone thighs, that’s fine too!
  • Seasonings: a warm and savory combination of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin.
  • Olive oil: Oil is used to help bind the seasonings to the chicken thighs.
  • Use Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs: These are also a popular choice to air fry and will be just as juicy and delicious. Air frying for a longer time may be necessary to account for the bone and create crispy skin.
  • Add fresh herbs: Sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, chives, green onions, or rosemary over your cooked chicken thighs before serving for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Marinade your chicken: Use the spices within the rest, or feel free to try my Yogurt Chicken Marinade or any of these tasty Chicken Marinade Recipes

How to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer

Mix together the spices and oil in a bowl and add the chicken thighs to it. Rub the mixture all over the thighs so that they are coated.

Chicken thighs rubbed in spices on a plate

Place the thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook. Flip the thighs over halfway through cooking. You can test one with a thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature is 165°F before serving.

Chicken thighs in an air fryer basket

“This was AMAZING!! As a busy SAHM of 2 under 5, Im always looking for easy wholesome recipes for my kiddos. THIS was just that! So good and so easy.” Shirley

Tips for making the best air fryer chicken thighs

  1. Use chicken thighs with skin on it for extra crispy edges. We prefer chicken thighs without skin, but if you have chicken thighs with skin on, you will have the crispiest texture on the outside and extremely juicy on the inside!
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel before adding to the spice mix. This will guarantee really crispy chicken. If they have too much moisture, they will steam and not get crispy.
  3. Use an instant read thermometer to perfectly cook the chicken. It should register at 165ºF. Undercooked chicken can be dangerous to eat and overcooked chicken can be dry, although because thighs contain more fat, they are harder to overcook.


These chicken thighs are a great protein to serve alongside a salad, veggie or potato side for a well balanced meal. Try them with:


Before storing, let the chicken thighs cool to room temperature. Once cooled place them in an airtight container or resealable bag for storage.

How long will air fryer chicken thighs last in the fridge?

When stored properly, leftover chicken thighs will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge. 

Can I freeze air fried chicken thighs?

Yes! Before storing, make sure to use a container or bag that is freezer-safe. To avoid the chicken sticking to other pieces, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then place the sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Once they become solid, you can put them in a storage container. Freeze for 2 to 3 months.

Reheating: Thaw chicken thighs in the fridge overnight. Once thawed you can reheat them back in the air fryer at 350 for 5-7 minutes until they’re heated through and crispy once again.

Frequently asked questions 

Why are my chicken thighs sticking to the air fryer basket?

If the air fryer basket isn’t properly greased, or the chicken isn’t oiled enough then the chicken can stick. Using a non stick spray or parchment paper liner will also help to prevent sticking. To prevent the chicken from tearing, only flip it once and avoid moving them after that first flip.

Can you make them ahead of time?

I like to serve these thighs as soon as they cooked so they are wonderfully juicy. If you have leftovers, let them cool and they will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can enjoy them shredded cold on top of a salad or you can reheat them in the air fryer to get them nice and crispy again.

Why did my chicken thighs turn out dry and overcooked?

Make sure to double check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs. Use an instant-read thermometer, and once the internal temp reaches 165 F, the chicken thighs are done and ready to enjoy.

These air fryer chicken thighs are now a permanent fixture on my weekly meal rotation. So quick and easy and I’m already planning on using different combinations of spices and flavors!

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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Cooking chicken thighs in an air fryer is so quick and easy! Perfectly juicy and crispy every time, serve with your favorite sides for an effortless weeknight meal.
5 from 26 votes
Servings 4 chicken thighs
Calories 206
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and olive oil. Add the chicken thighs to the seasoning mixture and rub the chicken thighs with it on both sides.
  • Arrange a single layer of the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket. Cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway, until cooked through, crispy and golden or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Serve immediately with a salad or a side of your choice.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, just place in the airfryer at 360°F for 2-3 minutes until heated through and crispy. You can also reheat in the microwave but the chicken won’t retain its crispy texture that way.
Equipment: I use the Skinnytaste by Vremi Air Fryer to make this recipe. It’s easy to use with guides on the appliance, easy to clean up and I’ve been very happy with the results!


Calories: 206kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 357mg, Potassium: 174mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 189IU, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Main Course

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Recipe Rating


  1. Audra H. says:

    Just made this tonight for my family. My 14 yr old son is like a younger version of Gordon Ramsey….my toughest critic! Well….I’ll tell you what….he gobbled down about 4 chicken thighs! My husband did too! Flavor was on point and sooo juicy! Highly recommend this recipe!!!

    1. Yumna says:

      Ha! So happy to hear these were a hit.

  2. Shirley says:

    This was AMAZING!! As a busy SAHM of 2 under 5, Im always looking for easy wholesome recipes for my kiddos. THIS was just that! So good and so easy

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much, Shirley! I am so glad you liked the chicken thighs! I can relate to you for sure, my kids are a little older now, but I remember trying to cook when they were little. Speed and efficiency for the win! If you like the Air Fryer, another kid-friendly and quick recipe I’d love for you to try is my Air Fryer French Toast!

  3. Naya Akel says:

    Yumma is my all time favorite blogger. She’s never made a recipe I didn’t love, this is my go to chicken for meal prep and it makes eating throughout the busy week so easy & delicious! Thank you!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That is so kind of you to say! Thank you so, so much!

  4. Nallely says:

    Second time making this chicken and I have to say it was even more delicious this time around! Super easy to put together for this busy mama of two. I adjusted recommended air fryer temp to 350 for 12 minutes since my air fryer can easily over cook things, the chicken was crispy and juicy. I really love this recipe!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I love that! That’s perfect. Yay!!