Try lightly seasoned air fryer chicken thighs, a quick and delicious way to prepare chicken. Perfect as is, or easily adapted for any type of cuisine.
Ready in only twenty minutes, air fryer chicken thighs are a staple in my kitchen. Looking for a quick solution to dinner? With hardly any prep, and only twenty minutes in the air fryer, you can have dinner on the table in less time than it takes to call for take out. Add a quick salad, veggies, potatoes, or even cook up a box of mac and cheese. Dinner is served!
Or, add this simple cooked chicken to other recipes. Often recipes will call for adding “cooked chicken”, which is fine and dandy if you just happen to have some cooked chicken lying around, or maybe a rotisserie chicken. But honestly, unless I’ve been in a real meal-prepping mood, I usually need to cook the chicken before proceeding with the recipe. Air fryer chicken thighs can be the answer in this situation. Cooking them is mostly hands-off, although you do have to flip them once.
Whether you’re making air fryer chicken thighs the star of your meal, or including them in a more complicated recipe, you’ll find yourself turning to this easy cooking method often. I sure do!
About these air fryer chicken thighs:
This is a very simple recipe that easily can be customized to fit your needs. Here’s how to do it:
In a large bowl, coat approximately two pounds of chicken thighs with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with a seasoning mix. The one this recipe uses consists of sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Place the thighs in a single layer in your air fryer. You’ll probably have to cook the chicken in batches unless your air fryer is bigger than mine.
Time and temperature: Cook at 400°F for ten minutes, flip the chicken over, and cook for another ten minutes. That’s it!
You can eat the chicken as is, because it’s juicy and delicious.
Or cut it up and add it to recipes like cauliflower nachos or creamy chicken spaghetti. Add it to a tortilla with the fixings you like for a great chicken taco. Put it on a bun, with tomato, lettuce, and mayo for a delicious chicken sandwich. Add spaghetti sauce, and eat it with spaghetti. The possibilities are endless!
How long do you cook chicken thighs in the air fryer?
Twenty minutes is all it usually takes. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F and the juices should run clear, not bloody.
The cooking time does depend somewhat on the chicken you use. Bone-in chicken with skin will take just a little longer than boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Another factor that affects cooking time is the size of the thighs. Some of the thighs I’ve purchased are absolutely gigantic. I can hardly imagine the chicken that owned those thighs. Obviously, these will take a bit longer to cook.
How to make these chicken thighs your own:
This is a pretty basic recipe. Use different seasonings to add flavor to the chicken thighs. Some suggestions:
- Barbecue rub: this blend of dark brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, celery seed, and cayenne pepper adds so much flavor.
- Taco seasoning: make your own with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.
- Curry powder: Season the chicken with curry and add it to rice and stir fry vegetables.
- Use your favorite seasoning blend. Just plain seasoned salt would be good or make it as spicy as you like it with pepper.
- Prefer chicken drumsticks? Try Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks.
- Or do you prefer white meat? Try boneless skinless Air Fryer Chicken Breasts.
Or you can add a sauce of your choice to the chicken after it’s cooked. Barbecue sauce, chili sauce, salsa, hoisin or plum sauce, Thai peanut sauce…you name it.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Leftover chicken, wrapped well, will last up to four days in the fridge or you can freeze it to use later. For best results, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, heat gently in the microwave or use it in a recipe.
Air Fryer magic!
It’s amazing how well everything seems to turn out in the air fryer! Try a few of my favorites:
- 4-6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (approx. 2 lbs.), see note
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Toss thighs with oil and then sprinkle and rub with spices. Place in air fryer in a single layer. If necessary, cook the chicken in batches.
- Cook for 10 minutes, turn thighs over, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Serve immediately.
- If desired, use boneless, skinless chicken thigh pieces.
- Approx. serving size: boneless skinless chicken thighs: ½ lb.; bone in skin on: ¾ lb.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.