Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs


Check out a fresh spin on an old classic that requires almost no effort and gives you chicken thighs like you’ve never tasted before.

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

If you’ve never cooked chicken thighs in an air fryer before, it’s about to become your new favorite thing. You don’t have to fire up the oven. You don’t have to worry about grease splashing out of the frying pan. You don’t even have to spend a lot of time doing prep work or cleanup. The air fryer is going to end up doing most of the work for you. Afterward, you’ll never want to prepare chicken any other way.

Did we mention it’s going to taste great too? That’s a big part of why this recipe rocks if you want to prepare a quick and easy meal for 4-6 people. If you follow the recipe, you’ll end up with chicken thighs that are the right amount of crispy on the outside but full of flavor on the inside. The kicker is that the air fryer will give you a much healthier meal than if you prepare the chicken on the stove because it eliminates so much oil and grease.

As we said, by following the recipe, you’ll get chicken that tastes good and has the right amount of crisp on the outside while also giving the kitchen a delightful aroma. But the beauty of this recipe is that it’s easy to swap out the paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder for other spices. You can mix whatever spices you want and rub them onto the chicken before putting them in the air fryer. In other words, you can use this recipe as a guide for creating any variety of chicken thighs you want.If a healthy chicken is your end game, we can also recommend a healthy homemade orange chicken or a mango chicken what cauliflower rice if you’re feeling a little more ambitious. However, you want something that’s simple to prepare, prepare these chicken thighs in the air fryer or try this cashew chicken sheet pan dinner.

Are Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Healthy?

When it comes to making chicken, using an air fryer is usually the healthier option. The air fryer cuts out most of the oil that you’ll have with traditional fried chicken. This helps to reduce the amount of fat, helping to emphasize the lean protein the chicken provides. Any spices that you add could potentially have health benefits. But the chicken itself will be low in carbs and low in calories if you prepare it in an air fryer.

Keep the Chicken Bone and the Skin

Conventional wisdom might tell you to debone the chicken thighs before cooking them to help make them a little crispier. But this recipe calls to keep the bone in the chicken thigh because that will help the chicken stay moist. Likewise, it’s important to leave the skin on the chicken thighs. Some people believe that chicken skin is unhealthy, but it’s actually high in unsaturated fats, which is what doctors call good fat. Plus, in the air fryer, the skin is what is going to make the chicken crispy and retain the flavor of the spices you rub onto the surface.


  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs such as thyme or oregano
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs



Brighten up the chicken thighs with a splash of lemon and coat them generously with a blend of savory spices.

Air Fry

Lay the seasoned chicken in the air fryer, skin side down, and let it cook until the skin starts to turn crispy.

Flip & Finish

Turn the thighs over to crisp up the skin on the other side, ensuring a perfectly cooked and golden-brown result.

Rest & Serve

Allow the chicken to rest, enhancing its juiciness, then serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon for an extra pop of flavor. Enjoy a wholesome and satisfying meal that’s effortlessly prepared and perfectly aligned with a healthy, active lifestyle.


Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

If you have some leftover chicken thighs once your meal is over, place them in an airtight container and stick them in the refrigerator. They should be good for up for 4 days. For long-term storage, leftover chicken thighs will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you freeze them, make sure they thaw in the fridge overnight. Either way, the best thing you can do is to put the leftovers back in the air fryer on reheat mode.

Is it okay to put raw chicken in an air fryer?

Yes. As long as you cook the chicken at the proper temperature for the right amount of time, there’s nothing wrong with cooking raw chicken in an air fryer.

How do I make sure the chicken ends up crispy?

To keep chicken crispy, dry the outside and then add oil to help the spices you use stick to it. Just try not to use too much oil.

What kind of spices work best with this recipe?

Honestly, whatever spices you like. Pepper and paprika are the obvious choices. But cayenne, cracked black pepper, oregano, buffalo, and countless other spices can work just as well.

Do I have to cook in batches?

Maybe. You’ll want to avoid overcrowding inside the air fryer. Depending on how many chicken thighs you have and the size of the air fryer, multiple batches may be necessary.

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Serving Suggestions

Any normal side dish that goes well with fried chicken will be a great complement to this recipe. It could be as simple as a side salad, mac and cheese, or even green beans. If you want to make the meal extra special or you have a little more time, a three bean Mexican corn black bean salad is more than worth the effort. You also can’t go wrong with a serving of healthy mashed potatoes.

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs


Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Check out a fresh spin on an old classic that requires almost no effort and gives you chicken thighs like you’ve never tasted before.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 256kcal
Author FoodFaithFitness


  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs such as thyme or oregano


  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. This ensures the chicken will start cooking immediately on a high heat, giving its crispy skin.
  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the chicken thighs. Evenly sprinkle the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, and dried herbs over both sides of the chicken. Gently rub the seasonings into the skin and meat to infuse the flavors.
    Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
  • Arrange the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down, taking care not to overcrowd the basket for even cooking. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes.
    Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
  • After 12 minutes, carefully flip the chicken thighs using tongs to ensure the skin gets evenly crispy. Continue to air fry for another 12 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown, the skin is crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when checked with a meat thermometer.
    Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve the chicken thighs with a fresh squeeze of the remaining lemon half. DEVOUR!
    Easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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