Home Dinner Chicken Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (+ Easy Recipe)

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs (+ Easy Recipe)

These air fryer chicken thighs are super juicy and insanely flavorful.

Thanks to the intense, circulating heat, the skin gets nice and crispy while the meat stays perfectly tender.

Trust me, there’s no better family dinner on a busy weeknight than air fryer chicken thighs.

Air fryer chicken thighs on plate with potatoes
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

How are air fryer chicken thighs better than oven-baked? Oh, let me count the ways!

First of all, they’re quick. It takes minutes for this little countertop appliance to heat up. So you can get dinner cooking in record time.

Add to that the minimal clean-up, and this is sure to become your new mid-meal meal.

Air-fried chicken thighs are so well seasoned and juicy, you don’t need any sauces or dips.

Better yet, they pair well with so many things! From air fryer tater tots for the kids to spicy noodles and rice, they’re a hit, no matter what you’re craving.

Seasoned chicken thighs inside an air fryer.


You only need three main ingredients for this recipe. That said, the “seasonings” section has more than one item.

But don’t worry! You don’t need anything exotic.

  • Chicken Thighs – Bone-in, skin-on thighs are the way to go here. They’re juicier and more flavorful boneless, skinless thighs.
  • Olive Oil – I know the point of an air fryer is not to use oil. But this is how you get that lovely crispy skin. If you don’t want the skin, skip the oil.
  • Seasonings – You’ll need a blend of garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Hello, flavor!

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Before we look at the steps, I should emphasize one thing:

Don’t skip the drying step. It helps the oil and seasonings stick to the skin for maximum flavor. And it ensures really crispy and delicious skin. 

You’ll find more details at the bottom of the post. But here’s the basic method:

1. Preheat the air fryer and prepare the chicken. Set the machine to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. 

2. Make the spice paste. Mix the seasonings with the oil, then rub it all over the thighs.

3. Fry the chicken. Place the thighs in a single layer, skin side down. Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Enjoy! Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. Serve it with your favorite sides, and tuck in! 

Air fryer chicken thigh garnished with chopped parsley

Recipe Variations and Seasonings

I kept this recipe simple because sometimes, simple is best.

After all, these chicken thighs are juicy and covered in crispy skin! They don’t need a lot to shine.

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Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak the recipe. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Follow the recipe as written, EXCEPT reduce the total fry time to 12-15 minutes. Remember to flip halfway through – about the 6-minute mark.
  • Cajun Chicken: Use a smoky, spicy Cajun or blackened seasoning mix. Add it to the existing spices or use it alone. 
  • Mexi-Lime Chicken: Skip the spice rub and use taco seasoning instead! Also, mix in the juice of 1 lime.
  • Barbecue: Follow the recipe as written until the halfway point when you flip the chicken. At this time, baste it with your favorite barbecue sauce. Add more barbecue sauce when it’s ready to serve. 
  • Garlic Parmesan Chicken: Omit the smoked paprika and add in more garlic powder and freshly grated Parmesan. Cook as directed, then top with more Parmesan for serving. 
  • Curry Chicken: Add curry powder to the existing spice mixture. It’s delicious! 
  • Make it spicy. Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the spice mixture. Or both!
Air fryer chicken thighs on plate with potatoes

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Air fryer chicken thighs are so versatile, you can serve them with practically anything! 

Below are some of my favorite options: 

How To Store

Air fryer chicken leftovers keep very well. Here’s how to do it. 

In the fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

In the freezer: Wrap the leftovers in plastic and foil. Then store in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 3 months. 

To reheat: Let frozen thighs thaw overnight in the fridge. Then, reheat them in the oven or the air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. 

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Quesadillas
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Air Fryer Pork Chops
Air Fryer Salmon
Air Fryer Dumplings

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Course: DinnerCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time



These easy air fryer chicken thighs are super juicy and insanely flavorful. Ready in a flash, the skin is crisp, and the meat is wonderfully tender.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 – 2 1/2 pounds)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Rub the spice paste all over both sides of the chicken thighs.
  • Arrange the thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, skin side down. Cook for 10 minutes, flip them over, and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius).
  • Take the chicken out of the air fryer and let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Serve with potatoes, salad, or your favorite dipping sauce.


  • For extra crispy skin: Brush the skin with more oil after flipping them in the basket.
  • For boneless, skinless thighs: Coat the meat with the spice mixture and oil, then cook at 375°F (190°C) for 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Thighs won’t fit in the air fryer basket without overlapping? Cook them in batches for the best results.
  • Thicker thighs will need to be in the air fryer longer. Be sure to check the internal temperature with a thermometer. It should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

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author avatar
Haley van der Ploeg
Haley van der Ploeg is a food writer and content creator for Insanely Good Recipes, where she authors blog posts, creates recipes, and crafts tantalizing photos.

Haley is passionate about food and its ability to gather people across cultures, languages, and generations. She believes everyone can learn to cook.

Most days, you can find Haley reading, baking elaborate cakes, and hosting get-togethers for friends and family. If Haley isn't home, she’s probably on a plane jetting off to exciting adventures and new cuisines.

She lives with her husband in the Netherlands and has taught him that vegetables *can* taste good.

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