Looking for an easy chicken dinner idea? Look no further because these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are delicious, quick, and seriously crispy! With plenty of garlic and herbs, air fried chicken thighs make for an amazing meal.
Easy, Crispy, Herbed Chicken Thighs
Baked chicken thighs are one of my go-to options for an easy, healthy-er, and tasty dinner that the entire household agrees on. Besides, basic baked chicken is so versatile, and goes well with everything, from soup to salad, so I can make it work with whatever sides I have on hand.
Some chicken recipes are awesome, but feel repetitive. Other chicken recipes might be easy, but aren’t always quick and practical. This recipe, though, is the best of all worlds! It guarantees perfectly crispy chicken with the best garlic-herb flavor, and it is the easiest thing ever to make – even on a VERY busy weeknight.
Best part of this chicken recipe is that the air fryer does most of the work! And, since you’re air-frying instead of using a conventional oven, the chicken gets done in record time. Like, barely 20 minutes cooking time!
Is Air Fried Chicken Healthier?
If you compare air-fried food to deep-fried food, the main advantage is that air fryers achieve that same crispy crunch without the need for large amounts of oil. This means that your food generally cooks up with less oil soaked into it, making the food less fatty and reducing the calorie counts by as much as 80 percent, depending on the ingredients! 🤯
Additionally, air-frying saves money and cleanup! There’s no question that deep-frying involves using generous amounts of oil, and can be a messy process. Air frying, on the other hand, is minimal in terms of cleanup, and only needs a little spritz of your favorite cooking oil or spray.
The Ingredients List
Now, chicken is nothing without seasoning! Here’s everything you’ll need, from the chicken down to the last herb (Hint: the list is surprisingly short).
- Chicken: Bone-in, skin-on thighs are super-flavorful, and are easy to cook without drying them out. Tip: To avoid those extra 100+ calories, remove the skin before consuming, but not before cooking. Keeping the skin on while cooking is probably the best way to preserve flavor and moisture.
- Oil: Olive oil is my favorite, but you could also use peanut oil, avocado oil, or any other neutral cooking oil that you like.
- Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings: Here’s where this chicken gets flavor blasted! Garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika bring out the best in simple baked chicken.
Let’s Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs!
Now for the easy, or should I say, even easier part! All you’ll need is an Air Fryer and your ingredients, plus about half an hour from start to finish. Let’s get to it.
- Prep the Air Fryer and the Chicken. Pat the chicken thighs dry with some clean paper towels, and set them aside.
- Season the Chicken. Combine your olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well, and then rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken thighs.
- Air-Fry the Chicken Thighs. Before cooking, lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-aerosol cooking spray. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down. (If the chicken thighs won’t all fit at the same time, you can cook them in batches.) Lightly spritz the chicken thighs with more oil, and air-fry for 8 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs, and cook for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until done. Chicken is done when the internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Cool and Serve. Remove the chicken from the air fryer, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
Want to know more about these easy air fryer chicken thighs? Great! Here are my absolute favorite tips and tricks to help turn out the crispiest, most flavorful dish ever.
- Cook Time: The cook time will depend on the size of your chicken thighs, so keep that in mind when cooking and always check for doneness before serving.
- Meat Thermometer: Speaking of checking for doneness, that’s easiest and most accurate when you use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer deeply into the meat, but do not let it touch the bone, or the temperature won’t be accurate. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can test the chicken for doneness by cutting deeply into the meat and pulling it away from the bone. If the meat comes away from the bone easily, and the juices run clear, the chicken is done. If you see pink or red, or the chicken feels rubbery and clings to the bone, it needs a bit more time to cook through.
- Crispier Chicken: If you like your chicken crispy, no problem! Just air-fry for another minute or two. You don’t have to worry about an extra minute or two drying out the meat, because chicken thighs are very forgiving!
- Non-Aerosol Spray: It’s best to use a non-aerosol cooking oil or spray when using your air fryer. Regular aerosol sprays sometimes contain materials that can damage the finish of your air fryer basket, over time. I like to use a high-heat oil like avocado oil, in a misting or spray bottle. These are available online, in home goods stores, and in many grocery stores.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Crispy chicken is good, but it really shines when you add a tasty side dish or two. From creamy pasta to a crisp chopped salad, here are a few of my favorite things to serve with crispy air fryer chicken thighs.
- Salad: My favorite chopped salad might just be Shopska (Macedonian Chopped Salad). Made with cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and feta cheese, it’s so refreshing and healthy, with a juicy burst of fresh veggie flavor in every bite.
- Creamy Pasta: This Creamy Asparagus Pasta Recipe is a comforting, yet healthy pasta dish that goes beautifully with chicken – I even like to put my chicken in the pasta! The sweet pop of peas and mellow, nutty flavor of fresh asparagus are a winning combo in a light garlic and cream sauce.
- Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes: Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes are amazing with almost anything, but chicken thighs are truly perfect.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftover crispy chicken thighs, cover them with plastic wrap or foil, or just pop them into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat the chicken thighs, just warm them in the oven at 350°F until heated through. You can also take the meat off the bone, and warm it on the stove, in a skillet over low to medium heat.
Can I Freeze Cooked Chicken?
- Yes, these freeze very well! To freeze your chicken thighs, I recommend taking the meat off of the bone, and packing it into a freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Keep the leftover chicken in the freezer for 3 to 4 months, and thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400˚F.
- Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels.
- In a small mixing bowl combine olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper; mix until well incorporated.
- Brush the seasoning rub all over the chicken thighs.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down. If basket is too small for all 4 chicken thighs, you can cook them in batches.
- Lightly spray the chicken thighs with cooking oil.
- Cook for 8 minutes; flip the chicken thighs and continue to cook for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs registers at 165˚F. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken.
- For crispier chicken, cook them a little longer, about 2 minutes.
- Remove chicken from Air Fryer and let rest for 5 minutes.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.