Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

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If you love crispy chicken thighs, you have to try this easy air fryer chicken thighs recipe! Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are cooked in the air fryer until the skin is crispy. You get perfectly-cooked, juicy and flavorful chicken thighs every time! No need to turn on the stove-top or oven for this recipe. This air fryer chicken recipe is ready in just under 20 minutes, making it a great option for an easy weeknight meal. Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and dairy-free!
Four crispy bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer basket after cooking.
A closeup of crispy bone-in chicken thighs with skin in the air fryer basket.

Why this recipe works

Do you love using your air fryer as much as I do? Then you have to try these easy air fryer chicken thighs. Use bone-in skin-on chicken thighs to get flavorful, juicy chicken thighs with crispy skin. It works perfectly every time! 

I’ve been a long time fan of roasting chicken thighs in my cast iron skillet for entertaining guests. However, I don’t always want to preheat my oven for a quick meal with my family. I tweaked my cast iron roasted chicken thighs recipe to be made in the air fryer and the results are delicious!

Crispy skin, juicy meat, never overcooked. It’s a tried and true recipe that we keep eating again and again! Crispy chicken thighs pair well with so many sides, from rice dishes to roasted vegetables. These air fry chicken thighs are also great for meal prep, because you can reheat them again. Just place them back in the air fryer for about 5 minutes until they’re cooked through and the chicken skin is crispy once again!

You’ll love this recipe because:

  • No preheating necessary. I love the air fryer because I don’t have to preheat my oven or turn on the stove top. Just place the chicken thighs in the air fryer and they’re ready in just about 20 minutes.
  • Frees up oven space. Using the air fryer is a great way to free up oven space. If you are low on oven space for entertaining, this crispy air fryer chicken thighs recipe will help you out. Place the sides in the oven and chicken thighs in the air fryer. 
  • It’s naturally gluten-free. I’m always looking for easy gluten-free dinner recipes and if you are on a gluten-free diet or have celiac disease like me, I bet you are, too. This crispy chicken thigh recipe is naturally gluten-free and SO delicious! Air frying gives you extra crispy skin with minimal effort!

Ingredients

Ingredients in small bowls to make air fryer crispy chicken thighs including bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper with text overlays over each ingredient.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken thighs – Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. The skin makes this recipe. It turns so crispy and delicious in the air fryer. You could use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. They will take a few minutes less time in the air fryer and will not turn out crispy, but still can work for various dinner recipes. Start checking the air fryer at the 14 minute mark for air fryer boneless skinless chicken thighs. The internal temperature should be 165F when it has finished cooking. 
  • Olive oil – I like the flavor of extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe, but you could also use a more neutral oil, like avocado oil, if you prefer. Coconut oil also works in this recipe, just keep in mind that it will have a slight coconut flavor. 
  • Spices – I like to use a combination of garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper for my most basic recipe, but you can change up the herbs and spices to fit your taste and whatever you plan on serving the chicken thighs with. You can change it up and add some onion powder and Italian seasoning to the spice blend, or even top the chicken with fresh herbs or lemon after it comes out of the air fryer.

Step-by-Step instructions

This crispy air fryer chicken thighs recipe is so easy to make with just 6 simple ingredients and minimal prep time. Follow the step-by-step photos below with matching instructions to help you make the recipe perfectly every time.

For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.

Black pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder in a white ceramic bowl before mixing together.
Add the black pepper, salt, paprika and garlic powder to a small bowl. Whisk together until combined.
Raw chicken thighs topped with olive oil in a glass mixing bowl.
Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl and cover with olive oil.
Raw chicken thighs topped with a seasoning blend before mixing together in a glass mixing bowl.
Top the chicken thighs with the seasoning mixture.
Raw chicken thighs that have been covered in oil and a seasoning blend in a glass mixing bowl.
Mix together until the chicken thighs are evenly covered in the spice blend.
Raw chicken thighs in an air fryer basket with the skin side down.
Place the chicken thighs skin side down in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Partially cooked seasoned chicken thighs with skin in an air fryer basket.
Air fry at 400F for 9 minutes. Flip the chicken over so that the skin is facing up.
Four crispy bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer basket after cooking.
Air fry an additional 9-11 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165F and the skin is crispy.
A closeup of a crispy air fryer chicken thigh on a plate with roasted potatoes and broccoli.
Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.

Recipe FAQs

Are crispy air fryer chicken thighs gluten-free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free. It’s made with just chicken thighs, oil, and a few spices. The air fryer does all the work to make the skin crispy. 

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

I tend to not preheat my air fryer, but if you find that you need to with your model of air fryer, then preheat it for about 5 minutes. With this recipe, I don’t think it’s necessary as the skin gets really crispy when you flip it over for the last part of the cooking time.

hints & tips

  • Start with the skin side down on the air fryer. This way, when you flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time, the skin will start to crisp up from the air circulating around it in the air fryer.
  • I used my Cosori Air Fryer Max XL 5.8QT for this recipe. I don’t preheat my air fryer. Just place the chicken thighs in the air fryer and start cooking. I find it comes to temperature quite quickly and the skin gets crispy once I flip it over, so I don’t find a need to preheat the air fryer. 

Storage instructions

  • Storage: Store leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 
  • Reheat: You can reheat leftover chicken thighs in the air fryer to get the skin crispy again! Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin side up. Air fry at 400F for about 5-8 minutes, until the chicken is hot and the skin is crispy. Serve immediately.
A dinner plate with a single crispy chicken thigh, a side of roasted baby potatoes and broccoli, and a fork and knife.

Serving suggestions

This air fryer chicken thigh recipe is a great option for an easy weeknight dinner or for entertaining guests. It goes perfectly with so many types of side dishes.

A few of my favorite gluten-free side dishes to serve with this crispy chicken are Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes, Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes, and Instant Pot Lemon Risotto.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.

Four crispy bone-in chicken thighs in an air fryer basket after cooking.

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

If you love crispy chicken thighs, you have to try this easy air fryer chicken thighs recipe! Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are cooked in the air fryer until the skin is crispy. You get perfectly-cooked, juicy and flavorful chicken thighs every time! No need to turn on the stove-top or oven for this recipe. This air fryer chicken recipe is ready in just under 20 minutes, making it a great option for an easy weeknight meal. Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and dairy-free!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Add the garlic powder, salt, ground black pepper, and paprika to a small bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the chicken thighs to a large mixing bowl. Top with the olive oil.
  • Add the spice blend to the chicken thighs and toss until the chicken is completely covered.
  • Place chicken thighs skin side down in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry at 400F for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F when you stick an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and the skin is crispy.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • I used my Cosori Air Fryer Max XL 5.8QT for this this crispy chicken thighs recipe. 
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free. As always, be sure to double check spice blends you may be using to ensure they are gluten-free. Also, if you are cooking for someone with celiac disease, ensure there is no cross contact with gluten in your kitchen.
  • Depending on the size of your chicken thighs, your cook time may be different than mine. My chicken thighs were about 1/2 lb each. If your chicken thighs are smaller than this, flip the chicken thighs after 7 minutes and then start checking the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer after another 5 minutes to ensure your chicken does not overcook. The exact cooking time may vary.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 402mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!

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