Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and perfect for busy week nights! These boneless, skinless chicken thighs take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish. All they need is a simple dry rub and a drizzle of olive oil.
The air fryer is my go-to, time-saving, kitchen appliance! When it's a busy weeknight and I have 5 mouths to feed FAST, I turn to my beloved air fryer.
Air fryer recipes have become some of my family's favorite dinners!
Air frying dry rubbed, skinless chicken thighs turns them into moist and delicious pieces of meat! I actually think air fried chicken thighs resemble a grilled chicken thigh. They stay juicy on the inside and get nice and crisp on the outside.
I've tested air fryer chicken thighs with a variety of dry rubs and also wet marinades. I can confidently say that I strongly prefer the dry rub! A drizzle of olive oil is all you need to make delicious, crispy chicken thighs.
If you're more of a chicken breasts person, then you need to try out my Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets!
Reasons why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy! After you season and oil your chicken thighs, the air fryer does the rest of the work.
- It's healthy! If you're looking for a high protein, low carb main dish, then this is your recipe! It's also gluten free and dairy free.
- It's fast! Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are a quick meal that can go from the fridge to the table in under 30 minutes.
One reason why I know that you will LOVE this recipe... you only need raw chicken thighs and pantry ingredients! It doesn't get easier than that!
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs - Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are removed from the bone, the skin is removed and they tend to be a darker meat with a higher fat content than chicken breast. They're usually rolled up in the package, so when you open the package, you need to unroll them so that they are flat. This will ensure that you fully season the chicken thigh and also cook them evenly.
- Garlic powder - I always cook with garlic powder granules. Many brands of garlic granules are still labeled as garlic powder.
- Onion powder - Onion powder is a savory seasoning with a concentrated onion flavor.
- Italian seasoning - Italian seasoning blend usually consists of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
- Kosher salt - Kosher salt crystals are much larger and more course than table salt. If you do not have kosher salt and want to use fine, table salt, then you'll need to use half the amount of salt that the recipe calls for.
- Black pepper - Any type of ground, black pepper will work for this recipe!
- Extra virgin olive oil - This recipe calls for a drizzle of olive oil before placing the boneless chicken thighs into the air fryer. If you don't have olive oil, then a substitute like avocado oil would also work.
*See recipe card for exact quantities.
- Air fryer - Here is the air fryer that I currently use. So far I love it! It's 6 quarts and fits my needs well! This style has an air fryer basket.
- Measuring spoons
- Silicone tongs - A silicone tong is best for air fryers because you don't want to scratch the nonstick coating on the inside of your air fryer.
- Meat thermometer - I use a digital instant read thermometer that measures the internal temperature of cooked meat.
- Large mixing bowl
Here's an overview of how to make this air fryer boneless chicken thigh recipe. For detailed instructions, see the recipe card below!
Step 1 - Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the raw chicken thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle the seasoning blend over both sides of the chicken thighs. Make sure you open up your chicken thighs so that you coat the entire chicken thigh. You may need to use your hands to really rub the seasoning into the chicken thighs.
Step 2 - Drizzle the olive oil over top of the chicken thighs. Turn the chicken thighs over a couple of times so that both sides get some olive oil on them.
Step 3 - Place chicken thighs in a single layer in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Do not stack the chicken thighs on top of each other. You want the hot air from the air fryer to be able to circulate around all sides of the chicken thighs. You will most likely need to cook your chicken thighs in 2 separate batches.
Step 4 - Cook the chicken thighs for 10 minutes at 380° degrees F. Flip them over and continue cooking for 5-10 more minutes.
Step 5 - Cook the chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove them from the air fryer and let the thighs rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
One of the many reasons I love air fryer boneless chicken thighs is that they can be served with almost anything! They are a simple protein that pairs well with green vegetables like green beans, broccoli and kale. They also can be served alongside mashed potatoes, basmati rice, macaroni and cheese and fresh bread.
If you want to add some variety to this recipe then you can play around with the spice blend, use your favorite store-bought spice blend, drizzle the chicken thighs with an infused olive oil or add a sauce.
- Spicy - If you like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder, sriracha sauce, lemon pepper or diced jalapeno peppers.
- Salty - Top your cooked chicken thighs with some soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
- Saucy - Chicken thighs can be served with just about any sauce! You could add a cheese sauce, alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, chicken gravy, buffalo sauce or BBQ sauce.
- Sweet - Add some brown sugar or honey.
Storage & reheating
Air fryer boneless, skinless chicken thighs will store well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Keep them in a sealed, air-tight container.
Reheat chicken thighs in the microwave or on the stovetop. Place the chicken thighs on a microwave safe plate and reheat for 1-2 minutes.
To reheat on the stovetop, place the chicken thighs in a small frying pan coated with cooking spray. Heat over low heat until warmed through.
- Always check the "best buy" date before purchasing fresh meat! I find fresh chicken thighs start tasting off by their best buy date or even sometimes the day before. For best results and best flavor, purchase fresh chicken thighs and eat them well before their expiration date.
- Chicken thighs have quite a bit more fat on them, compared to chicken breast. You can trim off SOME of the fat, but don't trim it all off! I usually trim any fat that is hanging off of the meat and will just get really hard and burnt while they're cooking.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before applying the dry rub.
- Do not overcrowd your air fryer when cooking chicken thighs. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer.
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