Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

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Air fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are juicy, tender, and loaded with flavor, but they are nearly effortless to make. The flavors come from brushing the chicken with a sweet and tangy sauce while air frying.

Boneless Chicken Thighs

Why You’ll Love It

  • Versatile Meal Base: This is a great recipe that you can serve with rice, pasta, or roasted vegetables. You can even air fry the chicken thighs from frozen, if you didn’t have enough time to thaw them beforehand. That makes this dish incredibly easy to make whenever you want.
  • Perfectly Seasoned: The sauce is made with a combination of flavorful ingredients that come together for the perfect tangy and rich sauce. You can marinate the chicken in the sauce before cooking for extra flavor.
  • Quick and Easy: It’s a time-saver. With no need for intricate preparations or seasoning rituals, your boneless chicken thighs are ready in a jiffy. Perfect for those days when you crave a simple and speedy cooking process.

GnarlyChef says: 5 stars The chicken turns out perfectly juicy on the inside and wonderfully crispy on the outside.

Jr says: 5 stars Absolutely loving this air fryer boneless chicken thigh recipe!

» You might like these Air Fryer Asian Marinated Chicken Thighs as well.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken thighs: You will need boneless chicken thighs for this recipe. Chicken thighs are a great alternative to chicken breasts, because the meat is very tender after cooking and doesn’t dry out. The easiest to make in the air fryer are boneless, but you can use bone-in, skin on chicken thighs if you want. They will just need longer to cook.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is my go-to for this recipe because it works well in the marinade/sauce. You can also use avocado oil or canola oil, but olive oil has the best flavor.
  • Salt: Salt is just what you need to make your taste buds happy. You can use flaky salt, sea salt, or plain table salt.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce has a slightly sweet and salty flavor. It is made from molasses, vinegar, sugar, chili, and tamarind. It is known for its umami flavor.
  • Garlic salt
  • Spanish paprika: Spanish paprika is known for its mild chili flavor. It’s not very spicy and it doesn’t have any smokiness to it. If you want, you can use smoked paprika, or even cayenne pepper if you want more heat.
  • Dried sage: Dried sage has a herbal, earthy, peppery flavor. If you are not a big fan of sage, add Italian herbs or any other dried herb instead.
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds tanginess and acidity to the dish.

Equipment Information

Boneless Chicken Thighs

Helpful Tips

  • The cooking time of the chicken is directly proportional to its size, and whether it is boneless and/or skinless. If you’re cooking large bone-in chicken thighs, you will need to cook them for at least 25 minutes for them to be cooked through, maybe more if they were frozen to start. Always check the internal temperature to gauge how long to leave them in. They should reach 165° F(75°C).
  • If you are using frozen chicken, the cooking time can vary as well. As a general rule, they will take 3-4 minutes longer to cook, unless they are very thick.
  • Always check the internal temperature of the chicken before taking it out of the air fryer. It should be 165° F(75°C).
  • Use silicon-tipped tongs to easily flip over the chicken without ruining the non-stick surface of your air fryer.
  • If you find that the chicken is drying out, you can lightly brush it with some olive oil or chicken broth before reheating.
  • For thighs with skin, try to place them skin-side up to re-crisp that skin effectively.
  • The reheating times can vary based on the size of the chicken thighs and the specific model of your air fryer, so keep an eye on them.

How to Make Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

Making chicken thighs in an air fryer is effortless, even if you start from frozen, which is what I do most of the time. The only difference will be that frozen chicken thighs need to cook a bit longer.

Step One: Season the chicken

Whether your chicken thighs are frozen or thawed, start by placing them in a bowl and coating them with a little bit of olive oil and seasoning them with salt. This will keep them from drying out while they cook.

Step Two: Add to the basket & cook

Raw Boneless Chicken Thighs in the air fryer basket

Spread the chicken thighs out in the air fryer basket. Cook at 385°F(195°C) for about 6 minutes (8 minutes if frozen).

Step Three: Mix up the sauce

Chicken marinade

Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sage, remaining salt, black pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Step Four: Baste the chicken

When I buy frozen chicken thighs, they often come a little balled up and I can’t undo the ball until they’ve cooked a little bit. If yours are like that, after the first 8 minutes, you’ll want to use tongs to flatten out your chicken pieces in the basket.

Using a basting brush, coat the chicken with the prepared sauce and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Flip the chicken over and brush more sauce on the second side, then continue cooking for another 3 minutes.

cooked Boneless Chicken Thighs in the air fryer basket

In total, it will take about 12-15 minutes to cook the chicken all the way through, but some chicken thighs are larger than others, so it’s very important to check the temperature of the chicken before calling it done. The internal temperature should reach 165° F(75°C). Measure it with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done. If not, continue cooking for another few minutes.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs and/or Skin-On Instead?

Here’s the good news – you can use any type of chicken you want with this recipe. It’s possible to use boneless or bone-in and it doesn’t matter much whether it has skin or not. You can even use chicken breast. The difference is in how long you will need to cook it.

  • Boneless (skin on or off): Cook for 12 minutes; 15 minutes from frozen; up to 18 minutes for larger pieces
  • Bone-in (skin on): Cook for 25 minutes; 30 minutes from frozen, up to 35 minutes for larger pieces
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast: Cook for 20 minutes; 23-25 from frozen; up to 28 minutes for larger pieces

Note: Always check the internal temperature of the chicken before determining it’s done. It should be 165° F(75°C).

Boneless Chicken Thighs

What Side Dishes to Serve?

There are some really easy side dishes you can serve with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. In some cases, you can even cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include air fryer cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob. Other quick options are to make a side garden salad or some macaroni and cheese.

How To Store & Reheat

Allow the cooked boneless chicken thighs to cool down and place the boneless chicken thighs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you want to store the leftovers for a longer period, consider freezing them. They can stay frozen, if wrapped properly, for up to 2 months.

The air fryer works like a charm to reheat chicken. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat Air Fryer: Start by preheating your air fryer to 370°F (190°C). A preheated air fryer ensures even reheating.
  2. Arrange Thighs: Place the boneless chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure there’s space between each piece for proper air circulation.
  3. Reheat: Cook the thighs for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check the internal temperature; it should read at least 165°F (75°C) to ensure it’s heated through.

So there you have it, whether you’ve got boneless or bone-in chicken thighs, your air fryer’s got you covered. Say goodbye to the microwave’s sogginess and hello to second-day chicken that’s almost as good as the first.

Boneless Chicken Thighs

Questions About the Recipe

How long should you cook chicken thighs in an air fryer?

It will take about 12-15 minutes to cook raw chicken all the way through, but some chicken thighs are larger than others, so it’s very important to check the temperature of the chicken before calling it done. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C). Measure it with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done. It not, continue cooking for another few minutes.

At what temperature are boneless chicken thighs fully cooked?

Boneless chicken thighs are fully cooked and safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). This is the recommended minimum internal temperature for chicken established by food safety guidelines to ensure that any harmful bacteria present in the meat are killed.

Is it better to air fry chicken thighs at 380°F or 400°F?

We like to air fryer chicken thighs at 380° F(195°C), rather than 400°F, because it leads to less drying out of the chicken and less likelihood that the skin (if there is any) will burn.

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Boneless Chicken Thighs

Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs (Frozen or Fresh)

Air fryer Boneless chicken thighs are juicy, tender, and loaded with flavor, but they are nearly effortless to make. The flavors come from brushing the chicken with a sweet and tangy sauce while air frying.
4.8 from 93 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 312 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound (454 g) boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 g) garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.03 g) dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice optional

Instructions
 

  • Coat the chicken thighs with ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer and cook on 385° F (195° C) for 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the remaining olive oil, salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, paprika, sage, black pepper and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • After 8 minutes, flip the chicken over and flatten it out if necessary. Baste the chicken with the sauce and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Halfway through, flip the chicken again, baste the second side, and complete the cooking.

Notes

  • The cooking time of the chicken is directly proportional to its size, and whether it is boneless and/or skinless.
  • If you’re cooking large bone-in chicken thighs, you will need to cook them for at least 25 minutes for them to be cooked through, maybe more if they were frozen to start. Always check the internal temperature to gauge how long to leave them in. They should reach 165° F(75°C).
  • If you are using frozen chicken, the cooking time can vary as well. As a general rule, they will take 3-4 minutes longer to cook, unless they are very thick.
  • Always check the internal temperature of the chicken before taking it out of the air fryer. It should be 165° F(75°C).
  • Use silicon-tipped tongs to easily flip over the chicken without ruining the non-stick surface of your air fryer.
  • If you find that the chicken is drying out, you can lightly brush it with some olive oil or chicken broth before reheating. For thighs with skin, try to place them skin-side up to re-crisp that skin effectively.
  • The reheating times can vary based on the size of the chicken thighs and the specific model of your air fryer, so keep an eye on them.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 18gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 829mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 152IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken
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19 thoughts on “Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

  1. Jennifer says:

    This is really good and cooks perfectly in my Cosori air fryer with the time given in the recipe. I cooked mine at 390 because my unit’s temperatures adjust in 10 degree increments. The only change made to the seasoning/spices was that I used A1 sauce (with water added to thin it out a bit) instead of Worchestershire because that is what I had on hand and they have a similar flavor profile, in my opinion. Thanks for the easy recipe!

  2. Anna Payne says:

    I just got my new air fryer and this will be my first try at it!! The appliance instructions did not say whether or not to place the little grate inside the basket when I went through the preheat steps. I did not place it and preheat it as it said the basket should be empty. Maybe I read more into it. Any thought out there, anyone? I am hoping for a great dinner for my husband. I like the simplicity of your recipes. Thank you,

    • Laura Lynch says:

      You should preheat with the grate in the basket, but it won’t hurt anything if you don’t. By empty they just mean no food inside. I often don’t even preheat mine, as it’s really not necessary. See how you feel.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I used medium thighs, so you should adjust by monitoring the cook rate with a digital meat thermometer starting either a few minutes before for smaller thighs, or at the finish time for larger thighs. Cook according to the temperature. You want them to reach 165F without going over.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I used medium wings, so you should adjust by monitoring the cook rate with a digital meat thermometer starting either a few minutes before for smaller wings, or at the finish time for larger wings. Cook according to the temperature. You want them to reach 165F without going over.

    • Angela Morris says:

      You can but the cooking time will be different. Try using this recipe for cooking chicken breasts in the air fryer. https://airfryanytime.com/air-fryer-chicken-breast-without-breading/

    • Angela Morris says:

      Our sister site A Food Lovers Kitchen, https://afoodloverskitchen.com/?s=sauce, has some great dipping sauces that are perfect for chicken. You can’t go wrong with honey sriracha sauce, Alabama white BBQ sauce, and smoky bourbon BBQ sauce.

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