Try cooking your skinless and boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer for a healthier alternative to traditionally fried chicken for supper tonight.
In this simple recipe we will give you some spice mix seasoning ideas to add to the chicken thighs to ensure they are brimming with irresistible flavours.
The air frying method allows the chicken to be cooked evenly with a crispy exterior and juicy interior, all without the added calories and fats from deep frying or shallow frying.
How to cook Skinless and Boneless Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
In the below video, we're going to guide you through the easy-to-follow process of cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs in an air fryer,.
Or continue reading for more seasoning ideas and spice mixture, helping you whip up a tasty and nutritious meal that's packed with deliciousness.
Let's dive into the essential ingredients you'll need for this delicious air fryer skinless and boneless chicken thighs recipe.
Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
The star of our dish, boneless and skinless chicken thighs. The dark meat in chicken thigh offer a tender and flavourful meat that cooks beautifully in an air fryer.
With less fat than skin-on thighs, they're a healthier choice without compromising on taste.
Bear in mind cooking air fryer chicken thighs with skin on, bone in will take longer so click through the link above for cooking times. We also have advice for cooking a whole chicken in the airfryer.
The seasoning is where you can let your creativity shine. You can stick to the classic salt and pepper. Or choose some different spice blends to give your air fryer chicken thighs a more exciting, delicious meal.
- All Purpose
- Piri Piri
- Italian Herb
- Paprika and Onion
- Jamaican Jerk
- Curry Powder
You could try different curry powder blends or make your own seasoning mixture up with your favourite dried herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika salt and black pepper for a smoky flavor.
We went with BBQ seasoning for this blog post.
If opting for a wet marinade for your boneless thighs. It's best to apply these marinades towards the end of the cooking process.
This is because most wet marinades contain sugar, which can burn if exposed to high heat for too long. Brush on your favourite wet marinade in the last few minutes of air frying.
A light coating of spray oil helps to achieve that irresistible golden brown and crispy finish on the air fryer chicken thighs. It also prevents the chicken from sticking to the air fryer basket, ensuring a smooth cooking process.
You can opt to add olive oil in with the seasoning instead.
Herbs are a delightful optional addition. If you choose to add herbs before cooking, it's recommended to use a small amount of dried herbs as they can withstand the heat and infuse the chicken with their flavours during the cooking process.
If you're using fresh herbs, add them after cooking the chicken. This is because high heat can reduce their flavour. Adding them once the chicken is cooked allows their fresh taste to enhance the dish.
We used fresh parsley after the chicken was cooked.
To prepare boneless and skinless chicken thighs in an air fryer, you'll need specific equipment.
Of course, any air fryer is a must-have. We use the Ninja Dual Zone air fryer, which cooks chicken thighs to perfection. With its two baskets, you can cook up to 12 chicken thighs at once - 6 per basket (do not stack chicken thighs on top of each other), making it ideal for family meals.
Another essential tool is a food ziplock bag for mixing the chicken thighs with the seasoning. This method ensures even coating of spices and herbs on the chicken, and keeps you from directly handling raw chicken. Alternatively, you could use a mixing bowl for this step.
Lastly, you'll need tongs or forks for safe removal of the air fryer chicken thighs. Also, an instant-read thermometer is crucial to confirm that the chicken is cooked to the right temperature.
Lets go through the steps to cook chicken thighs in an air fryer.
Seasoning chicken thighs
Pat dry chicken with kitchen paper towel to remove excess juices. Place the chicken thighs in a large food bag. If you prefer, you can use a large bowl instead.
Now add your dry seasoning mix. If you like, you can also add olive oil to the bag, although this is optional.
A few sprays of cooking spray oil before cooking will work just fine if you're trying to keep the dish healthier. The chicken thighs shown in these images were prepared without any added olive oil.
After adding your seasoning and optional oil, seal the bag and rub it to ensure all parts of the chicken are evenly coated with the seasoning.
Air Fryer preparation
Once your chicken is well-coated with spice rub. You're ready to prep your air fryer. Spray it with some oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Next, arrange your chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, smooth side facing up. Give the tops of the chicken a light spray of oil. You're now ready to cook your chicken thighs.
Temperature and Cook Time
Air fry chicken thighs at 200°C / 400°F and cook for approximately 18 minutes. Remember, the exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken thighs and the model of your air fryers. Smaller thighs may not need so long, larger thich will need longer.
Flipping halfway through cooking is an option, it's not required.
Check Chicken is Cooked
To ensure your chicken is fully cooked to a safe temperature, you might want to check it with an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. The safe internal temperature for chicken is 74°C (165°F).
Once your chicken is cooked, let it rest for about 3 minutes. This gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavourful bite.
Finally, serve your crispy air fryer chicken thighs with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for a burst of freshness. In this case, we used parsley. And there you have it, delicious, air-fried boneless and skinless chicken thighs!
Scroll past the recipe card for some serving suggestions from us.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Air Fryer Chicken Thigh Skinless and Boneless
- 6 Chicken Thighs - Boneless and Skinless
- 1-2 tablespoon BBQ Seasoning See notes for more dry seasoning suggestions
- few sprays of Spray Oil
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 2 sprigs Fresh Herbs to serve
- Place the 6 Chicken Thighs - Boneless and Skinless in a large food bag*can use a large bowl if preferred.
- Add the 1-2 tablespoon BBQ Seasoning or other dry seasoning mix.Optional* You can add 1 teaspoon Olive oil to the bag too if you wanted to. But it will cook fine with just a few sprays of spray oil if you want to keep it healthier.The ones seen in these images have no olive oil added.
- Seal the bag and rub it into all parts of the chicken until evenly coated
- Spray the air fryer with a few sprays of Spray Oil
- Place chicken thighs into the basket smooth side facing up. Spray chicken tops with a few sprays of Spray Oil.
- Airfry at 200°C / 400°F for approximately 18 minutes. *Time varies depending on the chicken thigh size and your air fryer model. You can flip halfway through cooking but you don't have to!
- The safe internal cooking temperature for chicken is 74°C (165°F), if you wanted to check with an instant-read thermometer.
- Allow to rest for 3 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of chopped leaves from 2 sprigs Fresh Herbs. We used parsley.
Dry Seasonings for Chicken ThighsAll Purpose BBQ Piri Piri Italian Herb Paprika and Onion Jamaican Jerk Curry Powder Morrocan Cajun
Pairing your air-fried chicken thighs with the right side dishes can turn a simple main course into a full, hearty meal.
A fresh tomato and mozzarella salad or a tangy coleslaw can add a refreshing contrast to the savoury air fryer chicken thighs.
Seen here served with a oven-baked jacket potato and side salad.
Remember, the best side dish is one that complements the seasoning you added to your chicken and your personal preferences. Enjoy experimenting with different combinations to find your perfect meal!
Let the chicken thighs cool for 15-20 minutes. Store in the fridge in an airtight container or freezer bag. Use within 3 days if refrigerated.
For longer storage, freeze the air fryer chicken thighs. They can last up to three months in the freezer without losing quality. To reheat frozen chicken thighs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before warming up.
When you're ready to eat the previously cooked chicken thighs, ensure it's heated thoroughly. This can be done in the microwave, oven or air fryer.
More Chicken Recipes
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and we have a plenty of delicious and easy-to-follow chicken recipes that you might want to explore for your next meal!