Air fryer chicken thighs deliver mouthwatering flavor. They’re a quick and easy crowd-pleaser that’s juicy and perfectly crisp. 

It costs approximately $4.81 to make these chicken thighs. The recipe makes four servings for about $1.20 per serving. 

The finished Air Fryer Chicken Thighs on a white platter.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Ready to have quick and easy chicken thighs that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside without heating up the oven? It might sound too good to be true, but the Air Fryer makes it a reality with this recipe. 

These chicken fingers come together quickly in just over thirty minutes. With a few spices, the chicken becomes savory and absolutely mouthwatering, creating the perfect dish any time of the year.

Why You’ll Love Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

  • Flavorful seasoning: The unique blend of spices creates a skin that is slightly sweet tasting, mildly spicy, and rich in flavor. 
  • Crispy skin: The Air Fryer is a healthier alternative to frying chicken but still provides the crispy outer layer we all love. 
  • Family-friendly: Kids and adults alike enjoy this chicken. The chicken thighs are appealing to all ages and food lovers everywhere.
  • Convenience: The Air Fryer makes this a simple recipe for any time during the week or on weekends. They cook quickly in the air fryer, creating very little cleanup after the meal is done.
An Air Fryer Chicken Thighs cut into so you can see what the inside looks like.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $1.20

Recipe Cost: $4.81

  • 4 bone-in-skin-on chicken thighs – $4.40
  • ½ teaspoon salt – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes – $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder – $0.04
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder – $0.03
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes – $0.08
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning – $0.23

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in July 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Cook Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F for five minutes. Then spray the inside with cooking spray. 
  2. Next, using a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion flakes, and Creole Seasoning.
  3. Pour the spice mixture and chickenn thighs into a large bowl or zip-lock bag and shake to coat. 
  4.  Set the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket skin side down and then spray them with cooking spray. 
  5. Bake for twelve minutes and then turn the thighs over and spray again with cooking spray. Cook for an additional eleven minutes. 
  6. Finally, remove the thighs from the air fryer when they are done cooking and serve.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • If you don’t have Creole seasoning, you can substitute it with smoked paprika for a smoky flavor or a blend of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a milder heat.
  • If you prefer boneless and skinless chicken thighs, you can use them instead. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as boneless thighs tend to cook faster.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, no problem. Try my Easy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs, Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs, Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs, Broiled Chicken Thighs, or Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs.
  • Lemon-Pepper: Replace the crushed red pepper flakes with lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze some lemon juice over the chicken thighs before air frying to give them a tangy and zesty flavor.
  • Asian-Inspired: Substitute the Creole seasoning with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey or brown sugar. Marinate the chicken thighs in this mixture for 30 minutes before air frying for a delicious Asian twist.
  • Spicy Buffalo: Omit the Creole seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes. Instead, toss the cooked chicken thighs in a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter or ghee after air frying. Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch on the side.
  • Mediterranean-Inspired: Replace the Creole seasoning with a blend of dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, and a pinch of paprika. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken thighs before air frying. Serve with a side of tzatziki sauce or a Greek salad.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Storage Tips

STORE: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

FREEZE: Once the chicken is cool, place it in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag. Freeze for 4-5 months.

DEFROST: Defrost the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.

REHEAT: Warm the chicken in a 350-degree F oven for 10-20 minutes or until heated through.

A finished Chicken thigh on a bed of white rice.

Recipe FAQs

How long do you cook thighs in an air fryer?

The estimated cook time for this recipe is twenty-three minutes. However, each Air Fryer works slightly differently, so be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness before removing the chicken thighs from the Air Fryer.  

What temperature do you take chicken thighs out?

Thighs are done when an internal meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

While it is safe to put aluminum foil in an air fryer, I do not use it with this recipe.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Four cooked chicken thighs in an air fryer.
5 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Recipe Cost $ $4.81
Serving Cost $ $1.20
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
4 people
Air fryer chicken thighs deliver mouthwatering flavor. They’re a quick and easy crowd-pleaser that’s juicy and perfectly crisp.

Equipment

  • Air fryer
  • mixing bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs trimmed of excess skin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning or substitute Smoked Paprika

Instructions

PREP AIR FRYER:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  • After preheating, spray the inside surface with cooking spray.

MAKE SPICE MIXTURE:

  • Mix the Salt, Pepper, crushed Red Pepper, Garlic powder, Onion powder, dried Onion flakes, and Creole Seasoning in a small bowl.

PREP CHICKEN THIGHS:

  • Place the trimmed, dried chicken thighs in a bowl or a large zip-lock bag.
  • Pour in the spice mixture and shake to coat.
  • Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer, skin side down, and spray them with cooking spray (to make them crisp).

AIR FRY:

  • Bake in the air fryer for 12 minutes.
  • Turn so your chicken thighs are skin-side up, and spray them again with cooking spray. Cook for 11 more minutes.

TO FINISH:

  • Remove chicken thighs from the air fryer and check them for doneness by making a slice in one. Thighs are done when an internal meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
  • Serve with your favorite sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Sara Welch says:

    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Turned out quick, tender and perfectly juicy; easily, a new favorite recipe for chicken thighs!

  2. I love how easy it is to make these chicken thighs in my air fryer! I can see this easily becoming a new go-to weeknight dinner when I need something fast and reliable.

  3. I tried making these chicken thighs in the air fryer, and they turned out perfectly juicy and crispy. The air fryer does wonders in cooking them to perfection!

    1. So glad these baked chicken thighs worked in the air fryer!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t like frying foods because of how unhealthy they are, but this recipe is a wonderful alternative. I like that the skin still gets crispy. The Creole seasoning tastes great on these thighs too!