Here is the only recipe you need for cooking the most delicious chicken thighs. Our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are not only incredibly flavorful but this is one of the easiest ways to cook flawless chicken.
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Super Juicy & Easy Chicken Thighs
The air fryer does it again with another incredible dinner recipe! We cannot get over how juicy and flavorful these chicken thighs are. This recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Thighs is honestly the only one you need when it comes to cooking this less expensive cut of chicken.
Chicken thighs are affordable and delicious. They have that dark meat that we all crave off of a chicken. It’s perfectly tender and juicy. We love that chicken thighs are a little bit more forgiving to cook than chicken breast.
Just cooking them alone in an air fryer would be great, but we take it to the next level. Just like with our Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets we’re going to use mayonnaise to keep the chicken nice and juicy. Rubbing the chicken thighs with seasoned mayonnaise creates a flavor that we haven’t experienced before. Even if you don’t like mayo (neither do we!!), you have to trust us and try this recipe right away. We promise you won’t taste mayo, but you will taste some extra juicy chicken with crispy flavored skin!
What You’ll Need
Here is the very short list of ingredients you’ll need to make these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs. The exact amounts and instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Chicken Thighs: We recommend using boneless and skinless for the best results. However, you can use this method to cook chicken legs and breasts, too.
- Mayonnaise: This is the secret ingredient! The mayonnaise adds flavor and keeps the chicken moist.
- Garlic Powder: You can also use fresh garlic.
- Smoked Paprika: We love the smokey flavor of using smoked paprika, but you can also use regular paprika if you prefer.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
The simple steps for making this recipe are below.
First, preheat the air fryer. This is crucial for getting crispy skin!
Then, rinse the thighs and pat them dry. Another step that helps the skin get crispy and golden brown.
Mix together the mayonnaise and spices. Feel free to give it a taste to see if you like the salt and seasoning level and adjust as needed.
Then rub the mixture all over the chicken thighs. Make sure that all of the meat is covered.
Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer. You can tuck the meat under itself to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out and that allows for more space in the air fryer.
Cook the chicken thighs for about 20 minutes. And then make sure that you let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
How Long Should I Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer?
For this recipe, we cooked the chicken thighs for about 20 minutes. If you lay them flat, they might take less time. If you use larger cuts of chicken, it will take more time.
The important thing to remember is to make sure that the final internal temperature is at least 170°F. We recommend using an instant read meat thermometer to ensure you don’t over cook and dry out your chicken.
Tips for Crispy Chicken Thighs
Here are some helpful tips to make sure that your chicken thighs turn out perfect every time.
- Make sure the chicken is dry before you coat it with the mayonnaise. If the skin is still wet it will not get crispy.
- There’s no need to flip the chicken during cooking. There’s no need to flip the chicken at all while it’s in the air fryer.
- Tucking the chicken together will prevent it from drying out. We did not lay the thighs flat instead we very loosely tucked them under to keep them from drying out.
Some of our favorite ways to enjoy these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are below.
- Mashed Potatoes: We have plenty of recipes to try like our Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes. You also can’t go wrong with Classic Mashed Potatoes.
- Vegetables: Simple blanched vegetables will go great with this recipe or you could try our Southern Green Beans with Bacon. Or how about our favorite Skillet Fried Corn!
- Dinner Rolls: We love to serve simple and tasty rolls with this chicken recipe. Our Herb Crescent Rolls are some of our favorite rolls ever!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! You can prepare the mayo/seasoning mixture and coat the chicken and then let them marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Remove them from the fridge and cook as directed when ready.
Sure! Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 400°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until an internal temperature reaches 170°F. If your oven has a convection setting, you can use it to help crisp up your chicken skin like an air fryer would.
NO! If you are not a fan of mayo, don’t worry, you won’t taste it. The mayo does a great job of keeping your chicken extra juicy and helping to flavor the chicken, but you will only taste the chicken and seasonings once it’s cooked.
Yes! There are a few good options depending on your goals. If you want them extra spicy, you can use sriracha hot sauce or cayenne pepper. If you want to add just a little heat, we recommend using crushed red pepper flakes instead.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then you can reheat them right in the air fryer again for 2-3 minutes. The skin will crisp right back up!
Can I Freeze Cooked Chicken Thighs?
You can freeze the cooked Air Fryer Chicken Thighs for up to 3 months. We recommend thawing them before reheating them in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
These extra juicy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with crispy skin are ready in less than 30 minutes and you only need a few ingredients!
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 380°F.
- Rinse the thighs and pat dry, set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir to combine the mayonnaise, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Coat each chicken thigh with the mayonnaise mixture, tuck the meat under itself and place in the air fryer basket.
- Cook on 380°F for 20 minutes, until cooked through and an instant read meat thermometer reaches 175°F.
- Let the thighs rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Storage: Air Fryer Chicken Thighs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Then you can reheat them right in the air fryer again for 2-3 minutes. The skin will crisp right back up!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 875mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 42g