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Tender, juicy, smoky, and also just a little sweet, these Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs have it all and then some. And did I mention they’re incredibly easy too? Friends, meet your new favorite weeknight protein.

air fryer boneless chicken thighs on a bed of rice.
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If you grew up eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts, it might be hard to go over to the dark side, but I promise it’s worth it. Tender, juicy chicken thighs have a much larger margin for error because it’s virtually impossible to overcook them.

This recipe for air fryer boneless chicken thighs is the perfect place to start.

And if you need an oven version of this recipe, check out our Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs.

Ingredients

raw chicken thighs, parsley, olive oil, and spices on a marbled board.

This recipe has:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – These are a staple in my Butcher Box orders.
  • Olive oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce – Tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos also work.
  • Kosher salt – I used Diamond.
  • Garlic powder – For lots of savory garlic flavor without as much punch as fresh garlic.
  • Ground black pepper – Freshly ground is best if you can! It’s much more aromatic and flavorful.
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika – Gives us some smokiness, despite cooking the chicken thighs in the air fryer.
  • Brown sugar – Use dark or light brown; dark brown has a more assertive molasses flavor. See my tutorial on how to make brown sugar if you’re out.

Step By Step Instructions

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.

Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.

Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, and all of the seasonings in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 36 hours. Pro tip: if you’re going to marinate them for ~30 minutes, it’s fine to leave them at room temperature. Anything longer than that, you should put the bowl in the fridge.

two bowls showing the process of marinading chicken thighs.

Preheat your air fryer to 380˚F for 5 minutes and lightly brush the air fryer basket with olive oil to keep the chicken thighs from sticking. You can also use air fryer parchment.

Arrange the thighs in the basket with the smooth side down. Cook at 380˚F for 10 minutes.

an air fryer basket with uncooked chicken thighs.

Flip the chicken, brush the remaining marinade on the top, and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT

Storing Leftovers: Store cooled leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Reheating Leftovers: You can reheat them in the air fryer at 350°F for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you can place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet and heat them in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until warmed through.

Freezing Leftovers: You can also freeze the chicken thighs for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. 

If you get an amazing deal on chicken thighs, mix up a batch of the marinade and then freeze the chicken thighs in gallon-sized freezer bags for a thaw, heat, and eat kind of meal.

RECIPE VARIATIONS & OPTIONAL ADDINS

  • Feel free to use this cooking method with your favorite chicken marinade. My Gluten-Freen Teriyaki Sauce would also be fantastic.
  • If you’re using bone-in chicken thighs, increase the cooking time by 3 to 4 minutes. The safe cooking temp of 165˚F remains the same.
  • When the chicken thighs are finished cooking, you can add some chopped fresh herbs to give it an extra pop of flavor. Cilantro or parsley would both work well.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS RECIPE

You can serve these air fryer boneless chicken thighs as a traditional dinner with a few sides, shred them for salads and meal bowls, or cut them into pieces for pasta, casseroles, and other recipes. Any way you slice them (har har), I promise your whole family will love them.

Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Crispy Butternut Squash, and Oven-Roasted Frozen Broccoli are all fantastic sides with boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer. 

For an easy meal bowl, make a veggie and then serve it with the chicken over Garlic Butter Rice, Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, or Pesto Rice. If you’d like, you can drizzle on a sauce or aioli—my Easy Chipotle Sauce recipe would be great with the cilantro lime rice!

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES

  • If you have the time, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before air frying.
  • While you don’t have to worry so much about chicken thighs overcooking in the air fryer, you still want to make sure they reach a safe temperature. For this, an instant-read thermometer is essential.  
  • Wondering how to know if air fryer chicken thighs are done without a thermometer? Look for the juices to run clear when you poke into the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Since air fryers can vary in size and temperature, I recommend starting with less cooking time and checking on your chicken as it cooks. You can always add more time if needed.
a cut of chicken sliced in half, topped with parsley with rice on a plate.
5 from 2 ratings

Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Marinading: 30 minutes
Total: 58 minutes
air fryer boneless chicken thighs on a bed of rice.
Tender, juicy, smoky, and also just a little sweet, these air fryer boneless chicken thighs have it all and then some. And did I mention they’re incredibly easy too? Friends, meet your new favorite weeknight protein.

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel.
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk to combine olive oil, soy sauce, and the dry seasonings.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 36 hours. 
  • Preheat the air fryer at 380˚F for 5 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  • Place thighs smooth side down and cook at 380˚F for 10 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and brush on any marinade remaining in the bowl.
  • Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
  • Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. If you have the time, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before air frying.
  2. Use an instant-read thermometer to test each thigh. The internal temp can vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  3. If you’re using bone-in chicken thighs, increase the cooking time by 3 to 4 minutes. The safe cooking temp of 165˚F remains the same.
  4. Since air fryers can vary in size and temperature, I recommend starting with less cooking time and checking on your chicken as it cooks. You can always add more time if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1thighCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 22gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 483mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 151IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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2 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! I just got an air fryer and am looking for recipes. I’ll be looking at more of yours for sure.