Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

This crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs recipe is healthy, hearty and full of flavor and made with minimal prep and pantry staples.  Plus I give you cook time for both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs.

Suitable for Keto, Gluten-Free and Low Carb diets. Post Includes Weight Watchers points.

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a plate of air fryer boneless chicken thighs

Peeps, have I got an amaaaaazing recipe for you today. We all know that chicken thighs make a delicious, nutritious and inexpensive meal. One peek inside one of my 2 freezers (yeap, I have 2 freezers….I like to be prepared) will reveal packs and packs of chicken thighs, all lined up and ready to feed my hungry family.

Easy To Cook Air Fried Chicken Thighs

Luckily there are so many great ways to cook them. But the mini chefs love to air fry chicken thighs and this way is pretty much the Best. Thing. Ever.

Air fried chicken is sooooo versatile. These crispy chicken thighs are a perfect solution for those busy weeknights when you need to get dinner on the table fast. And they are equally great served as a hearty, healthy, and satisfying lunch, picnic or game day eat, or a snack.

The almond flour and Parmesan cheese mixture is a great low-carb, gluten-free alternative to the typical breadcrumb coating. It also adds a nice depth of flavor and gives these chicken thighs a wonderful crispy skin.

Which is the perfect contrast to the tender and juicy meat inside. If you’ve been looking to put a delicious new spin on your usual weeknight low carb chicken thighs, this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs is it.

If you love chicken, then you might want to check out this crispy Air Fryer Whole Chicken, the best golden and crispy Air Fryer Chicken breast, straight from the freezer juicy Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breasts, and family approved Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets.

Plus learn how to Reheat Fried Chicken in Air Fryer.

Loads of delicious air fryer chicken recipes for you.

close up of air fryer boneless chicken thigh on a plate

Why Make This Recipe

  • Easy and delicious air fryer chicken thighs are sooooo versatile. Swap seasonings or coating to suit the occasion or taste.
  • All occasions – serve as easy weeknight dinner, after-school snack, or quick lunch.
  • For a fun kid-approved snack, try cutting the chicken thighs into chunks before coating with them.
  • Fast Ready in less than 20 minutes.

Ingredients Notes

  • Chicken Thighs – This recipe used skin on and boneless chicken thighs – but you can use bone in chicken thighs to although the cook time will be different.
  • Parmesan Cheese – I prefer to freshly grate the parmesan myself, but you can use pre-grated instead.
  • Almond Flour –  This uses almond flour as I wanted to keep this low carb. See further below for non low carb options
  • Seasoning – Italian Seasoning plus smoked paprika and cajun seasoning provides a nice flavor. Feel free to swap in your favorite seasoning blend.
  • Oil – I used olive oil, but other light oil or cooking spray also works. This helps the seasoning stick to the meat.

So, are you ready to learn how to make chicken thighs in air fryer? Gather your ingredients and let’s get started………

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Step by Step

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
  • In a small bowl combine together almond flour, Parmesan cheese and spices.
  • Lightly spray both sides of the chicken thighs with a calorie-controlled cooking spray (or if not following a calorie-controlled diet, rub with olive oil).
  • Cover both sides of the chicken with the coating mix and place chicken thighs skin side up in the air fryer basket. Make sure the chicken thighs are not touching.
  • Cook for 10-16 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken thighs. Mine took 14 minutes.
  • Chef’s Tip: You should always check the internal temperature of your chicken thighs to make sure they’re safe using a meat thermometer. The meat is done when the internal temperature reaches at least 164 degrees F or 74 degrees C.
image collage showing the steps for making air fryer chicken thighs

Make These In The Oven

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
  • In a small bowl combine together almond flour, Parmesan cheese and spices.
  • Lightly spray both sides of the chicken thighs with a calorie-controlled cooking spray (or if not following a calorie-controlled diet, rub with olive oil).
  • Cover both sides of the chicken with the coating and place the chicken thighs on a rack on a lined rimmed baking tray.
  • Cook chicken thighs for 35-4o minutes depending on their size. The meat is done when the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C.

Recipe Tips

Check out these easy tips to get cook perfect thighs in the air fryer.

  • Pat the chicken thighs dry before coating them so the seasoning sticks easier and for maximum flavor.
  • Make sure to preheat Air Fryer before adding the thighs in the Air Fryer Basket.
  • Don’t overcrowd the fryer. Make sure the meat is not touching to allow for maximum air circulation so that they cook nice and evenly. You may need to cook this in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket.
  • Try and cook chicken of the same size at the same time. Might be best cook large thighs and small thighs separately so they cook at the same rate.
  • I like using skin on chicken thighs as my kids love crispy skin, but if you want to cut calories you can use boneless skinless chicken instead.
  • Make sure to let the meat rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
  • Since these have been coated with flour or breadcrumbs, I suggest you spray the air fryer basket or rack with light cooking spray or oil before adding in the coated meat.
  • Make sure the chicken is not touching. This allows maximum air circulation inside the fryer, so your chicken will cook evenly and turn out nicely crispy.
  • Always check the internal temperature of your chicken using an instant read thermometer. The thighs are done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C.

Delicious Variations

  • If not following a low carb diet then use Panko Breadcrumbs – Lighter and airier compared to regular breadcrumbs, which means they absorb less oil and end up crispier.
  • Vary the seasoning – the seasoning mixture can be varied to suit your taste. Try swapping the Cajun seasoning for a combination of ground coriander, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Add heat – add a bit of heat with some cayenne or red chilli flakes.
  • Feel free to add salt and pepper to your taste if needed.
2 air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with some salad

Storage

  • Store – Keep cool leftover chicken thigh in airtight container inside the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat – Reheat the meat in a preheated air fryer for about 3 minutes till warmed through and the coating crisps up again.
  • Freeze – Wrap cooled cooked thighs individually, then put wrapped meat into freezer bags, squeeze out all the air and freeze flat for up to 3 months.
4 air fryer chicken thighs in an air fryer basket

FAQs

How To Bread Chicken Thighs?

For these air fryer fried chicken thighs, you can either use Almond Flour (for low carb / keto / gluten free diets), regular breadcrumbs, or panko breadcrumbs give really good results, aka crispy chicken breasts.

One way to bread the chicken is to lightly coat it with low calories cooking spray or olive oil before coating it in your bread crumbs. This is my preference.

Alternatively, you can dip the meat in egg before coating it which will change the flavor very slightly, but not enough to make a big deal out of it.

Try both ways and see which you prefer. Also, make sure you let the excess egg drop off the chicken thigh and it is as dry as possible before coating.

Best Way To Make Sure Your Breading Is Crispy?

Don’t let the meat sit in the coating mix or it will get soggy. Coat both sides of the meat and then immediately place in the air fryer or oven to cook.

Also, you want to use a very small amount of olive oil spray or a brush only a very small amount of olive oil on meat before dipping to avoid ending up with a soggy coating.

Why Make This In The Air Fryer?

Air frying is pretty great. Here is how it works. By circulating heat all around the food, air fryers allow you to ‘fry’ foods using the smallest amount of oil. We are talking anything from a tablespoon to just a light spray.

And since your food isn’t submerged in the stuff, much less oil gets absorbed during the cooking process, which means your meal contains far less fat and calories overall. A total win for our waistlines.

How Long To Air Fry Chicken?

Wondering how long to cook chicken thighs in the air fryer? Cooking times depend on the thickness of your meat and if is bone-in or boneless
For boneless chicken thighs cook it for 10 – 16 minutes depending on size. Mine took 14 minutes.
For bone-in chicken thighs cook them for 14 minutes, turn them and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.

When cooking these for the first time, I recommend aiming for 13-14 minutes and then checking for doneness using an instant read thermometer. Adjust up or down for your future tries.

Can I scale up this recipe?

Whilst this only used 4 chicken thighs, you can certainly double or triple to feed a crowd. Just make sure you don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket or tray and cook in batches if required.

Serving Suggestions

These delicious crispy air fryer chicken thighs can be paired with so many different sides. I personally like to serve them on a lovely bed of field greens topped with bright red (my favorite color) cherry tomatoes. And to keep it all low carb and keto-friendly, dress your salad with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Alternatively, you can serve them with;

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

2 air fried chicken thighs on a plate

Weight Watchers Points

There are 4 Blue Plan SmartPoints per serving of Air fryer Chicken Thighs.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Video

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a plate of air fryer boneless chicken thighs

Print Recipe

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Make delicious air fryer chicken thighs with this quick and easy recipe.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Western

Servings: 4

Calories: 206kcal

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F or 200 degrees C.

  • Mix together almond flour, Parmesan cheese, paprika, Herbes de Provence, Cajun or other seasoning.

  • Lightly spray both sides of the chicken thighs with a calorie-controlled cooking spray (or if not following a calorie-controlled diet, rub with olive oil).

  • Cover both sides of the chicken with the coating mix and place in the air fryer basket. Make sure the chicken thighs are not touching.

  • Cook for 10-16 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Mine took 14 minutes. I recommend aiming for 12 minutes and checking with a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C.

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Video

Notes

  • Make sure the chicken is not touching. This allows maximum air circulation inside the fryer, so your chicken will cook evenly and turn out nicely crispy.
  • The seasoning mixture can be varied to suit your taste. Try swapping the Cajun seasoning for a combination of ground coriander, garlic powder, and onion powder. Or, add a bit of heat with some cayenne or red chili flakes.
  • Don’t leave your chicken sitting in the coating for too long as it can go soggy. Coat both sides and then get them in the fryer ASAP!
  • There are 4 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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