Air fryer fried chicken thighs are easy and delicious. These air fried boneless chicken thighs are breaded perfectly for any day of the week. Not only is this air fryer boneless chicken thighs recipe super simple, but it’s packed full of amazing flavor as well!
We eat a ton of chicken in our house but let’s be truthful with one another and admit that eating the same dish over and over can get quite boring. I love how versatile chicken can be but sometimes I just get tired of thinking of new ways to try and cook it.
Why Use the Air Fryer
When I think of using my air fryer, I think of two things first: ease and flavor. Air fryers are far less messy than traditional frying because they use such a small amount of oil. There’s no spattering or popping on the stove or onto my skin!
I then think of flavor. Air frying meat keeps it so tender and juicy. It’s a great way to get all the flavor and tenderness we love in our meats without all the work.
There’s another reason that so many of us use the air fryer, too, and that’s related to the amount of oil it uses. Air frying uses 70 to 80 percent less oil than regular frying.
But did you know that research suggests that air frying also cuts down on the risk of cancer associated with frying? Yep, it’s true. So bust out that air fryer and enjoy this air fryer fried chicken thighs recipe with no worries AND no mess.
How long does it take to cook chicken in the air fryer?
This really all just depends on the size of the chicken as well as the cut of chicken, too. For this simple breaded air fried chicken thighs recipe, you’re going to be looking at around 20 minutes of cooking time to get that moist chicken meat surrounded by the crisp, breaded outer crust.
But above anything, you need to be certain that your chicken meat is internally cooked and safe to eat. I highly recommend that you invest in a meat thermometer to verify the temperature.
There’s no reason to even take a risk when it comes to chicken. Period. Because chicken that isn’t cooked properly can lead to sickness or worse.
Anytime you cook chicken, it needs to have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. The fastest way to know is to use your meat thermometer to check. It’s just too simple of a process to skip and it will save you so much headache and worry.
And if you find that your chicken isn’t cooked up to that temperature, then you know that you just need to cook it for a few minutes more!
Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs
Since I’m trying to cut back on greasy fried foods, I’ve really relied on my air fryer a lot these past few years. I also love the easier cleanup. Win/win!
This easy recipe gives me that delicious crispy taste and texture with these air fried boneless chicken thighs. It also takes away that heavy feeling of grease that I used to have when I’d fry up chicken in a pan or skillet.
The other big reason that I love using my air fryer is that it really does an awesome job of crisping up the outside of the chicken. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the outer breaded chicken to be crispy and my air fryer nails that texture every single time.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs Ingredients
The good news is that you don’t need a ton of ingredients to cook chicken thighs in the Air Fryer! The breading for these air fryer boneless chicken thighs is super simple, and because you’re using the air fryer, cleanup is a breeze. Here’s everything you need.
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs (chicken breast will work in a pinch)
- Panko bread crumbs
- all-purpose flour
- garlic powder, if desired
- onion powder, if desired
- ground black pepper
That’s it. Chances are that you already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen – or at least most of them.
It’s wonderful to not have to use any oil or olive oil and end up with crispy, juicy and tender chicken thighs.
You may notice the Panko breadcrumbs snuck in there but there is a reason for them! Once you fry them up in your air fryer, they crisp up perfectly and are the main reason that this air fryer chicken thighs recipe has that crisp outer crust.
If you omit and use just flour, you’re not going to get the same results.
Tips for Making Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs
Since this recipe is fairly simple, there are just a few cooking tips to keep in mind. These tips are really simple, but they’ll absolutely make a huge difference in your final product. So be sure to read over these tips before making these air fried chicken thighs.
Create a thick coating for the chicken
When you’re dipping the chicken in the buttermilk and eggs, make certain to get those wet ingredients all over. This is because this is the binding agent that will hold on to the dry mixture of flour and breadcrumbs as well.
If you don’t have enough wet mixture on your chicken, it’s not going to be able to hold the appropriate amount of dry ingredients, either. This is important because if your coating isn’t right, you’ll end up with sort of baked chicken instead of air fryer boneless chicken thighs.
Spray your air fryer basket with non-stick spray
If you’re worried about your chicken sticking to the air fryer basket, spray it with a non-stick cooking spray. I love to use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil but it’s really up to you.
Be sure to spray a nice, even coating, but don’t overspray, either. The trick is using nice even strokes. Think of it as sort of like using a can of spray paint.
Flip the air fried boneless chicken thighs once you see the golden brown coloring on the skin
Even though you’re going to be setting your air fryer timer to cook the chicken, still peek and use your visual cues as well. This recipe does require you to cook both sides of the chicken face down in the air fryer basket so you will need to flip and cook halfway through.
Even with flipping the chicken halfway through, the recipe remains totally easy.
Serving Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs
These air fried boneless chicken thighs have all the great flavor of classic fried chicken, so I like to serve them the same way. I find the classics are the best when it comes to serving this chicken. Some great sides for this air fryer boneless chicken thighs are:
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Baked beans
- Macaroni and cheese
- Any vegetables you’d like
What dips go well with chicken?
While we’re talking about serving up this delicious chicken, we can’t forget dipping! If you’re like me, you like to dip your fried chicken – no matter the recipe – in some kind of sauce.
Dipping sauces are great because you can change up the flavors of your dish without actually doing any work at all on the recipe, which makes this easy recipe even easier. Yay!
I LOVE dips too and have created a round up of our favorites for you to have a look at, if interested. I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.
Some awesome dipping sauces for chicken include:
- Ranch dressing
- Hot sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Honey mustard
- Sweet and sour sauce
But you dip in whatever you want to dip this chicken into! Dips are a fun treat to add to this recipe even though it’s so good it doesn’t even need a dip to enjoy it!
Can I eat these warm or cold?
These are best served nice and hot. I use my oven (set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep everything warm while I finish making the remaining batches of chicken.
Of course, if you’re like some people I know, you might just eat this chicken straight out of the refrigerator for the next few days, and that’s great, too. You do you. I know quite a few friends who actually love dipping cold fried chicken into dipping sauces.
Storing Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs
You can store any leftovers you might have in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. I recommend reheating in the air fryer or the oven so the breading on the chicken does not get mushy.
You can also freeze this chicken for longer storage. This chicken will freeze well for a couple of months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container, heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrapped tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
As you can see, the proof is in the pictures! Just look at how crispy that outer layer of chicken skin is! It’s the perfect balance between having a crispy texture and taste and a moist and tender inside as well.
If you like your chicken spicy, you can even add a few red pepper flakes into your dry mixture to give this chicken a bit of a kick!
Before we go, I want to include this FAQ for you. As always, I’ll be covering some important points here so you can be sure you make the absolute best air fryer boneless chicken thighs possible.
Q: My chicken coating came out so thin. What happened?
A: You probably didn’t coat it well enough in the wet mixture. While you don’t want to go overboard when coating this chicken, you do want a nice, thick layer that will keep the panko in place.
Q: Why do you use panko?
A: Panko is what gives these air fried chicken thighs that great crispy texture. In traditional frying, you can just drown your chicken in batter, and the oil takes care of the rest. That’s not an option in an air fryer, and the panko serves to take its place.
Q: What can I serve this recipe with?
A: This recipe is just as tasty as the classic fried version, so I like to serve it with the same types of sides. Think mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese, baked beans, and other classic fried chicken fare. Don’t forget dipping sauces, too!
Q: How long is this chicken good for?
A: You can store this chicken in the refrigerator for between 5 – 7 days. You can also freeze the chicken for up to 2 months.
Try This Air Fryer Fried Chicken Today
This delicious air fried boneless chicken thighs recipe is easy to make and so full of flavor. This air fryer boneless chicken thighs recipe is delicious, tender, juicy, and doesn’t take long to make, so it’s the perfect meal for any day of the week, from weekends to random Wednesdays. Give it a try yourself, and I’m sure you and your family will agree that it’s one of the best chicken recipes you’ve ever made.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Fried Chicken Thighs - Crispy and Fast!
- Air Fryer
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless skinless
- ⅓ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, if desired
- ½ teaspoon onion powder, if desired
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Place the breadcrumbs, oregano, salt, and ground black pepper in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Place the egg and buttermilk in a bowl and gently whisk. Put the flour in separate bowl as well to complete your breading station.
- Coat each chicken thigh in the flour and then the egg mix.
- Last, the breadcrumbs.
- Place the chicken in the basket of the air fryer.
- Cook the chicken at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Flip the thighs and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Recently, I have started cooking these tasty chicken thighs at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping at midway point instead. I find they take a little longer but you end up with less burnt spots on the chicken breading. Both are delicious.
- Continue to cook in batches until all the chicken has been cooked.
- Serve with your favorite sauces. We have a list of our favorite dip recipes for you to choose from or use a store bought option, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch and more.
- Serve and enjoy every bite.