Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Golden brown air fryer chicken thighs on a serving plate

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Total: 28 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Yield: 4 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
174 Calories
12g Fat
1g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 322mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 185mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The air fryer cooks deliciously seasoned chicken thighs to crispy, juicy perfection in just 18 minutes. A coating of Parmesan, garlic, and Italian seasoning creates a flavorful, crispy exterior in less than half the time it would take on the stovetop or oven. These chicken thighs are the perfect meal for a busy weeknight, and it's one that you're sure to put on repeat.

Chicken thighs are an excellent choice because they retain their flavor and juiciness, and they're easier on the budget than chicken breasts. As with most meat and poultry, bone-in thighs are more flavorful than boneless, and the crispy, seasoned skin will have you reaching for seconds. Serve with rice or pasta and a side vegetable or salad for a full, satisfying meal in less than 30 minutes.


Click Play to See These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Come Together

"This recipe is a great way to get dinner done in no time. Chicken thighs are simply seasoned and cooked in an air-fryer, which crisps up the skin perfectly. It's hands-off and low-mess too." –Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed and mashed to form a paste

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for air fryer chicken thighs recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels.

    Chicken thighs patted dry with paper towels

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  3. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil spray.

    Oiled air fryer basket

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  4. Place the chicken thighs on a plate, skin-side up. Spread the garlic on the chicken and then sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using.

    Chicken thighs coated with Parmesan, herbs, and spices on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  5. Place the seasoned chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin-side up, and drizzle or spray with olive oil.

    Chicken thighs placed in the air fryer basket skin side up

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  6. Set the air fryer temperature to 380 F and set the timer for 18 minutes. Remove the basket after about 12 minutes.

    Chicken thighs with browned skin in the air fryer basket

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  7. Turn the chicken thighs over and replace the basket; continue to cook for the remaining 6 minutes. To ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked, check the largest thighs with an instant-read thermometer; the minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F.

    Chicken thighs skin-side down in the air fryer basket

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  8. Serve the chicken thighs with extra grated Parmesan cheese and a garnish of fresh parsley, if desired.

    Golden brown air fryer chicken thighs on a serving plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray


  • The air fryer cooks food by circulating hot air around the pieces, so make sure there is space between the chicken thighs.
  • If you are cooking for heavy meat-eaters, or your air fryer basket or tray is small, you might have to cook two or more batches. Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to an oven-safe platter or pan and place them in a 200 F oven to keep warm while making subsequent batches. 

Is Air-Fried Chicken Healthier?

Because air frying uses a fraction of the oil that is needed for deep frying, it dramatically cuts calories and fat and is, therefore, a much healthier way to fry compared to the stovetop method.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the Italian seasoning blend with another herb seasoning combination, such as fines herbes, herbes de Provence, or a poultry blend. Or use a Cajun or Creole seasoning blend for a little bit of spice. If the seasoning mix contains salt, cut back on the kosher salt in the recipe.
  • Lemon pepper is a tasty alternative to plain black pepper.