Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs in the Ninja Foodi

5 from 1 vote

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I am a little obsessed with air frying these days for how easily I can make dinner without heating up my whole oven. These Ninja Foodi air fryer chicken thighs are juicy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. 

Using the air fryer is a quick and easy way to get a yummy dinner on the table and these chicken thighs are the start of a delicious meal. 

Chicken Thighs on Plate with herb garnish
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Serve with the perfect side dish like cilantro rice or Mexican quinoa for a full meal you can be proud of. Or make some tasty eggrolls with your leftovers!

Why I Love Ninja Foodi Chicken Thighs

  • Easy air fryer recipe 
  • Great flavor 
  • Great for busy weeknights 
  • Simple main dish

Ingredients Needed

Make this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs with just a few simple ingredients. 

Chicken Thighs on plate with seasonings in prep bowls

Here’s what you need: 

  • Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs – Not only are these these thighs more affordable, they also provide juicy chicken with deliciously crispy chicken skin.  
  • Garlic cloves, minced – I haven’t met a chicken recipe that wasn’t better with garlic! 
  • Extra virgin olive oil – The oil will coat the outside of the chicken to protect it from drying out and also helps stick the seasonings onto the chicken. 
  • Lemon zest – for a tangy kick to the marinade 
  • Lemon juice – for added flavor in the marinade. 
  • Smoked paprika – paprika adds a deeper flavor with a little kick 
  • Sea salt – to enhance all of the flavors together 
  • Fresh parsley – fresh herbs are used in the marinade and as garnish on the cooked chicken 
  • Dry thyme – for an added earthy flavor that compliments the lemon

Recipe Variations

Once you have this easy air fryer chicken thigh recipe down, you can adjust the seasonings in many ways. Here are a few ways to change it up. 

  • Use cooking oil with salt and pepper for cooking, then coat with a mixture of butter and buffalo sauce.  
  • Coat the chicken with bbq sauce before cooking, then baste again when ready to serve.  
  • Make air fryer glazed chicken thighs by adding your favorite teriyaki sauce and serving with fried rice or noodles. 

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Thanks to the air fryer method, this meal is ready quickly. Just mix the chicken marinade and marinate the chicken pieces, then let the air fryer do all the work!

First, pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels.

Mix ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Then put the chicken thighs in the bowl and toss to coat.

toss Chicken Thighs in bowl with seasonings

Marinate for at least 10 minutes on the counter or for richer flavor you can refrigerate for two hours or even overnight in the fridge.

Coated Chicken Thighs in bowl

When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Place chicken thighs in a single layer to the air fryer basket or tray and cook. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in batches so you don’t crowd the air fryer.

It’s ok if they touch, but make sure the chicken doesn’t overlap.

Uncooked Chicken Thighs in air fryer basket

Cook bone-in chicken thighs for 10 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175°F to 180°F using a meat thermometer for tender, juicy chicken thighs.

Cooked Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer Basket

Cook time may vary depending on the size of the thighs.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, salt flakes and black pepper to taste. Serve warm with a fresh salad for a low carb meal or add your favorite side dish and enjoy!

garnish chicken with herbs and lemon and serve

Storage Tips

If you have any leftover chicken thighs, store in a zip top bag or airtight container and refrigerate. You can enjoy the chicken for 3-4 days after cooking. 

Eat cold on a salad or reheat in the air fryer or microwave. 

Common Questions

Can I make this with boneless chicken?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe, but you will need to adjust the cook time and may not be as juicy or have that golden brown layer of skin. 

Can I use frozen chicken?

I recommend thawing the meat before marinating. Then cook chicken thighs in the air fryer.

Print the Recipe Card

Cooking with an air fryer is a great way to get dinner done quickly without heating up your whole kitchen. The Ninja Foodi chicken thighs are great but any air fryer will work. Enjoy!

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

5 from 1 vote
Deliciously seasoned air fryer chicken thighs are juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside and so easy to make!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Yield: 4 thighs


  • 4 large bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

Marinade ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp dry thyme


  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Mix ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Then coat chicken thighs and marinate for at least 10 minutes on the counter up to overnight in the fridge.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer to 375°F, then add chicken pieces. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in two batches as they can touch, but they shouldn’t overlap.
  • Cook them for 10 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is between 175-185°F.
  • Garnish with additional parsley and salt/pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken thighs; mine were large. The best tip is to check them after the first 10 minutes when you’re about to flip me and adjust the remaining time if necessary.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 388kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 142mg, Sodium: 694mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin A: 364IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Chicken
Cuisine: American

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to

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