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Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are easy to prepare and turn out with the perfect tender inside and delicious crispy outside. Making boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer is a quick goof-proof method for cooking chicken.

Air fryer boneless chicken thighs in an air fryer

After I was completely blown away by the result of bone-in Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Thighs, I just knew I needed to try a boneless chicken thigh recipe in the air fryer as well.

Turns out, cooking boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer is equal parts easy and delicious!

You end up with juicy, tender meat with the loveliest crispy skin on the outside.

The total cook time sits around 15 to 18 minutes, and with minimal cleanup, this recipe is a low carb easy to prepare quick meal for any night of the week.

If you enjoy meal prepping, you can make this simple boneless chicken thigh recipe for meal prep in a big batch by doubling or tripling the quantities of ingredients.

Let’s chat about the ingredients for this tasty tender air fryer chicken thighs recipe!

Ingredients for Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: While this recipe calls for just about 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs, which is about 4 thighs, you can easily adjust the quantity upward if you’re feeding more than two to four people. If this is the case, just be sure to increase the amounts of the ingredients for the marinade to ensure the thighs turn out flavorful.

If you’re cooking boneless thighs from frozen, be sure to thaw the chicken completely before marinating it and cooking it for the best result.

Lemon Juice & Zest: Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest give these succulent thighs that vibrant tangy zing of flavor that we all love so much!

Garlic: Many fresh cloves of garlic bring a great deal of flavor to the chicken. Feel free to scale the amount up or down depending on your personal taste.

Avocado Oil: Used in the marinade for flavor and for lubrication to protect the chicken from burning through the air frying process, avocado oil is a high temperature cooking oil with neutral flavor, making it ideal for this type of application.

Paprika & Garlic Powder: Both paprika and garlic powder level up the flavor of this amazing thigh recipe. Paprika gives them a bit of a smoky flavor, where garlic powder helps ensure we’re really getting that garlic flavor in there from all angles. You can add any other seasonings you like here. Ground cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning lemon pepper, or any dry rub is great!

Sea Salt: A little kosher salt is used in the chicken marinade to help tenderize the meat and also to enhance the flavor of all of the ingredients. Sea salt takes flavors and turns the volume up so that fresh food never tastes bland. I found ½ teaspoon was adequate but you can adjust the amount according to your personal taste.

Now that we’re experts on the ingredients for this easy recipe, let’s discuss how to air fry boneless chicken thighs!

Lemon garlic chicken thighs on a white plate sprinkled with parsley and a slice of lemon

How to Make Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs:

Transfer the raw chicken thighs to a zip lock bag, along with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.

Seal the bag and shake it around until the thighs are all coated in the marinade. Note: if you prefer using a large bowl and plastic wrap for marinating, feel free to go this route.

Marinate for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator, but ideally for 1 to 12 hours.

Preheat the Air Fryer to 375 degrees F for 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, you can spray the basket with a little cooking spray.

Place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer with the rounded side down. Air fry for 14 minutes. 

Flip the chicken thighs and, air fry for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy and cooked through.

Note that the chicken will be fully cooked (165 degrees internal temperature) before it becomes crispy. In this sense, you’ll be cooking the chicken longer than it technically needs in order to maintain a tender inside but achieve that delicious crispy outside.

To check the temperature of the chicken, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Wait until the numbers stop moving to get an accurate read.

Serve Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs as a main dish with your choice of side dishes, and enjoy!

Chicken thighs on a white plate with a red napkin

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Serving Suggestions:

Here are some of my favorite sides for serving alongside lemon garlic chicken.

How Long to Cook Boneless Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer:

At 375 degrees, boneless chicken thighs will be ready in 15 to 20 minutes total. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the thighs and your air fryer, as they do vary.

Air fry for 12 to 14 minutes, then flip the thighs and air fry for an additional 4 to 6.

horizontal photo of cooked chicken thighs in an air fryer with slices of lemon and sprinkles of fresh parsley

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs?:

You can absolutely use bone-in skin on chicken thighs for this recipe. If you choose to do so, air fry for 10 minutes per side at 375, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the skin is nice and crispy.

You can also make this recipe using chicken breasts by following the instructions in my Air Fryer Chicken Breasts recipe.

Can I Bake Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs in the Oven?:

Absolutely! If you don’t own an air fryer or if you simply prefer baking chicken thighs in the oven, feel free to do so. 

Transfer the chicken thighs (along with the marinade) to a large casserole dish and bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes, or until the chicken thighs reach 165 degrees F on the inside.

For crispy chicken thighs, turn on the broil setting and select High. Broil for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are crispy on top.

If you love cooking boneless skinless chicken thighs, also check out my Asian Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs recipe! 

Chicken thigh cut into several pieces on a plate

Enjoy this simple, flavorful boneless chicken thighs recipe!

Air fryer boneless chicken thighs in an air fryer

Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A fantastic meal prep recipe, these easy Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are a perfect healthy weeknight staple!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 thighs)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, to taste

Instructions

    1. Transfer the chicken thighs to a zip lock bag, along with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.
    Seal the bag and shake it around until the thighs are all coated in the marinade. Ingredients for lemon garlic chicken in a zip lock bag

    2. Marinate for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator, but ideally for 1 to 12 hours. Seal the bag and shake it around until everything is well coated in marinade
    3. Preheat the Air Fryer to 375 degrees F for 3 to 5 minutes. Place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer with the rounded side down. Air fry for 14 minutes. Raw chicken thighs in the air fryer in a single layer
    4. Flip the chicken thighs and, air fry for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy and cooked through. Tongs flipping chicken thighs in an air fryer
    5. Serve Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs as a main dish with your choice of side dishes, and enjoy! Chicken thighs in an air fryer fully cooked

Notes

Note that the chicken will be fully cooked (165 degrees internal temperature) before it becomes crispy. In this sense, you’ll be cooking the chicken longer than it technically needs in order to maintain a tender inside but achieve that delicious crispy outside. To check the temperature of the chicken, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Chicken Thigh
Amount Per Serving Calories 226Total Fat 14gCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 24g
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Air fryer boneless chicken thighs collage

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Annette

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Made this for dindin. Very,very tasty.I used olive oil. No issues. Followed the recipe.

Julia

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

I love that! Thanks so much for sharing, Annette!

Chelsea

Friday 8th of July 2022

This sounds delish - I’m making tonight! Can I use olive oil instead of avocado oil? It’s all I have on hand!

Julia

Saturday 9th of July 2022

Hi Chelsea! Yes, olive oil always works as a replacement for avocado oil. The only concern is it burns at a lower temperature than avocado oil but it works as a replacement in any recipe :)

Amira

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Question for the oven method. Do you bake first and then broil? Or just broil for 6-8 minutes? Thank you!

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