Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

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Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe:

  • Simple and quick. The chicken thighs cook faster in the air fryer than in the oven and the result is quite amazing! These chicken thighs only need about 18-25 minutes of cooking time at 400°F. In addition, an air fryer preheats quicker than the conventional oven. You will save a lot of time in the kitchen!
  • No marinating required. The key is on the perfect chicken seasoning blend! Just rub the chicken with a simple spice blend and oil before cooking and you will have the most tender and flavorful meat!
  • Super Cheap Meal. Chicken thighs are very good meat and more affordable than chicken breasts. I bought the air-chilled Kirkland chicken thighs for $0.99 per pound at Costco in my area.

Ninja Fried Chicken Production Line

Organisation is key when making Ninja Foodi Fried Chicken. You want to create a bowl system that way you can bread your chicken drumsticks quickly and get them cooking.

Have one bowl for your beaten egg, another bowl for your flour and a third with your breadcrumbs.

I also keep a stock of breadcrumbs in the freezer. Each time I have spare stale bread I will load it into the blender. Then blend and load into my freezer bag. Then when I make fried chicken, I have a good supply.

Also note that you can only cook a small amount of chicken drumsticks at once because the cooking pot for the air fryer is not that big. Instead get the next batch ready, while another batch is cooking.

How To Air Fry Bone In Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs with the bone in are one of the most economical picks of meat you can buy in the grocery store – you can trim the bone out, but you can also just leave it in and air fry!

To air fry bone in chicken thighs, please add an additional 2-4 minutes cook time to the times listed below.

Take care to not get the thermometer too close to the bone when inserting your digital thermometer, as the bone will give you an inaccurate temperature reading.

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Chicken Thighs In Air Fryer

  • Yes you can use your Ninja Foodi pot as well to make these. It doesnt matter what brand you have, they all basically work the same.
  • Chicken thigh recipes are cheap and so flavorful.

That is what we started with and now we have a few different machines. For this youll need defrosted meat, if not follow our air fryer frozen chicken thighs timing.

If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:

  • It has temp. and times for making the best frozen foods for air fryer too.
  • Then where you can share and find more ideas youll love. We have a Foodi social media group as well.
  • Here are a few questions you might have before getting started with this one:

    How long does it take to cook leg quarters in an air fryer?

    I didnt do quarters, rather just thighs and separately cooked air fryer chicken legs another time. If you cook together it takes approx. 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

    How long do you air fry frozen chicken thighs?

    I prefer to defrost first but you can at 360 degrees F for 25 minutes, then 5 minutes at 400 to crisp skin. Air fryer frozen wings work out quite well though.

    Why do we love air fryer chicken thighs??

  • Thighs are really cheap
  • The meat inside is super moist
  • If you use bone-in with the skin on the tops will get deliciously crispy
  • Theyre done start to finish in about 30 minutes which makes for a quick and delicious meal for sure.

    This is what we started with here. I bought basic store brand bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on.

    Can I Use Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs For Ranch Chicken Thighs

    Best Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

    Absolutely! I go back and forth between bone-in skin-on and boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you are looking for more of a good old-fashioned piece of fried chicken, I highly recommend buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs will not be crispy.

    Season both sides of the chicken thighs with a dry ranch dressing.

    I personally love a homemade ranch dressing for this recipe. By the time you are done making your fried chicken, you will not even need a dipping sauce. The flavor is just that good!

    Have a kid that loves cooking? Let him/her make the ranch seasoning while you prep the chicken. My daughter usually claims the job of mixing together the dry ranch dressing at my house.

    PRO TIP: Looking to make a cheesy ranch chicken? Add nutritional yeast to your dry ranch dressing mixture!

    Place the chicken thighs onto the air fryer rack.

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    Can You Fry Chicken In Air Fryer

    I mean kinda. It isnt frying, that is the whole benefit of this machine. You dont need to submerge your food in calorie and fat laden oil. Youll want to use some olive oil spray to brown the outsides nicely but beyond that the hot air does the work for you to get that same great texture.

    If your meat is frozen youll want to defrost them for these instructions. If yours are still hard and you dont have time then follow our frozen chicken thighs air fryer directions instead. They turn out great but breading isnt possible because it wont stick.

  • Fresh chicken thighs
  • These were boneless, skinless but bone in skin on could be used. It may take a few more minutes and vary depending on how thick they are.
  • Egg
  • All purpose flour will work as the breading of sorts
  • Raw or roasted garlic and/or onion powder will give it flavor, use other seasonings of your choice too
  • Paprika is one of favorites
  • Oregano
  • Celery salt is a hidden gem and if you arent familiar with using this in other dishes you should try it.
  • Dry mustard
  • And a bit of salt and pepper in the flour will make the coating full of flavor. You might want a bit as well as sprinkled on top when serving it.

    Create an assembly line with the dry ingredients in one and your egg in another. Flour, egg, flour is the way to go and a spray of olive oil at the end to wet the outside so it crisps.

    If you are cooking a larger batch dont put them all in at once. You need them to be in one layer so the air can circulate well.

    How To Make Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs

    Start by preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees F, air fryer setting. Then pat your chicken dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Next, rub the chicken with ranch dressing and then place it into the air fryer basket.

    Set the timer to 20 minutes, flip halfway during the cooking process.

    Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Before removing, it should be 165 degrees F.

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    Instant Pot This Is Probably The Easiest Method But The Cauliflower Can Overcook Really Easily

    To cook the cauliflower in the Instant Pot, add the chopped cauliflower to the inner pot along with 1 cup of water and salt. Place the lid, press the manual button, and set the time for zero minutes at low pressure. When the cauliflower is finished cooking, do a quick release of the pressure. Drain the cauliflower in a colander while you make the cheese sauce

    Teriyaki Chicken Air Fryer

    Crispy Air Fryer CHICKEN THIGHS with baking powder | Ninja Foodi Grill and XL Grill | Sweet Savant
  • Teriyaki marinade This one is best, I use it for baked teriyaki chicken thighs too
  • If you are looking for a low carb teriyaki chicken sauce I found this one . Theres gluten free sauce available too.

  • Chicken thighs or cubed breasts work too, I feel thighs are more tender
  • Onion if you want to add that
  • You could add a tbsp of diced fresh or jarred garlic if you love all things garlic
  • We love serving this on a bed of rice or quinoa. For a low carb version you could skip these and serve as is.

    Like I said, I use chicken thighs whenever possible. I feel like they turn out more tender than chicken breasts and are less expensive too.

    Here are a few questions you might have before getting started making your teriyaki chicken:

    How healthy is teriyaki chicken?

    Well that depends on the nutritional value of the sauce youre using and how fatty your meat is. On the whole, air fryer marinated chicken is quite healthy with NO oil required to make it crispy on the outside.

    Do you have to flip chicken in air fryer?

    I do. Especially if you cube the meat into bite size pieces like we did here it is best to shake the basket halfway thru. That way each piece rotates and gets a bit of crisp all the way around.

    What temperature do you cook chicken in air fryer?

    That depends. If it is a larger piece, I find that its best to lower the heat to maybe 350 F. In this case they are boneless bite size pieces so 380 F was better and only took a few minutes to cook to perfection.

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    Different Ways To Season The Chicken Thighs

    So when I start out trying a new recipe, I usually always stick to a real simple salt and pepper seasoning but you can change it up if you like!

    Now that I have mastered this method of cooking chicken thighs in the air fryer, I have been experimenting with tons of different flavor combos.

    These are some of my favorites:

    • Greek Seasoning Marinated in Greek yogurt and herb seasonings for some delicious Greek chicken.Spicy Chili Lime Just add a bit of chili powder and sweet paprika along with a dash of red pepper flakes and it will really give these chicken thighs a kick!
    • Lemon Garlic Add a big squeeze of lemon and a bunch of chopped garlic to make this extra yummy.
    • Everything Bagel Seasoning Not just for bagels, its great on chicken too!

    Serving Suggestions To Pair With These Foodi Chicken Thighs

    Chicken thighs go great with so many things. You could try:

    1. Be sure to pat dry the chicken thighs before beginning the recipe.2. The oil coating will help ensure a crispier skin. 3. Be sure to season the underside of the chicken as well for added flavor.4. The cooking times of the thighs may vary so it’s best to start checking them at the 8 minute mark after flipping them. Depending on the size of the thighs will depend on how much cooking time they require.

    Nutrition Information:

    Amount Per Serving:

    All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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    Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs

    Jodi / /

    Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The yummy ranch flavor paired with the crunchy chicken will have your family grabbing an extra piece or two!

    There are always new kitchen appliances on the market that I am often skeptical of the different products. You start to wonder which ones are worth the purchase. If you have been following the blog then you know that my crockpot and my Instant pot are my two favorite appliances.


    The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to making crockpot meals or instant pot meals for my family. I honestly never thought I would need another kitchen tool untilmy son requested fried chicken for dinner If you have ever attempted to make homemade fried chicken then you know how overwhelming and messy the experience can be. I decided to invest in an air fryer and I am SO happy that I did. It makes the perfect Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs.

    How To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer

    Air Fryer Glazed Chicken Thighs (Ninja Foodi)

    Crispy chicken thighs are so easy to make in the air fryer. Everything including prep time and cook time is all done in less than 30 minutes.

  • In a large bowl, mix together the cooking oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Add in the chicken thighs and toss them in the seasoning until fully coated.
  • Preheat the air fryer for two minutes at 400°F. Then add in the chicken thighs and cook for 12 minutes with skin side facing down. Flip them over using a pair of tongs and cook for another 12-17 minutes, keeping an eye on them in the last couple of minutes so that they dont burn.
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    Ingredients For Making Chicken Thighs In The Ninja Foodi Grill

    Chicken: Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You could use chicken breast, or even boneless chicken, but you will need to adjust the cooking time. For best results, use an instant-read thermometer because different cuts of chicken have different cooking times.

    Buttermilk: This adds a tanginess to the chicken and also tenderizes it.

    Seasonings: Salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper add the right pop of flavor. Feel free to adjust the salt and pepper to your personal liking.

    Our Dry Rub Recipe For Chicken

    Rub thighs with olive oil, then mix:

  • Brown sugar optional
  • Black pepper can be added too if you like
  • Other idea is to use our amazing dry rub you can use on thighs.

    Massage chicken thighs with olive oil, then use:

    Soak your thighs in your favorite type overnight in the fridge.

    If making our brown sugar chicken rub the top skin will get dark brown because the sugar is going to caramelize. Not to worry.

    We did 10 minutes time once the skin was facing up and everyone in the house agreed that they were amazing!!

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    How To Cook Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken Thighs

  • Preheat the Ninja Foodi Grill to 380 degrees.
  • Rub the frozen chicken thighs with the spice rub.
  • Cook the thighs in a single layer for 15-20 minutes, flipping once.
  • Remove the basket from the base. Baste the chicken with Bbq sauce, covering as much of it as you can.
  • Replace the basket with the basted chicken in the Ninja Foodi and cook for 2-4 more minutes.
  • What Are Disadvantages Of An Air Fryer

    Ninja 4qt Air Fryer Fried Chicken Legs Smithfields breading
    • I havent found many at all myself other than some models have a pretty small basket. I like this large air fryer with shelves, its perfect for large families.

    Want to see a few of my favorite things you might want to write on your Christmas list this year??!! Take a peek and see how many you might already havetwinsies!

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    Can I Use Bone

    Yep! I tested this recipe both ways, so if you’re going to use bone-in chicken, I’d air fry the chicken on the first side for 15 minutes, and on the second side for 12. Again, it depends on the size of your chicken thighs, too, but generally bone-in chicken takes a little longer to cook than boneless chicken.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer

    There are several factors when determining the ideal time for air frying chicken:

    • Cut of Chicken: Chicken thighs, wings, or breast?
    • Bone Status: Bone in or Boneless?
    • Size: Did the meat come from a small free range chicken, or a mega chickenzilla? Larger thighs will need to cook longer!
    • Type of Air Fryer: Each Air Fryer is a little different. The times I’ve shared are for my 5 Qt PowerXL Air Fryer. I also tested them in my Dash 2Quart and the times were accurate within 1 minute.

    An Instant Read thermometer is your friend! I highly recommend getting one so you can verify the internal temperature reaches 175 F during the cooking process. With the help of a meat thermometer, you can use this same seasoning and recipe for anything from boneless skinless chicken thighs to chicken breasts!

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    What Recipes To Make With Leftover Chicken

    If you have any leftovers, consider the following recipes. These are all great options for leftover chicken!! I would just pull the fried skin off.

    I hope you enjoyed this Air Fryer Chicken Legs recipe idea. It is really easy to make and will become a family favorite I am sure. Why order fast food when you can make a healthier option at home for less? Who can say no to chicken drumsticks from an air fryer? I meanair fryer drumsticks are the perfect dinner idea!

    Making Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Every Time

    Air Fryer Glazed Chicken Thighs (Ninja Foodi)

    Super simple, super delicious! Perfect for those weekdays that super busy and super crazy. Instead of ordering out you can have a homemade healthy meal in no time. This is so easy your family can help you! Kids love to mix up the spices. Have them use a large spoon to toss the chicken. The more my kids help in the kitchen, the more they tend to eat!

  • Dry: Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to dry. Add them to a medium sized bowl.
  • Mix: In a small bowl combine paprika, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the bowl of chicken and sprinkle with the seasonings.
  • Toss: Toss the chicken gently till fully coated.
  • Cook: Place the chicken thighs skin side down in the basket of the air fryer. Cook at 380 degrees for 10 min. Flip after 10 min and continue to cook for 7-8 more minutes until no longer pink and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
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