Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs

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Versatile and bursting with flavor, these Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs are sure to become a staple recipe when you want an easy dinner!

Great to serve with rice, pasta, and more, you won’t be able to get enough of this tender, juicy chicken in its homemade marinade.

air fryer marinated chicken thighs in a white baking dish

Why you will love this air fryer marinated chicken thighs recipe

Cooking chicken in the air fryer is a surefire way to make a satisfying dish any night of the week. Whether it’s homemade nuggets, a chicken sandwich, or something a little fancier like chicken shawarma, the air fryer and chicken are best friends!

This easy chicken recipe is bursting with flavor and can easily be made ahead of time for a super simple meal whenever you’re hungry.

Tender chicken thighs pair with a blend of mouthwatering spices and sauces for an easy dish that’s guaranteed to become an instant favorite. Pair with your favorite side dishes to make meal prep and busy weeknights tasty again!

chicken thighs, spices, olive, butter, and soy sauce in bowls

Ingredients you will need

Seasonings: A simple blend of black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder infuses the marinade with savory flavor. For some heat, add some red pepper flakes or chili powder.

Bone-in Chicken Thighs: Bone-in thighs will cook up tender and juicy in your air fryer.

Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce: Provide a salty, umami flavor that perfectly compliments the chicken.

Brown Sugar: Offsets all of the tasty savory components with a bit of complex sweetness.

Lemon Juice: Keeps things light by cutting through the marinade with a subtle punch of acidity.

To Serve: Chimichurri rice or Ginger Rice, chopped green onions, parsley, fresh lemon wedges.

steps for how to make air fryer marinated chicken thighs

How to make air fryer marinated chicken thighs

  1. Prepare the marinade. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, melted butter, soy sauce, pepper, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Coat the chicken. Place the raw chicken pieces in a large ziploc bag or large bowl and pour in the marinade. Ensure all of the chicken is fully coated.
  3. Marinate the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit in the marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Air fry the chicken. Transfer chicken and marinade to a baking dish, arrange the chicken in a single layer and place the dish in the air fryer basket. Air fry the thighs skin side down for about 12 minutes, then flip, spoon more marinade over top, and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy. After the chicken rests for a few minutes, serve with white rice or brown rice and green onions.

Note: this recipe can be done with boneless skinless chicken thighs too! If you want to use chicken breasts, you may need to adjust the time a bit depending on how thick they are.

For dessert, you can serve these with an Air Fryer Cookie Cake or Air Fryer Creme Brulee!

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

Altogether, chicken thighs will need about 25 minutes of cook time in the air fryer. Depending on the thickness and size of the thighs, as well as the power of your air fryer, you may need more or less cooking time.

For best results, use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

air fryer marinated chicken thighs on a white plate with rice and a lemon wedge on the side

How long should you marinate thighs?

The best way to infuse your chicken thighs with flavor is by giving them at least 2 hours to properly absorb all of those flavors. You can let it sit overnight, or even up to 24 hours.

Believe it or not, if you leave it in the marinade for too long it can start to break down the fibers and make your chicken mushy, so it’s best not to marinate for any longer than 24 hours or so.

To really infuse the chicken with flavor from the marinade, I will sometimes poke a few holes in it with a fork.

Why is my chicken rubbery in air fryer?

This is likely due to overcooking. If you find your chicken comes out rubbery or overcooked, air fry it until it reaches 160 degrees instead of 165, but let it rest tented in aluminum foil for a few minutes to finish cooking through.

Should you flip chicken in the air fryer?

With this air fryer chicken thighs recipe, flipping the chicken ensures even cooking and will lead to a nice crispy skin. It’s also a good opportunity to coat the chicken with more marinade and ensure a stronger flavor!

spooning marinade over chicken thighs in a baking dish

How to store air fryer chicken

You can make this recipe ahead of time, starting by marinating the chicken overnight. You can also store the cooked chicken in the refrigerator to serve later.

First, allow the cooked chicken thighs to cool down to room temperature, and then place them in an airtight container.

Refrigerate the chicken promptly after it has cooled down. Place the containers in the refrigerator for no more than 3 or 4 days. 

If you want to store it for a longer period, you can freeze the chicken thighs for up to 3 months.

How to reheat chicken in the air fryer

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover chicken thighs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight if they were frozen.

Then preheat your air fryer to 350° F and cook for about 5-8 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

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5 from 6 votes

Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs

Versatile and bursting with flavor, these Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs are sure to become a staple recipe when you want an easy dinner!
Prep Time2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time5 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer marinated chicken thighs, marinated chicken thighs
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 648kcal



  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in

To serve

  • white rice
  • green onion, chopped
  • lemon wedges
  • parsley, chopped


  • Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, melted butter, soy sauce, black pepper, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Place the chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag and pour in the marinade, making sure every piece is covered evenly. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF, and place the chicken and the marinade in a baking dish, then place it inside the air fryer basket. Cook the chicken thighs skin-side down for 12 minutes, then flip, spoon more marinade on top, and cook for 10-15 more minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 165℉.
    For extra crispy chicken thighs, place them directly in the air fryer basket instead of a baking dish (just be sure to spray the basket well).
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving, and top with more of the marinade and chopped parsley. Serve with a side dish of white rice and chopped green onions.


Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 237mg | Sodium: 1247mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.


  • Avoid overcrowding the baking dish . Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer to allow proper air circulation, ensuring even cooking and better crispiness.
  • If you decide to air fry them directly in the air fryer basket, reserve some of the marinade before marinating the chicken so you can spoon it over the chicken when serving.
Tried this recipe?I’d love to see your dish, mention @jzeats or tag #jzeats!

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  1. 5 stars
    This quick and easy chicken recipe is so flavorful. It’s our new weeknight go-to recipe that goes well with just about any side!

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