Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Thighs

Indulge in a burst of bright citrus flavor with these Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Thighs! This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal, offering juicy, tender chicken infused with a touch of zesty lemon and crispy, golden skin.

The air fryer cooks the chicken to perfection, ensuring a healthy and delicious dish that’s ready in under 30 minutes.


  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or bone-in, depending on your preference) – 4-6 pieces
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice – from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Black pepper – to taste
  • Garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • Italian seasoning – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)


1. Prep the Chicken: Wash and pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season them generously with salt and pepper.

2. Marinate (Optional): In a bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. You can add garlic powder and Italian seasoning for extra flavor. Marinate the chicken thighs in this mixture for at least 20 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator for deeper flavor.

3. Preheat Air Fryer: Most air fryers recommend preheating for optimal results. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 3-5 minutes.

4. Air Fry the Chicken: Place the chicken thighs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching. If you’re using bone-in thighs, leave some space between the bones for even cooking.

5. Cooking Time: Air fry the chicken thighs for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the thighs and your air fryer model. Flip the thighs halfway through cooking to ensure even crisping.

6. Checking for Doneness: Insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

7. Crispy Skin (Optional): If the skin doesn’t look crispy enough after the initial cooking time, increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

8. Rest and Serve: Once cooked through, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute for a more flavorful and tender chicken.


  • For extra lemon flavor, you can zest the lemon before juicing and add it to the marinade.
  • If your air fryer basket is small and you can’t fit all the chicken thighs in a single layer, cook them in batches.
  • Chicken thighs can vary in size. So, keep an eye on them during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure they don’t get overcooked.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or a lemon wedge for a bright and refreshing touch.

Enjoy your delicious Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Thighs!

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