Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Thighs is a quick, healthy recipe that includes the cook time, temperature, and instructions for how long to cook fried chicken thighs using a Cook Essentials, Power Air Fryer, or any brand. You can use bone-in, boneless, fresh, or frozen chicken thighs.
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This post was originally written in January 2019. It has since been updated.
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Is anyone else obsessed with their air fryer? The air fryer delivers the perfect level of crisp and crunch to all of my favorite foods. I had to try chicken thighs in the air fryer because thighs are naturally juicy. They are also loaded with so much flavor!
Best of all, air fried chicken is perfect for a keto, low-carb lifestyle. So yes, chicken breasts will work just fine for this recipe.
What Kind of Thighs to Use
You can use bone-in or boneless thighs. I used bone-in in this recipe. Those usually have a longer cook time. Boneless thighs are usually ready around 18-20 minutes.
You can use skin-on or skinless thighs. It will not impact the cook time.
How to Make Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
- I like to marinate the chicken first (at least an hour up to overnight), but it’s totally optional.
- Place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag. Drizzle the chicken with fresh lime, soy sauce, season with chicken seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle cilantro throughout. Marinate.
- Place the chicken in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry.
How Long to Cook the Chicken/Cook Time
I typically cook chicken thighs in the air fryer for 20-22 minutes. I always use a meat thermometer. The chicken should cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
If you use a thermometer you will be able to gauge the timing no matter what air fryer brand you have.
Air Fryer Temperature
I recommend 400 degrees.
Can You Use Frozen Chicken Thighs?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken thighs. You may have to allow more time. You will still cook the chicken at 400 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Air Fryer Side Dishes
Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
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Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Thighs
- You can choose to marinate the meat ahead of time or season the meat right before cooking. Personally, I prefer to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours (to overnight) beforehand.
- Drizzle the olive oil, fresh lime juice, and soy sauce (or liquid aminos) over both sides of the chicken thighs.
- Season the chicken with the chicken seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. I like to add the chicken to a sealable plastic bag first and toss the chicken in the seasonings to evenly coat.
- Toss the cilantro into the bag. Marinate for 2 hours to overnight.
- Place the chicken in the air fryer basket. You shouldn’t need to spray the basket with oil as the chicken is coated in olive oil, but do so, if you wish.
- Cook the chicken for 10 minutes on 400 degrees. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes.
- Total cook time will vary, as each air fryer brand cooks differently. Use a meat thermometer to assess when the chicken has finished cooking. The chicken is ready when it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. In addition, I like to cook it until the skin becomes tender.
- Open the air fryer and remove the chicken. Cool before serving.
- TIP: For added lime flavor retain the other half of the lime to squeeze fresh lime juice throughout the chicken.