Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs are so easy and juicy! The chicken thighs are marinated in a honey garlic soy sauce mixture, which gives them a umami and sweet flavor that is delicious with so many dishes. Serve as is, or slice up and serve in a rice bowl, salad, or on top of a soup.
I just can't stop making chicken thighs in my air fryer. It's so easy. Even easier than the stove or oven and they just stay so juicy and crisp up to perfection.
These honey garlic chicken thighs are made with boneless skinless chicken thighs, and come out juicy and full of flavor. Since I perfected this recipe, I've been making it almost weekly.
I usually eat the chicken thighs sliced up with a bit of rice or quinoa and some broccoli. However, I've sliced and added to salads, soups, and even on top of my spinach and beans dish.
These chicken thighs cook in the air fryer in less than 15 minutes. That's my idea of a delicious hands-off, easy meal.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Soy sauce (can use tamari)
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
What kind of chicken thighs to use:
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work best in this air fryer recipe. I've tried making the honey garlic chicken thighs several times with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, and because the cooking time is longer, the honey caramelizes and burns too much in the cooking.
Because boneless skinless chicken thighs require a shorter cooking time, the sugar in the marinade cooks to the proper amount of caramelization.
For that reason, I only recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
What kind of air fryer to use:
These can be made in any size of air fryer. You do want to make sure you have enough space for the air to circulate around the chicken, and you want the chicken to be in a single layer. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may need to do them in two batches.
Don't have an air fryer yet and trying to decide which one to get? Read our post about things to know before buying an air fryer.
What temperature to cook chicken thighs to?
Chicken is one of those foods that you never want to undercook! So it's important to cook chicken thighs to the proper temperature.
Because all air fryers cook differently AND cooking times depend on how big your chicken thighs are, I always recommend testing with a meat thermometer. This is the one I have.
Chicken thighs should be cooked at the minimum to 165 degrees F. But actually, chicken thighs are a better texture and flavor if cooked for a little longer! For dark meat, you don't have to worry about overcooking so much as long as you're under 210 degrees F. The sweet spot tends to be between 175 to 195 degrees F, so aim for that if you want tender and juicy chicken thighs.
Other air fryer chicken recipes:
How to make:
First, take your boneless skinless chicken thighs and pat dry. If you want, you can remove some of the extra fat on the chicken thighs. Then season all sides with salt and pepper.
Next, make your marinade! Combine the marinade ingredients and mix together in a large bowl.
Add your chicken thighs to the bowl and toss well to combine. Make sure all the chicken thighs have had a chance to get coated in the marinade. At this point, you can leave them in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, or transfer to a ziplock bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer. Either spray the basket, or brush with oil so your chicken thighs don't stick. (You can also use air fryer parchment paper). Place in your air fryer and cook!
You can serve as is, or you can slice, as shown below and serve over rice, in salads, with pasta, or a variety of ways!
Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- 4 chicken thighs, boneless skinless
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- ½ lime zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Take the chicken thighs and pat dry. Remove any excess fat if desired.
- Season all sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and zest, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
- Add the chicken thighs and mix until chicken thighs are covered in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place the the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to marinade.
- Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray or brush the air fryer basket with oil to keep the chicken from sticking.
- Add the chicken thighs. Cook for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through. Internal temperature of the thighs should be ideally 175-195 degrees F.
If nutrition info is shown, values are based on an online calculator and are estimates. Please verify using your own data.
Do you recommend dark or light soy sauce?
Great question! I typically use dark soy sauce. Either will work if needed, but I think dark soy sauce gives a bit more flavor.
Can you use bone in thighs?
While you CAN, I've tried it a couple of times, and I found that the honey burned because bone-in thighs can take a lot longer to cook. If you did try it with bone-in thighs, I'd make sure the thighs were pretty small so it would cut down on the cooking time.
Prepared this last evening for dinner. It was really good.