Frozen Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer

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Craving chicken for dinner but only have some that’s frozen? Frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer are an option!

Similar to how you’d make fresh chicken thighs in the air fryer, these frozen thighs turn out just as juicy, crispy, and oh so tasty!

crispy chicken thighs on white plate sitting on wooden board with blue cloth behind.
Frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer make a great dinner addition!

Recipe Tips/Substitutions

Before you run off to make air fryer frozen chicken thighs, have a read through these recipe tips so that you know what to expect:

  • You do not need to thaw the chicken thighs first. You can use frozen chicken thighs. Just make sure that they are separated and don’t stick together.
  • We used boneless and skinless chicken thighs. The cook time for thighs with a bone in and skin on will be slightly longer.
  • The thickness of the chicken thighs will also affect the cook time. Thicker thighs will take longer to cook. Make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • We used basic spices including salt, pepper and garlic powder. Feel free to change the spices to suit your personal preferences.

We use this air fryer for our recipes and it has been great.

Step by Step Instructions

If you want to see exactly how to make these frozen chicken thighs, you can follow these steps in this section.

For those who just want to get cooking and are wondering how long to cook frozen chicken thighs in air fryer, you can skip to the detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post!

white bowl of raw chicken thighs covered in spices.
Add the frozen chicken thighs, oil, and spices to a bowl.

First, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the air fryer is preheating, add the frozen chicken thighs into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Drizzle oil on the thighs, then sprinkle them with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

raw chicken thighs coated in oil and spices in white mixing bowl.
Gently toss the chicken thighs so they are evenly coated.

Toss the frozen thighs in the bowl or gently mix them with tongs until everything is coated evenly.

raw chicken thighs in black air fryer tray on white countertop.
Add the frozen chicken thighs to the preheated air fryer.

Once the air fryer is heated, add the frozen chicken thighs into the air fryer in one layer. Try to have no overlap or else the chicken thighs might not cook/crisp evenly.

cooked chicken thighs on black air fryer tray.
Air fry the chicken thighs until they are fully cooked.

Air fry the frozen chicken thighs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-22 minutes total until fully cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Flip the thighs halfway through the cooking time. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The exact cooking time varies based on the thickness of the frozen chicken thighs, if they have skin on, and based on which air fryer you have.

crispy chicken thighs on white plate with chopped parsley on top.
The chicken thighs turned out deliciously crispy!

Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the air fry. Let them sit for a few minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

You can serve these thighs with sweet potato fries and a side of carrots for a well-rounded meal!

Storage Tips

Air-fried frozen chicken thighs are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the fryer.

You can store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. They’ll last for 3-4 days like this.

To enjoy them again, you can eat them cold or reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes. We find the microwave works too – but might make the thighs a little rubbery.

Related Recipes

If you want to cook more frozen meat dishes in the air fryer, have a look these options:

crispy chicken thighs on white plate with chopped parsley on top.

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs are easy and tasty! Lightly seasoned and cooked right from frozen, these thighs are the perfect dinner meat addition!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen chicken thighs, boneless skinless (approximately 4-6; see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While preheating, add the frozen chicken thighs into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Drizzle oil on the thighs, then sprinkle them with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Toss the frozen thighs in the bowl or gently mix them with tongs until everything is coated evenly.
  3. Once the air fryer is heated, add the frozen chicken thighs into the air fryer in one layer. Try to have no overlap or else the chicken thighs might not cook/crisp evenly.
  4. Air fry the frozen chicken thighs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-22 minutes total until fully cooked through and crispy on the outside. Flip the thighs halfway through the cooking time. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The exact cooking time varies based on the thickness of the frozen chicken thighs, if they have skin on, and based on which air fryer you have.
  5. Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the air fry. Let them sit for a few minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • The frozen chicken thighs we used for this recipe were boneless and skinless. Thighs with bone-in and skin-on will take a little bit longer to cook.
  • Again, the size of the chicken thighs can affect the cooking time. Never consume chicken that is not fully cooked. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 18g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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