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Air Fried Chicken Thighs

Air Fried Chicken Thighs – Are you looking for a healthier alternative to fried chicken? Look no further than these Air Fried Chicken Thighs! Made with only six simple ingredients, this recipe is grain-free, and full of flavor! Want to learn more? Keep reading!

Air Fried Chicken Thighs

While there are a ton of healthy fried chicken recipes out there, few provide the crunch and flavor I miss so much from before I adopted a clean eating diet. This recipes stands out from the rest, as it’s not only incredibly easy to make, but truly taste like country fried chicken!

Although this Air Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe was created to be made in an air fryer, you can also most definitely bake them in the oven instead. Keep an eye out for oven baked instructions below!

A Recipe for Low Carb Chicken

While there are a ton of healthy fried chicken recipes out there, it can be difficult to find grain-free options, especially when if you need to limit your starches for health reasons. This recipe skips the grains and starches by instead, using ground up, baked pork rinds as coating! While conventional pork rind brands are normally quite unhealthy (deep fried, low quality pork skin), high quality, baked options (like those from Epic Provisions) are a much healthier choice! Pork rinds like these can actually provide the body with healthy fats, increasing energy, and helping support vitamin absorption, and more! In addition, pork rinds are less likely to cause bloating and digestive issues than starches are with many people. While I personally cannot tolerate grains, or most starches, baked pork rinds do great with me!

It should be noted that this recipe was created with those who cannot tolerate many carbs or nuts in mind (like myself for the time being). If carbs aren’t a problem for you, any panko coating will do! We recommend making a gluten free version from home, or buying a clean version in a health food store, or online.


In this recipe, chicken thighs are our main ingredient! Chicken thighs are…

  1. High in healthy fats
  2. Full of protein
  3. A great source of vitamins and minerals.

Pasture Raised Chicken

Pastured chicken is the healthiest choice. It is naturally higher in omega 3’s and antioxidants, healthy fats and much better flavor too!

How to Make Air Fried Chicken Thighs

This recipe is super easy to make, requiring only 6 ingredients, and 30 minutes of your time! It’s the perfect no hassle dinner when you don’t have the time or energy to spend all evening in the kitchen.

Ingredient List

  • Chicken Thighs
  • Baked Pork Rinds, or Panko of choice
  • Avocado Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

Ingredient Swaps

  • Not a fan of chicken thighs? Swap chicken thighs for chicken breast, or tenders.
  • Avoiding pork altogether? Swap out pork rinds for gluten free panko!
  • Out of avocado oil? You can easily swap this ingredient for olive oil.
  • Prefer not to use garlic and onion powder? Feel free to experiment around with your own blend of spices!

Steps to Make Air Fried Chicken Thighs

Like mentioned above, this recipe is hassle-free, and easy to make on a time crunch. Here’s a quick rundown of exactly what you’ll do.

  1. Preheat oven or air fryer (if preheating is needed with your air fryer) to 400ºF. Using a food processor, grind pork rinds (or alternative) and spices until a fine powder. If using pre-ground panko, simply combine with spices with a spoon.
  2. Cut chicken thighs to desired size. Place avocado oil (or alternative) in one bowl, and panko in another.
  3. Dip chicken thighs first in oil, and then in panko until evenly coated. Repeat process until all chicken thighs have been used (you can double coat chicken thighs with any leftover panko by repeating the process if desired).
  4. Air fry for 20 minutes (up to 40 minutes depending on how crispy you prefer your chicken thighs), or until cooked through. Alternatively, place in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through.
Air Fried Chicken Thighs
Air Fried Chicken Thighs

How to Store Air Fried Chicken Thighs

Air Fried Chicken Thighs are great for making ahead, and quickly warming when ready to enjoy!

  1. Place your chicken in an airtight storage container.
  2. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Air Fried Chicken Thighs

  1. Place Air Fried Chicken Thighs in an airtight storage container.
  2. Store in freezer for 1 to 3 months.
air fried chicken thighs

Air Fried Chicken Thighs FAQ

Why use pork rinds?

Pork rinds, when properly sourced, can have some health benefits, and are much better for you than conventionally sourced brands! However, we would never categorize pork rinds as a “health food” in particular, and simply use them on occassion when high carb foods aren’t an option.

How long should I cook my chicken thighs for extra crispy nuggets?

While my air fryer takes only 20 minutes to thoroughly cook my chicken, I usually keep them in the air fryer for 30-40 minutes for an extra crisp!

For the oven, I would experiment with adding 10-20 minutes as well, and broiling at the end.

It is important to remember, however, that cook time varies greatly based on your kitchen appliances, and should be monitored individually.

What are good alternatives to pork rind panko?

Any gluten free option, without added inflammatory oils or ingredients are great options! I especially love cauliflower panko.

What is the healthiest type of chicken to purchase?

We always prioritize pasture raised chicken when possible. Pasture raised chickens are allowed to freely roam pastures, eating grass and bugs, like they’re meant to!

Can I use chicken breast instead?

You can use any type of chicken, although the cook time may need to be adjusted.

air fried chicken

Related Recipes

  • Chicken Artichoke Recipe – This dairy and gluten-free Chicken Artichoke Recipe is smothered in a creamy spinach and artichoke cream sauce!
  • Recipe for Mediterranean Chicken – Recipe for Mediterranean Chicken paired with homemade gluten free Tabbouleh and Creamy Garlic Sauce make the perfect Mediterranean bowl.
  • Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs – Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs are great for grilling or baking. Add our 5-minute homemade teriyaki sauce sweetened naturally for a perfect dinner.
  • Roasted Chicken – Full of fresh flavors, and juicy all the way through, this Roasted Chicken is surprisingly easy to make, and perfect for your family or holiday dinner!

Lamb Stew Instant Pot

Perfect for gatherings, holidays, or date nights, and filled with options, charcuterie boards are one item you can count on everyone loving! Easily customizable to your personal preferences, use these simple tips to learn how to make a charcuterie board!

Lamb Stew Instant Pot
Save Recipe
  • Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Yield: 812 1x


  • 35 Fruit Options (fresh and dried)
  • 35 Vegetable Options (fresh and/or pickled)
  • 2+ Cheese Options (a mix of textures and flavors!)
  • Crackers and Pretzels
  • 2+ Dips
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Garnishes
  • *Optional – Any additional preferred foods like breads, desserts, cured meats, and nuts and seeds!


  1. Place dips in bowls, and arrange on board.
  2. Slice, cube, or dip cheeses, and arrange on board to desired locations around dips.
  3. Slice any fruit or fresh veggies if desired, and organize on board.
  4. Add in crunchy foods like chips and pretzels in large sections around board.
  5. Arrange pickled veggies like olives and pickles on board (I normally place these in small serving bowls), alongside broken chocolate squares.
  6. Decorate with garnishes!

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Madison Suttles

Madison is passionate about health, fitness, and Jesus. She has lived with autoimmune symptoms nearly her entire life, but was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2016. She shares her experience with Crohn's and living on a modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a resource to others on their health journeys.

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