keto air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with spicy keto coleslaw

chipotle air fryer chicken thighs (keto, gf)

Have you ever made air fryer chicken thighs? They are the closest thing to low-carb fried chicken that I’ve made yet! I’m talking crispy, tasty pieces of chicken with zero breading required. Plus, the seasoning blend is a mix of spices that give these keto air fryer chicken thighs a zingy, chipotle flavor!

This air fryer chicken thighs recipe is:

  • keto-friendly, so naturally, low-carb
  • gluten-free
  • easy to prep
  • crispy and full of flavor
  • simple to customize (for instance, I make a few pieces without chipotle seasoning for my kids!)
  • INCREDIBLE
keto air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with chipotle sauce

hello, keto air fryer chicken thighs

I am the first to admit that I was skeptical of the air fryer- I didn’t want another kitchen appliance taking up space on my already-crowded counters. However, since I’ve become the owner of an air fryer (I chose this one by Gourmia), I’ve been so impressed with how foods turn out! Chicken has been my all-time favorite in the air fryer so far (see air fryer chicken wings), which is why I’m so excited to now share this air fryer chicken thighs recipe with you!

This keto air fryer chicken thighs recipe makes for an awesome, crispy, keto fried chicken I’m sure you will love! Serve them with my spicy keto coleslaw or a classic keto Cobb salad . Make a small batch of this five-minute keto ranch dressing or this easy keto ketchup for dipping action. How about creating a Southern-style-inspired, chicken and biscuits meal with these keto buttermilk biscuits? Basically, air fryer chicken thighs are a dream.

ingredients for keto air fryer chicken thighs

These chipotle-style air fryer chicken thighs are simple to prep and the air fryer does the rest of the work. It’s a pretty great process that I’m all about. The makings of weekday dinner magic.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make them chipotle-style:

  • chicken thighs that are boneless with skin (skinless chicken thighs will not crisp in the same way)
  • baking powder (preferably gluten-free and aluminum-free like this one from Bob’s Red Mill)
  • chipotle powder
  • garlic powder
  • smoked paprika
  • fine sea salt
  • garlic powder

You will of course need an air fryer, and while some of the keto air fryer recipes that I’ve shared include an oven-baked option, these do not. I use a Gourmia air fryer which has an air fryer basket, but keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cook times based on the type of air fryer you have.

how to make air fryer chicken thighs

If the chicken thighs you’re using are previously frozen, make sure they are completely thawed out prior to preparing them for the air fryer.

There are three crucial steps to getting suuuuuuper crispy air fryer chicken thighs (the BEST kind which resembles crisp fried chicken):

  • use chicken thighs that have skin (it will crisp up as it cooks, plus it overall has more fat and flavor which we always say yes to, right?)
  • try and eliminate as much moisture as possible by patting the chicken dry with paper towels
  • make sure to mix baking powder into the seasonings because it helps dry out the skin and makes it even crispier!

the process

  1. Prepare the chicken. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F. In a small dish, mix the baking powder and seasonings. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place them on a clean, dry plate. Generously sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning mix, turning it over to season both sides. Gently pat it or spread it around so it’s even (alternatively, you can shake the chicken in a large ziploc bag).
  2. Air fry the chicken. Rub a bit of coconut or olive oil onto the air fryer rack. Place the chicken thighs on the rack, skin-side down. Air fry for about 15 minutes at 360°F, then remove the air fryer basket. Flip the chicken so it’s skin-side up and place the basket back inside the air fryer. Turn the temperature up to 390°F and air fry for another 5-10 minutes or so (check it after 5 minutes), or until the chicken is done and the skin is crispy and golden brown.

tips for the best chicken thighs

  • Since all air fryers cook a little differently, make sure the chicken is fully cooked through. The internal temperature should read at least 165°F. If the skin isn’t as golden as you’d like and it needs to cook longer, continue cooking, adding increments of four minutes at a time. This will also vary based on the size of your chicken thighs. If they’re extra large, the initial cook time will likely be 20 minutes (at 360°F).
  • Customize the seasoning blend as you wish for a variety of flavors!
  • You can place the chicken directly into the basket without the rack, but I find that the air fryer rack helps ensure the chicken is extra crisp all around.
keto air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with coleslaw on the side

more keto air fryer recipes you’ll love!

Looking to try out some more air fryer deliciousness? Here are other keto air fryer recipes I’ve shared:

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear what you thought! Tag me on Instagram (@stemandspoon), drop a comment below!

p.s. A five-star review always makes my day!

keto air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with spicy keto coleslaw

chipotle air fryer chicken thighs (keto, gf)

Yield: 4 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Air fryer chicken thighs result in the crispiest, tastiest, keto chicken! These are seasoned with a chipotle spice blend and a "secret ingredient" for the crispiest, most flavorful air fryer chicken thighs ever. Keto and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (gluten-free and aluminum-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (make sure to remove the air fryer rack before preheating). Place the chicken pieces on a plate lined with paper towels and pat them dry completely (don't skip this step- you want to eliminate as much moisture as possible from the chicken so it can get crispy). Place the dry chicken on a clean, dry plate.
  2. In a small dish, mix the baking powder and seasonings. Generously sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning mix, turning it over to season both sides. Gently pat it or spread it around so it's even. (Alternatively, you can shake the chicken in a large ziploc bag to coat it with the seasoning).
  3. Rub a bit of oil onto the removable air fryer rack to prevent the chicken from sticking. Place the chicken thighs on the rack, skin side down. Air fry for 15 minutes at 360° (if the thighs are extra large, go for 20 minutes), then remove the air fryer basket.
  4. Flip the chicken so it is now skin side up and place the basket back inside the air fryer. Turn the temperature up to 390°F and air fry for another 5-10 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is done (check it after 5 minutes). It will have an internal temp of at least 165°F.

Notes

The baking powder mixed into the spice blend will help draw out moisture from the chicken skin and make it more crispy.

All air fryers cook a little differently so the best way to tell if the chicken is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. It should read 165°F.

If the chicken needs to cook longer, add increments of 4 minutes at a time. The air fry time will vary based on the size of your chicken thighs. If they're extra large, the initial cook time will likely be 20 minutes (at 360°F).

You do not have to use an air fryer rack but I find it helps ensure the chicken is extra crisp all around.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 971mgCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g

    This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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