These Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs make for a delicious dinner when you forget to defrost the chicken! Don't worry these chicken thighs still come out super juicy! Have dinner ready in less than 20 minutes!
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Why you'll love this Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Frozen Chicken Thighs Nutrition
- Tips & Tricks
- Tools to make this easy recipe
- How to make Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Stovetop Directions
- What to serve with Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- How to store
- How to reheat
- How long do you cook frozen thighs in an air fryer?
- Can I Cook This Recipe With Thawed Chicken Thighs?
- Can I bread frozen thighs then put them in the air fryer?
- Can I add the oil and seasoning first before cooking the frozen chicken thighs?
- Easy Chicken Air Fryer Recipes
- PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
I love how delicious these Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer came out. I was skeptical at first about cooking frozen chicken in the air fryer.
Since my air fryer frozen salmon recipe was a success and I had a ton of frozen chicken thighs in the freezer, I decided to give it a try!
If you're like me and always have frozen chicken thighs on hand, you're going to want to save this recipe. No need to wonder if you can cook chicken thighs frozen in an air fryer.
And if you love easy air fryer recipes, these are some of my favorites: Air Fryer Ribeye Steak, Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon, Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts and Air Fryer New York Strip Steaks.
Why you'll love this Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Meal prep - these frozen chicken thighs are great for meal prep! You can make a few batches of these air fryer chicken thighs and serve them with your favorite healthy sides.
- Quick Recipe - frozen chicken thighs take less than 20 minutes to make and it's mostly hands off time.
- Keto and Paleo Recipe - whether you're watching your carbohydrate intake or you're just trying to eat healthy, you'll love the air fryer keto chicken thighs. There's less than a half carb per serving (from the seasonings) and a whopping 33g of protein.
- Frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs - I buy chicken thighs in bulk and freeze the leftovers. I try to separate them into bags that contain around 5-6 chicken thighs.
- Seasoning: Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
- Avocado oil - or you can use any other high heat oil. Avocado oil is one of my favorite since it's not a seed oil
Frozen Chicken Thighs Nutrition
For this recipe, I was only cooking 2 servings, which were 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs. Per serving there are about 234 calories, 33g protein, 10g fat, and 0.4g carbs.
It makes for an easy low-carb air fryer recipe. You can even cook these air fryer frozen Brussels sprouts too. Just put the Brussel sprouts in the air fryer after the first 5 minutes that the chicken thighs are cooking.
The time and temperature are the same for both. You would just need to make sure you don't overcrowd the air fryer basket.
Tips & Tricks
Make sure you don't over crowd the air fryer basket. This will make the chicken cook unevenly and will take longer to make.
Be sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken and remove it when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
If you use bone-in skin-on chicken thighs they will take much longer to cook from frozen in the air fryer
Tools to make this easy recipe
- Air Fryer – I used this Cosori Air Fryer for all of my recipes. Unfortunately now it's being recalled so I'll have to get a different one soon.
How to make Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Remove the frozen chicken thighs from their bag or packaging. Transfer them to the air fryer basket. More than likely they will be stuck together and that's okay.
- Cook the frozen chicken thighs for 5 minutes at 390F.
- Next, separate chicken thighs (they should be easy to separate since they’re partially defrosted)
- Then, coat the boneless chicken thighs with avocado oil and top with seasonings.
- Cook for another 5 minutes at 390F
- Next, flip the chicken thighs and cook for another 6-8 minutes at 390F (time varies depending on if they were folded over or flat and the thickness of the thighs).
- Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer basket once they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- Optionally top with fresh herbs like thyme.
If you don’t have an air fryer you can still make these delicious frozen chicken thighs.
First, add the oil to a cast iron skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet once the oil is hot and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
About halfway through cooking add the seasoning to the chicken thighs. You don't want to season the chicken thighs will they're still frozen because the seasoning will not stick very well and you'll end up with bland chicken.
If you don't have boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can also use bone-in chicken thighs. Cooking bone-in chicken thighs will take longer than boneless skinless chicken thighs.
You will most likely need to add an additional 4-5 minutes of cooking time. Always check the temperature of your chicken thighs and ensure it's at least 165F before eating.
Spice it up! With this easy sauce, how to make jerk sauce, you can easily transform the flavor profile of these chicken thighs.
What to serve with Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
If you are looking to keep this meal low carb, I would serve these air fryer boneless chicken thighs with this Instant Pot Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower or this Roasted Garlic Parmesan Asparagus.
If you are looking to make this an all air fryer recipe, serve it with these Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts, Air Fryer Broccolini, or this Air Fryer Parmesan Asparagus.
How to store
Store leftover chicken thighs in a glass airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
How to reheat
Remove the lid from the container or transfer it to a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 60-90 seconds on high.
You can also re-heat these chicken thighs in the air fryer. Add the chicken thighs to the air fryer basket, turn the temperature to 390F and cook for 2-3 minutes.
How long do you cook frozen thighs in an air fryer?
Boneless skinless chicken thighs take around 18 minutes to cook in the air fryer.
Can I Cook This Recipe With Thawed Chicken Thighs?
Yes, since the chicken thighs are no longer frozen you will need to reduce the cooking time. I would try cooking them for 14 minutes (flipping halfway) and then checking the internal temperature. If it's at 165F, they're ready to eat.
Can I bread frozen thighs then put them in the air fryer?
Not initially. After they defrost in the air fryer for the first 5 minutes of cooking, then you should be able to bread them and then cook them.
Can I add the oil and seasoning first before cooking the frozen chicken thighs?
No. I would suggest waiting until the chicken has defrosted in the air fryer before adding the oil and seasoning them. This gives you the best chance that they will retain all of there flavor.
Easy Chicken Air Fryer Recipes
If you loved making these frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer, check out these other air fryer chicken recipes to make.
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
- Small Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Pistachio Crusted Chicken
You may also like these other chicken thigh recipes: Cast Iron Chicken Thighs in Creamy Tomato Sauce, Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Rice, Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Thighs, Teriyaki Chicken Thighs on the Blackstone Griddle.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs
- 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs frozen
- ½ tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Remove the frozen chicken from the bag and transfer them to the air fryer basket.
- Cook the frozen chicken thighs for 5 minutes at 390
- Then separate chicken thighs (they should be easy to separate since they’re partially defrosted)
- Next, coat them with the oil, then top with seasonings.
- Cook for another 5 minutes at 390
- Next, flip the chicken thighs and cook for another 6-8 minutes at 390f (time varies depending on if they were folded over or flat and the thickness of the thighs)
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