Air fried to a crisp perfection, this Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs recipe is so easy and tasty. We’re talking juicy, tender panko-breaded chicken thighs brushed with a sweet honey glaze, ready and on the table in under a half hour. These crispy chicken thighs can’t be beat.
Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs make a great meal because they are quick and easy to prepare, low in fat, and full of flavor. The panko coating gives the chicken a crunchy texture, while the inside remains juicy and tender.
The air fryer also ensures even cooking and a crisp exterior every time, so you know your chicken will come out perfectly cooked. And, if you’re worried about calories, Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs are much lower in fat than traditional fried chicken.
All in all, Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs are a great meal that’s easy to make and packed with flavor.
Looking for a non-breaded option too? Try these delicious Air fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs with the perfect seasoning!
Why You’ll Love Air Fried Panko Chicken Thighs
Who doesn’t love a quick and easy dinner recipe, especially crispy air fryer chicken thighs? So simple to make and they go with so many side dishes and other recipes, you can’t go wrong making air fryer chicken.
- Chicken thighs are nice dark, juicy meat that is full of flavor.
- They make a great meal for the entire family.
- They’re lighter on the wallet than chicken breasts.
- Great way to meal prep for the week. Make a fried chicken salad or wraps for easy meals later in the week.
- Air fried Panko chicken goes with everything! Serve with your favorite sides for a delicious meal.
- Plus, this fried chicken is healthier using less oil than traditional deep fried chicken and you still get that crispy breading we all love!
I suggest making extra air fryer panko chicken thighs while you’re at it so you can using them for meal prepping other meals throughout the week.
How Long Should I Air Fry Boneless Chicken Thighs?
Boneless chicken thighs take 15-18 minutes to cook in an air fryer. This is true with or without a breaded coating. Depending on the thickness of your chicken thighs, it can take a few extra minutes or a few less minutes of cook time.
You can open the air fryer basket at anytime to check on your boneless chicken thighs to ensure they are not over cooking.
- 3 Bowls
- Cutting Board or Plate
- Basting Brush
Get more info and full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
CHICKEN THIGHS: 2 lbs of fresh chicken thighs which is about 4 thighs. Try to use thighs about the same size so they’ll cook evenly. You can use boneless chicken thighs or bone in. Bone in thighs will require longer cooking time.
EGGS: Grab 1 – 2 eggs to use for an egg wash.
ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: You can’t have fried chicken without this! Flour is needed to make the perfect crispy coating.
CORNSTARCH: Goes in the flour mixture to make thicker and crispy texture.
SPICES: Paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to give these air fryer panko chicken thighs a delicious flavor.
PANKO BREADCRUMBS: Here’s the star of the show! Use your favorite panko bread crumbs. I use the Italian seasoning Panko breadcrumbs. You may swap this out for regular breadcrumbs if desired. You can also add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture as an additional flavoring.
OLIVE OIL COOKING SPRAY: Another important component in making crispy on the outside, juicy chicken on the inside.
Honey Glaze Ingredients (Optional)
HONEY: Optional, but oh so good! This is what you’ll use for a sweet glaze on the chicken.
WATER: Needed to help make the honey glaze.
How to Make Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs
So, how do you cook breaded chicken thighs in an air fryer? Here are the 9 steps:
This air fryer chicken thighs recipe is easy to make and goes quickly once you have each of your bowls of ingredients lined up.
STEP 1: In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, and spices together.
STEP 2: In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs.
STEP 3: In a third bowl large enough to dip a whole chicken thigh, pour in the panko bread crumbs.
STEP 4: Grab a piece of chicken, coat it in the flour mixture first, then through the egg wash, and finish coating it with the panko crumbs. Place on a clean solid surface, such as a plate or cutting board.
STEP 5: Repeat for each piece of chicken.
STEP 6: Pre-heat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. This should take 1-2 minutes depending on your air fryer model.
STEP 7: Spray your air fryer basked and chicken thighs with olive oil spray. The main reason for nonstick cooking spray is it will help the chicken thighs crisp up more and keep them from sticking to the basket.
STEP 8: Working in batches, place the thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer. You don’t want to overcrowd the chicken so the fryer can circulate the hot air evenly to cook the meat.
STEP 9: Air fry the chicken on 350F for 12-15 minutes. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165F. Use tongs to flip chicken and air fry for another 3-4 minutes to make sure all sides of the chicken are nice and crisp.
Tip: Cook times will vary based on the size of the chicken pieces and the make and model of your fryer.
STEP 10: While the thighs are cooking, make your glaze by adding water and honey to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the glaze to a rolling boil, and remove from heat and set aside to cool. This sauce will thicken as it cools.
STEP 11: After your chicken is finished, brush it down with the glaze or dunk it in the glaze before enjoying.
Can you use Panko in the Air Fryer?
Absolutely! You can use panko breadcrumbs on your boneless or bone-in chicken thighs for air frying.
The panko will stick best to your chicken piece by coating it in flour, then dredging it in an egg wash and finishing with the panko. Panko breadcrumbs are much crispier and flakier than regular bread crumbs.
Can I use Parchment Paper / Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer?
Yes, using aluminum foil and parchment paper in the fryer is safe. If it can be used in an oven, you can use it in air fryer recipes.
In fact, using either helps reduce clean-up time for this great recipe by lining the air fryer basket with parchment paper.
Note: It may take a few minutes longer to cook because it will block some of the air flow. Also, make sure the edges of the parchment paper or aluminum foil don’t stick upwards in your basket. With the hot air swirling, if it sticks too high up, it will fold over on to your chicken.
I found these disposable air fryer parchment paper with holes in the bottom that allow for more air flow! They come in different sizes and shapes to fit the basket of the air fryer you own.
How to Store Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Any leftover Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep for 3-5 days.
You can also freeze delicious recipes like this chicken. Store it in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove the chicken and let thaw. Reheat using the instructions below.
How to Reheat Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
For best results, reheat your Panko Chicken Thighs once they’re thawed, place them back in the Air Fryer, spritz with a little oil and cook on 400F for 3-5 minutes. Check to ensure that the meat is warmed through before eating.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you’d like to browse for more ideas, check out all of our Air Fryer Chicken Recipes.
You’ll be excited to grab all the ingredients needed to make this easy Air Fryer Panko Chicken Thighs recipe. These juicy thighs have an amazing flavor and the flaky Panko crumbs bring crisp and crunch to every bite of fried chicken.
- 2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (approximately 4 thighs)
- 2 large Eggs
- 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup Cornstarch
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Onion Powder
Honey Glaze (Optional)
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of water
- In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, and spices together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk eggs.
- In a third bowl large enough to dip a whole chicken thigh, pour in the Panko bread crumbs.
- Coat a piece of chicken in flour mixture, then dredge in the egg wash, and finish coating it with the panko crumbs. Place on a clean solid surface, such as a plate or cutting board.
- Repeat for each piece of chicken.
- Pre-heat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. (1-2 minutes depending on your air fryer model).
- Spray your air fryer basked and chicken thighs with olive oil spray. The main reason for nonstick cooking spray is it will help the chicken thighs crisp up more and keep them from sticking to the basket.
- Working in batches, place the thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Air fry the chicken on 350F for 12 minutes. Use tongs to flip chicken and air fry for another 3-5 minutes to make sure all sides of the chicken are nice and crisp. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 165F.
- While the thighs are cooking, make your glaze by adding water and honey to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the glaze to a rolling boil, and remove from heat and set aside to cool. This sauce will thicken as it cools.
- After your chicken is finished, brush it with the glaze.
Please see recipe post for additional tips.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 370mgSodium: 890mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 3gSugar: 28gProtein: 64g
Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.