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This Air fryer ranch chicken thighs recipe is a healthy and delicious way to prepare chicken thighs.
Don’t get bored eating chicken… again! This healthy recipes is sure to please the entire family. And the best part is, there is no packet filled with preservatives to open because this quick and easy chicken thighs recipe is made with real, easy-to-find spices you most likely already have in your spice cabinet!
What Are Ranch Chicken Thighs?
In most cases, ranch chicken thighs are chicken thighs that have been coated in a packet or two ranch dressing mix. It works great, but it’s definitely not the healthiest choice. Those packets have a lot of preservatives and refined sugar in them.
So if you are trying to eat healthier, what are your options?
The best and easiest substitute for the packets of ranch dressing mix, are the spices in your home kitchen. The plain herbs and some salt. You can certainly add sweetener, but it’s not necessary. We make this all the time without any added sweetener, and we eat these air fryer ranch chicken thighs on almost a weekly basis. We love them!
What You’ll Need
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can trim the excess fat that always comes with these. They will still be tender and juicy, but with much less fat.
2 tbsp. onion granules – We use granules, but powder will work too.
2 tbsp. dried chives
2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried dill
1 tbsp. garlic granules – Here again, we use granules. But powder works just as well. The only thing you want to avoid is garlic salt.
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt – Whatever salt you usually use in the kitchen is fine. It doesn’t have to be sea salt.
2 tsp. granular sweetener – This is completely optional, but some folks prefer it. We highly recommend an unprocessed sweetener, such as coconut sugar, Monk Fruit or Sucanat. But if you do go that route, you’ll want to powder the sweetener first just to keep the texture of the overall spice mix consistent. Again, this is totally optional.
How To Make Ranch Chicken Thighs
Combine all the spices in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
Place the chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the spices over the chicken.
Using your hands, mix well until the chicken is well coated on all sides with the spices.
Transfer the thighs to your air fryer, making sure to spread them in a single layer (even if you have to cook the thighs in separate batches to make them fit properly and give them enough room).
Cook at 400 F. for 15 minutes.
Cool slightly and serve.
Chicken Thigh Recipe Tips
- Trimming the fat on your chicken thighs is easily done with a pair of kitchen shears. You don’t have to do this, but it’s healthier overall.
- Make sure that both sides of your chicken thighs are coated in spices.
- Don’t forget to flip your chicken thighs half way through cooking time. This ensures both sides will get that crispy, herby finish.
Questions About Making Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs Answered
Can I Use Chicken Thighs With The Bone In?
You can! But you’ll want to reduce the temperature to 380 F. and cook for a bit longer. Approximately 25 minutes. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to check the finished temperature. Chicken thighs (as with any cut of chicken), should always be cooked to a minimum of 165 F.
Can I Use A Different Cut Of Chicken?
If you prefer drumsticks or chicken breasts, you can absolutely substitute those. Reduce the temperature to 380 F. for drumsticks, and cook for about 20 minutes. Again, check the finished chicken with a thermometer. It should be at least 165 F. when done.
If making chicken breasts, reduce the temperature to 370 F. and cook for 28-30 minutes. Again, make sure they reach 165 F. before eating. And let the breasts rest for about 5 minutes after cooking before cutting into them.
Can I Bake These In The Oven Instead?
Yes you can! The only difference will be the cooking time. We like to place some parchment down on our baking pans for easy clean up. Then bake at 400 F. for about 40-45 minutes, until the chicken reaches at least 165 F.
What If My Chicken Thighs Are Not Properly Cooked?
Keep in mind that every air fryer cooks a bit differently. Even air fryers that are the same brand and model. This is where you really need to get to know your air fryer. Keep a list on the fridge of cooking times, and then pay attention the first time you make something. If it’s cooked to perfection, notate the time. If not, make a note to try less time in the future, or put them in for a few more minutes and notate the new time. Once you have a running list of times for different foods, you’ll have an easy, at-a-glance cooking time list you can refer to again and again for your specific air fryer.
How To Know When Chicken Thighs Are Done?
The outside should look cooked, and the internal temperature should be at least 165 F. Anything lower in temperature is under cooked and not safe to eat.
What If I Chicken Thighs Have Skin?
If you prefer that your chicken thighs have skin, you’ll want to cook these a bit longer. The process is the same, but you’ll cook for about 20-25 minutes. Again, check that they reach at least 165 F.
If you are in the market for a new air fryer, this is the one we use and love. We use it on a daily basis and it has really held up well. It’s a great air fryer! You can read our full, Instant Vortex Pro air fryer review here.
And if you need a great meat thermometer, we recommend one of these. You can read our full review on each of these meat thermometers here.
Air Fryer Biscuits Recipe
Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer
- 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp. onion powder
- 2 tbsp. dried chives
- 2 tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 tbsp. dried dill
- 1 tbsp. garlic granules (or powder)
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. granular sweetener (optional)
- Combine all the spices in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
- Place the chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the spices over the chicken.
- Using your hands, mix well until the chicken is well coated on all sides with the spices.
- Transfer the thighs to your air fryer, making sure to spread them in a single layer (even if you have to cook the thighs in separate batches to make them fit properly and give them enough room).
- Cook at 400 F. for 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly and serve.