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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Honey Soy Marinade

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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are sweet and crispy in all the right places for a convenient weeknight dinner.

Chicken Thighs Cut on a white plate with sesame seeds on top

I’m constantly looking for ways to get an easy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. It was one of the things that drew me to an air fryer.

These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Honey Soy Marinade do just that.

This recipe is made with boneless skinless chicken thighs so the marinade can really get into the meat. No breading is needed, making them much healthier than a fried version.

I marinate the chicken thighs either the previous night or first thing in the morning, so they are ready to go when we get home.

I love making my own Asian honey soy marinade because it only takes 2 minutes. It ends up being much cheaper than buying store-bought and it tastes fresher without all the added preservatives.

In this post I will show you:

  • How to make chicken thighs in the air fryer
  • How to make frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer
  • How to still make this recipe flavorful without marinating the chicken
  • What happens when you stack raw chicken in the air fryer

I made this boneless skinless chicken thighs air fryer recipe in my Cosori Air Fryer. The square basket allowed me to make the perfect amount of chicken thighs for my family of 4.

Title and Shown: The best juicy air fryer chicken thighs (in an air fryer and on a white plate)

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Honey Soy Marinade

STEP ONE: Put together the honey soy marinade in a big bowl. Simply place the honey, soy sauce, oil, garlic powder, and ground ginger into a bowl and mix.

Honey Soy Marinade in a Bowl

If you are using a low-sodium soy sauce, I recommend adding a small extra pinch of salt into the marinade. If you are using regular soy sauce, no extra salt is needed.

STEP TWO: Place half of the marinade in a small bowl and set aside. You will use this half as a sauce at the end.

Set the chicken thighs on a cutting board and trim off any extra fat.

STEP THREE: Add the chicken to the remaining honey soy marinade and coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Chicken Thighs Marinated in sauce in a clear bowl

How to Cook the Air Fryer Honey Soy Chicken Thighs

STEP FOUR: Once the chicken thighs are marinated, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

STEP FIVE: Add honey soy chicken thighs in the air fryer in a single layer. I like to dunk each chicken thigh back in the marinade on both sides to make sure it’s covered well before placing it in the air fryer.

Raw Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer

STEP SIX: Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the internal temperature, reaches 165 degrees.

STEP SEVEN: Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and baste additional honey soy sauce on top. You can also pour any other desired sauce on top of the air fryer honey chicken.

Cooked Chicken Thighs in Air Fryer

Can You Stack the Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer?

I recommend cooking these air fryer chicken thighs with honey soy sauce in one single layer. Stacking raw chicken can cause it to cook unevenly.

You can, however, stack frozen chicken, like chicken tenders, in an air fryer since they’re already technically cooked.

Honey Soy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs topped with sesame seeds on a white plate

How Long Should You Marinate the Chicken Thighs For?

I recommend marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

You can also place them in the fridge overnight and cook them the following night if needed for easier preparation.

I Forgot to Marinate the Chicken Thighs! Can I Still Make This?

I’m a busy mom of two little ones, so I get it. While testing this recipe, I made versions without it being marinated because I know it will happen to me once or twice in the future too.

Just simply toss the chicken thighs in half the marinade and let it sit for 5 minutes while the air fryer preheats then cook as normal.

While the marinade won’t seep into the chicken thighs as much, the additional honey soy marinade added at the end will help bring the flavor out.

Honey Soy Chicken Thighs with sesame seeds on a white plate

I Need to Make More Chicken, Should I Double the Marinade?

I have made this recipe with both 1.5lbs and 3lbs of chicken thighs while still using the same amount of marinade.

You will only need to double the marinade recipe if using more than 3lbs of chicken thighs.

How to Make Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer:

In order to make frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer, they must be individually frozen and not stuck together.

When frozen meat is stuck together, it won’t cook evenly resulting in overcooked and undercooked chicken at the same time.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
  2. Place the frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer and cook for 15-20 minutes flipping halfway.
    Coat the chicken with half of the honey soy marinade in this recipe when flipping, if using.
  3. Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and coat with additional marinade and enjoy!

NOTE: If you would like a deeper golden brown crusting, you can turn your air fryer to 400 degrees for the final 1-2 minutes of cooking. I find my chicken thighs get golden brown with this marinade without this step.

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Honey Soy Chicken Thighs

Honey Soy Chicken Thighs with sesame seeds on a white plate

An air fryer chicken thighs recipe with Asian flavor that is easy to make and delicious to eat.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (can use up to 3lbs)

Honey Soy Marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use vegetable oil)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix together the soy sauce*, oil, honey, garlic powder, and ground ginger in a big bowl.
  2. Remove half of the marinade and place in a small bowl or container and set aside.
  3. Add chicken thighs to a big bowl of marinade and coat chicken.
  4. Refrigerate marinated chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.**
  5. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  6. Add marinated chicken to the air fryer and cook 10-15 minutes, until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Baste additional reserved sauce on top after cooking.
  8. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

*if using a low-sodium soy sauce, add a pinch of salt to up the flavor

**chicken can be made without being marinated, but may not lock all the honey soy flavor in.

How to Make Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.

2. Place frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on size. Flip them and baste them with half of the marinade halfway through cooking.

3. Remove them from the air fryer and baste them with remaining marinade, then enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 464Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 208mgSodium: 1531mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 43g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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8 thoughts on “Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Honey Soy Marinade”

  1. Wow, these look fantastic! My husband is gonna be so happy I came across this recipe. He loves Honey Soy Chicken and I love easy = WIN WIN!! Haha! Thank you so much, can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Karrie! I have to say this is one of my favorite air fryer recipes so far. I’ve even been using the honey soy marinade on other foods now!

      Reply
  2. Very good marinade. Used it tonight on a BS Chx Breast ‘ cause that’s what I had. Marinated for about an hour. Air fryer 385* for about 6 minutes a side. Came out flavorful and very moist. Quick and easy for last minute dinner with what’s on hand.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • So glad to hear PattiAnn! I am also obsessed with the marinade on its own too. We’ve used it in a stir fry recently and it worked very well.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for this recipe! I prepped the chicken last night and cooked it tonight and oh-my-gosh!!! It was so good! I will definitely be making it again.
    I left a photo of my beautiful chicken in Pinterest comments.
    🙂

    Reply
    • So glad you loved it, Maria! I did see the picture over on Pinterest last night and it looks great! I love to use this recipe as a side dish and even just a sauce for a stir fry. It’s just the perfect amount of sweetness.

      Reply

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