Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe

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Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe – delicious crispy, crunchy chicken thighs loaded with fresh salsa flavor!

picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

These chicken thighs are tender and juicy, with a crispy, crunchy, crackling crust and are loaded with spicy salsa flavor!

We love serving this chicken with Instant Pot pinto beans, air fryer shishito peppers, Pineapple Jalapeño Salad, Green Chile Guacamole, Easy Keto Tortilla Chips, some 4 Citrus Margaritas and of course our spicy and tangy Tito’s Tacos Style salsa recipe!

This chicken thigh recipe is marinated in salsa flavor and then topped with more salsa after air frying in it – making it crispy, crunchy, and full of zesty southwest flavor!

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

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picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs

If you love crispy, crunchy chicken – and fresh, cool, spicy salsa – this recipe is going to be your next favorite.

We’re loading chicken thighs up with fresh salsa (we use our Knockoff Tito’s Tacos Salsa Recipe, but you can use any salsa you love) as both a marinade AND a topping – so you’ll get tons of spicy flavor in every bite!

This is one of our favorite delicious recipes for knockout chicken thighs because:

  • salsa chicken fits perfectly in a keto eating plan, as it is naturally low carb.
  • crispy, crunchy chicken skin is even more delicious with spicy, fresh salsa baked into it!
  • chicken marinated in salsa is bursting with flavor and unbelievably tender – the spices and lime juice help to soften the meat and keep it from drying out.
  • you can add this chicken to salads, wraps, tacos, and burritos – or serve with some cilantro lime rice and pinto beans!

Easy Salsa Recipes

We like to make this recipe using our Knockoff Tito’s Tacos Salsa Recipe – it is tangy, spicy, and the runny texture works perfectly as a marinade and topping.

If you’re looking for a bit of another flavor, you can use any salsa you love.

Some of our favorite salsa recipes:

Pro tip: Whatever salsa you use, you will use some as a marinade and discard after marinating raw chicken in, and then you will use different salsa as a topping. Never use marinade salsa as a topping, as it will have touched raw chicken.

How To Air Fry Chicken Thighs

You can use boneless or bone-in chicken thighs, skinless or skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe – it will change your cooking time a bit (add 2-3 minutes for both bone-in and skin-on) but will not change your cooking process at all.

Whether you choose skin or not/bones or not is completely up to you – picking chicken thighs that have not been trimmed and de-boned are often more economical and do offer more fat and benefits for keto diets.

If you aren’t worried about keto diet macros, you can trim off skin and remove bone yourself to save money – or buy skinless and boneless. Again, it’s completely up to you – this recipe is designed to work with either, and come out perfect no matter what you pick!

picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

What Temperature To Air Fry Chicken Thighs

We like to air fry chicken thighs at 400 degrees – which helps the chicken skin get crispy and crunchy without drying out the chicken meat.

If your air fryer doesn’t heat to 400 degrees, set it as high as it can go. We want it to render fat quickly and crisp skin so it can get crispy, crunchy, and crackly – and a high heat and the air fryer’s air circulation can help achieve that.

When Are Air Fried Chicken Thighs Done

Chicken thighs are fully cooked at 165 degrees internal temperature when a thermometer i inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh.

Be sure to not hit the chicken bone when measuring your chicken’s temperature.

picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes

If you have an air fryer and you’re looking for more delicious easy air fryer recipes, please check out some of our recent favorites like air fryer bacon, crunchy air fried BBQ chicken drumsticks, lemon pepper air fried chickpeas, and more:

For our complete air fryer recipe index, click here.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs

This recipe is keto and low carb – but it is delicious alongside traditional Mexican food dinners and sides, too.

Chop this chicken up and serve it in tacos, burritos, and wraps; serve it in a rice bowl; use it in a Cheesy Chicken Taco Salad Stuffed Avocado; in 10 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup; alongside Pineapple Jalapeño Salad, or with Easy Keto Tortilla Chips!

For the rest of our tacos, burritos, and fajitas recipes, click here.

picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

Recipe FAQs

When are chicken thighs cooked?

Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees internal temperature.

What temperature to air fry chicken thighs at?

We prefer air frying chicken at 400 degrees, but if your air fryer doesn’t go to 400, 375 works great too.

How long to air fry chicken thighs?

Chicken thigh cooking time can vary based on your air fryer model, size of each chicken thigh, how well you preheated, etc – but this recipe should take 15-18 minutes to cook.

How long do air fryer salsa chicken thighs last?

Air fried salsa chicken thighs can last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe

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picture of chicken thighs toped with salsa and sliced black olives on a tray  with a bowl of salsa, sliced limes, and an avocado on the tray

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picture of air fryer chicken thighs with salsa and sliced olives on top
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Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe

Air Fryer Salsa Chicken Thighs Recipe – delicious crispy, crunchy chicken thighs loaded with fresh salsa flavor!
Course Chicken
Cuisine air fryer
Keyword air fryer, chicken thighs, keto, main dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 chicken thighs
Calories 141kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skin-on chicken thighs please see notes for bone-in or skinless
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 cups salsa divided
  • juice of 2 limes divided
  • 2 teaspoons celtic sea salt I prefer maldon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • sliced olives to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees (or as high as your air fryer will go.)
  • In a small bowl, add oil, half salsa (set half aside for topping, do not use marinade as topping), and half lime juice to bowl and mix.
  • Drizzle over chicken thighs, toss to coat.
  • Chicken can be marinated overnight, but this is optional.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and add chicken thighs to air fryer basket. Season with salt and pepper and spoon a bit of marinade onto chicken to bake into chicken as it cooks. Discard any leftover marinade.
  • Air fry at 400 for 8 minutes.
  • Flip thighs, cook another 8 minutes. Spoon just a bit of fresh salsa (not the salsa you used to marinate to prevent cross contamination) onto side you flipped over.
  • Using a digital thermometer, probe the thickest part of the chicken thigh’s meat, taking care to not hit the bone.
  • You will likely need to flip chicken thighs once more and cook an additional 4-6 minutes to reach 165 internal temperature, but be sure to go off your thermometer, not the cooking time on your air fryer!
  • If you used skin-on chicken, and your chicken skin is not crispy, crunchy, and golden brown, pop directly under your air fryer’s broiler or your oven’s broiler to crisp for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from air fryer, and let sit for at least five minutes before serving.
  • Top with additional lime juice and salsa, and optional sliced olives.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 782mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g

Sweet C’s Favorites

If you love this easy recipe, be sure to check out our other reader favorites, like our famous pork tenderloin!

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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