This easy air fryer honey mustard chicken thighs recipe is a quick and healthy weeknight dinner that uses only one tablespoon of oil but thanks to the air fryer, is perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The honey mustard sauce adds tangy sweetness and a side of potatoes and green beans makes for a complete dinner using just the air fryer!
*Casually mentions wanting an air fryer once to Mom on the phone*
*Air fryer twice as big as my head shows up at doorstep 2 days later*
Is anyone else’s family like this? No, just mine? This is very typical of my mom, bless her. One day we went to pick up our packages from our building’s front desk, and there was a giant Amazon delivery waiting for us. And I mean, GIANT! We had no idea where it was from, there was no card or information, our Amazon account did not show any mistakenly ordered air fryers…so we started calling around, and lo and behold, my mom had sent us an air fryer after I had casually mentioned on the phone to her that I was thinking about getting one.
When I unpacked it (with her on FaceTime, naturally) it was TWICE THE SIZE OF MY HEAD. That is not an exaggeration. My mom had gotten us the Yedi 5.8 quart air fryer from Amazon, and it was enormous, because as she put it, she “wanted to get us the Mercedes-Benz of air fryers.” There was absolutely nowhere to store it in my tiny NYC apartment kitchen, so we ended up exchanging it for the Ninja 4-quart air fryer. We never used the Yedi so I can’t comment on its performance, but we do absolutely love the Ninja, and are so happy with it!
Getting To Know The Recipes You Can Make In An Air Fryer
Naturally, I’ve been experimenting with tons of recipes. It takes a minute to get to know the air fryer. You’ll have to play around with cooking times, temperatures and different items. The air fryer can handle anything from meat to vegetables to frozen egg rolls (yes, it works and they are delicious!). Spoiler alert: parmesan baby carrots did not work well on the roast function. Regular peeled carrots would be great but something about the organic baby carrots did not turn out well.
Luckily, these honey mustard chicken thighs turned out AMAZING. Like, unbelievably amazing for how quick and easy this air fryer recipe is. A quick two-ingredient sauce, skin-on bone-off chicken thighs and the crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside magic of the Ninja air fryer makes the perfect healthy weeknight meal. Minimal dishes, minimal clean up, a win for everyone!
Tips For Making Honey Mustard Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Okay, it does take a bit of getting used to and experimenting to perfect cooking chicken in the air fryer. My best tips for making air fryer chicken thighs are:
Preheat your air fryer: Do not skip the pre-heating step! It’s super important and this tip is included in all the air fryer instructions. Listen to this tip! I preheat my air fryer on 390F for 3-4 minutes, hit stop, adjust my settings for whatever I’m cooking and pop in the food.
Dry the chicken: Pat the chicken dry thoroughly before seasoning or prepping it. Moisture is the enemy of crispy! At least on the outside of the chicken.
Double air-fry, double sauce: I like to air fry the chicken on its own, seasoned with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, for 5-10 minutes or so to start the crisping process, then douse the chicken in sauce and put back in the air fryer to finish cooking. I like how this helps the sauce crisp up and cling to the chicken. Then, I finish the chicken by dunking it back in the bowl of sauce for a final coating. I like my chicken extra saucy 🙂
What To Serve With Honey Mustard Air Fryer Chicken Thighs For An Easy, Flavorful Dinner
Is there anything tastier, more satisfying or more classic than chicken and potatoes? I love serving my honey mustard air fryer chicken with air fryer potatoes (chop up 1-2 potatoes, season with salt, pepper and paprika, toss with one tablespoon olive oil and pop in the air fryer at 390F for 10 minutes) and roasted green beans. I prefer my green beans roasted in the oven instead of the air fryer, but that’s just a personal preference.
You could also serve these honey mustard chicken thighs with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, quinoa or rice. I bet a quinoa or rice pilaf with chopped dried apricots and almonds would be amazing with this recipe!
How To Make Honey Mustard Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
This recipe is honestly SO easy to make! Mix up the seasonings and spread on a plate. Brush the chicken with a little olive oil and dip both sides in the seasoning. Preheat the air fryer, and whip up the sauce using equal parts honey and mustard. I like to use a spicy brown mustard but any mustard will work! Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the ratio of honey to mustard depending on your preferences – maybe you like the sauce a little sweeter or a little tangy-er!
Coat the chicken in the sauce – simply pour over the chicken, flip and pour more, or put the chicken thighs and sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat.
Then pop in the air fryer at 390F for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and desired level of crisp is achieved!
I served the chicken with additional honey mustard sauce on the side, because I love a ton of sauce and flavor and JB prefers less sauce – by serving the extra sauce on the side we each get to control our desired level of saucy-ness. (PS I am really enjoying the amount of times I get to say saucy in this post!).
Air Fryer Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs – Recipe Ingredients
- 4 large chicken thighs, boneless and skin on
For the seasoning:
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- Pepper to taste
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Adjust to taste – more honey or mustard depending on your preferences
- Mix together all the seasonings in a small bowl, and spread on a plate.
- Preheat the air fryer at 390F for 3 minutes.
- While the air fryer is preheating, brush both sides of the chicken thighs with 1 tbsp olive oil and then dip both sides in the seasoning, making sure to coat well.
- Make the sauce by combining honey and mustard, stirring well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over the chicken thighs, flipped to ensure both sides are coated with sauce.
- Put the chicken thighs, two at a time, in the air fryer and air fry for 10 minutes at 390F.
- Flip the thighs, and continue air frying for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and desired crispness is reached.
- Serve with additional honey mustard sauce, either on the side or drizzled over the cooked chicken.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy this air fryer honey mustard chicken thighs recipes as much as I do! Please let me know in the comments if you try it!
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