Air Fryer Chicken Main Dishes Recipes

Last updated on December 1st, 2021 at 06:38 pm

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Air Fryer Lemon Chicken [Video]

Air Fryer Lemon Chicken is marinated in olive oil, lemon, Italian herbs and after that cooked to crispy perfection in the air fryer. The chicken is juicy and tender, with lots of refreshing citrus flavor.

Air Fryer Recipes are such a favorite around here, they are healthier, and also I love that I don’t have to turn on the oven to prepare them. Try our famous Pork Chops, Crispy Potatoes, and delicious Churros.

Healthy Air Fried Lemon Chicken Recipe

We like sharing lots of chicken recipes on the blog, as they are usually budget-friendly and easy to make. Take today’s Air Fryer Lemon Chicken, it is loaded with flavor and incredibly easy to make.

Air frying saves lots of unnecessary calories but maintains a deliciously crispy texture. The marinade is simple and refreshing, with dried herbs and lots of fresh lemon juice and zest.

This recipe is perfect for quick and lazy dinner nights. Also, it is so delicious that it seems like you spent a lot of time preparing it. Yet it is one of the easiest dinners you can make at home. We enjoy it with rice and an easy summer salad on the side.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken – you can use chicken thighs or breasts, even chicken drumsticks will work well.
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon – to make the lemon flavor shine we use lemon juice, zest, and lemon slices.
  • Honey – in case of an allergy to honey use maple syrup.
  • Herbs –  we use a mix of dried basil and Italian herbs

How to make Air Fryer Lemon Chicken from scratch:

  1. Marinade: First, combine all the ingredients except the lemon slices in a large bowl or Ziplig bag. Also, it is important to make sure you shake them well so the meat is coated in the marinade. After that, let it marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Ar Fry: Next, remove the poultry from the marinade and let the excess liquid drip off. After that, arrange it in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Finally, flip the chicken, top it with lemon slices and cook for 10 more minutes or until crispy and it reaches the internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  3. Serve: Remove the thighs from the AF and serve them with a salad and lemon wedges on the side.

Recipe Variations:

  • Other Citrus: Use another citrus, you can make this recipe with lime, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and oranges.
  • Other cuts of meat: Alternatively, try this recipe with chicken breasts, drumsticks or use the marinade on chicken wings.
  • Spicier: Make it spicier by adding some red pepper flakes or a few teaspoons of hot sauce to the marinade.
  • Sweeter: Opt for a sweet and savory flavor by adding some brown sugar or sweet chili sauce into the marinade.
  • Black Pepper: Add a good amount of black pepper for a Lemon Pepper Chicken variation.
  • Herbs: Play with the herbs that you are using, adding some oregano or cilantro will add more flavor to these.
  • Asian twist: Feel free to add some rice vinegar, lemongrass, and ginger to the marinade for an Asian twist.
  • Brown sugar: For a sweet and savory variation, add some brown sugar to the marinade and also some Sriracha sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put raw chicken in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can, and actually, you can make many delicious recipes. When you air fry it, make sure first to pat dry it, so it’s not covered in juices or marinade. After that, make sure to flip it for uniform cooking.

In addition, it is equally important to always check the internal temperature, as it should reach 165 degrees F in the thickest part.

How long does it take to cook raw chicken in an Air Fryer?

It depends on the size and the cut, but usually, it takes between 15 to 20 minutes.

For example, thighs take about 10 minutes per side. Now, the chicken breast may take only 12-14 minutes and wings about 10-16 minutes.

Keep in mind that different recipes ask for different cooking temperatures, that’s why you should not always go by the cooking time. Equally important is to check the internal temperature of the meat, it should reach 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the cut.

How to serve it?

Since this is such an easy, healthy, and flavorful recipe, we will let the citrus flavor shine. In order to do that, we recommend some simple sides, like a Greek salad, rice, or quinoa.

Have some Strawberry Daiquiri with it and for dessert enjoy a Berry Salad.

How to store leftovers?

Use an airtight container, and then refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days. 

You can also freeze leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Reheat in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Also, you can reheat leftovers in the air fryer for a few minutes, or microwave. 

More chicken recipes to try:

Recipe tips:

  • You can turn this into orange or lime flavor, by substituting the lemon with orange or lime. 
  • Also, feel free to use any cuts. Breasts, drumsticks, or thighs are all ideal for this dish. 
  • To make it in the oven, follow this oven lemon piccata chicken recipe
  • Garnish it with freshly chopped green onion, herbs, or sesame seeds. 

Air Fryer Lemon Chicken

Air Fryer Lemon Chicken is marinated in olive oil, lemon, and Italian herbs and after that cooked to crispy perfection in the air fryer.

lemon chicken
  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time20 MIN
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in and skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced


  • Add all ingredients - except lemon slices - to bowl or Ziploc bag, toss well to coat the chicken.
  • Let marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Set air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove chicken and let any excess liquid drip off, and arrange the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, skin side down. Make sure for the chicken thighs to not be too close to each other. If needed cook in batches.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, flip, top with lemon slices and air fry for another 10 minutes or until crispy and it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature when checked with a digital thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Serve with a salad.

Nutrition Facts

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This came out so good - the skin was crispy, and the inside was tender and juicy, and we LOVED the flavor.



This meal was so good and so easy to make in an air fryer! The chicken turned out so tender, moist and very flavorful!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

I've lost count of how many times I've cooked this dish! I liked it because it's so easy and my family loves it so much! This is such a keeper!



This lemon chicken is SO good. The thighs are super juicy and the lemon flavor is incredible.

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