These Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs are super juicy and flavorful. Done in just 25 minutes in the air fryer, they pair great with many side dishes!
This lemon pepper chicken recipe is a super easy one, yet is so flavorful and delicious. It will go great with all of your favorite sides, including these Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes and Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes.
I didn't use any store-bought lemon pepper seasoning for these chicken thighs. Instead, this recipe uses a real lemon and real black pepper marinade, imagine that. No fancy ingredients are required to make this amazing dish.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- It's juicy and flavorful- no dry chicken here!
- It uses simple ingredients you already have
- 30-minute meal
- Great for leftovers
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken thighs- I like using bone-in, skin on chicken thighs for this recipe but you can also use boneless.
- Black pepper- you will need 1 ½ tablespoons of black pepper for this chicken. Seems like a lot but you will love the flavor.
- Lemon- this recipe calls for the juice from 2 whole lemons. You can also add in some lemon zest if you wish.
See the recipe card for quantities and the rest of the ingredients.
Grab what you need for this recipe:
- Large bowl
- Air fryer
- Measuring spoons needed: ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon.
Prepare the chicken. The first step is to soak the chicken thighs in lemon juice for 5 minutes. This really helps the chicken soak in the lemon flavor. However, soaking for longer may leave the chicken with a lemon taste that is too strong so I would suggest soaking no more than 5 minutes.
Season the chicken. Rub all of the spices and olive oil over the chicken thighs. I like to use my hands for this.
Preheat the air fryer and cook. Cook the chicken for about 30 minutes, flipping it halfway through.
Yes- however, I prefer to make this recipe without. If you use lemon pepper seasoning, check the ingredients as they can vary. Some contain salt and some don't so you may want to adjust the amount of salt you use in the recipe. If you use the seasoning, adjust the black pepper and lemon juice to your liking or go without.
Some great side dish ideas:
Reheating and Storage
This chicken will store great in both the fridge and the freezer. Keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
If freezing, let the chicken defrost in the fridge or at room temperature and then reheat in the microwave.
More Chicken Recipes
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Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer
- 4 bone-in skin on chicken thighs
- 2 ½ large lemons
- 1 ½ tablespoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Begin by soaking the chicken thighs in the juice from 2 lemons for 5 minutes. Drain the lemon juice.
- Season the chicken with the black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and Italian seasoning. Pour olive oil over the chicken and rub to coat the chicken on all sides.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F. Squeeze ½ of a lemon over the chicken before cooking.
- Air fry for 25-30 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F.
If you make this recipe, please leave a rating and a comment. I love to know what you are making and ratings help me to create more delicious recipes for you!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.