If you love delicious teriyaki chicken but thought you needed to go to a restaurant for it, think again! This Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken recipe is a restaurant-quality dish you can make in less than an hour at home! The sweet and savory flavors and 12 minutes of cooking time make it a star.
Air fryer teriyaki chicken thighs is a mouthwatering dish that's not only packed with flavor but also a perfect fit for your lower calorie eating plan. These succulent chicken thighs, marinated in a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce, are a game-changer for anyone looking to indulge their taste buds while keeping an eye on calories or WW Points.
This flavorful chicken makes an easy weeknight dinner served with air fryer broccoli or green beans on a small bed of rice. It's also great as an ingredient in so many other dishes (ideas included) OR for meal prepping. It's an easy dinner recipe the whole family will love and one you'll definitely want to add to your air fryer recipes collection.
What makes this skinny?
Air frying. This magical method of convection cooking that circulates hot air around food to cook it giving a fried-type end result without loads of oil makes all the difference.
Low calorie teriyaki sauce. Our homemade teriyaki sauce is big on flavor and lean on calories. Some store-bought teriyaki sauce can have up to 60 calories per tablespoon! Ours has 16 calories and uses maple
A note on chicken thighs. Most people following a lower calorie plan opt for chicken breasts thinking they are lower calorie. They are BUT for the same serving size (3.5 ounces) the difference is only 14 calories! Per 3.5-oz. (100-g) serving: Chicken breast: 165 calories. Chicken thigh: 179 calories.
Chicken thighs have slightly more fat which keeps them more moist during cooking and gives them more flavor. It's really removing the skin in either chicken breast or chicken thighs that saves the calories. You'll LOVE these juicy chicken thighs!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
For the complete ingredient list and amounts, refer to the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs. You'll need 1 pound of chicken thighs (4 thighs) for this recipe. Choose chicken thighs that are similar in size so they will all cook evenly in the same amount of time.
Maple Teriyaki Sauce. You'll need a batch of our easy homemade teriyaki sauce and will use ¼ cup to marinate the chicken thighs before air frying them. You can save the remaining sauce for other dishes. We use maple syrup instead of brown sugar but all the other classic teriyaki sauce ingredients: low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and garlic.
How to make it
STEP 1. Marinate
Place the four chicken thighs in a Ziploc style plastic bag. Add the teriyaki sauce, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag (photo 1). Massage the sauce into the chicken from outside of the bag to coat (photo 2).
Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
STEP 2. Preheat
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
STEP 3. Air Fry
Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray or avocado spray (high smoke point cooking oil spray to avoid sticking).
Place the marinated chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer (discard the bag and marinade sauce) (photo 3).
Cook for 12 minutes, flipping them over with tongs halfway through (photo 4). The internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach 165 degrees F internal temperature to be done. Adjust cooking time as needed for your air fryer.
Size matters. The thickness of the chicken thighs affects the cooking time, not just the weight. Monitor during the cooking process to avoid over cooking or under cooking. The most accurate way to determine doneness is with an instant read food thermometer or meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
Air Fryer cooking. Every brand, style and power air fryer cooks slightly differently. It's important to monitor the cooking process for your air fryer and adjust the cooking time accordingly. We developed and tested this recipe in a Cosori XL 5.8 quart Air Fryer (1700 watt machine). Your air fryer may cook slightly faster or slower.
How to use
Air fryer teriyaki boneless chicken thighs are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various lower-calorie recipes to create delicious and satisfying meals. Here are some ideas:
- Teriyaki Chicken Salad. Slice the air-fried teriyaki chicken thighs into thin strips and toss them into a fresh salad made with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers. Drizzle a light sesame ginger dressing or a low-calorie teriyaki sauce for extra flavor without adding too many calories.
- Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Use large lettuce leaves as wraps and fill them with shredded teriyaki chicken, thinly sliced veggies like carrots and cucumbers, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Top it off with a low-calorie peanut sauce or hoisin sauce for added flavor.
- Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry. Create a flavorful stir-fry by sautéing teriyaki chicken pieces with a variety of low-calorie vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, and bell peppers. Use a reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce and serve it over cauliflower rice for a satisfying and low-carb meal.
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowl. Make a teriyaki chicken bowl with a base of cauliflower rice or brown rice. Add your air-fried chicken on top and include steamed broccoli, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of low-calorie teriyaki sauce. Garnish with white sesame seeds and green onions.
- Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Cups. Fill large Boston lettuce leaves with teriyaki chicken and top them with shredded carrots, sliced radishes, and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts for crunch. Serve with a low-fat Greek yogurt sauce or tahini-based sauce.
- Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Skewers. Thread air-fried teriyaki chicken chunks onto skewers with colorful bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion. Grill or air fry the skewers until the veggies are tender and slightly charred. Serve with a side of quinoa or brown rice.
- Teriyaki Chicken Wrap. Wrap the teriyaki chicken in a whole wheat or low-carb tortilla with crisp lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and a dollop of Greek yogurt-based dressing. This portable option makes for a satisfying and lower-calorie lunch.
Remember to be mindful of portion sizes and the ingredients you use to keep your dishes lower in calories.
How to store leftovers
Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to Freeze
If you want to store leftovers in the freezer, allow the cooked chicken to fully cool. Place in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.