These buffalo chicken thighs are naturally gluten and dairy free. This versatile recipe can be made in both by being baked in the oven and cooked in the air fryer. It is made with a total of 5 staple ingredients you likely already have on hand alongside boneless chicken thighs and your go-to buffalo sauce. They take less than 30 minutes, and make an easy, healthy, dinner everyone will love.
Ingredients in Boneless Buffalo Chicken Thighs
To make these buffalo chicken thighs you need 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs and 2/3 cup buffalo sauce (divided) to start. Beyond that you just need avocado oil or olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Because there are so few ingredients, this recipe is naturally gluten free, paleo, Whole30, low carb and dairy free!
Using Buffalo Sauce
My favorite buffalo sauce to use with this recipe is the Primal Kitchen Creamy Buffalo sauce. It is the perfect sauce to make these buffalo chicken thighs in the air fryer because it coats the chicken really well and holds through the cooking process. Of course it’s brilliant in the oven as well but if you’re using the air fryer I definitely recommend going with Primal Kitchen. Code PALEOBAILEY gives you a discount at checkout for the Whole30/keto creamy buffalo I used here.
Using Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Naturally you can’t do a baked buffalo chicken thigh without a Frank’s Red Hot option! It’s thinner than the Primal Kitchen buffalo sauce which, in turn, will make your sauce a little thinner so you just need to make sure you marinate and coat your buffalo chicken thighs well. When using Frank’s, make sure to use the Frank’s Original which doesn’t have sugar or additives if you’re keeping this Whole30, paleo or keto.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Thighs
1. Add ingredients into a large mixing bowl
First, combine the first 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce with the oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
2. Combine & Marinate
Once the sauce for these delicious buffalo chicken thighs is thoroughly mixed, trim the fat off the chicken thighs. I find it’s easiest to use a good pair of kitchen shears if you have one. Then add in the chicken and coat it well. Marinate for about an hour.
3. Cook and Add Sauce
Baked Buffalo Chicken Thighs Instructions
If you’re opting to do this recipe in the oven the next step is to preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet lightly in oil or cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 25 mins.
When time is up, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place your baked buffalo chicken thighs on a plate or in a bowl and coat them with the last 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce.
I recommend using a silicone basting brush. It’s less messy and you get a good, even coating. You can pour the sauce on and flip to coat as well. Once coated, you are ready to garnish and serve.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Thighs Instructions
To make this buffalo chicken thigh recipe in the air fryer, place the chicken in the air fryer basket in an even layer once they are done marinating. Set the air fryer to 380 degrees F and cook for ten minutes. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for an additional ten minutes.
Once the cook time is up, remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer and place them on a plate or in a bowl. Use the remaining 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce and coat them. Note that depending on the thickness of your chicken thighs, the cook time may vary plus or minus 2 to 3 minutes.
I like using a silicone basting brush to do this since I get a better, more even, coating. You can also drizzle sauce onto the buffalo chicken thighs directly and flip them a bit to coat. When fully coated you’re set to garnish and serve.
Serving and Storing Instructions
To garnish this buffalo chicken thigh recipe sprinkle some green onions or even red pepper flakes over the top of the chicken.
Buffalo chicken thighs have a lot of options as far as serving. You can serve them with a side of carrot and celery sticks and your preferred ranch or blue cheese dressing. I, personally, also enjoy it with a baked potato side or rice.
This recipe also works well as the top to a fresh salad. You’ll just want to have a little extra buffalo sauce or your favorite ranch dressing to adjust the sauce level to your liking.
For storing this recipe you’ll want to let the buffalo chicken thighs cool completely to room temp. Place them in an air tight container or individual meal prep containers and refrigerate. They will keep well for about 5 days.
You can reheat them in the microwave or eat them cold for round two and both are a tasty second meal.
What can I serve buffalo chicken thighs with?
You can serve buffalo chicken thighs with a baked potato or as the top to a fresh salad. A roasted vegetable such as broccoli also works well. In addition, you can never go wrong with a side of your favorite rice!
How to debone chicken thighs?
- Start with the chicken thigh on the cutting board skin side down.
- Locate the bone and run a sharp boning or paring knife along the length of the bone.
- Use your fingers to reveal the bone and run the knife along the sides of the bone to expose it more.
- Once the bone is mostly exposed run your knife along the bottom of the bone to completely remove it from the thigh.
How long do buffalo chicken thighs last in the fridge?
Buffalo chicken thighs will last for about 5 days in the fridge.
Are chicken thighs healthy?
Both chicken thighs and breasts are great sources of protein. The chicken thighs are a dark meat so they have a slightly higher fat content than the breast which help make them more moist and flavorful.
Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs in this buffalo chicken thigh recipe?
You can definitely use chicken breasts instead of thighs for the recipe! If you’re making buffalo chicken breasts in the air fryer, however, you may need to add a little time depending on the thickness of your breasts.
What’s the difference between chicken thighs and chicken breasts?
Aside from being a different part of the chicken, chicken thighs are smaller and require less processing than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs are also a little moister than chicken breasts because of the higher fat content. The last main difference is that the thighs are a dark meat and the breast is a light meat.
Are chicken thighs cheaper than chicken breasts?
Yes! Because there’s less processing involved in chicken thighs, they are often much more affordable than chicken breasts. This makes them a great budget friendly protein option for you while you’re meal planning or grocery shopping.
Other Healthy Chicken Thigh Recipes You’ll Love:
- Crispy Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs
- Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Skillet
- Mayo Marinated Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Fajitas
- Combine 1/3 cup buffalo sauce, oil, and spices in a bowl. Mix well.
- Trim the fat off the chicken thighs and coat them in the sauce/spice mix.
- Marinate for 1 hour
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly coat in oil
- Place chicken thighs on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 25 mins
- Remove thighs from oven and coat with remaining 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
- Place chicken thighs in a single layer into the air fryer
- Cook at 380 degrees F for 10 minutes
- Flip thighs and cook an additional 10 minutes
- Remove thighs from air fryer and coat with remaining 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
Keywords: buffalo chicken thighs, baked buffalo chicken thighs, buffalo chicken thighs in the air fryer, whole30 buffalo chicken, boneless buffalo chicken thighs
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