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Cajun Chicken Thighs (Air Fryer)

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Cajun chicken thighs is an easy main dish that uses 4 main ingredients. After tossing the meat in homemade cajun seasoning and basting it with cajun garlic butter, the results are irresistibly juicy. This recipe is perfect if you’re busy, but still need something delicious for your whole family. Learn how to cook delectable cajun butter chicken thighs in your air fryer in less than 30 minutes using this easy recipe.

close-up shot of Cajun Chicken Thighs in a large dish with cajun garlic butter

Why Make Garlic Butter Cajun Chicken Thighs

  • Easy to make with basic ingredients: My cajun chicken recipe requires 4 simple ingredients and steps.
  • Perfect for busy families: The chicken will be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes, making this dish an ideal option for busy people who still want something delicious.
  • Versatile Chicken Dinner: You can pair it with vegetables like green beans or cauliflower rice for a low-carb meal. You can also add pasta like penne or orzo as I do in my cajun chicken orzo or cajun chicken and sausage pasta.

Ingredients Needed

Making juicy chicken thighs doesn’t take much. You’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs: I’m using boneless skinless chicken thighs. I bring the meat closer to room temperature by taking it out 15-20 minutes before cooking to help it cook evenly
  • Homemade Cajun seasoning Mix: This is my homemade cajun seasoning with Old Bay seasoning, smoked paprika, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. 
  • Avocado oil
  • Cajun garlic butter: I use my homemade cajun garlic butter which has melted butter, lemon juice, fresh garlic cloves, and cajun seasoning.

Be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the post for the exact ingredient amounts and full instructions.

ingredients needed to make cajun chicken thighs: cajun seasoning, avocado oil, chicken thighs and cajun garlic butter on separate bowls

How to Make Cajun Chicken Thighs in an Air Fryer

  1. Pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Add the boneless thighs to a large mixing bowl with the spices and oil.
  2. Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Air fry at 400 for 18 minutes, depending on the size and number of chicken thighs.
  4. Brush the chicken thighs with cajun garlic butter and air fry for 2-4 minutes more. This cooks the meat through and browns the edges. I prefer 4 minutes to have crispy cajun chicken thighs that are golden brown, but they are safe to eat in 1-2 minutes.
4 steps to make Cajun Chicken Thighs in an air fryer

Recipe Tips & FAQs

  • If you’re using cajun spices from the grocery store: Treat them like salt, meaning you should start with ½ tsp per pound of meat.
  • Unravel the chicken: When applying the spices, unravel the chicken thighs to get the seasonings on every part of the meat.
  • When transferring the chicken to the air fryer basket, be sure to get as much of the oil and spices from the mixing bowl. 
  • Adjust the cooking time: Cook the chicken thighs for 18 or 20 minutes, depending on how big and how many they are in the air fryer. You can be sure that your chicken thighs are cooked by using a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.

Storage & Leftovers

Store your leftover chicken thighs in an airtight container for next time. I reheat these in the microwave.

What is Cajun chicken made of?

My air fryer cajun chicken thighs recipe uses boneless chicken thighs, cajun seasoning, cajun garlic butter, and oil.

What to serve with Cajun chicken?

Cajun chicken is versatile; you can serve it with popular side dishes like cornbread, rice, steamed vegetables, pasta, collard greens, mac & cheese, and others.

How to infuse flavor into chicken thighs?

Unravel your chicken thighs as you apply the seasonings and cajun garlic butter. This ensures thorough and even distribution of the spices. 

How spicy is cajun?

Cajun is moderately spicy, not hot. You can make yours hot by adding more cayenne pepper.

Side Dish Recommendations

Some side dish options for these cajun chicken thighs are:

Many of these bbq chicken sides and side dishes for fried chicken would pair well with this dish.

More Cajun Chicken Recipe Ideas

Below are more ways to enjoy and make delicious cajun chicken:

close-up shot of Cajun Chicken Thighs in a large dish

Cajun Chicken Thighs (Air Fryer)

Cajun Chicken Thighs uses 4 simple ingredients. Air fry the meat with seasonings then baste with an easy cajun garlic butter sauce.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 245 kcal



  • Add the chicken thighs to a large mixing bowl with the spices and oil. Be sure to unravel the chicken if needed.
  • Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Be sure to get as much of the oil and spices from the bowl as possible.
  • Air fry 400 for 18 min.
  • Brush with cajun garlic butter and air fry for 2-4 more minutes to cook the meat through and brown the edges.


Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 1038IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
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