Crispy Air Fried Lemon Chicken Bites (no breading, keto)
This is the Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Bites that you won’t be able to stop eating! The chicken thighs are marinated in lemon juice until perfectly tender and air fried to golden crispy! No breading, no starch, and totally lemony-delicious! These chicken bites make the perfect air fryer appetizer, lunch, dinner, and even midnight snack!
Food that makes you happy – Lemony Air Fried Chicken Bites!
Perfectly marinated chicken thighs air fried to golden crispy and extra lemony…how can you not stop eating them? As you pull out the fryer basket, you can hear the sizzling sound. The house smells so good and everyone’s waiting to dig in!
These lemony crispy chicken bites will be gone in a hurry so read on to see how to make the best air fryer lemon chicken bites as I share all my tips and tricks because you want the best, right?
What you need for the lemon chicken bites
- Skin-on & Bone removed Chicken thighs (see how-to debone section below)
- White pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Olive oil (for marinating use)
- Avocado oil spray (for the air fryer basket)
Can I use black pepper?
Can I use skinless/boneless chicken thighs?
You can but it won’t be as good! I mean who doesn’t love crispy chicken skin so I think it’s totally worth a little time to remove the bones. Once you learn how to do it, it’s quite straightforward! My suggestion is to use chicken wings instead.
How to make chicken bites in air fryer
- Debone the skin-on chicken thighs and dice to slightly larger than bite sizes.
- Season and marinate overnight with lemon juice.
- Air fry with skin-side up until the skin is golden crispy.
- Serve with extra lemon on the side and garnish!
How to debone chicken thighs
- Use a small but sharp paring knife, with one hand holding the knife and the other hand holding the bone, carefully make a small incision cut along the chicken thigh bone.
- Slowly and carefully cut along the bone to separate the leg bone and the meat. Pull the bone in upward and frontward directions a few times to help separate the meat and the bone.
- Run the tip of your fingers through the chicken to make sure there are no bones left behind.
The secret to making crispy Air fryer lemon chicken bites
- Use skin-on chicken thighs so that the chicken bites stay more moist and juicy, similar to my chicken lollipop recipe.
- Do take a little time to debone the chicken. It’s totally worth it!
- Marinate the chicken overnight (and up to 24 hours) in the fridge before air fry so the chicken will be extra flavorful.
- When air fry, place skin side up and in a single layer.
- Different air fryers have slightly different temperatures. You want the internal temperature to reach 165F (74C) on a meat thermometer.
What to serve with Lemony Air Fryer Fried Chicken Bites
- Shirataki noodles with Asian “peanut” sauce
- Shirataki Thai fried rice
- Taiwanese sauteed cabbage
- Gai lan in garlic sauce
- Chinese broccoli in vegetarian oyster sauce
- Thai larb
- Bok choy dim sum
- Chinese smashed cucumber salad
- Browse more paleo side dishes
More air fryer recipes
- Air fryer whole chicken
- Air fryer Salmon Teriyaki
- Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs
- Honey Sriracha Chicken (keto, sugar-free, or paleo)
- Thai chicken satay
- Chinese cod fish in ginger scallion sauce
- Thai chicken wings
- Taiwanese fried chicken cutlets
- Lemon pepper wings air fryer
- Browse my collection of Asian-inspired air fryer recipes
So friends! Whether it’s game day, valentine’s day, or New Year’s eve, or anytime you miss that perfectly crisp chicken, give my air fryer chicken bites a try! They are inspired by Japanese chicken karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) but without the breading and starch. What a fantastic family friendly food that will bring all the happiness and smiles to you!
Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Bites (no breading, keto, paleo, whole30)
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Sprinkle Furikake, optional
- Extra lemon wedges on the side, about quarter to half of one whole lemon
- Debone the chicken thighs and dice them to slightly larger than bite sizes. Please see how to debone chicken thighs in the blog post with photos, if you aren’t sure how to do that. Or check out this web story. Transfer them to a container that’s just big enough to hold all the pieces.
- Add the seasoning from salt to olive oil. Gently mix them and make sure all the pieces are in touch with lemon juice. Marinate overnight in the fridge and up to 24 hours.
To air fry:
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil. Place-in the chicken skin-side up. Try not to let the pieces touch each other too much (a little snuggle is fine just don’t overlap them) so each piece gets crisp up.
- Air fry at 380F (193C) for 18-20 minutes. The skin should be golden crispy and the chicken should be cooked through but not overly cooked. If you want to be exact, the internal temperature should reach 165F (74C) on a digital meat thermometer.
- Transfer the chicken bites to a medium size serving plate. Sprinkle with chives and furikake, if using, and serve with lemon wedges on the side. Serve hot and immediately.