Air Fryer Pollo Asado

Air Fryer Pollo Asado

Our Air Fryer Pollo Asado dark meat is marinated in fresh lime and orange juice, Mexican seasonings, onion, and a ton of garlic. Use the air fryer to perfectly roast the chicken thighs in 20 minutes.

Air Fryer Pollo Asado Marination

Chicken thighs in pollo asado marinade

Marinating chicken, like all meats, brings your chicken’s flavor to a whole nother level. For this pollo asado recipe, we use fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, lime zest, onion, a large head of garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a plenty of Mexican seasonings. I usually start marinating the boneless skinless chicken thighs early in the morning so they get all day to soak in the incredible flavors.

Fresh Squeezed Lime and Orange Juice for Air Fryer Pollo Asado

Orange juice in your pollo asado marinade

Having the chicken thighs marinate in lime and orange juice will help the air fryer pollo asado turn out extra juicy. The orange juice adds a little sweet to your meat and the lime juice adds that citrus zing.

Because of the citrus juices, I would keep the marination time no longer than 18 hours. I’ve done 24 hours before and I thought it was a little to much citrus flavor.

lime juice in your air fryer pollo asado marinade

I use a little citrus juicer for cooking where I can fit a cup of citrus juice.

Lime Zest

lime zest in air fryer pollo asado marinade

Lime zest packs that lime juice twang but super concentrated. I love citrus zest. Experimenting with different citrus zests can enhance different flavors hidden in your food.

Try using lemon zest or orange zest instead of lime zest and see what you think. Make sure to get yourself a nice citrus fruit zester. It makes a difference in my opinion. You can also use the zester to grate garlic into a pulp or super fine shred hard cheeses like parmesan into tiny little ribbons.

lime zest

Onion and Garlic

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why we use onion and garlic in our recipe but I really want to. Onions and garlic have very potent warm spicy flavors that enhance your food’s flavor dynamics.

chopped onion in air fryer pollo asado

I like to use yellow or sweet onions for this recipe because they are a little more potent than the red onion. That incredible onion flavor will transfer to the meat of the chicken thighs leaving your air fryer pollo asado irresistible.

garlic in your air fryer pollo asado

Garlic!!! Who doesn’t love garlic? If you want your chicken to pick up that marvelous savory flavor of garlic from your marinade, you need to use a lot. If you are going to pressure cook the chicken thighs in the marinade, you could get away with using 4 large garlic cloves. When taking the boneless skinless chicken thighs out of the marinade to cook, BBQ or Air Fryer, I would make sure there is at least one head of garlic in the marinade.

one head of sliced garlic

I used to cook with only 2 or 3 garlic cloves when cooking. I have bumped that up to at least 4 large garlic cloves. Bump your savory flavor up a notch, it’s worth it.

When cutting onions and garlic, use a high quality sharp chef’s knife and a nice end grain wood cutting board. You will notice a difference.

Apple Cider Vinegar

What can I say about cooking with apple cider vinegar? The stuff is potent! You do not need to add more than a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to make a difference in any recipe. We use one tablespoon for this recipe.

1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

I like to add it to my air fryer pollo asado marinade because it adds a sweet woody flavor to the meat. Apple cider vinegar goes in my recipes that are smoky and sweet. Throw a little in your BBQ sauce or if you pressure cook, add apple cider vinegar to your cooking fluid.

Olive Oil

olive oil

Have you ever seen garlic infused olive oil? Olive oil suck flavors from oil based ingredients such as garlic. Adding olive oil to this marinade keeps flavors suspended in the liquid that surrounds the chicken thighs. This gives the meat a better opportunity to absorb those savory flavors.

Mexican Seasoning Needed for Air Fryer Pollo Asado

If you want your air fryer pollo asado to have that authentic pollo asado flavor, you need to add plenty of seasoning common in Mexican recipes.

Chili Powder

chili powder air fryer pollo asado

Chili powder is already a mix of seasoning like crushed chili peppers, garlic, and cumin. I use 2 tablespoons in this recipe and it definitely does not go unnoticed. Personally, I am not a fan of over chili powdered pollo asado but if left out, you have boring flavor.

If you want to try a smoky pollo asado, try using only 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder.



Paprika commonly found at the grocery stores are ground mildly sweet chili peppers. Adding a tablespoon of paprika adds a subtle sweet smoky flavor to your pollo asado. I rarely skip paprika in my Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes.

Granulated Garlic and Onion

I know we add an onion and a head of garlic to our air fryer pollo asado, but granulated onion and garlic have very strong flavors a little different than fresh. It’s like adding the lime zest with the lime juice, amplification.

granulated onion and garlic

I like to use granulated garlic and onion over garlic and onion powder. I think the flavor is a little stronger in granulated form. It’s personal preference I’d imagine.


Oregano in air fryer pollo asado

Many words can be used to describe oregano‘s flavor. Bold, woody, bitter, sharp, pungent, earthy, sweet, peppery…

You can easily go overboard with oregano. For our flavor packed pollo asado marinade, 1 tablespoon is a perfect amount of that beautiful oregano flavor.


cumin in air fryer pollo asado

I love the warm woody flavor of cumin. Cumin can intensify different flavors depending on the ingredients it is combined with. In our air fryer pollo asado recipe, cumin brings an earthy smoky flavor common in many Mexican and Latin American recipes.

Crushed Red Peppers

A recipe such as this, a zesty savory flavor such as crushed red peppers is a must. The heat that goes along with crushed red peppers does not transfer to the chicken meat in the marinade like you’d think it would.

crushed red peppers

Chicken Bouillon

I love chicken bouillon!!! Add some beautiful chicken flavor to your dish!

Air Fryer Pollo Asado Marinade Container

If you are going to air fry your pollo asado, you are limited to how many chicken thighs you can cook at one time. I can fit five in my air fryer basket. Five chicken thighs also fit well in a one gallon Ziploc bag with the marinade.

It’s pretty easy to maneuver the marinade evenly around the chicken thighs without getting my hands dirty using a Ziploc bag. If you are going to grill your chicken thighs, you may want to make more chicken. You’d be better off using a large mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap instead. When I use a large mixing bowl, I use my hands to mix the marinade with the chicken thighs

Air Frying your Pollo Asado

preheat air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.

use EVO oil sprayer to oil the hot air fryer basket

Use an EVO oil sprayer to spray the hot air fry basket with oil. I use long kitchen tongs to remove the chicken thighs from the marinade. Place them into the air fry basket as far apart as possible so they aren’t overlapping each other.

The chicken thighs shrink as they cook so if they go in touching, I’ve learned they will cook just fine.

Use your tongs to put a scoop of marinade ingredients on each boneless skinless chicken thigh.

I cook our 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs at 370°F for a total of 20 minutes.

Flip the thighs using kitchen tongs after 13 minutes.

After the 20 minutes are finished, move the pollo asado to a plate. Completely cover with aluminum foil for 8 minutes. This will allow the chicken to finish cooking and the juices to disperse throughout the dark meat.

I’ve learned different air fryers work differently. Yours may require more or less cooking time for your chicken thighs to be done. I recommend using a thermometer to make certain the chicken is done at 165°F.

Air Fryer I Recommend

Living full time in our 32 foot 5th wheel, we use our air fryer quite often. It is basically a small convection oven. Our food cooks fast and the outside of our food is crisp, similar to flame broiled or grilled.

I did plenty of research and purchased the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL (5.7 quart). I love this thing! It’s big enough to cook a whole chicken and it cooks quickly. I highly recommend this air fryer if you are looking for one to get for your family.

Chop Your Air Fryer Pollo Asado

Some People like to rip their pollo asado apart with a couple of forks. Personally, I like to either cut into bite size pieces or thin slice my pollo asado.

Use a sharp chef’s knife and your favorite cutting board to slice the pollo asado chicken thighs against the grain. Spin the sliced pollo asado 90° and cut the slices into bite size pieces or leave as slices.

What can you do with Air Fryer Pollo Asado?

The possibilities are endless! I usually stick with the classics.

Pollo Asado Burrito

Place a cup’s worth of chopped pollo asado a few inches away from a warm large burrito size tortilla’s edge closest to you. Arrange the pollo asado into a rectangular shape. Next, spoon about 1/2 cup’s worth of Spanish or Mexican rice along the pollo asado’s edge facing away from you on the tortilla. Follow the rice with a few spoons full of pico de gallo and sliced avocado. Sprinkle shredded pepper jack cheese over those ingredients. Leave room on the left and right sides of the tortilla for folding inward to be your burrito top and bottom.

Grab the edge of the tortilla closest to you. Wrap it up, over away from you, and down around the ingredients. Use your nondominant hand to hold the tortilla farthest from you in place. Use your dominant hand to grab the wrapped portion of the burrito with your finger tips pushing the tortilla’s edge down. Pull the wrapped burrito toward you to smash the insides together tight.

Use your non dominant hand to fold the left or right side of the tortilla in toward the center. Be mindful to keep the burrito insides pushed inside the burrito tightly. Hold the burrito tight with the hand that just folded the tortilla side toward the center. Use your other hand to pull the other tortilla side in toward the middle of the burrito keeping the burrito roll firm. Tightly roll the burrito. Place on a plate with the tortilla’s end facing down to keep the burrito from unrolling.

Serve with taco sauce, salsa verde, salsa rojo…

Pollo Asado Tacos

Warm corn tortillas in a pan. Top each tortillas with a healthy spoon full of chopped pollo asado and chopped onion. Serve with taco sauce, salsa verde, salsa rojo…

Air Fryer Pollo Asado (Cauliflower) Nachos

Instant Pot Dave

Are you in the mood for some pollo asado nachos? Try some air fryer cauliflower pollo asado nachos. Tear down a head of washed cauliflower and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Load the cauliflower into the air fryer with a spray of olive oil. Air fry for 10 minutes at 370°F.

Cauliflower Air Fryer

Salt and pepper the cauliflower, sprinkle about 1/3 cup shredded cheddar and/or pepper jack cheese, over the cooked cauliflower and air fry for a few minutes at 350°F to melt the cheese.

Put a heavy load of chopped pollo asado over the cheesy cauliflower and top with another 1/3 cup of shredded cheese. Throw the cauliflower back in the air fryer for a few minutes at 350°F to melt the top layer of cheese.

Use a cookie spatula to easily remove the air fryer pollo asado cauliflower nachos. I do 1/4 of air fryer basket at a time and move the nachos to a serving plates.

Top the pollo asado cauliflower nachos with fresh avocado, pico de gallo, and salsa. Enjoy!!!

air fryer Pollo asado cauliflower nachos

Other Air Fryer Recipes by TheWildWaynes






Chicken Shawarma in the Instant Pot by TheWildWaynes



Kitchen Tools I Use Because They Help Make Cooking Easier and More Fun

Instant Pot 8 Quart Duo Plus

Air Fryer 5.7 Quart

Slow cooker lid for 8qt Instant Pot

Kitchen Torch

EVO Olive Oil Sprayer

Steamer Basket for the Instant Pot

The Mac Chef’s knife I use

Cookie Spatula that works the Best in the Air Fryer

Wooden Spatula I use for Scraping and Stirring

End Grain Wood Cutting Board

Boo’s Mystery Oil for the Wood Cutting Board

Boo’s Board Cream for Wood Cutting Boards

Plastic Cutting Board

Pyrex Measuring Cups

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Long Kitchen Tongs

Gravy Whisk

Hard Boiled Egg Holder for the Instant Pot

Egg Bite Mold for the Instant Pot

Minion Steam Diverter

Lemon Zester

Glass Mixing Bowls

Basket Replacement for Cosori 5.7 quart Air Fryer

Salt and Pepper Grinders

Professional Cheese Grater

Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle


GoPro Hero9 Black

Air Fryer Pollo Asado Recipe

Air Fryer Pollo Asado

Our Air Fryer Pollo Asado's dark meat is marinated in fresh lime and orange juice, Mexican seasonings, onion, and a ton of garlic. Use the air fryer to perfectly roast the chicken thigh in 20 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Air Fryer, Chicken Thighs, Pollo Asado
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 198kcal
Author: David Wayne
Cost: $8-$10


  • Pressure Cooker
  • 1 Gallon Ziploc Bag or Large Mixing Bowl


  • 2-5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken thighs


  • 1 Large Head of Garlic sliced or diced
  • 1 Yellow or Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno chopped (deseeded for no heat)
  • 1 tsp Lime Zest 1 lime
  • 2 Limes juiced
  • 2 Oranges juiced
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Marinade Seasoning

  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Crushed Red Peppers
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper fresh ground
  • 1 tsp Granulated Onion onion powder
  • 1 tsp Granulated Garlic garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon



  • Open a 1 gallon Ziploc bag and set on your work area or use a large mixing bowl
  • Slice 1 large head of garlic, chop 1 yellow or sweet onion, chop 1 jalapeno (remove seeds and white meat of the jalapeno for no heat)
  • Add garlic, onion, and jalapeno to the Ziploc bag or mixing bowl
  • Juice 2 large limes and 2 oranges, add the juice to the marinade
  • Add to the marinade 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and all of the marinade seasonings: 2 Tbsp of chili powder, 1 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Tbsp Oregano, 1 Tbsp crushed red peppers, 2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp granulated onion, 1 tsp chicken bouillon, and 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Zip the Ziploc bag closed and shake the ingredients together or stir the ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Add boneless skinless chicken thighs to the marinade, zip the bag closed, and squeeze the bag pushing the marinade around the chicken thighs evenly
  • *or stir marinade with the chicken thighs in a bowl using a large cooking spoon, tongs, or your hands and cover with plastic wrap
  • *I use chicken thighs because the meat is always juicy, tender, and has a rich flavor
  • Let the marinating chicken sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours

Air Fry

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes
  • Spray the hot air fryer basket with olive oil (I highly recommend the EVO Oil Sprayer)
  • Use long tongs remove chicken thighs from the marinade and place in the air fryer basket
  • *I can fit 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs in my air fryer basket with them all touching but not overlapping
  • Use the tongs to place about 1 Tbsp of marinade ingredients onto the top of each chicken thigh
  • Air fry the marinated chicken thighs at 370°F for 20 minutes, using long tongs to flip the chicken thighs after 13 minutes
  • *Air fryers all work a little differently, make sure the chicken is at 165°F using a thermometer, air fry for another 5 minutes if under 165°F
  • After the 20 minutes are finished, use long tongs to move the chicken thighs to a plate and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil
  • Let the pollo asado rest under the aluminum foil for 8 minutes
  • Use a sharp knife and a fork to chop the chicken into bite size pieces
  • Fill tortillas with pollo asado, pico de gallo, and avocado, fold and have a taco
  • Heavily cover a salad, bed of Mexican rice, or tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese with pollo asado



Serving: 1cup chopped chicken | Calories: 198kcal | Protein: 27g

5 Comments on “Air Fryer Pollo Asado

  1. This looks sooo good. I’ll skip the health stuff (aka cauliflower) though and just slap it on a tortilla. 😆 Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Pingback: Jalapeno Garlic Chicken Jerky in the Air Fryer - TheWildWaynes

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