Learn how to prepare air fryer meatballs; tender, juicy, and healthy. Ready in a fraction of a time, these make a fast and satisfying dinner!
Air frying is a foolproof way to cook healthier and delicious meals in a fraction of the time.
Like our turkey meatballs, they turn out perfectly moist and juicy!
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy. They cook in a fraction of the time using simple ingredients and instructions.
- Healthier. These use much less oil for cooking up but turn out just as juicy as you’d expect them to!
- Easy clean up. If you regularly cook meatballs on the stovetop, you know what a mess it makes…not with an air fryer, though!
- Perfectly cooked. The air fryer creates a perfect balance of a crispy, seared exterior and a juicy, tender interior.
What I love the most about this recipe is its versatility. They can be made with various types of ground meat (such as pork, lamb, or chicken) and served with various sauces and side dishes.
If you regularly make meatballs, you’ll be familiar with similar ingredients. Here is what you’ll need:
- Ground beef. Choose ground beef with some fat, like 90/10 or 85/15. Extra-lean ground beef is prone to drying out.
- Breadcrumbs. Regular or panko breadcrumbs.
- Parmesan cheese. Always use freshly grated parmesan cheese, as it cooks with the meat so much better than the pre-shredded kind.
- Italian seasonings. A mix of different herbs, such as oregano and basil.
- Salt and pepper. To season.
- Garlic powder. To taste.
- Eggs. Room temperature.
- Milk or water. For the extra moisture needed. I like using milk because it’s just so much more flavorful.
How to cook meatballs in the air fryer
These air fryer meatballs will be ready to enjoy in just four simple steps:
Step 1- Preheat the air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 190C or 375F.
Step 2- Prepare the meatballs
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well.
Now, wet your hands to prepare 24-28 meatballs.
Step 3- Cook the meatballs
Grease the air fryer basket and place a single layer of meatballs. Let them cook for 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
Step 4- Rest and serve
Let them cool for 5 minutes before serving.
The beauty of any good meatball recipe is that it is easy to customize! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Add diced vegetables. Finely diced vegetables like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini can add flavor and moisture to your meatballs.
- Use flavored breadcrumbs. Instead of plain breadcrumbs, try using Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.
- Try different sauces. Coat your meatballs in a sauce before cooking them in the air fryer. We like to give them an Asian twist by coating them in bulgogi sauce, katsu sauce, and even an eel sauce.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Try to make the meatballs all roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; leave plenty of room for air to circulate around the meatballs. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from steaming instead of frying.
- To avoid overcooking, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meatballs have reached a safe internal temperature of at least 160°F.
To store. Put leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To freeze. In freezer safe container, meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating. Reheat them in the air fryer or microwave until warm enough to serve.
More air fryer recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
When referring to cooked meatballs, they only need 5 minutes in the air fryer at 190C/375F. Give them a shake halfway through so all sides heat up nicely.
Both methods have their own pros, and you can choose any based on personal preference. Baked meatballs are healthier, easy to make, and cooked more evenly. Fried meatballs cook fast and have a more flavorful and crispy texture.
If they are thawed before adding them to the air fryer, they will cook in 12-15 minutes when the temperature of the air fryer is 190C or 375F. When frozen meatballs are added to the air fryer, you must wait a few more minutes to enjoy them.
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Air Fryer Meatballs
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup milk or water
- Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F.
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well.
- Using lightly wet hands, shape the mixture into 24 meatballs.
- Grease the air fryer basket and place a single layer of meatballs on the base.
- Air fry for 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- Let the meatballs rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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