Air Fryer Meatballs


5 from 83 votes
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Learn how to make air fryer meatballs that are tender, juicy, and healthy. Ready in a just 10 minutes, these make a fast and satisfying dinner!

air fryer meatball.

I love turning to my air fryer when I need to cook my family something healthy and delicious but in a fraction of the time!

If you loved my air fryer whole chicken, air fryer pork tenderloin, or air fryer ribs, you’ll surely love our air fryer meatballs! 

Like my air fryer turkey meatballs, they turn out perfectly moist and juicy! 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed 
  3. How to cook meatballs in the air fryer
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions 
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More delicious meatball recipes
  8. Air Fryer Meatballs (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Quick and easy. Like air fryer hamburgers, these meatballs take half the time of grilling or pan-fryingI often make this on busy weeknights as they cook in less than 10 minutes.
  • Healthier. Thanks to the air fryer, these meatballs don’t need ANY oil, but don’t fret: they turn out just as juicy as you’d expect them to!
  • Easy clean up. While I love stovetop firecracker meatballs, 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.

Ingredients needed 

If you regularly make meatballs, you’ll be familiar with the similar ingredients. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Ground beef. Choose ground beef with some fat, like 90/10 or 85/15. I don’t recommend using extra lean or fat-free ground beef, as no matter what else you add the mixture, it always dries out!
  • Breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs are fine, but I find panko breadcrumbs to hold in so much more flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese. Always use freshly grated parmesan cheese, as it cooks much better with the meat than the pre-shredded kind. It also has a much better flavor too.
  • Italian seasoning. A mix of different herbs, such as oregano and basil. If you plan on serving these meatballs in a tomato-based sauce (our homemade sugo or pomodoro sauces are family favorites!), do not skimp on this!
  • Salt and pepper. To taste.
  • Garlic powder. I’ve tried these meatballs with both fresh garlic and garlic seasoning, and the powder works best for the air frying. If I was baking or pan-frying these, then I’d use the fresh kind.
  • 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

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Preheat the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F. 

Step 2- Prepare the meatballs. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well.

how to make air fryer meatballs.

Step 3- Shape. Now, wet your hands to roll out and prepare 24-28 meatballs. 

shaped meatballs.

Step 4- 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. 

meatballs in air fryer.

Step 5- Rest and serve. Let them cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

air fried meatballs.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Make the meatballs all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; leave plenty of room for air to circulate 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 the meatballs have reached a safe internal temperature of at least 160°F. This is a MUCH easier way to check than having to cut the meatballs in half every time.
  • Add diced vegetables. Finely diced vegetables like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini can add flavor and moisture to your meatballs. They are also a sneaky way to pack in extra veggies too!
  • Use flavored breadcrumbs. To intensify the Italian flavors, I sometimes use Italian-flavored breadcrumbs, which make such a difference.
  • 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.

Storage instructions 

To store. Put leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

To freeze. In freezer 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. 

air fryer meatballs.

Frequently asked questions

How long do you heat up meatballs in the air fryer? 

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.

How long do you air fry frozen cooked meatballs? 

If they are thawed before adding them to the air fryer, they will cook in 12-15 minutes at 190C/375F. When frozen meatballs are added to the air fryer, you must wait a few more minutes to enjoy them. 

Can I use frozen meatballs?

Yes! If you are using pre-made and frozen meatballs, you can add them directly to the air fryer and cook as instructed. The only difference is to adjust the cooking time to compensate.

More delicious meatball recipes

Do you love meatballs as much as I do? Here are some other ways to enjoy them.

air fryer meatballs recipe.

Air Fryer Meatballs

5 from 83 votes
Learn how to prepare air fryer meatballs that are tender, juicy, and healthy. They cook in just 10 minutes! Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 24 meatballs
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 11 minutes



  • 1 1/2 pounds 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.


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. 
TO REHEAT: Reheat them in the air fryer or microwave until warm enough to serve. 


Serving: 1meatballCalories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 8gFat: 2gSodium: 126mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 0.3gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 83 votes (78 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Superklasse! Tolle Zutaten! So macht man die auch in Italien, bin begeistert! Jetzt auch für den Airfyer, Danke!