These Air Fryer Meatballs might just become your new favorite way to cook meatballs. They are juicy, packed with flavor, and the perfect amount of crispy. Plus, they come together in less than 30 minutes. Time to hop in the kitchen!
Easy Homemade Air Fryer Meatballs
Were you looking for a quick, easy, affordable dinner recipe? These air fryer meatballs might be your beefy dinner dream come true! They are made with lean ground meats and cooked to crispy perfection using minimal oil, perfect for a guilt-free and flavorful meal!
Requiring only 15 minutes of prep time and 10-ish minutes in the air fryer, you can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.
Convenience aside, these meatballs are bursting with flavor from thoughtfully selected meats, seasonings, fresh herbs, and onions; they are incredibly juicy and just the right amount of crispy. I like to serve them over pasta, with a salad, or dipped in a delicious marinara sauce. I cannot wait for you to try them.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Trust me, guys. This air fryer meatball recipe is such a game-changer. Here are some of the reasons I love it so much and why I think you will too.
- Quick and easy. All it takes is a little mixing, forming meatballs, and popping them in the air fryer. You will have a delicious, restaurant-quality meatball in under 30 minutes. Pretty impressive, right?
- Less mess. All you need is a cutting board, a knife, a large mixing bowl, and an air fryer. This makes these meatballs perfect for busy weekdays when cleanup is the last thing you want to do.
- Flavorful. Our meatballs are loaded with fresh herbs, onion, and the perfect amount of seasoning. You’ll be met with a symphony of flavors from the moment you sink your teeth in.
- Juicy. The air fryer does a great job at making these meatballs crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Allow them to rest for a couple of minutes after frying for the best results.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of ingredients needed to make meatballs in the air fryer. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Ground beef: I like using 80/20 beef but feel free to use a leaner product instead. The meatballs just may not be as juicy.
- Ground Italian sausage: I like sweet Italian pork sausage, but spicy will work as well.
- Breadcrumbs: I used plain breadcrumbs here, but you could also use seasoned breadcrumbs. Just note that you may have to adjust the seasoning in the recipe as a result. Gluten-free? Many stores sell gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can also make your own by throwing gluten-free crackers in the food processor or in the blender and pulsing until you reach a fine texture.
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder: Feel free to chop up a couple of cloves of fresh garlic instead.
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh cilantro: I know some people don’t love the taste of cilantro. You can leave it out if you would like, or use parsley instead.
How to Make Meatballs In The Air Fryer
Here’s a quick overview of how to make air fryer meatballs in just under 30 minutes. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Prep. Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F.
- Use your hands to mix together the ground beef, ground Italian sausage, seasoned breadcrumbs, egg, olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion, parsley, and cilantro.
- Shape the meatballs. Form the mixture into 1.5-inch balls.
- Fry. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. Fry for 10-12 minutes.
Tips for Success
These air fryer meatballs are quite straightforward to make. As always, though, I have a few simple tips and tricks to help you achieve the best homemade meatballs possible. Here they come.
- Don’t over-mix. Over-mixing the meatball mixture will end you with dense, tough meatballs. Mix everything together just until incorporated. No more.
- Try to make the meatballs equal in size. This will help ensure even cook time.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Stacking meatballs in the air fryer will ensure that they do not brown properly. Make sure to arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. If you run out of room, not to worry. Just cook the meatballs in batches.
What to Serve with Homemade Meatballs
These simple meatballs are delicious on their own as finger food or as part of a larger meal. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve them.
- As finger food. Stick a toothpick in each meatball and pass them around at your next gathering.
- Sauce. Slather these protein-packed morsels with your favorite marinara or pesto sauce.
- Salad. Lighten things up by serving them with a refreshing salad. Try my Tomato Burrata Salad or this Crunchy Kale Quinoa Salad.
- Potatoes. I love serving these delicious bites over Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes or with my Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
- Pasta. There’s nothing quite like pasta and meatballs. Add a few meatballs to my Creamy Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach, this Creamy Tomato One Pot Pasta, or my Red Pepper Sauce Pasta with Spinach and Feta.
- In a sandwich. Place a few meatballs in a soft french roll, slather with marinara, and top with fresh mozzarella.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Allow the meatballs to cool completely before sealing them in an airtight container and storing them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, preheat the air fryer to 250˚F, arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer, and fry for 5 minutes or until heated through. Or, reheat in the oven at 300˚F for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Can I Freeze Air Fryer Meatballs?
- You absolutely can. Allow the meatballs to cool completely before sealing them in an airtight container and storing them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to reheat, allow the meatballs to thaw in the refrigerator before preheating the air fryer to 250˚F. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat directly from frozen using the same method. Just fry the meatballs for 8 minutes instead of 5.
- Want to reheat the frozen meatballs in the oven? Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, cover them with aluminum foil, and bake at 300˚F for 30 minutes.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes To Try
Air Fryers have been all the rage lately. They make so many recipes so quick, easy, and convenient. If you haven’t done much experimenting yet, it’s time to start. Give one (or all) of these air fryer favorites a try.
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Salmon with Mustard Sauce
- Air Fryer Lobster with Cream Sauce
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- The Best Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops
Air Fryer Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef, I prefer 80/20
- 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage, I like sweet Italian sausage, but spicy will work as well
- ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground Italian sausage, seasoned breadcrumbs, egg, olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion, parsley, and cilantro.
- Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together until a homogenous mixture is achieved. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Form the mixture into 1.5-inch balls. You can use a cookie scoop if you’d like to keep the meatballs as close to equal in size as possible.
- Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the air fryer's basket. Depending on the size of the air fryer, you might have to cook them in batches.
- Air fry for 10 to 12 minutes or until a test meatball is no longer pink on the inside or until the internal temperature registers at 165˚F on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the meatballs from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Ground Meat: I love using a mixture of beef and Italian pork sausage for my meatballs. You can, of course, use all ground beef or all Italian sausage if you choose.
- Breadcrumbs: I use plain breadcrumbs or pork rind crumbs for my meatballs, but you can also use seasoned breadcrumbs, panko crumbs, or gluten-free crumbs.
- Skip the cilantro if you do not like the taste of it; add more parsley if you want, or any other freshly chopped herbs.
- Don’t overmix because the meatball mixture will be dense, creating tough meatballs. Mix everything just until incorporated.
- Make the meatballs equal in size so they will cook evenly and at the same time.
- Don’t crowd the air fryer. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and if you run out of room, cook the meatballs in batches.
- Oven Method: No air fryer, no problem! You can bake the meatballs at 375˚F for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs registers at 165˚F.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
10 comments on “Air Fryer Meatballs”
Meatballs are always a hit in our house. I am glad to try to make them in the Air Fryer!
I love that I can make this in my air fryer! Really an amazing meal!
Making meatballs in the air fryer is a no-brainer! The air fryer makes everything better!
I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂
Sounds fantastic! I would love to try this!
I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂
I can’t believe I never thought of meatballs in the air fryer! What a fantastic idea!
Thank YOU! I hope you love it! 🙂
My favorite part about this recipe is that I can get that great exterior that makes meatballs so good without having to cook them in a pan. BOOM!
I hope you enjoy them! Thank YOU! 🙂