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Easy Air Fryer Meatballs

These juicy Air Fryer Meatballs are so easy to make and are packed with tons of flavor. Baked, not fried, they are perfect for fast dinners and cook in only 10 minutes! No air fryer? You’ll also find oven-baking methods in the post.

a plate with spaghetti topped with air fryer meatballs

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You’re in for a real treat with these fast and delicious small batch meatballs! They’re perfectly browned on the outside, and juicy on the inside, and ready in just a few minutes. All without any oil or messy frying.

Love meatballs as much as we do? You’ll also want to try these Greek Turkey Meatballs and Asian Pork Meatballs.

Variations

  • Feel free to use turkey, chicken, or pork. I’d increase the cheese by 1 tbsp to account for the leaner meat.
  • Leave out the breadcrumbs to make these gluten-free or low carb meatballs. Replace with finely grated Parmesan or pecorino romano.
  • Sneak in 1/3 cup of finely grated carrot or frozen pumpkin to increase the veggie factor.

What to Serve With Air Fryer Meatballs

They’re great on top of Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Garlic Rice, Instant Pot Jasmine Rice, or a pile of perfectly cooked noodles topped with Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce. Need a lower carb option? We love making zucchini noodles with our beloved spiralizer.

3 photos showing step by step on how to make meatballs in air fryer

How to Freeze Meatballs

Place uncooked meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Remove frozen meatballs from the baking sheet and transfer to freezer storage for up to three months. We love these reusable freezer bags.

To cook: place frozen meatballs in the air fryer and cook for 12 minutes, or until the internal temp is 160 F.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Mince the onion and garlic as finely as possible (or use a food processor). The cooking time for these meatballs is so short that the onion will not be fully cooked if you use larger chunks. And if your kids are picky like mine, everyone is happier if they don’t see them in the mixture.
  • Avoid overmixing as it can lead to dry/tough meatballs.
  • Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to produce meatballs that are the same size. This allows for even cooking.
  • Check internal temp with a quick-read thermometer to guarantee they’re done. Ground beef is fully cooked at 160 F.

a skillet with meatballs and tomato sauce

More Simple Air Fryer Recipes

My lovely friend who shared this family recipe with me is also the mastermind behind our Instant Pot Beef Tips!

a plate with spaghetti topped with air fryer meatballs
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

The Best Air Fryer Meatballs

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
These juicy Air Fryer Meatballs are so easy to make and are packed with tons of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic {finely minced}
  • 1/4 cup onion {finely minced}
  • 1/2 tsp salt {optional}
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley {or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped}
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar {finely grated}
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs {plain or Italian}

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Form mixture into 16 1-inch meatballs.
  • Line an air fryer basket with foil, air fryer parchment, or brush with olive oil.
  • Bake in air fryer at 380 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temp reaches 160 F.

Notes

Optional: flip meatballs halfway through cooking.
 
If your meatballs are browning too quickly, you can place a piece of foil over the top and weigh it down with a trivet or small wire-rack.
 
Oven-baking: Bake on a baking sheet for 25-30 minutes at 400 F or until the internal temp reaches 160 F.
Nutrition Facts
The Best Air Fryer Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (4 meatballs)
Calories 479 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 151mg50%
Sodium 410mg18%
Potassium 390mg11%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 342IU7%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 261mg26%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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a fork holding a meatball over a plate of noodles

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4 comments on “Easy Air Fryer Meatballs”

  1. Mine came out undercooked 

    • Each air fryer (like every oven) is slightly different, especially if the size of the meatballs vary. It is why I recommend checking with a meat thermometer as a safety check.

  2. Do you think I could make these dairy free?  Leave out the cheese or sub something in?5 stars

    • Yes, you absolutely could! The cheese is there for flavor and moisture. I would add some finely grated carrots (maybe ~1/3 cup) and 1-2 tsp of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.