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These juicy Air Fryer Meatballs are made with ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken, pick your favorite!), Parmesan, and Italian spices. With a quick 10-minute cooking time and easy clean up, you can’t beat the air fryer when it comes to making homemade meatballs a breeze!

a plate of juicy air fryer meatballs

Why You’ll Love This Easy Air Fryer Meatballs Recipe

  • Lean Yet Flavorful. Since we’re making these meatballs in the air fryer, they require very little oil. Despite their leaner profile, I promise you, they are juicy and anything but bland!
  • Crisp on the Outside and Juicy on the Inside. I adore baked meatballs like my Turkey Meatballs and Chicken Meatballs, but these air fryer meatballs are in a class all their own. Unbelievably juicy, flavorful, and delightfully crisp, these meatballs are everything you want your meatballs to be and MORE!
  • Perfect any Night of the Week. I am not sure when you last cooked meatballs, but they are SO GOOD and so rewarding. Whether you serve them with pasta, in a meatball sub, or as an appetizer, meatballs should be a go-to. (Need something more hands-free? Try these Crockpot Meatballs or Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs instead.)
air fryer meatballs with pasta and sauce

How to Make Meatballs in the Air Fryer

The Ingredients

  • Ground Meat. You can use lean ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey, or ground chicken. A blend of pork and veal is most traditional, but we typically use turkey to keep things on the lighter side.
  • Parmesan. The cheesy, salty element that makes these meatballs taste extra scrumptious.
  • Breadcrumbs. Helps keep the meatballs moist. I used Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs because I love the extra flavor they add.
  • Italian Seasoning. An easy way to incorporate an array of herbs and spices that give the recipe an Italian flair.
  • Spices. Onion powder and garlic powder make these meatballs even faster and easier (no chopping required!).
  • Red Pepper Flakes. Use more or less to taste.
  • Egg. The all-important binder for our meatballs.

The Directions

A mixing bowl with spices and cheese
  1. Prepare the Breadcrumb Mixture. Stir the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, herbs, and spices together in a large bowl.
A bowl with ingredients for making turkey air fryer meatballs
  1. Add the Turkey. Beat the egg, then add it to the bowl. Mix everything together.
Ground turkey air fryer meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  1. Shape the Meatballs. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
A photo showing how to cook raw meatballs in air fryer
  1. Coat the Air Fryer Basket with Nonstick Spray. Add the meatballs
A photo of an air fryer basket showing how to make air fryer meatballs
  1. Air Fry. Air fry the meatballs at 400 degrees F for 7 to 9 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.
  2. Finish and Serve. Prepare any items you’re serving with the meatballs while they cook. ENJOY!
air fryer meatballs with sauce

Ways to Serve Air Fryer Meatballs

  • With Pasta. Keep it classic and toss your air fryer meatballs with spaghetti and marinara sauce, or fancy it up and add them to another pasta recipe, like Garlic Pasta.
  • On a Sandwich. Turn your meatballs into a meatball sub by tucking them between two slices of bread with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.
  • With Polenta. For a fun alternative to pasta that is still comforting, serve the meatballs over Creamy Polenta.
  • Over Mashed Potatoes. Add a side of this Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe for an ultimate comfort meal; for a low carb option, try Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.
  • As an Appetizer. Arrange the meatballs on a plate with toothpicks for an easy app.
  • On Pizza. Whether you’re making Broccoli Pizza Crust, or topping Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, you can upgrade pizza night by adding sliced meatballs.
  • On a Salad. For a fun protein addition, top your Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad or Caprese Pasta Salad with meatballs.
a plate of air fryer meatballs

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place leftover meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen air fryer meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Prepare the meatballs as directed through Step 4. Place the baking sheet of meatballs in the freezer until solid. Transfer the uncooked frozen meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Cook directly from frozen as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Healthy air fryer meatballs on a plate

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Leave Space While Cooking. When you’re air frying your meatballs, make sure you don’t overcrowd them. Leaving room between them ensures they get crisp and brown properly.
  • Don’t Compact the Meat. When you’re preparing the meatball mixture, be careful not to compact the meat. Doing so can make your meatballs tough and chewy.
  • Use an Instant Read Thermometer. Avoid overcooking your meatballs by checking them early and often with an instant read thermometer.
  • Making Larger Meatballs. If you’d like to experiment with larger meatballs, you can certainly do so. Just be aware that the time listed in this recipe is for 1 1/2-inch meatballs, so you’ll need to adjust the cook time to figure out how long to cook large meatballs in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Meatballs

5 from 8 votes
Air Fryer Meatballs are juicy inside, lightly crispy outside, with yummy Italian seasoning. Use them for spaghetti, subs, and more!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 20 meatballs

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs whole wheat if possible
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey, chicken, or lean ground beef keep in your refrigerator until the last possible second so it stays very cold
  • 1 large egg

FOR SERVING:


Instructions
 

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it handy. To keep the meatballs warm between batches, preheat the oven to 300°F and line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the ground turkey. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add it to the bowl (you also can crack it into an open space in the big mixing bowl and lightly beat it there). With a fork or your fingers, mix lightly just until the ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to compact the meat.
  • Portion the meat and shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (you will have about 20 total), then arrange them on the first baking sheet.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Generously coat the basket with non-stick spray. Arrange a single layer of meatballs in the basket, ensuring they do not touch so air can circulate (you will need to cook them in batches). Mist the tops with non-stick spray.
  • Air fry the meatballs at 400°F for 7 to 9 minutes, sliding out the basket and using tongs to gently turn the meatballs over halfway through. The meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. When a meatball is cut in half, the meat should look fully cooked.
  • Place the first batch of cooked meatballs on the second, clean baking sheet, and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • While the meatballs air fry, warm the sauce on the stove, and prep any other items you’d like to serve them with them. Enjoy the meatballs hot, topped with the sauce, cheese, herbs, and any other additions.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Adapted from my Turkey Meatballs.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate meatballs in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Place meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare the meatballs as directed through Step 4. Place the baking sheet of meatballs in the freezer until solid. Transfer the uncooked frozen meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Cook directly from frozen as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatballCalories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 58IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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18 Comments

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  1. These are incredible! So flavorful and delicious. My husband loved them even though he isn’t into “health food.” He ate the leftovers for breakfast and wants to make a new batch ASAP. One issue though– the first batch of cooked meatballs staying warm in the oven while the rest cooked got a bit more crispy than we would have liked. It may have just been our oven, but next time I’ll set set the oven to a lower temperature than 300 to keep extra meatballs warm. But thanks for a wonderful recipe!5 stars

  2. These are so flavorful and delicious! My husband says it’s one of his favorite meals plussssss it’s super easy! We ate it with spaghetti squash 🙂 thank you for this meal!5 stars

  3. This recipe is fantastic! Made these for dinner tonight with ground beef. So good. I made 12 meatballs and cooked for 12 minutes at 400°F.5 stars

  4. The most flavorful, tender meatball I ever made. I used ground chicken as that’s my go to protein. I make them at least once a week and everyone raves about them. I may need to start making a double batch! Oh did I mention they are ridiculously easy and quick to make?5 stars

  5. I love this way of making meatballs! I had never tried cooking them in the air fryer before and it made it super easy. They brown up nicely but you do need to turn them so that they brown easily. I used a couple of silicone inserts in the air fryer and was able to fit 8 meatballs in each insert. When one batch was done, the next batch went in right away. Clean-up was a breeze and the meatballs tasted great!5 stars

  6. Thanks for sharing this recipe-it’s so easy and so good! Only had Italian flavored bread crumbs on hand so I used that as well as the Italian seasoning and they were full of flavor. Serving them with home grown home made roasted tomato sauce. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!5 stars

  7. These were great! I used 1 lb of ground turkey and a half pound of ground beef and they were delicious & easy! I had made meatballs on the stove before and it was hard to make them cook evenly and they took so much longer. This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

    1. Hi Zibby, I haven’t tested it but you likely could. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!