Air Fryer Meatballs

5 from 2 votes

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My Air Fryer Meatballs recipe is a hearty and savory comfort dish that can be made in just three easy steps. Combine some simple ingredients, shape the mixture into balls, and air fry to create rich and salty beef meatballs perfect for adding to almost any dinner!

One of my favorite ways to make homemade meatballs is in the air fryer! It’s a quick and easy way to get meatballs that are evenly browned, crispy, and juicy. And, you’ll only need six simple ingredients to get started! A pound of 80/20 ground beef mixes with cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, and spices to create meatballs that are perfectly seasoned and tender. Serve these air fryer meatballs over pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice and top them with your favorite sauce or gravy. 

Stack of meatballs.
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Air Fryer Meatballs

Ingredients

  • Ground Beef—Because these meatballs are made with only ground beef, I recommend picking up a pound of 80/20.
  • Italian Breadcrumbs—Or a homemade mixture of plain breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, thyme, and onion powder.
  • Eggs—Act as the binding agent.
  • Parmesan Cheese—Grated will mix evenly into the beef.
  • Whole Milk—Or your favorite cow or plant-based milk.
  • Spices—A simple mixture of garlic powder and salt.

How to Make Juicy Air Fryer Meatballs

  1. Use your hands to mix together the ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese, whole milk, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. Form the meat mixture into balls and place them in the basket of your air fryer.
  3. Bake until golden brown and juicy.
  4. Serve warm with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Meatballs in the air fryer ready to be cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to fry or bake meatballs?

When you make these homemade meatballs in the air fryer, you kind of get the best of both worlds! Air fryers cook by rapidly circulating very hot air. This ensures that the meatballs are cooked evenly on all sides like they would be in an oven, but it also makes the exterior of the meatballs crispy like they would be pan fried.

Is it better to cook meatballs at 350 or 400 degrees F?

I like to split the difference and air fry these meatballs at 380°F. At this temperature, the meatballs don’t take forever to heat through, but they also don’t dry out very easily.

Should you flour meatballs before frying?

If you’re worried about your meatballs falling apart as they cook, you can coat them in a bit of all-purpose flour before adding them to the basket of your air fryer. However, I find that if you’re gentle when hand mixing the ingredients together, these meatballs will be tender, but won’t fall apart in the air fryer.

Cooked meatballs that are displayed on a white plate.

What Do I Serve with Quick and Easy Air Fryer Meatballs?

Think of these air fryer meatballs as a blank canvas and let your culinary creativity run wild! Pair them with different sauces, starches, and sides. I like to top these meatballs with a creamy gravy and serve them over mashed potatoes for a Swedish-style dish. You can also add your homemade meatballs to spaghetti or stuff them inside Italian rolls, top them with marinara and mozzarella, and enjoy some meatball subs! The possibilities are essentially endless.

How to Store Air Fryer Meatballs

One of my favorite things about this air fryer meatball recipe is that you can make them ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to enjoy some fresh homemade meatballs, simply pop the chilled ground beef in the air fryer and bake as normal. 

Alternatively, you can store already cooked meatballs in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow any frozen meatballs to thaw before reheating them in a 250°F air fryer for 5 minutes or in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.

Expert Tips and Tricks 

  • You don’t have to stick with just ground beef in these meatballs. Try mixing in some ground pork or ground veal to give this dish extra flavor and tenderness.
  • You’ll know that these air fryer meatballs are done cooking when a thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 165°F.
  • Not a fan of meatballs? You can instead bake this ground beef mixture in a deep pan to make meatloaf! Bake the meatloaf in a 350°F oven for 40 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • You can make these meatballs gluten free by swapping out the Italian breadcrumbs for your favorite gluten free breadcrumbs mixed with an Italian seasoning blend.
Ingredients for homemade meatballs.

More Recipes

If you’ve tried this Air Fryer Meatballs recipe or any other recipe on Bless This Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.

air fryer meatballs stacked on a plate
5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Meatballs

Air fryer Meatballs is a quick and easy way to get meatballs that are evenly browned, crispy, and juicy.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 18 meatballs

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions 

  • Combine all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to work the ingredients together until everything is evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.
  • Divide the beef into balls about an inch and a half in diameter. Cook 9 meatballs at a time in the air fryer for 12 minutes at 380°F.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure that your meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165°F before serving them.
  • If you only have plain bread crumbs, simply add ½ teaspoon of basil, oregano, thyme, and onion powder to the mixture.
  • I found that bottled grated cheese incorporated better than freshly grated parmesan cheese, but you can use either one. The preshredded parmesan helps to act as a binding agent since it’s pretty dry.
  • You can store these meatballs in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat your meatballs in the microwave for about one and a half minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 293mg, Potassium: 107mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 74IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Air frying meatballs just changed the game. You will end up with perfectly tasty meatballs in less time and little mess. Total win!

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