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Air Fryer Bison Meatballs

This quick and easy Air Fryer Bison Meatballs recipe makes a batch of perfect bison meatballs with crisp, golden surfaces and juicy, flavorful centers in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi!

bison meatballs with toothpicks

Can you cook bison meatballs in the air fryer? Yes, bison meatballs can easily be cooked in an air fryer or Ninja Foodi in 20 minutes or less! These step-by-step instructions will show you how to assemble ground bison meatballs and how to cook them perfectly in your air fryer.

Bison is a type of ground meat that is made from the meat of bison, also known as buffalo. Bison has a rich, earthy flavor that is similar to beef but with a slightly sweeter taste. It is typically used in burgers, tacos, and chili.

When cooked in the air fryer, bison meatballs come out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!

Why Make Bison Meatballs In Air Fryer?

  • Meatballs are a quick healthy appetizer, a high-protein main course, and perfect for meal prep!
  • The ingredients are super simple and can be found anywhere.
  • These are great to make and freeze for later.
  • Easy to customize the flavor & modify with your dietary lifestyle (keto, paleo, & Whole30!).

🦬 Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Ground Bison – You can find ground bison at most grocery stores in the beef section.
  • Egg – The egg binds everything together while adding moisture.
  • Cooking oilAvocado oil or olive oil for added fat to keep the meatballs moist.
  • Breadcrumbs – Use either seasoned or panko breadcrumbs. They can be regular or gluten-free. You can also use homemade bread crumbs.
  • Spices & seasonings – Nothing extravagant. Simply salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, so they pair with all of the sauces!

🥣 How To Make Bison Meatballs In Air Fryer

1️⃣ Preheat. Set your air fryer to 375F and let it preheat while you make the meatballs for 3-5 minutes.

2️⃣ Combine ingredients. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Then, add the ground bison, bread crumbs, oil, and dry seasonings. Using your hands, mix the ingredients thoroughly, but without overmixing!

3️⃣ Roll into balls. Roll the mixture into balls using 1-1½ tablespoons of the mixture per ball. Then, carefully place the bison meatballs in a single layer inside your air fryer basket, leaving space in between each.

4️⃣ Air fry bison meatballs. Set the air fryer to cook for 15 minutes at 375F. Flip the meatballs using tongs at the 7-8 minute mark, then cook for the remaining time. For extra crisped surfaces, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

👩🏻‍🍳Cooking Tips

  • The meatballs may not hold together if the ground bison is too wet. If there’s too much moisture, you can squeeze the ground meat through cheesecloth before combining it with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Be sure not to overwork the meatball mixture. This step can make or break your meatballs.
  • Use the same amount of meat mixture per meatball, so they’re the same size, and cook evenly.
  • Don’t forget to preheat your air fryer. It helps create the perfect golden crunch.
  • Arrange the meatballs in one single layer leaving room in between each. The hot air needs to circulate around every surface.
  • To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the middle of a meatball to check that the internal temperature is 165F.

🍝 Variations

Dry seasoning – For each pound of ground bison, use at least 1 tablespoon of dry seasoning blend.

Spicy meatballs – Add cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce to the meat mixture.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs – For a sweet and sour twist, add a teaspoon of brown sugar to the meat mixture.

BBQ Meatballs – Make a batch of BBQ meatballs by adding 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to the meat mixture.

Bison zucchini meatballs – Drain shredded zucchini well to combine with the meat mixture. It keeps the meatballs moist while sneaking in a serving of veggies.

Keto, paleo, or Whole30 – Make these modifications:

  • Keto – Once you add the breadcrumbs, the carb count starts to add up. Instead, use equal parts ground pork rinds!
  • Paleo & Whole30 – Swap the breadcrumbs for almond flour.

Bison Meatball Parmesan – Layer cooked meatballs, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and freshly grated parmesan in a baking dish and bake in a 375F preheated oven until the sauce and cheeses are hot and bubbly.

🧊 Storing & Freezing

Storing: Let cool and transfer the meatballs to a shallow air-tight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, preheat your air fryer to 350F and cook, tossing the basket once or twice, for 4-5 minutes.

Freezing: Make an extra bath or two to freeze for later. Let cool, then set bison meatballs on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Then, transfer the frozen balls to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze them for 3 months. Frozen bison meatballs can be thawed and reheated directly in a sauce the next time you use them. 

❔FAQ

Can ground bison be cooked in an air fryer?

Yes, ground bison (or bison mince) can be cooked in an air fryer in meatball form using this simple recipe.

How long do I cook bison meatballs in air fryer?

This depends on their size and how hot your air fryer is. A good starting point is to cook for 15 minutes at 375F, flipping them once at the 7-8 minute mark.

Can I make meatballs without breadcrumbs?

Yes! You can use 1/4 cup of almond flour or crushed pork rinds in place of the breadcrumbs to make paleo bison meatballs or pork rinds for keto bison meatballs.

🦃More Air Fryer Meatball Recipes

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bison meatballs with toothpicks

Air Fryer Bison Meatballs

This quick and easy Air Fryer Bison Meatballs recipe makes a batch of perfect bison meatballs with crisp, golden surfaces and juicy, flavorful centers in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 221kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • cup breadcrumbs seasoned or panko (regular or gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Set the air fryer to 375F and let preheat for 3-5 minutes while making the meatballs.
  • Add the egg to a large mixing bowl, and beat until smooth. Then, add the ground bison, bread crumbs, oil, and dry seasonings. Using your hands, mix the ingredients thoroughly, without overmixing.
  • Roll the bison mixture into balls using 1-1½ tablespoons each. Then, carefully place the bison meatballs in a single layer at the bottom of the preheated basket, leaving space in between each.
  • Set the air fryer to cook for 15 minutes. at 375F.
  • At the 7-8 minute mark, flip the meatballs using tongs and cook for the remaining time.
  • For extra crisped surfaces, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove with tongs and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg

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