Air Fryer Meatballs

This easy recipe for air fryer meatballs makes a meatball that is tender and juicy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside.  It uses simple ingredients and can be made in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi. You can even air fry frozen meatballs! Perfect for cocktail appetizers or to pair with a sauce. Keto and Whole30 options below!

air fryer meatballs

Meatballs are a staple growing up in an Italian household and mine was no exception!  For most Sunday’s and holidays, we cooked a large pot of red sauce and made homemade meatballs for it which were my favorite part!

There are many ways you can cook a meatball, but these days the air fryer is the fastest and easiest way to make a meatball that is perfectly, cooked and crispy in under 20 minutes. 

This recipe as written has Italian flavors and seasonings and is made with crushed pork rinds in order to make it a low carb meatball, but feel free to use breadcrumbs or almond flour as a substitute to fit your dietary needs.  Instructions as well as flavor variations are in this post! 

🧆How To Air Fry Meatballs

1️⃣ In a large bowl, add ground beef, ground pork, onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, crushed pork rinds, Worcestershire, egg, parsley, sea salt and black pepper. 

2️⃣ Incorporate all ingredients together until everything is evenly combined. Be careful not to over mix as the meat will become tough. 

3️⃣ Roll into 2” meatballs. Smaller meatballs will require less cooking times which are below!

4️⃣ Grease air fryer basket and place meatballs in an even single layer making sure they are not touching.  Meatballs may have to be cooked in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket. I like adding a layer of foil under the air fryer basket to catch any grease for easier clean up. 

5️⃣ Cook at 400 for 16-18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

6️⃣Remove from air fryer basket with tongs and add to sauce or serve as appetizers.

air fryer meatballs

Best Time & Temperature For Air Fried Meatballs

How long to cook air fryer meatballs will depend on the size of the meatballs and if they are frozen. 

  • 1 inch Meatballs: 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes
  • 2 inch Meatballs: 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes
  • Frozen Meatballs: 375 for 10-12 minute intervals until cooked through. 

🧊Frozen Meatballs in Air Fryer

You can make frozen meatballs in your air fryer to save time since they are precooked. Different sizes of meatballs will require different cooking times. Start with 375 for 10-12 minutes at a time until meatballs are warmed through and crisped to your liking.

Ninja Foodi Frozen Meatballs

You can cook frozen meatballs in your Ninja Foodi! I use the air fryer setting on mine and cook at 375 temperature for 10-12 minutes flipping halfway through. they may need more cooking time depending on how big the meatballs are so be sure to check every 5-10 minutes.

🔀Meatball Flavor Variations

  • Bacon Wrapped Meatballs: pre cook bacon halfway then wrap around meatballs and continue cooking
  • Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs: use ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork
  • Cheese Stuffed Meatballs: cube cheese and add meat around it to form a ball
  • Buffalo Chicken Meatballs: use ground chicken and toss in buffalo sauce
  • Cocktail Meatballs: roll smaller meatballs and add bbq sauce
  • Greek Meatballs: use greek seasoning instead of italian seasoning
  • Swedish Meatballs: add sauce after cooking
  • Keto Air Fryer Meatballs: use crushed up pork rinds as a binder
  • Whole30 Air Fryer Meatballs: use almond flour in place of pork rinds or bread crumbs and replace Worcestershire with coconut aminos

👩🏻‍🍳Chef’s Tips & FAQ

What is the best air fryer? I have been in love with my Ninja Foodi and use it a few times a week if not more!  Other popular brands include: Gourmia, Farberware, Philips, Brio and Gowise, Cosori

How do I keep my Air Fryer From Smoking? sometimes, cooking high fat foods in your air fryer may cause it to smoke.  To keep it from smoking, try these tips:

  1. The easiest and productive solution to this problem is to add a little water to the lower pan
  2. You can also add a piece of bread to the lower pan to soak up the grease
  3. Sometimes people add rock salt, which we use to make ice cream. The pieces are big enough not to be blown away with the air blowing through your fryer and they will soak up the grease
  4. You can also use a parchment paper to line your fryer basket, as these papers have little holes in them to allow air circulation. There are a few types of parchment papers, made specifically for the air fryers. Check your model for the exact dimensions, as their size may vary. 
air fryer meatballs

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air fryer meatballs

Air Fryer Meatballs

This easy recipe for air fryer meatballs makes a meatball that is tender and juicy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside.  It uses simple ingredients and can be made in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi. You can even air fry frozen meatballs! Perfect for cocktail appetizers or to pair with a sauce. Keto and Whole30 options.
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 20 -24 Pieces
Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • ¼ cup White Onion minced
  • 1.5 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ cup Crushed Pork Rinds Almond Flour or Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add ground beef, ground pork, onion, italian seasoning, garlic powder, crushed pork rinds, worcestershire, egg, parsley, sea salt and black pepper.
  • Incorporate all ingredients together until everything is evenly combined. Be careful not to overmix as the meat will become tough. 
  • Roll into 2” meatballs. Smaller meatballs will require less cooking time. See blog post.
  • Grease air fryer basket and place meatballs in an even single layer making sure they are not touching.  Meatballs may have to be cooked in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket. 
  • Cook at 400 for 16-18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F. 
  • Remove from air fryer basket with tongs and add to sauce or serve as appetizers.

Notes

Frozen Meatballs in Air Fryer

You can make frozen meatballs in your air fryer to save time since they are precooked. Different sizes of meatballs will require different cooking times. Start with 375 for 10-12 minutes at a time until meatballs are warmed through and crisped to your liking.

Air Fryer Meatballs Cooking Temperature:

  • 1 inch Meatballs: 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes
  • 2 inch Meatballs: 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes
  • Frozen Meatballs: 350 for 10 minute intervals until cooked through.

Air Fryer Meatball Flavor Variations:

  • Bacon Wrapped Meatballs: precook bacon halfway then wrap around meatballs and continue cooking
  • Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs: use ground turkey instead of ground beef or pork
  • Cheese Stuffed Meatballs: cube cheese and add meat around it to form a ball
  • Buffalo Chicken Meatballs: use ground chicken and toss in buffalo sauce
  • Cocktail Meatballs: roll smaller meatballs and add bbq sauce
  • Greek Meatballs: use greek seasoning instead of italian seasoning
  • Swedish Meatballs: add sauce after cooking
  • Keto Air Fryer Meatballs: use crushed up pork rinds as a binder
  • Whole30 Air Fryer Meatballs: use almond flour in place of pork rinds or bread crumbs

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g

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