Air Fryer Venison Meatballs
This quick and easy Air Fryer Venison Meatballs recipe makes a batch of perfect venison meatballs with crisp, golden surfaces and juicy, flavorful centers in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi!
Can you cook venison meatballs in the air fryer? Yes, venison 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 venison meatballs and cook them perfectly in your air fryer.
Venison is a term used to describe the meat of any game animal, but it is most commonly associated with deer. The taste of venison can vary depending on the game animal from which it came, but it is generally described as being similar to lean beef with a slightly sweet flavor.
If you’ve never tried venison before, these air fryer venison meatballs are a great place to start! They’re made with ground venison, bread crumbs, and seasonings then cooked until golden brown in the air fryer.
The result is a perfectly cooked meatball with a crisp exterior and juicy interior.
🤔Why Make Venison 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 Venison – You can find ground venison in some specialty grocery stores or at farmers markets. You can also order it online or purchase it locally during hunting season.
- Egg – The egg binds everything together while adding moisture.
- Cooking oil – Avocado 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 Venison Meatballs In The 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 venison, 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 venison meatballs in a single layer inside your air fryer basket, leaving space in between each.
4️⃣ Air fry venison 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.
👩🏻🍳Air Fryer Cooking Tips
- The meatballs may not hold together if the ground venison 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.
🍝 Flavor Variations
- Italian: Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, & Parmesan cheese
- BBQ Style: BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, & cumin
- Southwest: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chili powder, & lime juice
- Sweet & sticky: brown sugar, soy sauce, & sesame seeds
- Thai-inspired: red curry paste, ginger, & scallions
- Garlic & herb: dill, basil, & rosemary
🧊 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 venison 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 venison meatballs can be thawed and reheated directly in a sauce the next time you use them.
How long do I cook venison 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 venison meatballs or for keto venison meatballs.
🦃More Air Fryer Meatball Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
- Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
- Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
- Air Fryer Beef Meatballs
- Air Fryer Beyond Meatballs
- Air Fryer Cranberry Orange Meatballs
- Air Fryer Elk Meatballs
- Air Fryer Pork Meatballs
Air Fryer Venison Meatballs
- Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs seasoned or panko (regular or gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 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 venison, bread crumbs, oil, and dry seasonings. Using your hands, mix the ingredients thoroughly, without overmixing.
- Roll the pork mixture into balls using 1-1½ tablespoons each. Then, carefully place the venison 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.