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Air Fryer Meatballs are tender, juicy, and so flavorful. They make a perfect, easy appetizer but also taste delicious with spaghetti and marinara sauce!

Meatballs in a bowl

Meatballs are one of my favorite things to make in the Air Fryer. Just like our Air Fryer Churros and Air Fryer Pickles, this recipe is so easy to make and tastes amazing. They are loaded with flavor, juicy on the inside, and perfect for serving with marinara sauce.

Cooking the meatballs in the Air Fryer is easier than cooking them on the stove or in the oven. They will not fall apart because you have to handle them less, they stay perfectly ball-shaped, and brown evenly. It’s also less messy because you don’t have any oil splattering from the pan.

This recipe doesn’t even use any additional oil! The meatballs fry in the own fat, just like our Air Fryer Chicken Wings, which are an all-time reader-favorite. You need to give them a try. I’m sure you will love them!

How to make Air Fryer Meatballs

How to Make Meatballs in the Air Fryer

  1. In a bowl, combine ground meats. Add minced garlic, egg, grated cheese, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Add bread crumbs and blend into mixture. Add milk.
  2. Use a cookie spoon to make evenly sized balls (about 1 1/2-inches in diameter).
  3. Place meatballs in a single layer in the Air Fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees F for 10–12 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary.
  4. The meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, check for doneness by cutting into a meatball.

Julia’s Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid over-mixing the mixture, since that usually results in tough meatballs. I recommend using your hands to combine the ingredients.
  • Instead of plain breadcrumbs, you can also use Italian-style breadcrumbs.
  • I prefer to preheat my Air Fryer. Cooking times are more accurate this way, and food cooks more evenly.
  • You don’t need to use additional oil in this recipe. The meat mixture contains enough fat, so the meatballs fry in their own fat.
  • This recipe can easily be halved, use the servings’ slider in the recipe card.
  • Instead of using only ground beef and ground pork, you can also use 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, and 1/2 pound ground veal. This combination is what authentic Italian meatball recipes usually call for.
  • You could also only use ground beef, the taste will be slightly different, and you need to spray them with cooking spray because ground beef contains less fat than ground pork.

When are they cooked through?

How long the meatballs have to cook in the Air Fryer until they are done depends on the size. At 400 degrees F, golf-ball-sized meatballs take about 10–12 minutes. The meatballs are cooked through when they reach 160 degrees F internally. I recommend using an instant-read thermometer because it helps to avoid overcooking, which results in dry and tough meat.

Meatballs garnished with parsley

Can you freeze Meatballs? Yes, you can! I recommend freezing the cooked meatballs – perfect for a quick dinner or snack.

Here is how to do it: Let the cooked meatballs cool to room temperature, then put in a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight, or reheat frozen meatballs in marinara sauce on the stove until they are heated through.

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5 from 17 votes

Air Fryer Meatballs

Air Fryer Meatballs are tender, juicy, and so flavorful. They make a perfect, easy appetizer but also taste delicious with spaghetti and marinara sauce!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (3/4 cup if using pre-grated)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine ground meats. Add minced garlic, egg, grated cheese, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Add bread crumbs and blend into mixture. Add milk. Shape into 1 1/2-inch meatball.
  • Place meatballs in a single layer in the Air Fryer basket and cook on 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary.

Notes

  • Avoid over-mixing.
  • Instead of using only ground beef and ground pork, you can also use 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, and 1/2 pound ground veal. 
  • Instead of plain breadcrumbs, you can also use Italian-style breadcrumbs.
  • Preheating your Air Fryer is recommended. 
  • Give the Air Fryer basket a light spray with light olive oil spray.
  • Test with an instant-read thermometer for doneness. The internal temperature should be 160-165 degrees F.
General Notes:
To change the number of servings, hover with your mouse or finger over the servings, a little servings slider will appear.
To switch to metric/weight measurements, click the button in the recipe card.

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 3mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these tonight and they were epic! I used ground chicken because that’s what I had on hand and I made them as mini meatballs. Cooked them at 400 for 9 minutes and they were perfection. I was hesitant about the milk but it helped keep the meatballs moist. I’m so glad that I found this recipe because it was simple and so tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Made it exactly like it’s written…they were AMAZING! We served over mashed potatoes and no sauce was needed. They were crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle 🤩

  2. Made these for dinner tonight with spaghetti. It was so good! Am loving my air fryer. The recipe was easy and cooked according to the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I mixed everything and made them into balls but I for got to add the milk 🤦 I haven’t cooked them yet. Will they taste bad without it? Or do I have to remix everything again?

  4. 5 stars
    I think these are delicious! So easy-no mess on the stove! Cooked quickly! I used Italian style bread crumbs and the meatballs were very tasty! I will definitely make these again.

  5. 5 stars
    These meatballs are SO good! My family loved them!! I don’t have an air fryer but used the convection on my oven, followed the same temp and amount of time and they came out perfect. This recipe is a keeper, thank you!