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Air Fryer Meatballs

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Air fryer meatballs or rissoles are quick to make and juicy and delicious. Team them with a salad and fries, or serve in a wrap or sub roll for a dinner that will be approved by the whole family!

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Air fried meatballs with toothpicks in them on a white plate.
Air fryer meatballs (or rissoles!).

How to cook meatballs in an air fryer

This is one of my favorite recipes for a quick dinner, perfect for a weeknight meal. Easy to make (especially if you have a food processor), and so quick to cook dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes. You can use this same recipe to make rissoles (just flatten the balls slightly when you are forming them).

Some of our other favorite meatball recipes include: air fryer chicken meatballs, and air fryer lamb koftas

Scroll down for the recipe card for these air fryer meatballs, or read on for all the details! 

Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef – I always chose the leanest I can buy. Ground beef with a lot of fat in it (while delicious) can lead to your air fryer producing a lot of smoke during cooking. You can mix things up by using a different type of ground meat if you prefer, try ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey. 
  • Breadcrumbs – these help to make moist meatballs, by keeping the mixture a bit lighter and retain more moisture during cooking. No one wants tough meatballs! Low carb meatballs – Skip the breadcrumbs, or use a low-carb alternative like almond meal.
  • Garlic – use 2 cloves of fresh crushed garlic, or a teaspoon of crushed garlic if you have a jar. 
  • Egg – this is needed to help bind all the ingredients together. 
  • Onion – one small finely chopped onion, Adds flavor and texture to the meatballs. 
  • Herbs – if you can use fresh chopped herbs for amazing flavor! The recipe below calls for parsley and oregano, but you can use Italian Seasoning or your favorite seasoning that you like with beef. 
  • Salt – if you are using kosher salt, flaked salt or sea salt use ½ teaspoon salt. If you are using table salt, use ¼ teaspoon. 
  • Ground black pepper
  • Olive oil spray (optional) – if your air fryer basket is prone to food sticking, you can use a small spritz of olive oil or avocado oil to stop the meatballs sticking. Alternatively, you could cook them on a small baking sheet. (note: avoid using generic cooking spray, as this can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer basket). 

For quantities, scroll down to the recipe card.

Directions

  1. Add all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well to combine. You can also use a food processor if you have one.  
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 390°F/ 200°C (takes approximately 3 minutes).
  3. Form the meat mixture into tablespoon sized balls, try to make equal size meatballs. I use a tablespoon measuring spoon, but a cookie scoop or a small ice cream scoop is also ideal for this job! Flatten the meatballs if you want to make rissoles.
  4. Place meatballs in the air fryer basket and ensure they are not touching.
  5. Air fry for 10-15 minutes. Cooking times vary and will depend on precisely how big your meatballs are and how powerful your air fryer is. Test meatballs using an instant-read thermometer to check that they have reached the safe internal temperature of 160°F/72°C in the center of the largest one before consuming.  
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or see below for more serving suggestions!

Serving

One of the reasons I love this air fryer meatball recipe is because of how versatile it is, you can serve the cooked meatballs in so many ways! Here are some ways I like to serve homemade meatballs: 

  • With spaghetti and pasta sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese. 
  • As a party snack – stick a toothpick in each meatball and serve with a dipping sauce. Hot sauce, tomato sauce, ranch dressing. 
  • In wraps with hummus and salad. 
  • With chips on the side, and your favorite sauce
  • In a sub roll with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. You can fill the sub with meatballs, top with sauce and cheese, then place it back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted. 

Storing

Storing and reheating leftovers

If you have any leftover meatballs, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days. 

You can reheat them in the microwave or in the air fryer. Microwave for a couple of minutes, or air fry for 3-4 minutes, until meatballs are warmed through. 

Freezing raw meatballs

You can freeze the raw meatballs as long as you used fresh ground beef to make them (don’t refreeze meatball if the ground beef you used to make them was originally frozen).

Just put them in a lidded freezer-safe container, and place in the freezer until frozen, then you can transfer them to a freezer bag for easier storage. Use within 3 months.

You can air fry them from frozen, but you will need to check that the internal temperature had reached the safe temp of 160°F/72°C in the center of the largest one. 

Air Fryer Meatballs Recipe Card

Air fried meatballs with toothpicks in them on a white plate.
Yield: 3 Servings

Air Fryer Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

How to cook meatballs or rissoles in an air fryer.

Ingredients

Meatball mixture

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt (kosher or flaked salt) [Note 1]

Optional

  • Olive oil or avocado spray (for air fryer basket)

Instructions

  1. Place all the meatball mixture ingredients in a bowl (everything except the cooking oil), and mix well to ensure it is thoroughly combined.
  2. Scoop up a tablespoon sized amount of the meatball mixture and roll into a ball (approximately 1.5 inch is a good size). Continue until you hvae used all the meatball mixture.
  3. Preheat air fryer to 390°F/ 200°C.
  4. Spritz the air fryer basket with oil if it is prone ti sticking, and place meatballs in air fryer basket. Arrange them so that they are not touching.
  5. Air fry meatballs for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, and the internal temperature in the center of the largest meatball has reached at least 160°F/72°C [Note 2].

Notes

  1. If you are using table salt, use ¼ teaspoon. 
  2. Cook times vary. Test the internal temperature with an instant meat thermometer to ensure it has reached at least 160°F/72°C in the center of the largest meatball.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 9gSugar: 1gProtein: 29g

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About Eliza

Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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