Air Fryer Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
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Moist, tender, and packed with savory ground beef, these air fryer meatballs are a quick and easy way to make a classic food. They’re packed with onion, garlic, and salty parmesan cheese, and are the ultimate comfort food. 

Overhead view of a plate of meatballs next to a bowl of marinara sauce

 

Meatballs are one of my favorite foods. Spaghetti and meatballs is a nostalgic comfort food, but meatballs can be a fancy and upscale meal, too. Unfortunately, most meatball recipes are very dry and require a lot of work. But not these air fryer meatballs! These meatballs are juicy, meaty, and super easy to make in the air fryer. 

These hearty and soothing meatballs are also packed with a ton of flavor. They’re loaded with garlic, onions, parsley, and parmesan cheese, and are perfectly seasoned. Whether you need a comfort meal at home or are making a large spread for a dinner party, you’ll love these fool-proof air fryer meatballs. 

Why You’ll Love These Air Fryer Meatballs

These are one of my go-to meals when I’m craving Italian food or comfort food. Here’s why I know you’ll love this recipe. 

  • Easy. So many meatball recipes require a ton of time and effort, but not this one. This recipe couldn’t be any easier to follow, and it only takes 15 minutes to make juicy and garlicky meatballs. 
  • Moist. The biggest problem with a lot of meatballs is that they dry out and become rubbery. You don’t have to worry about that with this recipe. Milk, eggs, and olive oil add moisture to the savory beef mixture, and cooking the meatballs in the air fryer helps them cook quickly so they can stay juicy. 
  • Mess-free. I’m always looking for meals that don’t make a mess of my kitchen. That’s a big part of why I love these classic Italian meatballs. You won’t dirty many dishes cooking this recipe. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for air fryer meatballs: a bowl of ground beef, a bowl of onions, a bowl of garlic, a bowl of parsley, a bowl of breadcrumbs, a glass of milk, a bottle of olive oil, a bowl of parmesan cheese, a bowl of salt, and some eggs.

What You’ll Need

Here are the 10 common ingredients that you’ll need to make these juicy meatballs in your air fryer. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card at the end of the page to see the exact amounts for each of the ingredients.

  • Ground beef – Make sure to use lean meat so the meatballs don’t get too greasy.
  • Olive oil
  • Onion – A yellow onion is best, but a red or white onion will also work.
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs – Use plain breadcrumbs for this recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese – For best results, grate your own cheese instead of buying pre-shredded parmesan.
  • Parsley
  • Milk
  • Salt

How to Make Meatballs in the Air Fryer

Here’s how to make these 15-minute air fryer meatballs. You’ll be shocked to see just how easy this recipe is! 

  • Mix. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together until combined.
  • Portion. Use a cookie dough scoop to form meatballs that have about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. 
  • Cook. Put the meatballs in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes at 400F. 
  • Serve. Remove the meatballs from the air fryer and serve immediately. 

Tips & Variations

These are some of my favorite tricks and variations to try when you make these meaty and garlicky air-fried meatballs. 

  • Don’t crowd the meatballs. Make sure that the meatballs are not crowded in the air fryer basket. If the meatballs are crowded together or stacked on top of each other, then they won’t be able to cook properly, and they’ll be soggy instead of firm. 
  • Make them spicy. A lot of people love spicy meatballs. If you want to add some heat to your meatballs, all you have to do is add some chili flakes to the recipe. Or, if you want to get fancy, you can add some chopped Calabrian chilis! 
  • Change the meat. I make this recipe with lean ground beef, but you can use other meats if you like. Air fryer meatballs are delicious when made with pork, lamb, chicken, or turkey. 
Close up of a plate of meatballs, with one on a skewer

What to Serve with Air Fry Meatballs

These beefy air fryer meatballs are great to eat as a finger food dipped in marinara sauce. But my favorite way to eat them is on top of Homemade Pasta. Whenever I make pasta and meatballs I like to serve it with a few side dishes. Here are some of my favorite recipes to eat with meatballs.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Leftover meatballs will last in the fridge for 3 days, as long as you store them in an airtight container. You can reheat them in a 350F air fryer for 5 minutes, or in the microwave in 20-second increments until heated through. 

Can I Freeze These?

Definitely! This is a great recipe to freeze so that you can have an easy dinner whenever you’re craving meatballs. Just store them in an airtight container and they’ll last in the freezer for 3 months. You can reheat the meatballs directly from the freezer in a 350F air fryer for 8 minutes. 

A plate of meatballs

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

I use my air fryer all the time. It’s such a great way to make super flavorful food in just a few minutes and with minimal mess. Here are some of my other favorite air fryer recipes.

Close up of a plate of meatballs.
5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Meatballs

By Erin
These mess-free meatballs are beefy, juicy, garlicky, and so tender. They're the ultimate comfort food, and so easy to make.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (24 meatballs)

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Put all of the ingredients in a bowl, and mix together until well combined.
  • Use a medium-sized cookie dough scoop, about 2 Tablespoons, to scoop the mixture into balls.
  • Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket and cook at 400F for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauce, or over pasta.

Notes

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Reheat leftovers in a 350F air fryer for 5 minutes (if from the fridge) or 8 minutes (if from the freezer).

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 778mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Air Fryer Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings (24 meatballs)
Calories: 479
Keyword: air fryer meatballs, meatballs in air fryer, meatballs in the air fryer
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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7 Comments

  1. Air fryer meatballs? Count me in! The convenience of using the air fryer for making meatballs is fantastic—less mess and healthier too!