The easiest, lightest way to cook meatballs is to use the air fryer! Homemade or frozen, air fryer meatballs are perfectly cooked in no time at all, with no hot, messy oil. Perfect for meal prep, snacks, appetizers, or even a full meal!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Homemade meatballs are SUPER easy to make, but they’re especially easy when you cook them in an air fryer! There’s no hot oil, no risk of over-baking. Depending on the size of your air fryer and the number of meatballs you make, you only need 15 minutes of cook-time for an easy, filling dish.
- One of the things I love most about homemade meatballs is you can really customize them to your perfect preferences and tastes. Swap out the sweet Italian sausage for a spicy Italian sausage, use a grated cheddar or mozzarella instead of parmesan, or increase the amount of Italian seasoning. Anything goes, so feel free to play around with the recipe.
- Air fryer meatballs are a great component to a typical spaghetti dinner, sure, but there’s a number of ways you can incorporate them into your meals! Serve them as a snack or appetizer with your favorite dipping sauces, layer them on a good French bread with marinara and mozzarella or parmesan for an easy meatball sub, or add them to a noodle soup.
Meat – I love a blend of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, but you could also make these with spicy sausage, chicken, turkey, or wagyu beef. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!
Italian Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs give meatballs a little extra texture, on top of binding everything together so they’re actually ball-shaped.
- This recipe is for homemade meatballs in the air fryer, but if you want to make things even easier, our sister site has perfected the process for cooking air fryer meatballs straight out of the freezer. Find the recipe here!
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket! This is a solid rule of thumb with whatever you’re air frying. The air has to be able to circulate around every inch of the food. Anywhere the meatballs touch or overlap, the air won’t be able to cook. For the air fryer meatballs to cook evenly, they need to be a little spread out.
- You’re in control here. The number of meatballs this recipe makes depends entirely on the size of the meatballs you make. If your meatballs only contain 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture, they’ll be smaller than if your meatballs contain 1 ½ tablespoons. I like to make smaller ones for snacks or appetizers and larger ones for full meals.
More Air Fryer Recipes You Need to Try
- Perfect Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- The Best Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A Style)
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings in Buffalo Sauce
- Air Fryer Tilapia
- Air Fryer Pecan Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound sweet Italian ground sausage
- Air fryer
- Large bowl
- Tablespoon or cookie scoop with release handle
- plate or baking sheet
- air-fryer-safe spray oil
- Meat thermometer
- Preheat air fryer to 375° Fahrenheit. Add all ingredients except ground beef and ground sausage to large bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Add ground beef and ground sausage. Use hands to combine all ingredients until evenly distributed.
- Using tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop meatball mixture out of bowl in 1-tablespoon or 1-½-tablespoon portions. Roll meatball between hands to smooth and place on plate or baking sheet. Repeat until all meatball mixture has been formed into meatballs.
- Remove air fryer basket from air fryer and spray lightly with air-fryer-safe spray oil. Fill basket with meatballs, working in batches as needed. Note: Meatballs should sit in one flat layer without touching or overlapping. Depending on size of air fryer, you made need to cook in multiple batches.
- Return air fryer basket to air fryer. Cook meatballs 12 to 14 minutes, or until internal center of meatball reaches 165° Fahrenheit. If cooking multiple batches, remove first batch from air fryer and transfer to plate or bowl. Cover to keep warm. Refill basket with additional meatballs and repeat until all meatballs have been air fried. Serve hot.
- Make it Keto: Sub the breadcrumbs with an equal amount of crushed pork rinds or additional grated parmesan.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use an unsweetened milk alternative and a dairy-free parmesan.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.