Air Fryer Meatballs
Air fryer meatballs are a fast and convenient way to cook your meatballs for your next spaghetti night dinner or to fill up your meatball sandwiches.
Air Fryer Meatballs may just be one of our favorite things. Meatballs are a staple for us. Baked turkey meatballs, easy meatball sliders for game day and simple dinners (we even have a BBQ and Banh Mi version!), and delicious pineapple teriyaki meatballs that the whole family devours.
Because we like to eat them so regularly, we love this air fryer version. The air fryer cooks them quickly and cuts down on the fat you’d normally have when you fry them in oil. But because of the way it works, you still get a similar texture to frying them.
These delicious meatballs are keto too! Just 1 carb per meatball. We use the grated cheese along with the egg to help hold everything together and the cheese add so much extra flavor too.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
The meatballs only need a few ingredients to be delicious. You will need:
- Grated cheese – We use both Romano and Parmesan cheeses for these meatballs. You can use either freshly grated or previously grated varieties.
- Herbs and spices – You’ll need salt, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh basil, and fresh Italian parsley.
- Eggs – The eggs help bind the meatballs together and prevent them from falling apart.
- Italian Sausage – You can pick either mild or hot varieties.
- Lean Ground Beef – We use either 92/8 or 97/3 lean meats. If you use a fattier variety of meat, it will produce more grease and they will shrink some when you cook them.
We use this Cosori air fryer and we absolutely love it!
Step 1 – Mix the cheese. Mix both cheeses, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl until they are well combined.
Step 2 – Mix and form the meatballs. In a large bowl, mix the sausage and ground beef together until they are well combined. When the meat is fully mixed in, add the cheese-spice mixture and the eggs to the meat. Mix it all together.
Form the meat mixture into large balls that are approximately 2 ounces each. You should get about 22 balls out of the mix. You can use a measuring spoon or scoop to get a consistent size if it helps you. Don’t stress if the balls are not perfect or are slightly larger or smaller.
Step 3 – Preheat and fry. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Once preheated, lightly spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with non-stick spray.
Place the meatballs in the bottom of the basket. Make sure you leave a bit of space between each ball so air can easily pass through. This helps ensure even cooking. You’ll need to do more than one batch of meatballs.
Cook the meatball for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through with no pink in the middle. If you have an internal thermometer, you can check to see if they reach 160 degrees F.
Step 4 – Serve or freeze. Meatballs are very versatile. You can serve them fresh with your favorite sauce. You could also make a large batch to freeze them for later. If you are ready to serve them, simmer them in your favorite sauce for about 10 minutes to let the flavor of the sauce sink in.
While you can enjoy these over a plate of spaghetti, we like to get creative and make these variations:
Make Ahead and Freeze
You can easily make these meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later. To freeze your meatballs, full cook them and then let them cool completely.
Place them in a freezer-safe container with a sheet of wax paper between each layer or place them in a freezer bag with a sheet of wax paper between each layer. Seal the bags tightly before placing in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to use your meatballs in your favorite sauce or in a Meatball Slider recipe, heat your sauce of choice in a large pot over medium heat and add your frozen meatballs. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let them cook for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are warmed through.
Frozen Meatballs in an Air Fryer
You can cook store bought frozen meatballs in the air fryer following the same recipe. You’ll need to preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F and then place your frozen meatballs in a single layer. You should leave a little space between them for air to pass through.
Cook the frozen meatballs for approximately 10 minutes. Halfway through, flip the meatballs.
Since meatballs can vary in size from one brand to another, you will need to check them at 10 minutes to see if they are heated through. Once they are heated all the way through, you can heat up your sauce of choice and toss the meatballs in it. For added flavor, let them simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes.
Air Fryer Meatballs
- 1 pound Lean Ground Beef 92/8 or 97/3
- 1 pound Italian Sausage
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 cup Romano Cheese, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 2 Large Eggs
- Mix cheeses, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl combine the two meats and work them together.
- Add cheese mixture and the eggs to the meat.
- Work everything together until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Form meat into large balls approximately 2 ounces each. We were able to get 22 meatballs.
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with non-stick spray.
- Place meatballs in the bottom of the basket leaving a little space in between each. You won’t be able to fit all of them in one batch so you’ll need to cook these in batches.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through with no pink in the middle (internal temperature of 160 degree F).
- Once the meatballs have finished cooking you can either freeze and store for later or heat up your favorite sauce and place your cooked meatballs in it to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes before serving.