These air fryer meatballs are juicy, tender and SO delicious. They are a family favourite and there are so many different ways that you can serve air fried meatballs, so you never have to have them the same way twice. Just 5 minutes prep time and only 10 minutes in the air fryer.
If you love meatballs, then you need to try this air fryer meatball recipe, as you get the most amazing, perfect every time meatballs. Made with a beef and pork mince mix, plenty of seasoning and some herb and cheese, these are flavour packed!
Crispy on the outside, light and moist on the inside, these might just be the PERFECT meatball. The texture you get from meatballs in the air fryer is just incredible.
This is one of our favourite ways to use the air fryer, as you get perfectly cooked meatballs every time. If you are looking for other ways to use your air fryer, why not try our Air Fryer Halloumi, Air Fryer Whole Chicken, Air Fryer Salmon, Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets or Air Fryer Steak?
Why you will love it
- Quick and easy - These air fryer meatballs are so quick and easy to make. It just takes 5 minutes to prepare and it's all done in one bowl.
- Healthier than frying - What we love about the air fryer is that you get all that flavour and crispiness that you would get from frying, but with much less oil.
- Great for batch cooking - These air fryer meatballs are really freezer friendly, so we like to make a big batch of these and then freeze for easy snacks or meals. Carry on reading for all the storage advice.
- Adaptable - There are quite a few different ways that you can adapt these meatballs, including changing which meat is used, as well as different seasonings.
- Family friendly - Spaghetti and meatballs always goes down well in our house and these air fryer meatballs are no exception. You can adjust the flavours to suit what your family likes, and it's an easy recipe for kids to help make, as they will love rolling the meatballs.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Beef and pork mince - We like to use a mixture of beef and pork mince, as that is what you will traditionally find in meatballs. However, ground turkey or chicken would work too.
- Breadcrumbs - These are important because they absorb the moisture from the meat and trap it inside and prevent the meatballs from getting dry. You can use panko to make them a little crispier.
- Parmesan - We love adding cheese to meatballs. Parmesan adds a slight nutty texture and flavour.
- Egg - This is used to bind the meatballs. For egg allergies, you can swap it for a flax egg which is made by mixing 1 tablespoon of flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water.
- Parsley - These add a nice freshness to the meatballs. You could use basil instead.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
- Seasoning - We used an Italian seasoning mix.
- Milk - This might seem like a strange addition, but it makes the meatballs really tender and it's how they are traditionally made.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make air fryer meatballs - Step by step
One: In a large bowl, add the mince, breadcrumbs, Parmesan (a), Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper (b), egg and milk (c).
Two: Use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine everything well.
Three: Roll into 16 balls. Each ball should weigh 40g/1.4oz each.
Four: Place the meatballs into your air fryer in a single layer. Leave a space between each ball. You may need to cook in batches if your air fryer isn't big enough.
Five: Cook at 200°C for 10-12 minutes.
Why use an air fryer?
Our air fryer is one of our favourite kitchen appliances, because it cooks our favourite meals quicker and healthier. They work by cooking food by rapidly circulating hot air around. It gives (most foods) a crispy texture with much less oil than frying or roasting. By cooking this way, the air circulation cooks food evenly and nothing sticks. See below in the FAQs for our recommendation of which air fryer is the best.
- Air fryers are a healthier way to cook food. You can get crispy food, like chips (fries), bacon, meatballs and sausages with much less oil than frying or baking.
- They are quick and easy to turn on and they heat up quickly, so you don't have to wait for an oven to heat up.
- There is nothing worse than using your oven on a hot day, and heating up the whole kitchen. Using the air fryer stops this from happening.
- They might take up a fair amount of space on your countertop, but they are so versatile that you will use them over and over again. They are very easy to clean too.
- Using an air fryer means more space in the oven.
What to serve with air fryer meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs are the perfect match. You could make a lower carb version and use courgette noodles, or a mixture of the two, but we wanted classic comfort food so opted for spaghetti.
We mixed the meatballs with our Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce too. Once you have that, you need some garlic bread to go with it. Why not try our Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread recipe? It's so easy to make and great for bulking out the meal if you are serving it to guests.
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette? You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad, or Rocket Salad.
Store: Wait for leftovers to cool completely and then you can transfer them to an air tight container and keep them in the fridge for 2 days.
Freeze: Once cooked and cooled, transfer to a freezer container and then they will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can freeze uncooked meatballs by flash freezing them. This means putting the uncooked meatballs on a baking tray and putting them in the freezer until frozen (this is to prevent them from sticking). They can then be transferred to an air tight container and kept for up to 3 months. Then you just need to defrost in the fridge overnight and then air fry them as normal.
Defrost: You can defrost these in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Once fully defrosted in the fridge, you can heat it through in a frying pan, air fryer or in the microwave. We like to reheat them within a sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make and roll up the meatballs ahead of time and then keep them in an air tight container in the fridge until you are ready to make them later that day or the next.
Yes, you can put these on a baking tray and in the oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 15 minutes. If you are going to cook them in the oven, then we would recommend brushing them with some olive oil first, as this helps them to go brown.
These take about 10-12 minutes in the air fryer, depending on your air fryer and the size you have rolled your meatballs.
The best way to check that they are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for cooked meatballs is 74°C/165°F. It should be inserted into the centre of the meatball.
As long as you use gluten free breadcrumbs and make sure there is no cross contamination, then these can be gluten free.
You can, but you will need to cook them in batches. Make sure there is room in the air fryer for the air to circulate and that the meatballs are not too close together, otherwise they will not brown.
We can't rate highly enough the Power Air Fryer XL. The 5 litre capacity is big enough for cooking for the whole family and it can fry, grill, bake, sauté, roast and steam. There are simple touch screen controls and it heats up quickly and can cook your food up to 70% faster than a conventional oven. Also, it's dishwasher safe.
More meatball recipes
Air Fryer Meatballs
- 500 g (1.1 lb) Beef and pork mince
- 10 g (2 tablespoon) Parmesan - finely grated
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg - whisked
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoon Whole milk
- In a large bowl, add the mince, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper, egg and milk.
- Use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine everything well.
- Roll into 16 balls. Each ball should weigh 40g/1.4oz each.
- Place the meatballs into your air fryer in a single layer. Leave a space between each ball. You may need to cook in batches if your air fryer isn't big enough.
- Cook at 200°C for 10-12 minutes.
- If you want to hide some vegetables in these air fryer meatballs, then finely grate some carrot and courgette and mix them in.
- To ensure that you have equal sized meatballs, use an ice cream scoop, or weigh the balls.
- To make these gluten free, swap the breadcrumbs for gluten free breadcrumbs.
- To make these dairy free, you can leave out the egg and cheese.
- You don't need to line the air fryer basket with foil.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.