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Meatballs in the Air Fryer

Master the art of perfect air fryer meatballs! One little trick ensures evenly cooked, irresistibly juicy meatballs every time.

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Air fryer meatballs on spaghetti and sauce on a plate

Want to know the secret behind delicious air fryer meatballs cooked to juicy perfection every time? It’s all about the size!

Just scoop the mixture with an ice cream or cookie scoop to form your meatballs. It’s such an easy step, but when all the meatballs are the exact same size, you can guarantee they all cook at the same rate.

No more guessing if the meatballs are done or finding some overcooked while others are still pink in the middle. With this trick, each one will be beautifully browned on the outside, tender on the inside, and ready to be devoured.

So let’s grab that scoop and get ready to whip up some of the best meatballs in the air fryer you’ve ever had! Whether it’s spaghetti night or you’re just craving a tasty snack, the whole family is guaranteed to love them.

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Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.

What you’ll need for this Meatballs Air Fryer Recipe

  • Ground beef — 70% or 80% lean works best
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Egg
  • Italian seasoning — You can also use chopped fresh Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients needed for making air fried meatballs

How to make Meatballs in Air Fryer

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.

STEP TWO: Mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into a bowl until just evenly combined.

Ground beef mixture in a bowl

STEP THREE: Scoop up roughly a quarter of the meat to create a 2-inch meatball, then place it in the air fryer basket or air fryer tray in a single layer.

Raw meatballs in air fryer

STEP FOUR: Air fry meatballs for 10-12 minutes, or until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F using a meat thermometer.

Cooked meatballs in air fryer

How long to cook meatballs in Air Fryer

Air frying meatballs take just 10 to 12 minutes in to cook in the air fryer.

Large meatballs – add about 2 minutes more for larger meatballs

Mini meatballs – these will cook in about 6 to 8 minutes depending on size

Tips for Meatballs in the Air Fryer

  • Use a ground beef leanness between 70% to 80% to allow the meat to retain moisture — 90% lean ground beef tends to taste more dry
  • Use a food processor to dice up the onion and garlic into small and consistently-sized pieces
  • Don’t overmix to get a moist and juicy inside and avoid tough air fryer meatballs
  • Use a medium ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to get consistently-sized fresh meatballs that cook evenly
  • Rotate the air fried meatballs after 5 minutes of cooking or use a silicone liner to keep the meat from sticking
Closeup of cooked meatballs in air fryer

What to serve with Air Fryer Meatballs

Cooked meatballs stacked on a plate

Air Fry Meatballs variations

  • Use a different ground meat such as ground chicken, ground turkey, ground lamb, or even italian sausage — you can even mix and max the protein!
  • Use fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a fresher Italian meatball flavor
  • Stuff the meatballs with mozzarella cheese wrapping the ground beef around the cheese for cheesy variety

How to store and reheat Air Fryer Meatballs

Store leftover meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months in freezer-safe container.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 320 degrees.
  2. Place the cooked meatballs in the air fryer and air fry meatballs for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are warmed thoroughly.
Closeup of air fryer meatballs on spaghetti and sauce on a plate

Reheating frozen Meatballs in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 320 degrees F.
  2. Place frozen meatballs in the basket or tray, cooking meatballs in the air fryer for 9 to 11 minutes, until they reach 165 degrees F using an Instant Read Thermometer.

More Meatball Recipes

More Air Fryer Beef Recipes

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Cooked meatballs in air fryer

Meatballs (Air Fryer)

Samantha Erb
A delicious freezable air fryer meatball recipe that's perfect as an appetizer or with spaghetti!
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Air Fryer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 447 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or 1/4 cup fresh Italian herbs, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Add ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a bowl.
  • Mix to combine ingredients by using as little movement as possible.
  • Form the ground beef mixture into 2-inch meatballs and place in the air fryer in a single layer, not touching.
  • Cook the meatballs for 10-12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Meatballs are done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  • Remove the meatballs from the air fryer and enjoy immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


How to Reheat Meatballs in the Air Fryer:
1. Preheat air fryer to 320 degrees.
2. Cook meatballs for 3-4 minutes, until heated thoroughly.
How to Cook Frozen Meatballs in the Air Fryer:
1. Preheat air fryer to 320 degrees.
2. Cook meatballs for 9-11 minutes, until heated thoroughly.


Serving: 1gCalories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 38gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 711mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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