Need a quick and easy dinner? Give these air fryer meatballs a try!
Meatballs have been around since the dawn of time.
But they’ve never been easier or more delicious than this air fryer recipe! You can thank Modern Invention for that.
With the air fryer, you’ll cut your cooking time drastically.
You can roast things, fry things, and even bake things!
And the air fryer is my new favorite way to make meatballs.
The meatballs are juicy and tender on the inside but wonderfully crisp outside.
Let’s see what makes these air fryer meatballs so darn good.
Air Fryer Meatballs
The key to the perfect meatball is a combination of meat, binding agents, and seasonings.
And that is exactly what you’ll get with these meatballs.
They feature a good mix of beef and pork. So, each meatball has a super flavorful starting point.
Plus, they’re made with a combination of Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan.
And as I mentioned earlier, their texture is absolutely succulent.
The outside is crisp and caramelized. But the inside is tender and mouthwateringly moist.
There are no dry, flavorless meatballs here!
You can serve these meatballs in numerous ways.
They’re great on their own as an appetizer with a little bit of barbecue sauce. But they’re fantastic in a meatball sub or on a pizza.
One of my favorite soups features tortellini, beef broth, canned tomatoes, spinach, and meatballs.
Just dump it all into a large pot and cook it until everything’s warm.
And of course, they’re wonderful on top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese.
Oh, and the best part is that they’re ready in under 30 minutes!
- Ground Beef- This recipe calls for lean ground beef. It has plenty of flavors but keeps the meatballs a little lighter. But you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Ground Pork- Ground pork is super flavorful. It brings some delicious dimension to the meatballs.
- Parmesan Cheese- Salty, cheesy, divine. Why wouldn’t you add Parmesan to your meatballs?
- Breadcrumbs- This recipe calls for Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. They add lots of extra flavors. Plus, breadcrumbs help keep the meatballs extremely moist.
- If you don’t have pre-seasoned breadcrumbs, feel free to use whatever kind you have. Panko is a great option.
- You may have to add extra Italian seasoning to achieve the same flavor.
- Eggs- Eggs work as a binding agent, so the meatballs keep their shape. And they add extra protein!
- Aromatics and Seasonings- You use freshly minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. It’s seriously tasty!
How To Make Meatballs in the Air Fryer
Step One- Preheat your air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s preheating, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This helps with clean-up.
Step Two- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix and mush everything together until it’s evenly combined.
Step Three- Form the meatballs. Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form 16 evenly-sized meatballs. Set the formed meatballs onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step Four- Add half the meatballs to the basket of your air fryer. Cook them for 8 minutes. Then give the basket a shake and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
Step Five- Repeat with the other half of the meatballs. If you’ve doubled (or tripled) the recipe, continue cooking 8 at a time.
Let the cooked meatballs rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Step Six- Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Air Fryer Meatballs
- Don’t spray your air fryer with baking spray. This can ruin your air fryer over time. Plus, the meatballs are juicy enough that you don’t really need the spray.
- Switch up the meat!
- Personally, I love a good mix of ground beef and ground chorizo. It adds a little heat that is simply to die for.
- If you don’t like pork, you can just use beef. And vice versa works, too.
- You can also make meatballs with ground chicken or turkey.
- When it comes to seasonings, measure with your heart. I never actually follow seasoning directions, especially when it comes to garlic.
- Feel free to switch up your seasonings and aromatics. Consider adding onions for extra flavor. Or you can make them spicy with some red pepper flakes.
- Sneak in some veggies. Finely chopped mushrooms, cooked carrots, or cooked spinach can be easily hidden inside the meatballs.
- You might need an additional egg or extra bread crumbs to refine the texture.
- Avoid over-mixing. If you work the meat too much, your meatballs can become tough. That’s why I recommend mixing with your hands.
- Use an ice cream scoop to make forming your meatballs even easier.
- Don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket. You want the meatballs to have enough space to cook evenly. So, you don’t want to stack or layer them either.
- Most likely you clicked on this recipe because you have an air fryer. But you can make these meatballs without one.
- They will bake beautifully. Follow steps 1-3. Then, put the whole baking sheet into a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Or you can cook them in a skillet over medium heat.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Air fryer meatballs are even better on day 2 or 3! So, take any leftovers you may have and put them in an air-tight container.
Just be sure that they’ve cooled fully.
You can store them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can reheat them in the microwave or the air fryer. They’ll take about 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the air fryer.
How to Freeze
You can freeze air fryer meatballs in two ways, cooked and uncooked.
However, I think freezing them before cooking them is definitely the better option.
Either way, they’ll last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Follow the directions through Step 3. Put the entire baking sheet of meatballs into the freezer. Let them freeze for 4 hours.
After 4 hours, you can put the uncooked meatballs into a freezer-safe container.
A plastic freezer bag will work, too. Put them back into the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat, simply increase your cook time to 15 minutes.
Cook 8 meatballs for 12 minutes, shake, and then cook for 3 more minutes.
Cook the meatballs as directed. Once they’re cooked, lay them on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet into the freezer for 1-2 hours until they’re solid.
Then, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
You can reheat them straight from frozen in the air fryer.
Set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
But you can also thaw them in the fridge overnight and reheat them in the microwave.
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