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Best Meatballs in Air Fryer

Best meatballs in air fryer that drains the fat and creates a crispy outside you will love. If you love tender bite size ground beef bites, try these. They’re low carb and keto friendly so everyone will give them a thumbs up.

Meatballs in the Air Fryer

Meatballs in an air fryer may not be on your radar or you might ask what’s the point. Let me tell you they are so yummy!! I love how the meat is tender on the inside but has a nice crispy texture on the outside. Find this one and many more on our easy air fryer recipes page. (originally published 9/19, affiliate links present)

We first made frozen meatballs in air fryer, but homemade is always best! You too should try them both ways and see which you prefer. Any brand of fryer will work with these instructions.

Ninja Foodi Meatballs

If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:

cosori review

Here are a few questions you might have before you get going. If you have any others just let me know.

Can you put raw meat in an air fryer?

Of course, we do it all the time. Our favorite are these air fryer meatballs and probably our air fryer wings too. You can even put rock hard frozen chicken breast in air fryer too!

What makes a great meatball?

You definitely need a binding agent. Most use breadcrumbs with egg where others use crispy fried onions or oats. We love our basic meatball recipe, you should really try it too.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

We love meatballs in air fryer personally. It gets the meat tender inside with a crunchy outer layer that’s great. Then add it to a pot of spaghetti and oh WOW!

Of course if you have a favorite meatloaf recipe of your own, by all means use that. That is what I do.

Meatballs in Air Fryer

I make the same mixture and then just roll it into meatballs that are a bit bigger than golf balls.

Air fryer meatballs

  1. Ground beef
  2. Onion
  3. Italian breadcrumbs
  4. Egg
  5. Parmesan cheese
  6. Minced garlic
  7. Onion soup mix
    1. or make your own

Add or omit what you want but this is my go to for meatballs in the air fryer.

air fryer meatballs

Now it is time to mix. Please, just use your hands!!

It is so much easier to really really incorporate all the ingredients together if you just take off your rings and knead it all together.

  • I use the measurements below but honestly, I normally don’t even measure the bread crumbs.
  • What I do is add all the other stuff and add some from the container, mix, add a bit more if it is still sticky.
  • When it reaches this consistency you see here I know I have enough added.

If your meatballs are really tacky you probably need a bit more.

best way to cook meatballs


The larger they are the longer they will take to cook thoroughly, obviously. However, if you don’t like your hamburger well done then larger is probably the best size for you.

  • I prefer a golf ball size meatball so there isn’t really any pink inside and the outsides are nice and crispy!

Meatballs in air fryer

Because how crispy they get AND the fact that the fat automatically drains away from the meat. You see the grates underneath have a space so while they cook the saturated fat just drains away from the meat.

It’s great! There’s nothing worse than cooking a meatloaf in the oven, take it out, and see that it’s been sizzling in the fat and there’s tons to drain away before cutting it.

homemade meatballs air fryer

Of course there is a difference depending on what % ground beef you purchase. Honestly I prefer 80/20 over 90/10 because the fat does give it great flavor. I just don’t like it bathing in it while it cooks.

The hamburger we use now, and for the past year, came from a local organic cow. Yes, we have a huge freezer packed with it so it is quite lean, you can buy meat in bulk here too!

  • Give them a bit of space in a single layer in your air fryer basket, close the drawer or crisp lid and let them sizzle away until lightly browned. It is so quick and easy with such a fast cook time.

In under 30 minutes you can have this and a side of air fryer cauliflower and butter noodles!

Meatballs in Air Fryer 2

OR pour a sauce over them like our cranberry meatballs or just toss with some barbecue sauce or spaghetti sauce and serve as an appetizer!

Air fried meatballs

air fryer frozen meatballs

Looking for other easy recipes for your air fryer and Ninja Foodi:

Our salami cups are a great appetizer too if you’re having people over.

When cooking meatballs this way it is best to preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees just for a few minutes. If you forget don’t worry, it will just take a few more minutes.

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air fryer frozen meatballs
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5 from 5 votes

Meatballs in Air Fryer

Best meatballs in air fryer that drains the fat and creates a crispy outside you will love. If you love tender bite size ground beef bites, try these.
Course Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, keto, low carb, meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 259kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Mix all ingredients together. Preheat air fryer for 4 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Form meat mixture into golf ball size balls and put into preheated air fryer, leave a bit of room in between each one.
  • Cook for 8-10 min. total (depending on the size of your meatballs), flipping them halfway through the cooking process.


Nutrition Facts
Meatballs in Air Fryer
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 224mg10%
Potassium 259mg7%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 97IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
frozen meatballs in air fryer
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Recipe Rating

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Nellie Tracy

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Great air fryer recipe! I finally got one and have been on the lookout for good recipes! Can't wait to make this one!

Jill Baird

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Great recipe! I love the little bit crispy outside and so juicy and tender inside! This is my go-to meatball recipe!


Thursday 25th of February 2021

Used ground chicken. Absolutely awesome. Great flavor.

The Typical Mom

Friday 26th of February 2021

So glad


Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Awesome recipe


Thursday 4th of June 2020

These turned out great!! I usually bake them in the oven but using the Foodi kept the kitchen much cooler. Crispy on the outside , tender on the inside. Perfect!

The Typical Mom

Saturday 6th of June 2020

Yay glad they were a hit

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