Juicy Air Fryer Meatballs (Easy Homemade Recipe)

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Air Fryer Meatballs are easy to throw together when weeknights are a bit hectic. Just mix, roll, and cook to perfection in under 20 minutes! Put your air fryer basket to good use to make the best meatballs around! 

titled collage for air fryer meatball recipe


We’ve all been there – you take ground beef out of the freezer with the intention of making a full meal, only to have life throw you a curveball or two.

Don’t stress! Grab a few items from your fridge and pantry, toss them in a bowl with the meat, and mix up a batch of these air fried meatballs!

This is one of those air fryer recipes that cuts down the cooking time and stress and creates the perfect meatballs in a short amount of time.

Why make the cooking process more stressful than it needs to be? 

air fryer meatballs ingredients in bowls on counter

Air Fryer Meatballs

This recipe yields about 20 total but can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many mouths you need to feed.

Homemade meatballs in the air fryer and in the oven are a favorite around here, so I have plenty of recipes to choose from. 

There’s even a cheesy bomb version that is a meal all on its own!

making air fried meatballs

Tips for Homemade Meatballs in Air Fryer

  • Choose a fattier blend. I recommend using an 80/20 blend for this air fryer meatball recipe so there’s plenty of flavor and moisture. 

    If you want something leaner, ground chicken or turkey would make a great substitute for the beef. 
  • Keep it cold. Unlike other meats, ground beef should be handled and cooked straight from the fridge. 

    Otherwise, the mixture won’t stick together, and the air fryer meatballs will break apart. 
  • Want some spice? Add a little cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes with the other spices for a touch of heat.
  • Use a light touch. The more you stir or work the meat with your hands, the more likely it is to be tough and dry. 

    Mix the ingredients just until combined and evenly distributed.
  • Don’t crowd the basket! Leave some space when placing the meatballs in the air fryer so none of them are touching each other. 

    This ensures that they will be browned on all sides.
uncooked beef meatballs on tray

Air Fried Meatballs Serving Suggestions

These are delicious on their own with a side salad or some veggies. Slice up a few air fried meatballs to toss on a pizza, or load up a hoagie roll for a tender meatball sub.

Top with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy all the various combinations that you can use new recipes like this for! 

You can also spoon a few air fryer meatballs over rice or pasta with your favorite sauce – marinarabarbecue, or sweet and sour would be delicious!

cooked cheesy meatballs in air fryer basket

Air Fryer Meatball Recipe FAQ

How do I prevent homemade meatballs from sticking to my hands?

Wet your hands before forming the rounds and continue to dip your hands in a bowl of water throughout the process. This helps create a smooth outer surface as well!

Which breadcrumbs should I use?

Either regular or panko are fine for this air fryer meatball recipe, depending on your texture preferences. Just be sure to grab a plain variety without any added spices.

Can I use other types of meat to make these tender meatballs? 

While I’m a fan of beef meatballs because the added fat in the beef helps keep the meatballs tender and juicy, you can use other types of meat when it comes to cooking meatballs. Spicy meatballs can easily be made with a mixture of spicy ground pork sausage and beef, or you can cut down on some of the fat content and use ground turkey or ground chicken. 

For juicy meatballs, I recommend using lean ground beef. Even though it’s lean meat, it will still give the meatballs that juicy interior that we all love and crave. 

Can I freeze air fryer meatballs? 

Absolutely! They’ll stay fresh for about two months and can be reheated straight from the freezer.

Allow them to cool, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Pop the tray in the freezer for about an hour and transfer the rounds to a ziploc bag once solid.(you can also store them in a freezer-safe container) 

To reheat, place frozen meatballs in air fryer and cook at 350°F for a cook time of about 10 minutes, or until warmed through. Easy peasy!

One of my favorite things about storing meatballs in a freezer bag is that they’re prepped and ready for the next time I want to use them! 

What are the main seasonings added to meatballs? 

You’ll find a lot of meatball recipes use Italian seasoning, but don’t let the stop you from seasoning the meat of uncooked meatballs however you want. You can add onion powder, garlic powder, fresh garlic, and any other fresh herbs to the raw meatball mixture, making these homemade air fryer meatballs taste unique and different each time you make them. 

Air-fryer meatballs are one of my favorite foods because they’re really versatile in how they can be created. Most step-by-step instructions showcase using common ingredients, but you can season the meat mixture of this easy recipe in any way that you want. 

And if you find a new favorite way to flavor these air-fried meatballs, come back and tell me so that I can try them that way, too! 

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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close up: air fried meatball with cheese on a stick

air fryer meatball

Homemade Air Fryer Meatballs

Donna Elick
Air fryer meatballs are easy to throw together when weeknights are a bit hectic. Just mix, roll, and cook to perfection in under 20 minutes!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 20 meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1 small white onion, Minced
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl combine the hamburger meat, egg, worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, milk, minced onion, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, and parmesan cheese.
  • Using a spatula or your hands, mix all of the ingredients together well.
  • Shape the meat into balls that are about two inches around.
  • You can place the meatballs directly into the basket or you can line the basket with a little parchment paper and then place the meatballs on top. Place them in a single layer.
  • I was able to fit about 9 meatballs in at a time. You don’t want them to touch because you want them to cook evenly on all sides.
  • Cook them for about 6-8 minutes, turning them over once halfway through cooking time.
  • They’re ready when they’ve browned nicely on the outside and are cooked throughout!
  • Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  • You can use the meatballs as is, topped with sauce, on top of pizza, pasta, or even as a meatball sub!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 78cal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 91mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for air fried meatballs

Originally published August 2021, updated and republished February 2024

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  1. I don’t see any cheese in the recipe but you can see it in the photos. How much shredded cheese do you add?

    1. Thank you for catching that. It was written as Parmesan cheese. I updated it for the Colby jack that was used. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

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