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Air fryer meatballs are tender, juicy, and delicious! They are SOO good and this will be a recipe that your family will want you to make again and again!

If you love meatballs as much as I do then these ones that you make in the air fryer will become your new favorite! In fact, some of my favorite foods are cooked in the air fryer! Try out these Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes, and these amazing Air Fryer Zucchini Pizza Bites!

Meatballs in an air fryer.

Air Fryer Meatballs are the BEST!

If you haven’t tried cooking with an air fryer, you need to start with this recipe! It’s so easy and these meatballs turn out perfectly tender, juicy and the taste is to die for! Plus, they only take a few minutes to make! These air fryer meatballs are SOO good on their own but add them to some Stick of Butter Baked Rice or some delicious baked potatoes and a salad and you have yourself a delicious meal!

These make a fantastic entree but don’t forget that they can make a super yummy appetizer as well! Put them on a plate and stick a toothpick in each one and your guests will love them! I love how easy cooking with the air fryer is. You mix everything up and then it cooks so fast! And if you have any leftovers, you can use them to make a delicious meatball sandwich for lunch the next day. Go ahead and give these air fryer meatballs a try! They are so versatile, you will love them!

What’s in Air Fryer Meatballs?

Made up of common ingredients that you have in your kitchen, these air fryer meatballs are a breeze to make! See the recipe card below for a list of exact ingredient measurements!

  • Ground beef: I like to get lean ground beef for this recipe!
  • Onion: Dice up your onion into small, similar sized pieces so that they cook evenly.
  • Garlic cloves: I used fresh garlic cloves in this recipe but if you only have minced garlic in your fridge, you can use that! 1/2 tsp equals about 1 clove of garlic.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese will mix up better into the meatballs.
  • Italian breadcrumbs: Italian breadcrumbs have the perfect blend of seasonings that really add to the delicious taste of these meatballs!
  • Parsley: You can use fresh or dry parsley!
  • Salt and pepper: When you add these to the meatballs, they will really enhance the taste of all of the other flavors!
  • Egg: I like to make sure that my eggs are at room temperature when I use them in recipes. This helps them to blend better!
  • Milk: You can use 1% or 2% milk for this recipe!

Let’s Cook Some Meatballs!

If you have 15-20 minutes, then you have time to make these air fryer meatballs! They only take a few minutes to put together, that’s another reason why they are so great!

  1. Combine all ingredients: In a medium sized bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, egg and milk.
  2. Form into balls: Shape into 2 inch sized meatballs. Place in the basket of your air fryer in an even layer.
  3. Cook: Cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cooked throughout.
4 pictures showing steps on how to make meatballs.

Air Fryer Tips

Whether you have cooked with an air fryer a lot or never have, these are helpful tips for everyone! If you use these while cooking up these air fryer meatballs, they will help you make them turn out just right!

  • Preheat your air fryer: A lot of people don’t know that you should do this with an air fryer! If you turn your airfryer to 400 degrees as you are mixing up your meatballs, then it will be hot by the time that you put them in it! This helps your food cook more evenly and takes less time!
  • Don’t stack or overlap your food: Make sure that when you place your meatballs into the air fryer that they are in one layer. Don’t stack them or else some of the meatballs will come out undercooked and others will be burned. The key to air frying food is to do it in smaller batches and in one layer!
  • Don’t use a cooking spray: Using cooking sprays (like Pam) are not good for air fryers. They cause them to chip! If you want to spray it so that your food doesn’t stick then invest in a good quality oil mister!
A stack of meatballs with someone putting a toothpick in one of them.

Storing Leftovers

These air fryer meatballs make amazing leftovers! Add them to some rice, make a meatball sandwich or just heat them up and eat them plain! In fact, try dipping them into some Homemade Marinara! Go ahead and double the recipe and freeze some for dinner later!

  • Refrigerator: Once your air fryer meatballs have cooled, take them out and place them in an airtight container. They will last in your fridge for up to 4 days!
  • Freezer: Coll your meatballs and place them on a baking sheet in your freezer for 1-2 hours until frozen. Then, take them out and put them in a ziplock bag that is labeled with the date. You can store them in your freezer for up to 3 months!
  • Reheat: You can reheat these straight from the fridge or freezer. If they are frozen, then cook them in the air fryer at 375 degrees fro 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. If you are taking them from the fridge, Cook them at 375 for 8-10 minutes!

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Quick and Easy Air Fryer Meatballs

4.50 from 4 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Air fryer meatballs are tender, juicy, and delicious! They are SOO good and this will be a recipe that your family will want you to make again and again!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • In a medium sized bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, egg and milk.
  • Shape into 2-inch sized meatballs. Place in the basket of your air fryer in an even layer.
  • Cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cooked throughout.



Calories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 32gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 694mgPotassium: 527mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 369IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Liked how these cooked in air fryer! Fast & moist! & EASY!!! Adjusted for FODMAP diet requirements (no onion, garlic, or dairy). Swapped in almond milk for Cow’s milk. Used 1 tsp each oregano & basil; 1/8 tsp celery salt (in addition to salt suggested), and shook salt over the raw meatballs before cooking. Used dry sourdough bread crumbs. My ground beef was 80/20 lean, which is enough fat to hold meatballs together well. (Lean hamburger doesn’t work well for meatballs). They were seasoned enough, and tasty!

    I can only give 4 stars b/c I’ve never had meatballs as good as my Mexican bro-in-law makes for Albondiga (meatball) Soup – he makes the most tender meatballs I’ve ever had, and try as I may I’m unable to duplicate them. He says he never adds egg (he believes it dries them out), and he handles the meat minimally. Idk why I can’t get that to work for me. But that’s why it gets 4 stars. I’m still in search of the 5 star meatball!!!! These are good though!

  2. 5 stars
    I made turkey meatballs in my air fryer and they’re perfect with this recipe. I added The meatballs to the Stroganoff and they loved it.

  3. 4 stars
    These were pretty good but needed additional salt. They were a bit bland so next time I might add some other herbs. I tried to mince the onion as fine as I could but the meatballs fell apart where there were bigger chunks. I might use a smaller amount of onion next time. I made these about 1-1.5 inches in diameter and still needed the full cooking time. I plan to make them again with these adjustments.