These easy air fryer meatballs are perfectly seasoned, with a delectable crispy exterior and juicy center, making them the best addition to your next bowl of spaghetti!

large round plate of a pile of air fryer meatballs.

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Making meatballs from scratch is a delicious way to get a homemade meal on the table in no time! Air frying them takes it one step further, adding an extra crunch on the outside while keeping the inside of the meatball moist and tender. Air fryer meatballs just can’t be beaten. Plus, air fryers are super easy to use and require less oil than frying up your meatballs in a skillet.

This recipe makes meatballs sans marinara sauce. So, you can use them any way you like, whether it’s pairing the cooked meatballs with an Italian dish like Creamy Tomato and Basil Penne Pasta. Using them inappetizers like Cocktail Meatballs or Quick & Easy Meatball Sliders, or making Meatball Stroganoff.

wooden spoonful of air fryer meatballs.

Easy Air Fryer Meatballs Recipe

The combination of lean ground beef, ground pork, Italian herbs, spices, Parmesan, and breadcrumbs makes for a juicy yet flavorful meatball that is still low in fat. Seriously, you’ve never had meatballs this good! Just mix everything up in one big bowl, roll the meatballs into small balls, and they are ready to cook. Making meatballs in the air fryer takes just minutes!

Kids love air fryer Italian meatballs because of the crunchy exterior and classic flavor. Meanwhile, parents will love them for their quick, easy-to-cook method that makes cleanup a breeze. (No oil spatters all over the stovetop! Hurray!). Add a side of marinara sauce for dipping, serve the meatballs over spaghetti, or use them to make a tasty sandwich. The possibilities are endless!

ingredients to make air fryer meatballs.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Meatballs

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Lean ground beef
  • Ground pork – We love making our meatballs with ground pork, but you can use all beef if you prefer.
  • Egg – Here’s the best way to crack an egg!
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese – This adds some extra savory flavor to your meatballs.
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Green onions – Green onions add a mild onion flavor without the crunchy texture of chopped raw onions.
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  • For an Italian twist, add fresh minced garlic cloves or garlic powder and oregano.
  • To make spicy air fryer meatballs, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the mix. 
  • Swap the ground meat with plant-based ground, ground turkey, or ground chicken for a lighter version of this recipe.
steps to make air fryer meatballs.

How to Make Air Fryer Meatballs

  1. Prepare: Preheat your air fryer to 375ºF.
  2. Make the meatball mixture: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix gently with a spatula or your hands to combine.
  3. Form the meatballs: Gently roll the meat mixture into 1- to 1 ½-inch balls. Then, place them on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet.
  4. Air fry: Coat the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Then, arrange the meatballs in a single layer, leaving space between them for airflow. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer pink in the middle. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it may be necessary to cook these in batches. 

Quick Tip

Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

close up image of a pile of air fryer meatballs served on a round plate.

Quick Tip

Mix the meatball mixture just until all the ingredients are combined, as over-mixing will cause the meatballs to be tough. Then, use a small spring-loaded cookie scoop to quickly portion the meat mixture into evenly sized balls.

close up of a air fryer meatball on a toothpick.

How to Store Air Fryer Meatballs

If you have leftover air fryer meatballs, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat them in an air fryer or oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about four minutes or until warmed through. Or, warm them in 30-second intervals in the microwave.

You can also freeze the cooked air fryer meatballs for up to three months! Thaw the frozen meatballs overnight in the fridge. Or, pop them into the microwave to defrost. Then, reheat as instructed above.

Serving Suggestions

These easy meatballs are delicious when served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, piled onto a hoagie roll with marinara and mozzarella, or served with your favorite pasta dish. You can even make them into Swedish meatballs!


How long do you heat meatballs in the air fryer?

If you’re heating pre-made or leftover meatballs in an air fryer, it should take about 4 minutes. However, the exact time may vary depending on your air fryer and the size of your meatballs.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

It really depends on your preference and how much time you have. Baking is healthier as it requires less oil than frying, but frying creates a crispy exterior that everyone loves. We say split the difference, and use an air fryer! It’s healthier like baking, but has the crispy exterior of frying on the stovetop!

What is the secret to good meatballs?

The secret to good meatballs is all in the ingredients! Start with quality, lean ground beef or pork, and mix in flavorful ingredients like herbs, spices, and cheese to give it lots of flavor. Adding some breadcrumbs helps bind the mixture together and keeps them from falling apart during cooking. Lastly, don’t over-mix the ingredients as this can make them tough. 

Can I cook raw meatballs in an air fryer?

Yes, raw meatballs can be cooked in the air fryer. Just be sure to coat the basket in oil or cooking spray to keep them from sticking and you’ll be good to go!

More Ground Beef Recipes

A plate of air fryer meatballs next to a bowl of dipping sauce.

Air Fryer Meatballs

These easy air fryer meatballs are perfectly seasoned, with a delectable crispy exterior and juicy center, making them the best addition to your next bowl of spaghetti!
3 from 1 vote
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 – 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes


  • Air Fryer
  • Mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons green onions chopped
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  • Preheat an air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix together gently with a spatula or your hands. Mix just until incorporated, as overmixing will cause the meatballs to be tougher.
    1 pound lean ground beef, ½ pound ground pork, 1 egg, ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons green onions
  • Gently form into 1” to 1 ½” size balls. Place on a parchment lined plate or sheet pan until ready to start cooking.
  • Coat the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, then arrange the meatballs inside, leaving a space between to allow for airflow.
    Nonstick cooking spray
  • Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and no longer pink in the middle. If using a meat thermometer, they should reach 165 F when cooked through. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it may be necessary to cook these in batches.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1083mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

3 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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