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Air Fryer Meatballs

You want the best homemade meatballs you can make? These Air Fryer Meatballs are packed with hidden veggies and are perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Delicious!!

3 meatballs over spaghetti noodles with red sauce on white plate

Did you know that you can cook up perfect meatballs in your air fryer? 

These meatballs have extra veggies that not only add extra flavor but also extra nutrition! Perfect for picky eaters and adventurous eaters alike!

These meatballs only take around 12 minutes in the air fryer and don’t require heating up the whole house by turning on the oven.

Meatball Ingredients

  • I recommend a mix of ground beef and ground pork for best flavor
  • To keep this gluten and dairy free I used gluten free breadcrumbs and almond milk but you can use the regular versions as well (see notes)
  • For added veggies I used carrots, squash and shallots
  • Use your favorite all purpose or Italian seasoning blend
  • You’ll need one egg to help bind it all together

step by step collage making meatballs and placing in air fryer basket

How do you Bind the Meatballs

I’ve tried about every combination of binders from oats to breadcrumbs, and I’ve come up with the one that I think gives the meatballs the best texture and juiciest flavor.

To make the best meatballs I suggest using panko breadcrumbs soaked in milk. You can use gluten free and dairy free breadcrumbs as well (see notes for adjustments needed).

You’ll also need 1 egg per 2 pounds of meat to hold everything together.

Tips for Making the Best Meatballs

  • Soak the breadcrumbs in milk for at least 5 minutes before adding to the meat for the best texture
  • Add seasoning directly to the meatballs, even if serving with sauce
  • Use your hands to mix the meatballs until just combined, but don’t overwork the mixture so you don’t end up with tough meatballs
  • Use an ice cream scoop to measure out each meatball to ensure consistent sizing

12 cooked meatballs in air fryer basket

Substitution Options

  • You can swap the gluten free panko and almond milk for regular panko and regular milk. You’ll need to use 1/2 cup panko and 1/2 cup milk if using the regular version but otherwise follow the directions as written
  • You can swap the pork and use all beef, but you may lose some of the flavor
  • I don’t recommend swapping for all pork as they will be too greasy
  • You can swap out shallot for onion for a stronger flavor
  • If using a seasoning that doesn’t contain salt be sure to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt

white plate with spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, 3 meatballs and garnished with chopped parsley

Prep Ahead Option

You can prep meatballs ahead by rolling into balls and laying on single layer of parchment on cookie sheet and freezing. Then transfer to freezer bag and store up to 3 months. Thaw before cooking for best results.

Leftovers

You can freeze leftover cooked meatballs in an airtight container up to 3 months. Freeze them alone or with sauce.

Serving Idea

Serve with cooked pasta noodles and my Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce.

white plate with spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, 3 meatballs and garnished with chopped parsley

Air Fryer Meatballs

Print Recipe
You want the best homemade meatballs you can make? These Air Fryer Meatballs are packed with hidden veggies and are perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Delicious!!
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Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:12 mins
Total Time:22 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 oz baby carrots
  • 3 oz zucchini squash
  • 1 ounce shallots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon all purpose seasoning
  • avocado oil spray

Instructions

  • Mix breadcrumbs and almond milk and let soak for 5 minutes
  • Grate or very finely dice veggies (I used my mini chopper)
  • Add breadcrumb mixture and veggies to bowl along with meat, seasoning and egg
  • Mix well by hand until fully combined
  • Use an ice cream scoop to form into equal sized meatballs and place in single layer in air fryer basket
  • Spray lightly with avocado oil
  • Cook in air fryer at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until cooked through

Notes

If using regular panko breadcrumbs instead of gluten free adjust to 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
If your seasoning blend doesn’t list salt, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt
Can prep meatballs ahead by rolling into balls and laying on single layer of parchment on cookie sheet and freezing. Thaw before cooking
You can freeze leftover cooked meatballs in an airtight container up to 3 months

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1392IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 353kcal

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