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Overhead shot baked meatballs

Air Fryer Meatballs

These Air Fryer Meatballs made with ground beef are moist on the inside, a little crispy on the outside, full of flavor, and super fast to make. 

Yield: 4-6 servings (about 24 1-1/2 inch meatballs) 1x
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 15 minutesTotal: 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (This is where we get our favorite grass-fed ground beef.)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs (or sub gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or sub more breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk (your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (sub: ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (sub: finely chopped fresh basil or spinach)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

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Make It Now:

  1. Combine Meat Mixture: Using clean hands, gently combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Roll Meatballs: To make the meatballs, scoop a heaping tablespoon of mixture per meatball and shape into 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs. 
  3. Prep Air Fryer: Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Preheat to 400°F (only takes 1 minute).
  4. Air Fry: Arrange meatballs in air fryer basket, spaced evenly apart. (Note: You’ll have to cook these in at least two batches or freeze half the meatballs for another meal.*) Cook the meatballs for 7-9 minutes, flipping them about halfway through the cooking process (or when your air fryer beeps at you). Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatballs, which should reach 160-165°F to ensure they are fully cooked and safe to eat.
  5. Serving Options: Serve with warm Marinara Sauce or Pesto Sauce on the side for dipping, over spaghetti with marinara, or on a Meatball Sub.

*Keep your meatballs warm in a 200°F oven in between batches.

Freeze For Later:

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Then, roll out the meatballs but do not air fry. At this point, flash-freeze uncooked meatballs by placing on the sheet pan (or in a baking dish) in the freezer for about an hour or so. Once frozen, dump meatballs in a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and place in freezer.

Prepare From Frozen:

Thaw meatballs using one of these safe thawing methods. Cook according to instructions, beginning with Step 4.


Gluten-Free Version: Use almond meal or gluten-free bread crumbs in place of the whole wheat bread crumbs. 

Dairy-Free Version: Use more bread crumbs in place of the Parmesan cheese, plus add 1/4 teaspoon more of salt.

Where We Get Our Beef: We get our beef from ButcherBox. The beef is grass-fed and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, chicken, and wild salmon–and have used it for years ourselves.

© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: Italian Method: Air Fryer