These Air Fryer Italian Meatballs are so tender and juicy on the inside, and golden brown on the outside! They’re loaded with so much flavor and ready in less than 10 minutes! These low-carb, gluten-free meatballs are perfect for meal-prepping along with some zucchini noodles or your favorite pasta!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy.
So one of my favorite things to enjoy as a meal is meatballs. I don’t know why. Although I love meat and yummy flavorful recipes.
I also love that they are so versatile… they can be put in a sub roll, over pasta, in lettuce wraps or over zucchini noodles, or just straight up as an appetizer right from the pan. So many great options!
I get so excited about these little flavor bombs that are so easy to pop in my mouth and enjoy, with little effort but big reward.
AND since I love them so much I have a bunch of different recipes for many unique and tasty flavor options on the blog… like my French Onion Meatballs, Meal Prep Turkey Meatballs, Salisbury Steak Meatballs, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Asian meatballs, and of course the traditional Italian Baked Meatballs.
They are all so delicious. I love them all equally for what they are.
Today we’re talking about Italian Meatballs in the Air Fryer. Tons of flavor and cooked up without all the oil and grease. Brilliant – right!??
You can also bake them in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer. It’s pretty easy and they turn out just as tender and delicious.
There are so many reasons to love these air fryer meatballs – let me break it down for you…
Tips to make the best meatballs:
- Avoid over-mixing the ingredients! This actually produces tougher meatballs. Many people find that mixing the ingredients with your hands is the best way to combine all ingredients without over-processing the meat.
- For a low-carb version, use almond meal instead of breadcrumbs. I do this in every one of my meatball recipes.
- Preheat the Air Fryer!
- If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, you can just cut the recipe quantities in half for a smaller batch.
- If you want you can use both ground pork and ground beef just use a pound of each (instead of 2 pounds of beef). This combination of beef and pork (and often veal) is actually truer to an “authentic” Italian meatball recipe.
You will be a meatball pro in no time!! Here's how the magic happens...
Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Gently mix together all of the meatball ingredients.
Use a 1 ½ inch scoop to make your meatballs. After you scoop them out you can roll them by hand to give them a nice round shape before cooking but it’s not necessary.
Spray the Air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then place your meatballs in the basket. If you have a shelf accessory for your air fryer you can use it to cook more meatballs at once.
If you only have one layer of meatballs cook them 7-8 minutes. If you have two shelves of meatballs cook them for 10 minutes total.
Next, heat your marinara sauce in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Then drop the meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, for 3 more minutes.
Sprinkle on the cheese and enjoy!
Reasons we love air fryer meatballs:
- They cook fast… even faster than baking! Mine were ready in 7-10 minutes, but that will depend on the size and how many you are cooking at one time. 7 minutes for one layer and if you add a wire rack and cook double it takes about 10 minutes.
- They brown up so nicely, and that’s with just a spritz of cooking spray.
- They stay so juicy on the inside – love that!
- They’re super easy to make! There’s no turning or flipping - just form your meatballs and cook in air fryer.
- This recipe makes 40 meatballs so it’s terrific for meal prepping.
Plus, they freeze great!
How to freeze air fryer meatballs:
- I love having homemade meatballs in the freezer — they are so perfect for adding to some marinara sauce on the stove, or stir fry for a quick weeknight meal!
- To freeze, bake the meatballs until they’re cooked through and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the meatballs in a resealable freezer bag - be sure to squeeze out all the air before sealing them completely. Label them and toss them in the freezer. They’ll be good for up to 3 months.
- When you’re ready to serve them, just put them in the fridge to thaw overnight, or throw them right from frozen into whatever sauce you have simmering on the stove. Heat them through completely, and enjoy.
There are so many ways to enjoy these Italian Meatballs! Here are some of my favorites…
What to serve with meatballs:
- My favorite way to enjoy these meatballs is in my Hearty Homemade Marinara Sauce.... and covered in some mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Mmm – so good.
- They are perfect over some zoodles or spaghetti squash for a tasty low carb meal.
- Or over your favorite pasta or in a sub roll – yummy!
- You can keep them low carb and serve them over some yummy Mashed Cauliflower.
- Or an Arugula Salad.
- You could serve them with some Cheesy Kale Mashed Potatoes.
- Or one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is with Cheesy Parmesan Polenta.
- Or my dreamy creamy Parmesan Risotto.
You’re going to love this easy and delicious air fryer meatball recipe. They are so tender and flavorful. Cooked up in no time at all without out any of the grease and oil – meatball perfection my friend!
- 2 pounds ground beef, 93 percent lean
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
- ½ cup almond meal, or breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for toppings
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt & black pepper
- 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
- Gently mix together all of the meatball ingredients.
- Use a 1½ inch scoop to make your meatballs. After you scoop them out you can roll them by hand to give them a nice round shape before cooking, but it’s not necessary.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then place your meatballs in the basket. If you have a shelf accessory for your air fryer you can use it to cook more meatballs at once.
- If you only have one layer of meatballs cook them 7-8 minutes. If you have two shelves of meatballs cook them for 10 minutes total.
- Next, heat your marinara sauce in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Then drop the meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle on cheese and enjoy!
Cooked meatballs can be frozen up to 3 months.
Serving Size1 Meatball
Amount Per Serving Calories 84Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 33mgSodium 148mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 9g
This nutrition card uses an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. This estimate is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice!