Air Fryer Meatballs


These air fryer meatballs get a touch of heat from Calabrian chiles, and herbal flavor from fresh basil and parsley. Soaking the breadcrumbs in milk before mixing them with the meat helps ensure a tender texture. When forming the meatballs, wet your hands first to prevent sticking. After about 10 minutes in the air fryer, they'll emerge deliciously browned and ready to pair with marinara sauce — we call for store-bought here, but feel free to make your own if you'd prefer. Want to make the meatballs ahead of time? They can be cooked earlier in the day, refrigerated, and reheated for two to three minutes in the air fryer before serving. You can also freeze the meatballs and then defrost and reheat them when ready to serve.

Air Fryer Meatballs
Photo: Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs


  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped Calabrian chiles (from 1 [7-ounce] jar)

  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic (from 3 medium garlic cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground sirloin

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 2 cups marinara sauce (from 1 [24-ounce] jar), warmed


  1. Stir together milk and breadcrumbs in a large bowl; let stand for 20 minutes until breadcrumbs absorb all the liquid.

  2. Add eggs, parsley, Parmesan, basil, chiles, garlic, salt, and pepper to breadcrumb mixture in large bowl; stir until well combined. Add beef and pork; fold together using clean hands until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat air fryer to 375°F. Using wet hands, shape meat mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls. Arrange on a baking sheet.

  4. Place half of meatballs in a single layer in fry basket. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Shake basket to loosen meatballs, and flip meatballs; cook until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers at least 160°F, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining meatballs. Serve with marinara sauce.

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