Easy Air Fried Meatballs Recipe
Jan 23, 2019, Updated Jun 13, 2023
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Easy Keto Air Fried Meatballs Recipe – delicious juicy meatballs that are no mess – just mix, roll, and toss into the air fryer for perfect meatballs everyone loves – that work with a keto or low carb diet!
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Simple Air Fried Meatballs
Air fryer meatballs are one of my favorite easy meals – they are simple, quick, and SO delicious. Plus, meatballs work really well on a low carb diet like my husband and I are trying to follow – but are tasty enough my kids want to dig in, too.
I have such a hard time finding meals that are low carb that my kids also love scooped over piles of pasta or rice – but these meatballs never fail to impress everyone in our family! And since buying an air fryer, they are so much easier.
While I’ll admit I was skeptical of my air fryer at first (since it’s yet another piece of equipment), I’ve found myself using it every day. It is so easy to use, cuts WAY down on cleaning (no grease splatters everywhere!) and cuts way down on the cooking smell, too, since it’s totally contained.
Making meatballs, for me, can be a process – I feel like they tend to splatter everywhere and do cause quite a bit of mess, unless they are baked.
Cooking meat balls in the air fryer takes away all the mess (simply pour off grease from the bottom of the basket when done cooking), and cuts way down on cook time, since the hot air circulates over the meatballs quickly.
These meatballs are incredibly delicious – and can go from your fridge to your dinner table in under 30 minutes.
They are great on top of zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, pasta, and rice – and are made entirely without bread crumbs for a deliciously low-carb dinner that works in a ton of different recipes!
Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
When making keto meatballs, it is obviously important to steer away from breadcrumbs in your meatball recipe.
Since meat balls need a binder to hold together, it’s important to be sure you have something in place of the breadcrumbs to soak up some of the moisture from the egg and the meat to hold the meatballs together.
While you can use a low carb bread crumb (if you have one that fits into your diet), I just skip bread entirely and opt for parmesan cheese.
Grated parmesan cheese (the kind in a can from your grocery store) is the perfect bread crumb substitute – it is light and fluffy, soaks up moisture, and helps to hold meatballs together – plus it adds an incredible cheesy and salty flavor that is perfection in an air fried meatball.
Meatballs with Pork
These meatballs can be made without pork if you don’t eat pork – you will need to add something with more fat and flavor to replace it in an all beef meatball recipe to help keep your meatballs from drying out, since you aren’t adding all the fat from the pork sausage.
When using just 2 lbs beef in a recipe, I add 1 cup ricotta cheese to the mixture to keep my meatballs from drying out.
Mix the meatballs as called for below just the same – but the ricotta will help to make the ground beef have a rich, moist, and fatty flavor that you might miss by skipping pork Italian Sausage. Red pepper flakes, oregano, and fennel (to taste, according to your preferences) can be added for more Italian sausage flavor without the pork.
Turkey Meatballs Recipe
If you’re looking to lighten up this recipe, it is incredibly easy to swap out ground chicken or turkey for sausage and beef.
When making lower calorie meatballs in an air fryer, you need to try to have a 1:1 ratio of “sausage” with ground meat for flavor.
That means if you use 1 lb ground turkey, you’ll want to also use 1 lb of ground turkey sausage. The same would work for chicken or ground pork.
More Keto Recipes
If you’re looking for delicious, easy recipes to serve with your low carb air fryer meatballs (or recipes you can use these meatballs in), please check out some of my favorite dishes below:
Also try One Pot Creamy Meatball Soup, Garlic Butter Parmesan Meatballs, Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs, The Best Ever Cauliflower Rice, Low Carb Squash Stroganoff, 10 Minute Broccolini Recipe, Perfect Sauteed Mushrooms, and The Best Easy Cacio E Pepe Recipe Ever
Easy Keto Air Fried Meatballs Recipe
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- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- ¼ cup onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add beef, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, eggs and cheese to a large bowl.
- Sprinkle meat mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mix with your hands until combined.
- Form into 1 or 2 inch meatballs - this recipe will make about 25 meatballs.
- Lightly spray sir fryer basket with olive oil cooking spray.
- Add meatballs to air fryer basket, making sure they don't touch too much or over crowd the basket (work in batches if needed.)
- Cook in air fryer for 13 minutes at 350 degrees, removing basket around 8 minutes to quickly rotate meatballs.
- Meatballs should be 165 degrees internally when a thermometer is placed into the thickest part of the meatball.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 3 meatballs
Amount Per Serving Calories 451Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 145mgSodium 904mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 33g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.