This air fryer chicken meatballs recipe ticks all the boxes of deliciousness and will not disappoint. The chicken meatballs are moist, tender, and delicious, every bite of this is an absolute delight.
There is nothing that beats making meatballs from scratch! It is the perfect dish for you if you want to get stuck in and get your hands dirty creating a delicious meal! The process of making them involves simple seasoning and rolling the meatballs into balls (and who doesn’t love that part, what a satisfying experience) before leaving the air fryer to do the rest of the work.
I’ve tried a lot of chicken meatball recipes, and a lot of them have been hit-and-miss. They come out dry, mealy, and lacking flavor. These air fryer chicken meatballs are packed with flavor and are so incredibly juicy! Using the air fryer helps you cook the chicken to perfection so they stay moist while the spice mix hits you with a flavor punch in every bite.
Feeling hungry already? I know I am! So let’s not waste any more time and get into why this dish is so great and why it makes a perfect weeknight dinner.
The Best Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Once you learn how to make the best chicken meatballs from scratch, you’ll never buy store-bought again!
Here are a few reasons why this dish is for you:
- Healthy: Ground chicken is a lean protein, so it is much healthier than beef or pork meatballs. Cooking chicken meatballs in the air fryer is also a very healthy cooking technique.
- Limited ingredients: Having recipes with a huge list of complicated ingredients can be daunting, but this recipe keeps it simple. The ingredients are also all pantry staples, so all you’ll need to go buy is the ground chicken.
- Great for meal prep:These meatballs are super delicious and do well when reheated, so I like to air fry a big batch so I can freeze them for later.
- Easy preparation: Making these meatballs couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is mix all the ingredients together and roll them into balls. Then the air fryer takes over to do the rest of the work, giving you time to prep the rest of the meal.
These chicken meatballs are so juicy and full of flavor that they are sure to become one of your staple recipes.
What you will need
To make this easy 15 minute air fryer recipe, you will need the following ingredients.
- Ground chicken
- Mayonnaise: I used full fat mayonnaise but you can substitute with a light one.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated off the block for maximum flavor.
- Egg: the egg act as a binder for the meatballs
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
In a large bowl add ground chicken, egg, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, rosemary, thyme, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and mix to combine using your hands.
Preheat the air fryer to 360F /180C for 5 minutes.
Using a small ice cream scoop, divide the mix into 12-16 portions and roll them into meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate until you have exhausted the mixture.
Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil, and arrange the meatballs in the basket in a single layer.
Cook the chicken meatballs until golden brown on the outside for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/74C. Make sure to shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time to cook the meatballs evenly.
Tips for making the best meatballs
- Don't overwork the meat when mixing it as it can toughen the texture
- If your meat mixture is too wet, rub oil in your palm to help you form the meatballs then refrigerate the uncooked meatballs for at least 30 minutes or 5 minutes in the freezer before cooking.
- Incorporate breadcrumbs or soaked bread to add moisture and egg to help bind the meatball mixture. In this, you could whisk the egg, mayonnaise and add with the breadcrumbs so that it soaks and soften the breadcrumbs
- If possible, use a higher fat content meat, such as ground chicken thigh, rather than lean meat to keep the meatballs juicy.
- Make the size of the meatballs similar for even cooking.
- Consider adding a small amount of a moist ingredient, such as grated onion, mayonnaise or zucchini, into the meat mixture.
- Don't overcook the meatballs: cook them until the internal temperature reaches 165F, at this point the meatballs should be fully cooked through but still tender and juicy.
What to Serve With This Dish
The classic way to serve these meatballs is with spaghetti, obviously! I love making a big bowl of pasta and dressing it with a few air fryer chicken meatballs and a generous helping of Napoletana sauce.
Another way I love to serve these meatballs is as finger food when I’m entertaining. I like to pile them in a big bowl with a ramekin of ketchup or homemade dipping sauce beside it so my guests can dip them on the go. They don’t last very long once I’ve put them out! We can’t forget mashed potatoes, these chicken meatballs are amazing with all kinds of mashed potatoes with gravy.
If I have leftovers, I’ll make them into a meatball sub with sauce and lots of cheese.
To store: Allow the meatballs to come to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to three days.
To reheat: The easiest way to reheat these meatballs is back in the air fryer. Pop them in at 365 F for 5-8 minutes until the meatballs are fully warmed through.
To freeze: Separate the meatballs into portions and place them into Ziploc bags. Label and date the bags and freeze them for up to 6 months.
Is this chicken meatballs recipe keto-friendly
Unfortunately, this recipe is not keto-friendly because it uses breadcrumbs. However, you can substitute the Panko breadcrumbs with almond flour or keto breadcrumbs like ground pork rinds.
How long to air fry chicken meatballs?
How long to air fry meatballs in the fryer will depend on the size of the meatballs and the temperature cooked. At 400F /200C, chicken meatballs take around 8 -12 minutes to cook through in the air fryer.
How do I know my chicken meatballs are fully cooked?
When I cook meatballs, I like to have a sacrifice meatball to be very certain that they are cooked all the way through. Simply cut the meatball in half and inspect the center. The meat should be juicy but white all the way through, with no pink juices leaking out.
You can also use a digital thermometer to read the internal temperature, which should read 165F.
More air fryer recipes to try
I love cooking chicken in my air fryer and after trying this recipe, I’m sure you will too! Here are a few more air fryer chicken recipes for you to try:
- Air Fryer Shake and Bake Chicken
- Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
- Jalapeno popper stuffed chicken
- Air Fryer Cajun Chicken Bites
- Air fryer chicken strips
Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
- Air Fryer
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoon full fat mayonnaise
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl add ground chicken, egg, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, rosemary, thyme, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and mix to combine using your hands.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400F / 200C for 5 minutes.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, divide the mix into 12-16 portions and roll them into meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate until you have exhausted the mixture.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil, and arrange the meatballs in the basket in a single layer.
- Cook the chicken meatballs until golden brown on the outside for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/74C. Make sure to shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time to cook the meatballs evenly.
- Serve as is or with marinara sauce or any other dipping sauce of choice.
And there you have it, a simple and delicious air fryer chicken recipe you can make at home in 30 minutes. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @cheapchickenrecipes on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest or make it on Tiktok. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox every week.