Make these Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs for an easy 30 minute meal. Toss the air fryer meatballs in some marinara sauce and serve over your favorite pasta!
Make Quick and Delicious Weeknight meatballs in your air fryer
Sometimes all I want is meatballs and pasta but the idea of making meatballs on a weeknight can feel daunting, you know? This air fryer turkey meatballs recipe is here for the craving rescue.
These air fryer meatballs come together quickly and cook super fast in the air fryer. They are amazing for a quick weeknight dinner or for meal prep. You can even prep a batch ahead of time and keep them in the freezer.
Get delicious and tender ground turkey meatballs in less than 30 minutes and then serve them however your family likes. The obvious choice is to toss them in some tomato sauce and serve with pasta and fresh basil, but there are truly so many ways to enjoy them.
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 tbsp cookie scoop
- Air fryer
How to serve
Once prepared there are many ways to serve air fryer meatballs. I like to warm jarred marinara sauce on the stove and toss the air fryer turkey meatballs in it.
Then I spoon the meatballs and sauce over cooked pasta. My go-to pasta shape lately is rigatoni, but any shape works!
For a low carb or keto meal you can substitute pasta with some zucchini noodles or serve them over a cooked spaghetti squash. You can even serve them over a bed of cauliflower rice.
These air fryer meatballs are ideal for making meatball subs. They are medium in size and extremely tender. I like to toast small rolls in butter and then line them with marinara, meatballs and slices of mozzarella cheese. Then, I warm them under the oven broiler to melt the mozzarella cheese.
You can also serve these turkey meatballs as an appetizer. Roll 1 tbsp of mixture into balls and cook for just 9 minutes. Pop a toothpick into the top of each meatball and serve with your sauce of choice.
Air Fryer Turkey Meatball Ingredients
- Ground turkey – I prefer dark meat ground turkey because the higher fat content makes the meatballs more tender. Turkey is a very lean protein so if you use fat free ground turkey the meatballs might be too dry.
- Panko bread crumbs – I prefer plain breadcrumbs for this recipe, but you can also use seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
- Large egg – if you cannot or do not want to use an egg, use 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese or green yogurt.
- Grated parmesan cheese – you can buy pre-grated parmesan cheese or grate it yourself.
- Oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper – add to this seasoning blend or substitute it with Italian seasoning to fit your taste preferences.
Is ground turkey healthier than ground beef?
Ground turkey has less fat than ground beef. This makes it a better option for those trying to cut down on the amount of fat that they consume.
The good news is that if you follow this recipe, your ground turkey meatballs will have just as much flavor as ground beef meatballs.
How do you keep turkey meatballs from falling apart?
Sometimes it can be hard to keep meatballs in the proper shape. I recommend using the combination of an egg, grated parmesan cheese, and panko breadcrumbs for the perfect glue to keep the meatballs together.
To make tender and flavorful turkey meatballs in the air fryer it is important to use dark meat ground turkey. Lean white meat ground turkey will result in dryer and less flavorful meatballs. I like to look for the 94% lean and 6% fat label at the grocery store.
It is also important to not over mix the meatball mixture. You may be tempted to do this, but over mixed ground meat can result in tough and chewy meatballs.
You can make these with any type of ground meat you like best or have on hand. These air fryer meatballs are great with ground chicken, ground beef, ground pork or even a blend of meats.
You can make vegetarian air fryer meatballs by replacing the ground turkey with a plant based ground meat. If you are dairy free, you can try a dairy free version of grated parmesan or replace it with some nutritional yeast.
To make this recipe gluten free you can use a gluten free panko breadcrumb mixture. You can also make these air fryer meatballs keto friendly by replacing the breadcrumbs with pork panko or finely ground pork rinds.
I made my own seasoning blend by combining salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. You can use the same blend or use any Italian seasoning blend you have.
You can add additional dried seasonings like dried onion. If I have them on hand I sometimes use fresh herbs like basil, parsley or oregano and roll them right into the mixture.
How to make air fryer turkey meatballs
Step 1: prepare Ingredients
Measure out the panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and spices. Get the egg and ground turkey out of the fridge.
Step 2: Mix the meatballs
Add the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper into a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together gently with a spoon or your hands until a smooth, even mixture remains.
Be careful not to overmix as this causes tougher meatballs!
Step 3: Prep the air fryer and meatballs
Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray and preheat the air fryer to 350F.
Use a 2 tbsp scoop to scoop out 12 meatballs. If you do not have a 2 tbsp scoop, use any kind of measuring device to make even sized meatballs.
Using wet hands, roll the meatballs into tight balls. Then, arrange them on the air fryer basket in an single layer.
Step 4: Air Fry the meatballs
Once the air fryer is warm, place the basket inside and the meatballs in the air fryer at 350F for 14 minutes. The meatballs will be cooked through when the internal temperature reaches 165F.
Can i make these in the oven?
If you do not have an air fryer, you can prepare these turkey meatballs in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
Storage, Reheating and freezing
Allow the meatballs to cool completely before placing in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the air fryer at 350F for about 5-10 minutes, or until warmed thorugh.
Make a batch or a double batch of these air fryer meatballs and freeze them for later. Place the cooked meatballs in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the meatballs to defrost and reheat in marinara sauce on the stovetop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Prep these meatballs ahead of time and cook them directly from frozen in the air fryer at 325F for 22 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 165F the meatballs are done.
To ensure the turkey meatballs are not rubbery, make sure not to overmix the meatball mixture. Only mix until just combined. Then, lightly form into balls with damp hands.
Check out these other simple meatball Recipes
- Cast Iron Meatballs
- Pesto Turkey Meatballs
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs
- Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Meatballs
- Easy Instant Pot Meatballs
Looking for another simple weeknight dinner made with ground turkey? Try out this turkey meatloaf recipe!
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- 1lb ground turkey (I like to use dark meat ground turkey)
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (omit if you don’t like spice)
- Pour ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper into a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a spoon or your hands until a smooth, even mixture remains.
- Spray air fryer basket with non stick spray. Use a 2tbsp scoop to scoop out 12 meatballs. Roll them into tight balls with wet hands and arrange on the air fryer basket.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350F. When the air fryer is warm, place the basket inside and cook at 350F for 14 minutes or until the internal temp of the meatballs reaches 165F.
** To serve I like to heat a jar of marinara sauce over med-low heat on the stove. Then, I toss the meatballs in the sauce and serve over pasta!