These healthy air fryer meatballs are a great dinner any day of the week! This recipe uses veggies to keep the meatballs moist (no breadcrumbs!), then they are added to an air fryer to create a crisp, caramelized exterior and tender interior. Serve them as-is, with pasta, or over zoodles!
A Healthy Zucchini Meatball Recipe!
These zucchini meatballs are perfect for picky kids, but also for adults who just love healthy food. Instead of breadcrumbs, they are kept moist and tender with shredded zucchini!
As an added bonus, no breadcrumbs makes these lighter and gluten free!
I adore my air fryer, and use it for a variety of meats and veggies. It’s the perfect way to cook your meatballs quickly, and give them a caramelized exterior.
Eat them as-is, or look for serving suggestions below!
What You’ll Need
- Grass-Fed Beef (I use 80/20 from ButcherBox – use this link for free meat when you order!).
- Almond Flour
- Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy free or Whole30 meatballs)
- Italian Seasoning
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Love ground pork? It makes great meatballs! Use 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork for Italian style meatballs.
How to Cook Meatballs in an Air Fryer
Step 1: Add the ground beef and other meatball ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir well until it’s combined well.
Step 2: Scoop the meatball mixture into golf-ball sized scoops, and roll between hands to form smooth meatballs.
Step 3: Preheat the air fryer to 390º F for 5 minutes. After it’s hot, add the meatballs, and set the timer to cook for 12 minutes.
Step 4: Air fry the meatballs until the exteriors have a nice crust, but the interiors are moist and soft. If your air fryer is too small, you might need to do this in 2-3 batches.
Ground beef should be cooked to a temperature of 135º F inside – so if you’re new to using one, you might want to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature the first few times!
Wondering Which Air Fryer to Buy?
I use a 4 qt Ninja Air Fryer. I cook for 2-3 people at a time.
I recommend checking out the 8 QT Ninja Foodi if you have a larger family.
Air fryers are versatile. Especially with kids, these little appliances get a lot of mileage. If you’re on the fence, I vote go for one!
How to Serve Air Fryer Meatballs
With Pasta: Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic! Choose your family’s favorite pasta, heat up some marinara sauce, and top it all with these delicious healthy meatballs.
Meatballs with Zoodles: Keep things low carb and grain free by spiralizing zucchini. Heat up the marinara, and add it on top of raw zucchini noodles, and then top it with the meatballs. Sprinkle on parmesan for fun!
Make these Paleo/Whole30: Skip the parmesan cheese and add additional salt to the meatballs to keep this recipe Whole30 approved!
As an Appetizer: Serve these on their own with a dipping sauce for a protein rich appetizer!
FAQ & How to Store
How to Store: Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze Cooked Meatballs: Pack cooked meatballs in air tight freezer bags or freezer safe containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the air fryer or in a skillet along with your pasta sauce.
How to Meal Prep & Freeze Raw Meatballs: Make these meatballs, and then add to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze until the meatballs are partially frozen (to keep them from sticking together), then pack them in an air tight container. When ready to cook, add frozen meatballs to the air fryer at 350º F for 16-18 minutes, until the centers are cooked through.
Other Healthy Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef (80%)
- 1 cup zucchini finely shredded (about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese optional, omit for Whole30
- 1/4 cup almond flour *use ground brown rice crackers for nut-free option
- 1/4 cup onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- avocado oil to spray or brush on meatballs
- Add the meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl, and stir until well combined.
- Scoop meat, and form meatballs the size of golf balls.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390º for 5 minutes.
- Spray the meatballs with avocado oil (or use a brush). Add the meatballs to the air fryer, and set for 11-12 minutes.
- If desired, heat marinara sauce and add the meatballs to the hot sauce.