Air fryer frozen meatballs make for a quick appetizer or an easy addition to weeknight meals like spaghetti with tomato sauce. Just open the package, pop them in the air fryer, and you’ll have food on the table in 12 minutes or less!
If you haven’t already noticed, I’m on a little bit of an air fryer kick lately. I mean, what’s not to love about quick recipes, fast cleanup, and healthy food? It’s the perfect combination!
Plus, if you have picky eaters at home, you can bet they’re going to love dunking meatballs in classic dips like barbecue, ketchup, honey mustard, and more. There are countless ways to serve these super easy meatballs!
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy: Open a bag of frozen meatballs and pop them straight into your air fryer. Take a load off on busy weeks by making use of this handy kitchen appliance!
- Quick: From start to finish, cooking frozen meatballs in the air fryer takes all of 12 minutes. There is no need to fuss over preheating the oven or stovetop, or defrosting the meatballs!
- Versatile: Use meatballs as a snack or appetizer with your favorite sauces, or add them to mains for a well-balanced meal.
- Healthy: High in protein and other nutrients, meatballs make the perfect addition to a healthy diet.
- Kid-friendly: Meatballs are not just enjoyed by adults, they are also 100% kid-approved! They make a great option for after-school snacks, movie nights, or lunches.
Easy Air Fryer Meatballs
Made with just 2 simple ingredients, air fryer frozen meatballs are one of my favorite recipes to make when I’m short on time. I can add them to spaghetti and tomato sauce, or serve them with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes for a quick, easy, and incredibly flavorful meal.
That’s not all! Try adding them to meatball subs, rice pilaf, or fried cabbage and egg noodles. Unlike the oven, the air fryer results in meatballs that are soft on the inside yet perfectly crispy on the outside. My family always goes a little crazy when they smell me cooking them!
In case you’re wondering, I use a Ninja Foodi Air Fryer for all of my air fryer needs. It’s served me well, from pizza rolls and French fries to “grilled” chicken breast and chicken nuggets. I can always trust my air fryer to keep me sane during busy weeks!
Ingredients For Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
See the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.
- Frozen Meatballs: Use your favorite brand and variety of frozen meatballs in the air fryer. You can opt for any flavor you like!
- Olive oil: Use olive oil cooking spray to evenly coat the meatballs and the air fryer basket. Alternatively, you can use canola oil or another neutral cooking spray.
- Sauce: To toss or dip the meatballs in once they are done cooking. My go-to options are barbecue or tomato sauce, but you can use whichever sauce you prefer.
How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
Step 1: Prepare The Meatballs
Place the frozen meatballs in the basket insert of your air fryer, spreading them out into a single even layer. You can cook the meatballs in batches if need be. Coat the meatballs evenly with cooking spray.
Step 2: Air Fry The Meatballs
Air fry the meatballs at 380°F for 8-12 minutes, or until heated all the way through. The cooking time will vary slightly depending on the size of your meatballs.
Remember to gently shake and turn them at the halfway point. This will also give you a good idea of how fast they are cooking.
Step 3: Toss Them In Sauce
If desired, heat your favorite sauce and toss it with the meatballs before serving.
Alternatively, serve your meatballs with a side of bbq sauce or marinara sauce, on top of spaghetti, as Swedish meatballs, or in any recipe that calls for meatballs!
What To Serve With Meatballs
Air fryer meatballs make a quick and easy addition to recipes like spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, pizza, meatball wraps, and French onion soup meatballs.
You can serve air fryer meatballs for a snack or appetizer with horseradish sauce, garlic butter, or Alabama white BBQ sauce. Alternatively, toss the meatballs in sweet and sour sauce, honey garlic sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
- Flavored: There are many options when it comes to frozen meatball flavors. Try Italian, Asian, Indian, etc. Use the flavor that will complement your meal the best.
- Different protein: If beef isn’t your thing, try chicken, turkey, or even vegan meatballs.
- Sauce: Experiment with different sauces! Try classics like BBQ and ketchup, or branch out with sweet chili, teriyaki, buffalo, or Sriracha hot sauce.
Tips For The Best Recipe
- Don’t overcrowd the basket: Overcrowding the basket can cause air to get trapped and not circulate properly. Make sure the meatballs are in a single layer and not stacked on one another. If you need, make them in batches to avoid a soggy texture.
- Shake halfway: Around the 4-6 minute mark, give the air fryer basket a gentle shake to evenly cook the meatballs on all sides.
- Use spray oil: Adding a little bit of cooking spray will help prevent the meatballs from sticking to the air fryer, resulting in an even crispier texture.
- Avoid overcooking: No one likes dry meatballs, so watch for the outside to be lightly browned. If you want to be exact, use an instant-read thermometer and make sure the internal temperature reads 160 degrees F.
What To Do With Leftovers
The great thing about air fryer frozen meatballs is that they store extremely well. Here’s what to do so they stay fresh for longer:
- Fridge: Keep the meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- Freezer: Once the meatballs are fully cooled, you can freeze them again. Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, and they’ll last for up to 1 month.
- Reheat: To reheat your meatballs in the air fryer, set it to 325 degrees F and cook them for 3-4 minutes, or until warmed all the way through.
If you love easy-to-make dishes as much as I do, try some more of my most popular air fryer recipes like these:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I thaw frozen meatballs before air frying?
You do not have to thaw meatballs before air frying them. It’s actually not recommended as cooking them from frozen will yield the crispiest meatballs.
How long does it take to cook frozen meatballs in the air fryer?
To cook frozen meatballs in the air fryer, add them to the basket in a single layer and cook them at 380 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of your specific meatballs.
Crispy Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
- 1 pound Meatballs (frozen)
- Olive oil spray
- Sauce for dipping ( (optional))
- Place the frozen meatballs in the air fryer basket and spread out into a single even layer (cook in batches if needed). Coat the meatballs evenly with oil spray.
- Air Fry at 380°F for 8-12 minutes (depending on size) or until heated all the way through, gently shaking and turning the meatballs halfway through cooking.
- If desired, heat your favorite sauce & toss with the meatballs before serving.
- Alternatively, serve with bbq sauce, marinara sauce, on top of spaghetti, or in any recipe that requires meatballs.