Air fryer chicken meatballs are made from scratch using ground chicken and seasonings for a delicious ball of meat.
The garlic butter sauce that pairs with them is easy to make and rich in taste.
Made to be tender, juicy, and packed with flavor, these air fryer chicken balls are a perfect appetizer or addition to your meal. Air fried chicken meatballs only take about 10 minutes to cook and come together in minutes, making it a fast protein perfect for snacking on all week long or perfect for getting dinner on the table quickly on those busy days.
This ground chicken meatballs air fryer recipe is a great recipe to use for anything from a simple pasta night with the family to appetizers at your next tailgate event with friends. There’s no wrong time to serve up these air fry chicken meatballs so go ahead and find as many reasons as you can to cook up a batch. You can always freeze some for later too.
- Ground chicken
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chili flakes *optional
- Italian seasoning
For the Sauce, you will need:
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh parsley
- Chili flakes *optional
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
Combine the ground chicken meat with egg, breadcrumbs, garlic and onion powder, chili flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, and olive oil and mix well until combined in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Form the meatballs and leave them on a plate to the side as you go.
Spray the basket in the air fryer with olive oil to help make it nonstick.
Add some chicken meatballs to the basket, be careful not to overcrowd it.
Cook at 392 degrees F for 10 minutes, and make sure to rotate/flip the meatballs halfway through the cooking process.
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the garlic sauce by pressing or mincing the garlic and setting it aside.
Chop the fresh parsley and set it aside as well.
Melt your butter in a pan, and then add the minced garlic and parsley. Add in the chili flakes if using.
Cook over medium-low heat while stirring constantly to make sure that the garlic doesn’t burn. Once the garlic is golden and fragrant, remove the sauce from the pan and add it to a serving container.
Once all of the meatballs have been cooked, serve with a drizzling of the garlic butter sauce.
Serve hot, and enjoy!
- This air fryer chicken meatballs recipe is already dairy-free (with the exception of the butter in the garlic butter sauce). You can replace the butter with a plant-based alternative or serve your meatballs with another marinara sauce instead to keep this dish dairy-free.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make the meatballs gluten-free.
- Chicken meatballs can become overcooked and dry rather quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on them as they cook. Smaller meatballs (about 1.5 inches wide) will cook faster than larger ones. The chicken meatballs are safe to eat once they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
- Do NOT overwork the meatball ingredients when mixing them up. This will cause the meatballs to turn out tough and chewy. You just want the ingredients to come together, do not overmix.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Meatballs
You can freeze your raw and cooked chicken meatballs for later. This is great for meal prepping in advance! They should last in the freezer for about 3 months.
To freeze them while they are raw:
Shape the meatballs and place them onto a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for several hours until solid before transferring to an airtight container.
To freeze once cooked:
Let them cool completely, and then freeze solid on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to an airtight container.
How to cook frozen chicken meatballs
- Whether you’re using raw or already cooked meatballs, you will need to preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Place your meatballs into the air fryer basket without overcrowding them.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point. Continue to cook as needed until they reach 165 degrees F.
What to Serve With Chicken Meatballs
These meatballs would be great served as-is with toothpicks as an appetizer, but they’d also be great without the garlic butter sauce and serving them in marinara sauce, salads, soups, gyro sandwiches, and more. Serve cooked meatballs in rice bowls or on top of pizzas, and it’s sure to be delicious either way.
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground chicken?
Yes, you can use ground turkey for this recipe. You could also use dark chicken meat or white chicken meat, or a combination of meats such as chicken, turkey, and pork.
How long are leftover chicken meatballs good for?
You can keep your cooked chicken meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat again until warmed through before serving.
How long to air fry chicken meatballs
The time needed to cook chicken meatballs in air fryer will depend on the size and temperature of the meatballs. Larger meatballs will take longer to cook, and frozen takes a little longer than room temp or fridge temp meatballs. I recommend cooking them for 10 minutes and checking on them every minute or two afterward until they are fully cooked.
Can I bake the chicken meatballs instead?
Yes, just line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your meatballs on top. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until crispy and heated through.
For more delicious air fryer recipes, check out these tasty suggestions:
- Air Fryer Pancakes
- Air Fryer Tilapia with Easy Mango Salsa
- Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Healthy Air Fryer Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Air Fryer Fingerling Potatoes
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with Honey Lemon Dressing Recipe
- 2 pounds ground chicken meat (it can be chicken breast or chicken thighs)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + olive oil spray
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional for spicier meatballs)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 big bunch of fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional as well)
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the ground chicken meat with the egg, breadcrumbs, garlic and onion powder, chili flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, and olive oil and mix well until well combined.
- Start forming the meatballs and leave them on a plate as you go.
- Spray the basket of your air fryer with olive oil spray.
- Add some of the chicken meatballs and cook for 10 minutes for 392F/200C, making sure to flip them halfway.
While the meatballs are cooking prepare the garlic and butter sauce:
- Start by pressing the garlic cloves (or finely mincing) and set aside.
- Finely chop the fresh parsley and set it aside too.
- In a pan add the butter and melt, then add to the melted butter the minced garlic and the chopped parsley. Add the chili flakes too at this point.
- Cook on medium-low stirring constantly to make sure the garlic buts don’t burn (easier than you would think!)
- Once the garlic is golden and fragrant, remove it from the heat and transfer it into a crystal container.
- Work the chicken meatballs in batches, so you make sure they do not overcrowd in the air fryer basket, and they have enough room for the air to circulate.
- Once all the meatballs are cooked, drizzle them with the garlic butter sauce.
- Serve them hot and enjoy!