I love turkey meatballs and these air fryer turkey meatballs have become my family’s favorite recipe.
If you are short on time you can always cook up some frozen meatballs in the air fryer. Which I do make, on occasion.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Nutritious and flavorful
- It only takes 15 minutes!
- Simple ingredients
- Great for meal prep!
- The best gluten-free meatballs
- Easy air fryer recipe
Ingredients you will need
*You can find a complete list of recipe ingredients with measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Ground turkey – I used 93/7 organic ground turkey but any ground turkey will work in this recipe. If you are using a leaner ground turkey then you may need to add a bit of oil (about 1 teaspoon) to the meatball mixture if it looks dry. You can also add some chicken stock or turkey stock.
- Breadcrumbs – any breadcrumbs will work in this recipe. I used gluten-free breadcrumbs. You could also use cooked, cooled quinoa or brown rice.
- Grated parmesan cheese – this gives the meatballs a slightly salty, cheesy flavor with a nice golden outer layer.
- Egg – one large egg to help hold the meatball mixture together.
- Olive oil – to help them get nice and golden when they cook.
- Worcestershire sauce – to give the meatballs a nice umami flavor that is so good!
- Dijon mustard – for a little zippy taste to the meatballs.
- Seasoning – garlic powder, chili powder, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
- For the sweet and spicy sauce – chili sauce + apricot preserves.
How to make turkey meatballs in the air fryer
This is a quick and easy 10-minute ground turkey meatballs recipe your whole family will love!
- Make the meatball mixture: Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and mix well to combine.
- Form the meatballs. Use a small ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon to equally measure the meatballs into 1.5-inch balls. This recipe will make 15-17 homemade meatballs.
- Cook. Working in batches, add the meatballs in a single layer to a preheated air fryer and cook them for about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Per the recipe card below.
- Mix up the sauce. Add the chili sauce and apricot preserves to a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine into a crazy good sweet and spicy sauce.
- Serve. When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, pour the sauce over them, and toss them in the sauce. Serve warm cooked rice and veggies.
These air fryer meatballs cook so well and brown up nicely in minutes. They taste just as good as beef meatballs but are much healthier.
Tips for making the best air fryer turkey meatballs
- Use good quality ground turkey meat. I used organic 93/7 lean ground turkey for this recipe, which was perfect.
- Roll the meatballs a little smaller than usual. Rolling these meatballs into 1.5-inch balls or smaller will allow them to cook faster and not dry out. Using a small ice cream scoop or rounded tablespoon to portion the mixture will really help create even size meatballs that will all cook at the same time.
- Use a little bit of olive oil in this recipe. There is a little bit of olive oil in this recipe which allows the meatballs to get nice and crispy when cooked in the air fryer. It still ends up being much less oil than what is used to make traditional meatballs.
- Make sure to spray the air fryer basket with non-aerosol olive oil cooking spray before you add the meatballs so that they don’t stick to the basket. You could also use a parchment paper liner, which also makes clean-up a breeze.
- Flip the meatballs in the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking time to get them nice and gold on all sides.
- Toss the meatballs in the sauce right after they are done cooking, while they are still hot so the sauce sticks to them better. You can also serve them with your favorite tomato sauce.
Can I use a different type of ground meat to make these meatballs?
Yes, you can use a different type of meat to make these turkey meatballs. Ground beef, ground chicken, or even ground pork would all work great in this recipe. You may need to adjust the cooking time based on the type of meat you use, so watch them closely.
How can you tell when turkey meatballs are done?
Cooked turkey meatballs will be golden brown and firm on the outside and nice and juicy with no visible pink in the center. To ensure the meatballs are fully cooked, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatballs. Once it reaches 165 degrees F, it is done.
Ways to serve turkey meatballs
These meatballs work great as an appetizer or complete meal paired with some other easy healthy side dishes. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve these turkey meatballs.
- Layered on top of this Simple Sautéed Spinach With Garlic.
- Pile them onto some cooked brown rice topped with herbs and chopped green onions as I did.
- Enjoy them with some healthy easy Roasted Broccoli.
- Lay them on top of this insane Mashed Butternut Squash.
- Pair them with these Butternut Squash Noodles for a lower-carb spin on spaghetti and meatballs.
- Serve them with a hearty, healthy salad like this Easy Kale Salad, this Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, or this Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Salad.
Storing and reheating tips
- Storing: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend storing the meatballs cooked, but not rolled in the sauce.
- Reheating: you can reheat these meatballs right in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3-4 minutes, then roll them in the sauce. Reheat them in the microwave until warmed through if they have been covered in the sauce.
How do I freeze turkey meatballs?
After you have cooked the meatballs, before you toss them in the sauce, let them cool then place them onto a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for at least 1 hour. Then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container and keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Other healthy meatball recipes
More easy air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Easy Air Fryer Turkey Meatloaf
- Air Fryer Turkey Bacon
- Easy Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas
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