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Air fryer sausage meatballs

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Meal times in our home can often be a busy event. With multiple food allergies, and aversions, I am often cooking 2 or 3 different dinners. Obviously one of the cons of most air fryers is that you can’t cook lots of different things at once, unless you’ve got racks. What I love about these air fryer sausage meatballs is that they are incredibly simple to make, quick too, and I can place the rack over the top of them and cook something else at the same time too.

Often making your own meatballs, from scratch, is healthier, cheaper and they have more flavour too. I love being able to customise the ingredients of meatballs depending on which members of my family will be eating them.

These sausage meatballs take just a couple of minutes to prepare and cook in just 12 minutes too. They are super simple to prepare, tasty and always a hit with everyone in my family.

I love to cook pressure cooker spaghetti, and my homemade roasted tomato pizza sauce, to make a super tasty and simple midweek meal that I know my whole family will love, all ready in just 15 minutes.

Not every air fryer meal that I make looks particularly nice. The presentation of these is not the nicest meal I have ever served, but they’re a real crowd pleaser, simple to make and fast too. Ideal for those busy weeknights when I’m cooking multiple meals, batch cooking or just want something super simple to serve up.

A white bowl filled with cooked air fryer sausage meatballs. The bowl is on a chopping board and in the background is a dish filled with tomato ketchup.

Ingredients for air fryer sausage meatballs:

250g sausage meat or sausages (either skinless or with their skins removed)

2 cloves of garlic or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper

30g panko breadcrumbs (sometimes I blitz air fryer croutons in the food processor)

20g parmesan cheese 

Italian seasoning (optional)

A blue bowl containing pressure cooked spaghetti, air fryer meatballs and tomato sauce topped with cheese

Method for making sausage meatballs in the air fryer:

Preheat the air fryer basket to 190C (350F approx).

Place all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl including the optional Italian seasoning if you’re including this.

Wet your hands and then shape the mixture into small sausage balls.

I sometimes use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to help me get an even amount of mixture for each meatball. You can skip this step and just make them a little more rustic if you’d prefer.

I am able to make 12-15 meatballs comfortably from this mixture, 15 are on the smaller size, 12 are more generous. Obviously if you make more or less then you’ll want to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure that they are cooked fully.

Cook them for 12 minutes, shaking the air fryer basket halfway through to help ensure that the meatballs don’t stick to the bottom.

I personally do not use any spray oil, or other oil, during the cooking process as the meatballs are quite high in fat content and typically don’t stick. Shaking the basket up halfway through helps with this anyway.

Check the internal temperature has reached at least 75C (165F) before serving.

A garlic baguette that has been cooked in the air fryer and is in an enamel baking dish

Can you air fry meatballs with sauce?

You can, but I prefer to add the sauce afterwards instead. I like to heat it through on the hob as I find that air fryer meatballs with sauce dry out quite quickly. If you’re just heating through a pasta sauce, or similar, without meat, then you can do this on the hob in just a couple of minutes and with minimal effort.

Alternatively you can place your meatballs into the sauce, top with mozzarella, a little grated parmesan or cheddar cheese and then place them under the broiler or grill for a couple of minutes until golden brown. This works particularly well if you’re going to make meatball subs and is absolutely delicious!

How long do meatballs take in the air fryer? 

Obviously this WILL vary, depending on the size and temperature, but I find 12 minutes for smaller meatballs, at 190C (380F approx), and 15 minutes for very large meatballs.

Bread rolls baked in the air fryer - three rolls on a plate with a pattern on the top of each one that resembles petals on a flower. Text overlay that says air fryer bread rolls

Can you use Italian sausage for sausage meatballs?

Yes, the lovely fennel flavour works SO well for meatballs, and is great as part of a meatball sub too. So much flavour packed into one sausage makes for a perfect meatball, just make sure to remove any skin before using the sausage meat.

Want to cook something else at the same time?

Timings wise I’d really recommend a nice serving of air fryer frozen french fries. They also take around 12 minutes to cook and this is perfect as they’ll absorb all the lovely flavours from the meatballs too. Top with some grated cheese and cook for another 2 minutes before serving for a super simple and delicious meal.

Air fryer cheesy chips (cooked) on greaseproof paper on a baking tray backdrop with text overlay that says 30+ air fryer side dishes

Are air fryer meatballs nice? 

Personally I find them lovely, but I do make sure not to overcook them! We always enjoy ours with beef gravy, tomato ketchup, BBQ sauce or pasta sauce, so they’re never eaten alone.

I find the convenience of them so great. I love that the air fryer has a lid, so there is no fat spitting and it is safer when cooking with little ones around. My air fryer is super simple to clean, I tend to just soak it in the sink, and so it isn’t a burden to use it.

How to air fry sausage meatballs in the Ninja Foodi

Use the air crisp or air fry setting and then follow the method above. I have used my Ninja Foodi for this recipe, and many others. It is so versatile and I cook literally 100s of different meals per year with complete ease.

air fryer sausage rolls spread out in a fan style pattern on a plate. The sausage rolls are topped with sesame seeds and there is a glass dish of tomato ketchup in the middle of the plate they are on

What else can you do with air fryer sausage meatballs?

They would go great in a sub, a panini (I often have leftovers from making my favourite air fryer tuna panini), inside a calzone and they work lovely on top of an air fryer pizza for a meat feast style one too.

What’s good to serve with air fried meatballs? 

We love to serve meatballs with a variety of foods such as my homemade pasta saucekale tomato pasta sauceair fryer mashed potatoesair fryer mashed potato ballsonion gravy, air fryer onions or just with air fryer chips and tomato ketchup! 

Air fryer bacon

What are great toppings for meatballs? 

For me I always keep it nice and simple with a blend of different cheeses, whatever we have in, plus fresh herbs too. Feta, parmesan or cheddar cheese all work very well! I also love to use Italian seasoning, if I’m not using Italian sausages. Fresh basil, torn and shattered over the top, works really well.

While you’re here why not try out some of my other air fryer recipes? 

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

While you’re here be sure to check out some of my favourite air fryer cookbooks and accessories:

A stack of three fruit scones on a glass cake dish, alongside one fruit scone that has been sliced in half and dressed with cream and fruit jam, with text underneath that says 20+ air fryer desserts

How to cook sausage meatballs in the air fryer:

Air fryer sausage meatballs

How to make tasty sausage meatballs in your air fryer.

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword air fryer, meatballs, sausages
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 12 meatballs
Calories 54 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 250 g sausage meat or sausages either skinless or with their skins removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 30 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 20 g parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer basket to 190C (350F approx).
  2. Place all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl including the optional Italian seasoning if you’re including this.
  3. Wet your hands and then shape the mixture into small meatballs.
  4. I sometimes use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to help me get an even amount of mixture for each meatball. You can skip this step and just make them a little more rustic if you’d prefer.
  5. I am able to make 12-15 meatballs comfortably from this mixture, 15 are on the smaller size, 12 are more generous. Obviously if you make more or less then you’ll want to adjust the cooking time slightly to ensure that they are cooked fully.
  6. Cook them for 12 minutes, shaking the air fryer basket halfway through to help ensure that the meatballs don’t stick to the bottom.
  7. I personally do not use any spray oil, or other oil, during the cooking process as the meatballs are quite high in fat content and typically don’t stick. Shaking the basket up halfway through helps with this anyway.
  8. Check the internal temperature has reached at least 75C (165F) before serving.

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

A white bowl filled with cooked air fryer sausage meatballs. The bowl is on a chopping board and in the background is a dish filled with tomato ketchup.
Recipe Rating




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