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Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs

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These air fryer chicken meatballs are packed full of zesty lemon, earthy garlic, breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes.

Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs in a white serving bowl.

Looking for a super versatile recipe that can be used as a main course or an appetizer? Well, look no further!

These air fryer chicken meatballs are made with ground chicken, fresh lemon, breadcrumbs, earthy garlic, and red pepper flakes (for a little heat). And thanks to the help of our air fryer, they come out perfectly juicy and tender every time.

They’re perfect for pasta, sandwiches, salads, or party appetizers! And the best part is, clean-up is a breeze.

Whether you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, or you need a delicious appetizer for a party, these air fryer chicken meatballs will be your new go-to!

Ingredient to make chicken meatballs on a table.
Meatball mixture in a bowl.

Ingredients for air fryer chicken meatballs

  • Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs will help the meatballs stay together.
  • Lemon zest – lemon zest will add a burst of fresh lemony flavor. 
  • Kosher salt – Kosher salt is important to help enhance all of the flavors of our air fryer chicken meatballs.
  • Red pepper flakes – Red pepper flakes will add a subtle heat to our meatballs.
  • Egg – The egg will help emulsify and bind all of the meatball ingredients.
  • Garlic – A classic ingredient that will add earthiness to the meatballs.
  • Ground chicken – Our protein of choice for these tasty meatballs.
  • Olive oil – A healthy fat that will help add moisture. 
Uncooked air fryer chicken meatballs in a air fryer basket.
Cooked chicken meatballs in an air fryer basket.

Freeze ahead

I love making up a big batch of meatballs, and then freezing and storing them so I can have delicious meatballs whenever I want.

It’s super easy to do!

Simply cook and cool the meatballs completely, and arrange meatballs on a baking sheet (make sure they aren’t touching so they don’t stick together).

Pop the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze the meatballs until solid.

Remove frozen meatballs from the baking sheet and place them in a freezer-safe storage bag, and freeze them for up to 3 months!

A chicken meatball cut in half.

Serving suggestions

There are so many delicious ways to use these air fryer chicken meatballs!

Pasta: these can easily be incorporated into any pasta dish, like a spicy penne arrabbiata, or a savory roasted tomato goat cheese pasta.

Salads: you could easily toss these air fryer chicken meatballs in a delicious green goddess salad, or replace the grilled chicken with these air fryer chicken meatballs in my grilled chicken caesar salad

Appetizers: put these air fryer chicken meatballs on a toothpick for guests ready to dip into some cool and creamy tzatziki sauce, or into a savory french onion dip.

Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is basically a tabletop convection oven.

It mimics the outcome of a deep fat fryer but without the use of oil. Hot hair is moved around via a fan that quickly and crisply cooks up the food.

The 2 most common air fryers you’ll see are basket style (that is what I have) or convection/toaster oven style.

There are pluses to both but I personally prefer my basket style.

What is the best air fryer to buy?

I prefer the basket-style air fryer as it’s a bit smaller and takes up less room than the toaster oven-style air fryer.

My biggest tip when it comes to air fryers is to make sure you pick a style that will work the most for your family and the amount of food you will be cooking.

My large basket-style air fryer can cook up to 12 wings, 2-4 servings of french fries, etc. which works well for my household.

A fork picking up a Air Fryer Chicken Meatball.

Storage and leftovers

Any leftover air fryer chicken meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, simply place on a microwave-safe dish covered loosely with a damp paper towel and heat 2-3 minutes or until heated thoroughly. 

A bowl of Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs served with parmesan cheese.

More meatball recipes

Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs

Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs

Yield: 20 meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These air fryer chicken meatballs are packed full of zesty lemon, earthy garlic, breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes.


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Grease the basket of the air fryer with olive oil spray or brush it with olive oil. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. 
  3. Next, add the beaten egg and grated garlic. Mix to combine. 
  4. Finally, add the chicken and very gently mix to combine. You don’t want to compact the meat or you’ll end up with dense meatballs. 
  5. Coat your hands with olive oil and scoop out golf ball-sized portions. Roll them into smooth balls and place them in the air fryer, making sure not to overcrowd the basket. I got about 20 meatballs.
  6. Cook the meatballs at 380 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until the outside of the meatballs is golden brown and the inside registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. 
  7. Coat the meatballs in the sauce (below) and sprinkle with grated parmesan and flakey sea salt, if using. Enjoy immediately. 
  8. Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs pin for Pinterest.

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