Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs are just about the simplest meal you can make in the air fryer, using store-bought frozen meatballs, in under 10 minutes.
Air Fryer Meatballs are very versatile, while they are excellent on their own, you can also incorporate them into various dishes. Serve them with your favorite marinara sauce and pasta for a classic spaghetti and meatballs meal. Alternatively, use them in sandwiches, wraps, or sliders for a flavorful twist.
Since you can readily buy frozen meatballs, there’s nothing holding you back from crisping up some for dinner tonight. You don’t even have to thaw them to cook them in the air fryer.
- Frozen meatballs – Buy whatever brand of meatballs you prefer. They can be frozen or fresh, it will only mean the difference of about 1-2 minutes worth of cooking.
- Optional tomato marinara: Canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
- Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
- Meat thermometer: The only way to tell if meat is fully cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this Instant Read thermometer. It’s so quick to open the basket and check the temp.
How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
Season the meatballs with salt and pepper. Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket. There’s no need to thaw the meatballs, or to preheat the air fryer.
Air fry on 380°F (195°C) for 8-12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking. The cook time needed to cook them all the way through depends on their size. Some meatballs are quite small, while others are much larger. You can know when they are done by inserting a meat thermometer into the center of one. When it reaches 165°F (74°C), it’s done.
To make an optional tomato marinara to serve with your meatballs, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until slightly reduced.
Serve the meatballs with the sauce, or any way you like them.
Additional Helpful Tips
- There’s no need to thaw the frozen meatballs before cooking them in the air fryer. If you do, you will need to reduce the cook time.
- Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket with meatballs. If you have too many to fit in a single layer, you might consider cooking them in two batches, to ensure they get browned evenly on all sides.
- Every air fryer is a bit different, so there’s no true one time fits all for this recipe. You will need to adjust the cook time to fit your air fryer.
- A meat thermometer is the best way to know when the meatballs are done, without overcooking them. You want them to be 165°F when done.
Refrigerator: Place the cooked meatballs in an airtight container or ziplock bag and store them in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer: Place the meatballs in an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If you plan to store the meatballs for an extended period, consider using airtight freezer-safe containers or double wrapping them in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for extra protection.
Air Fryer: The air fryer is a great option for reheating meatballs as it helps retain their crispy texture. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and place the meatballs in a single layer, and cook for 5-8 minutes.
Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet, and cover them with foil to prevent drying. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you cook frozen meatballs in the air fryer?
It takes anywhere from 8-12 minutes to cook frozen meatballs in the air fryer on 380°F. The range in time is due to the fact that meatballs come in a variety of sizes. Larger will take longer to cook, while smaller will take less time to cook.
Can I air fry frozen Beyond Meat balls?
Yes, you can air fryer Beyond Meatballs, just like you would regular meatballs. You can put them in the air fryer basket from frozen and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Do I need to spray the meatballs with oil before air fryer?
One of the best things about the air fryer is that you don’t need a lot of oil to cook things, like meatballs. There is a natural amount of fat in meatballs that will help get them crispy on the outside as they cook, without adding any oil.
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Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs
- 12 frozen meatballs
- Salt and pepper to season
For the sauce:
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (32 g) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) salt
- Season the meatballs with salt and pepper. Place the meatballs in the air fryer.
- Air fry on 380°F (195°C) for 8-12 minutes (depending on size), shaking the basket halfway through cooking.
- To make the optional tomato sauce, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until slightly reduced.
- Serve the meatballs with the sauce, or any way you like them.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find Instant Pot recipes at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.