Super juicy and flavorful air fryer Italian turkey meatballs take under 15 minutes to make and are the perfect healthy dinner! Serve with your favorite pasta and red sauce for a comforting home-cooked meal.
My favorite turkey meatballs made in an air fryer
By now, you can probably tell that I absolutely love ground turkey recipes. When I am in the mood for an Asian-inspired dinner, I make these teriyaki turkey meatballs, or when I am feeling burgers, I make these air fryer turkey burgers. They are all so delicious!
These air fryer turkey meatballs are sure to be your new favorite dinner recipe. They are super flavorful, juicy, and made with healthy and simple ingredients. We use a mix of dry spices and fresh basil to create the most authentic Italian flavor. Plus, they pair well with pasta, red sauce, or pesto.
If you are short on time, this recipe is perfect for you. They only take 10 minutes to cook and are very easy to throw together. Your kids, friends, and family will love these healthy turkey meatballs.
Are they healthy?
Yes, these air fryer turkey meatballs are certainly healthy. First, they only have 6 simple ingredients plus seasonings. Second, they are a great source of lean protein. Third, they can be made 100% gluten free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs. Lastly, they are filling and nourishing!
Ingredients and substitutions
Air fryer turkey meatballs call for a handful of simple and healthy ingredients. You’ll need lean ground turkey, an egg, and a handful of spices. Here is a list of exactly what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Ground turkey: For the juiciest and most delicious air fryer meatballs, use 93% or 94% lean ground turkey. I do not recommend using 99% lean.
- Egg: One egg helps bind these meatballs together.
- Breadcrumbs: You’ll need 1/3 cup of Italian breadcrumbs to give these air fryer turkey meatballs the best texture. Make sure to use a gluten free brand if needed. You can also use regular bread crumbs and add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Dijon mustard: Add in 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard for the best flavor.
- Garlic powder: Plus, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. You can also use 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves.
- Onion powder: This adds lots of flavor!
- Dried oregano: To get that classic Italian meatball flavor. You can also use 1 – 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano instead if desired.
- Basil: You can’t have Italian meatballs without fresh basil.
- Parmesan: Finally, freshly grated parmesan adds the most wonderful cheesy and Italian flavoring while still being healthy. You can use store-grated parmesan or substitute it for Asiago cheese.
Kitchen tools needed
Air fryer turkey meatballs are so easy to make. They come together in under 15 minutes with these few kitchen tools:
- Air Fryer
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/4 cup, and 1/3 cup.
How to make air fryer Italian turkey meatballs
Everyone is going to love these air fryer meatballs. They are super flavorful, juicy, and packed with fresh basil! Any level cook can make this simple dinner recipe:
First, preheat your air fryer to 360°F and spray the basket with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and gently mix with your hands to fully combine. Be careful not to overwork the mixture, or the meatballs will be tough.
Next, create 16 – 20 meatballs and place them on a plate using a scooper or your hands.
Once the air fryer is heated, evenly space the meatballs to the basket. Make sure they are spaced out and NOT overlapping. If your air fryer basket is too small, do this in two batches.
Finally, air fry for 8 – 10 minutes or until fully cooked (165°F internal temperature). Serve with your favorite marinara, red sauce, or pesto on a bed of pasta, and enjoy!
Tips for cooking extra juicy air fryer meatballs
Don’t overmix. If you overmix the turkey meatball mixture, the meatballs will be tough.
Use Italian bread crumbs. This adds extra flavor to these meatballs. If you use regular bread crumbs, add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. It is better to air fry the turkey meatballs in two batches to ensure they get cooked evenly. Overlapping meatballs will not cook correctly.
Make ahead. Feel free to meal prep this air fryer turkey meatball recipe. You can make them up to 4 days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my turkey meatballs dry?
Dry turkey meatballs result from overcooking, overmixing the meatball mixture, or not adding an egg. These are all completely avoidable!
What is the best air fryer?
I highly recommend using an air fryer with an extra-large basket; if not, you should cook the meatballs in two batches. This is my favorite air fryer!
What’s the best temperature to air fryer turkey meatballs?
You should air fry turkey meatballs at 360 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are extra juicy.
How long should I air fryer turkey meatballs at 360°F?
You should air fry homemade turkey meatballs for 8 to 10 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit. The turkey meatballs are done when their internal temperature is 165°F.
Are these meatballs gluten free?
Yes, these air fryer turkey meatballs are gluten-free. Just make sure to use gluten free Italian breadcrumbs.
Can I make these dairy free?
Yes, simply leave out the parmesan cheese to make these turkey meatballs dairy free. You can substitute it with your favorite dairy-free alternative, like shredded vegan cheese.
How to store, freeze, and reheat leftover air fryer meatballs:
Storing: Place leftovers into one large or individual airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days.
Freeze: For best results, freeze air fryer turkey meatballs without sauce. Let them cool to room temperature, then add them to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Reheat for 30 – 90 seconds until warm. You can also reheat by adding to a large pot with red sauce on the stovetop on low.
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Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer Italian Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey, 93% lean
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup Italian breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan
- Preheat your air fryer to 360°F and lightly grease the basket with cooking spray or use parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Gently mix with your hands to fully combine but do not overwork or the meatballs will be tough.
- Using a scooper or your hands, create 16 – 20 meatballs and place them on a plate.
- Once the air fryer is heated, evenly space the meatballs to the basket. Make sure they are spaced out and NOT overlapping. If your air fryer basket is too small, do this in two batches.
- Air fry for 8 – 10 minutes or until fully cooked (165°F internal temperature).
- Serve with your favorite marinara, red sauce, or pesto on a bed of pasta. Enjoy!
Recipe by Tati Chermayeff / Healthful Blondie + Photos by The Travel Palate
I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. In full disclosure, by purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. Thank you for supporting Healthful Blondie!
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