Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are super easy to make and they turn out beautifully browned, tender and juicy. They are delicious as part of a meal, as an appetizer, or even in a sandwich or a pita, like with these yummy Greek Meatballs.
The air fryer just keeps impressing us! We recently used it to make Air Fryer Flank Steak, Air Fryer Meatloaf Air Fryer Carrots, Air Fryer Orange Chicken and even Air Fryer Whole Chicken, among others. Now we know that meatballs in the air fryer are amazing!
Why Turkey Meatballs in the Air Fryer?
- Turkey is a lean protein, and when it's cooked in the air fryer, very little oil is needed, making these a healthier meatball.
- They only take 10 minutes to make!
- These turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs are gluten-free.
- Cooking turkey meatballs in the air fryer gives them a beautiful browned crust, but keeps them juicy and tender on the inside.
- Air fried turkey meatballs are super easy to make, and delicious.
- These healthy turkey meatballs are perfect for meal prep and they freeze well, too.
You don't need a lot of ingredients to make these delicious gluten-free turkey meatballs.
- Ground Turkey Packages that are simply labeled "ground turkey" are usually a mix of turkey thighs and breast. If the package says "ground turkey breast" it will be too lean for juicy meatballs and they will be dry. Choose the "ground turkey" option which will contain a little more fat for perfect juicy meatballs.
- Onion a small onion diced is around a half cup. You can use white, yellow or red onion. For meatballs, the onion should be finely diced.
- Parmesan Cheese not only does freshly grated Parmesan add delicious flavour, but it also acts as a binder keeping the meatballs from falling apart. And as a bonus, any cheese on the outside of the meatballs gets nicely crisp.
- Mayonnaise My favourite secret ingredient for turkey meatballs. The egg in the mayonnaise acts as a binder and the oil helps the meatballs stay moist. Mayo also adds a bit of tang.
- Seasonings You always need garlic, and a splash of hot sauce is optional. I use Franks, but any hot sauce will do. I also use parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage. But you can use a poultry or Italian seasoning blend, or any seasonings.
How to Make This Healthy Meatball Recipe
These gluten free turkey meatballs are so easy to make!
- Put all ingredients in a bowl
- Combine with a fork or your hands, without over mixing.
- Roll into 1 ¼ inch balls
- Place in a single layer in air fryer basket
Cook 10 minutes!
- Because there are no breadcrumbs, the mixture may be wet. To make it easier to roll into balls, put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling and cooking.
- Mix until just combined. Over mixing can result in less than tender meatballs.
- Try to get the meatballs the same size for even cooking. A melon baller, or cookie scoop works great for this.
- This recipe makes 18 1 ¼" meatballs. You can make them larger or smaller, but will need to increase or decrease the cooking time accordingly. Find out how many meatballs you'll get with this fun Meatball Calculator.
- Spray the air fryer basket lightly with cooking spray. Avocado oil works great.
- Don't crowd the air fryer basket. Cook the meatballs in a single layer and leave space between them. You will probably need to cook in batches.
- Flip the meatballs halfway through cooking to brown all sides.
Turkey Meatball FAQ's
If the ground turkey is overworked, it can become rubbery. To avoid this, try mixing all the other ingredients first, then adding the ground turkey and gently incorporating it with your hands. Stop as soon as everything is combined.
Your meatballs will be dry if you overwork them, as mentioned above, but also if you use ground turkey breast instead of ground turkey. Turkey breast is very lean, and it's best used in other recipes.
Turkey needs a binder to keep the meatballs together. Many recipes use breadcrumbs and/or eggs for this. This recipe, however, is gluten free, and the binder is mayonnaise rather than egg, because mayonnaise contains egg, but also it contains oil, adding even more moisture. Parmesan cheese is also a good binder as it melts. This ground turkey recipe will not fall apart.
If you haven't yet jumped on the air fryer bandwagon, (when you do, I recommend this one) you can make oven baked turkey meatballs. Just preheat your oven to 400°, place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Ground turkey needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°. The only safe way to tell this is to use a meat thermometer. It's an inexpensive tool that ensures food safety as well as perfectly cooked meat. Every kitchen should have one.
Freezing Instructions For Air Fried Meatballs
Allow the turkey meatballs to cool completely before putting them on a parchment lined baking tray in a single layer. Put the tray in the freezer for about an hour to flash freeze. Pack them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat from frozen, put the frozen meatballs in the air fryer at 350° for 5-6 minutes.
The glorious thing about these healthy meatballs is their versatility. Check out these delicious ways to enjoy them.
Turkey Meatball Main Dishes
- Have these healthy turkey meatballs with pasta and sauce, of course, or:
- Toss them with Honey Teriyaki Sauce, or make Hoisin Meatballs and serve over rice, Cauliflower Fried Rice, or Cabbage Stir-Fry.
- Put them in a submarine roll spread with warm marinara sauce and top with mozzarella before toasting under the broiler (or in the air fryer). So good.
- Try this simple Baked Sweet & Sour Meatballs (Turkey Meatballs)
- Try these Cajun Turkey Meatballs. Just put out some toothpicks and dipping sauces and watch them disappear. We love these for game days.
- Merlot Meatball Appetizers are amazing and perfect for holiday gatherings.
Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs (Gluten Free)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 small onion diced finely
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried sage or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- ½ tsp dried rosemary or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
- In a large bowl, gently combine all ingredients
- If the mixture is quite wet, refrigerate it for 30 minutes
- Roll the turkey mixture into balls about 1 ¼ inches
- Lightly spray the surface of the air fryer basket with oil and preheat it to 400°
- Place meatballs in a single layer in air fryer basket, leaving space between them
- Air fry 10 minutes, turning halfway through
- Garnish with parsley before serving
Turned out delicious with a nice crisp!
So happy to hear this Katie! Thanks for your comment!
Such a great idea to use your air fryer for these meatballs! The notes and suggestions in the recipe are so helpful
Hi Hayley, I so happy to know you found the notes helpful! Thanks for sharing.
these air fryer turkey meatball looks so juicy and healthy. definitely a fan of leaner healthier meat options!
Hi Nancy, I love the air fryer for healthier cooking.
First time making meatballs with my air fryer and I am so impressed! These came out delicious!
I'm so happy to hear this, Tammy! Thanks for sharing!
I love turkey meatballs and make them all the time! I think it's time for me to buy an air fryer, cause it looks like it makes so many wonderful dishes!
These meatballs look so good...yet another reason to get an air fryer. What kind do you have and do you like it?
Hi Bernice. I have a Gourmia GAF698 and really like it. It's easy to clean and the basket is big enough for two of us. But we often have more than just us to feed, so have thought about getting a second one. 😊
It's so great that these meatballs are gluten-free, I'm having some friends over who are gluten intolerant and these are going to be perfect!
I hope you and your friends love these, Tristin!