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Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs (Air Fryer Recipe)

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs (Air Fryer Recipe)

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs in the air fryer?! Yes, these juicy easy air fryer meatballs come together super quick and you can make them right in your air fryer. Whip these up and serve with your favorite sauce for dipping. Marinara sauce is a favorite. You can also use them in any recipe requiring a meatball. For example, meatball subs, yum!

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs

Homemade meatballs don’t have to be complicated and using ground chicken, they can actually be healthy! This is sure to become one of your favorite air fryer recipes.

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs Tips/Tricks

First and foremost with any ground meat recipe is not to over mix it. I mix together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, olive oil , eggs and cheese first. I then use a fork to mix the meat in. No one wants tough meatballs. You want a nice fluffy and light meatball mixture Make sure you use a large bowl for this task.

To ensure good browning, you want to put these in a single layer in your air fryer basket or baking sheet. The hot air has to circulate around the meatballs to achieve that nice crust.

I also spray the tops of my meatballs with olive oil cooking spray. Chicken doesn’t have a lot of fat in it, so this will help with browning.

Air fryers can vary so the cooking time on these is approximate. As with any recipe, start checking it at just shy of the low end of the cook time. I also like to use an instant-read thermometer with all meat recipes to ensure I’ve achieved a safe internal temperature. A meat thermometer will save you the dread of biting into one that isn’t done.

Chicken Meatball Substitutions

I made this recipe basic on purpose. I wanted you to be able to throw these together in a couple of minutes for an easy quick dinner or serve them at the holidays with your favorite sauce. Easy and versatile homemade air fryer meatballs is the goal.

I like to use Pecorino Ramano because it’s a bit stronger than parmesan cheese, but feel free to sub in the parmesan. If you don’t like ground chicken or you can’t find it, ground turkey, lean ground beef or a pound of ground pork will do. Any of these substitutions would be a crowd pleasure.

I used garlic powder here, but Italian seasoning, fresh garlic cloves, onion powder, fresh parsley or some combo of fresh herbs would work fine. If you need this recipe to be gluten free just sub in gluten free bread crumbs.

If you need to make a lot of meatballs to entertain with, simply double the recipe and make a big batch. I like to do this and freeze half of the raw meatballs for another meal!

Storing Leftover Meatballs

Prepared meatballs will keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days. To freeze simply place meatballs in a freezer Ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Add a few minutes to the cooking time if cooking from frozen. I also like to wrap them in aluminum foil or parchment paper before freezing to further protect them from getting freezer burn.

Affiliate Links

Here are the products I recommend for this recipe. When you purchase from these links, you support the blog as I make a small commission. Your support means the world to me.

I love my Ninja Foodie Air Fryer Oven. I love that it replaces my toaster, toaster oven and air fryer with one easy appliance.

Leaving a Rating and Review

I just know this is going to become one of your favorite recipes. I hope you’ll take the time to leave a rating and review. Air-fried Meatballs are sure to become a staple in your meal plan.




Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs

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Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs (Air Fryer Recipe)

Easy Lean Chicken Meatballs can be used in a variety of dishes. These high protein lean meatballs are perfect as an appetizer or with your favorite marinara for spaghetti and meatballs. Make a large batch and freeze them for easy and delicious meals throughout your week.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 190 kcal


  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Peccorino Romano Cheese Grated
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Dried Minced Onion You'll find this on the spice Aisle.


  • Mix the chicken together with all the other ingredients. Do not overmix. You want tender meatballs.

Oven Instructions ( See below for Air Fryer cook time. All other instructions are the same.)

  • Line a sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
  • Drizzle the parchment with some olive oil.  Roll the meatballs into small one inch balls. I used a small cookie scoop to portion everything out. You'll get about 30 meatballs this way.
  • Place the meatballs on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. The meatballs should get nice and golden as shown.
  • If you're going to freeze these for a later use lay them out on a clean cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze after cooking. Place them in a zip top bag and store in the freezer. The day before you want to cook them, put them in the fridge to thaw. The next day toss them with your favorite sauce or just enjoy them on their own.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Lay meatballs in basket in a single layer. You may need to air fry in batches.
  • Air fry at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Because air fryers can vary, be sure to check the internal temperature of your meatballs before serving.


Recipe was adapted from Pinch of Yum.
Gluten Free: You could sub in gluten free quick cooking oats or almond flour for the bread crumbs. If you do this add in 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil and oregano. The seasoned breadcrumbs help flavor the meatballs and since the almond flour isn't seasoned, you won't have that benefit.
Other Protein Options: You could use lean ground beef or turkey for these if you prefer it. We just personally love ground chicken.


Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 4gFat: 8g
Keyword Chicken meatballs, meatballs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

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Joann Hirsch

Saturday 8th of August 2020

These easy lean chicken meatballs were delicious and easy to prepare. Literally took 5 minutes to make and served them with a white wine butter sauce. I will be making them again very soon!!!


Monday 10th of August 2020

Hi Joann! I'm so happy you enjoyed these! They are a favorite around here!

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