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Healthier Air Fryer Meatballs

Add in mushrooms for a lighter meatball.
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How do you make meatballs that hold their shape without feeling dense and dry? These air fryer meatballs are lightly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. For a healthier option, finely chopped white mushrooms are blended with ground meat to reduce calories and fat content.

When mixing the meatballs, be gentle and don't overwork the blend, especially when shaping. A small cookie scoop is perfect for creating consistent meatballs, then using your hands to lightly shape them for a lighter, tender end product.

Makes about 24 meatballs


1 lb lean ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups finely chopped white mushrooms
1/2 cup Panko
Fourth and Heart Ghee Spray or other high heat cooking spray
1/2 cup light fruit jelly, like apricot, for serving (optional)

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the mushrooms in a single layer, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until any moisture evaporates. Cool and add to the beef mixture, and stir until lightly combined.
  3. Fold in the Panko and mix until evenly distributed. Using your hands or two spoons, form small meatballs.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Spray the meatballs with cooking spray and place them in the air fryer in a single layer, working in batches if needed. Fry them for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown with an internal temperature of 165°F.
  5. If using jelly, heat it on the stove. Pour over meatballs and toss to coat.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

3.4/5 (88 Reviews)
Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD
Carlene Thomas RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and culinary creator. Read more about Carlene