How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Air Fryer

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Preparing frozen meatballs in the air fryer is a fast and effortless process. Air fry frozen meatballs, and they’re ready to serve in minutes. Perfect for pairing with your favorite sauce or dip.

Suitable for gluten free, low carb, keto, and paleo diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the finished frozen meatballs served in a white bowl

If you’re searching for an easy snack, a quick meal, or a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, start by teaching them how to cook frozen meatballs in the air fryer. Yep, these air fryer frozen meatballs are a quick and simple way to get kids to love cooking.

Additionally, the air fryer magically transforms frozen store-bought meatballs into perfectly cooked meatballs in just minutes. Moreover, the kids will love coating these in marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, and sweet chili sauce. You can also add air fryer frozen meatballs to pasta or mashed potatoes, or simply gobble them up as is.

the completed frozen meatballs served with toothpicks on a white platter

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Cooking frozen meatballs in the air fryer is so quick and straightforward that you will want to keep a bag on hand in the freezer all the time. Plus, they make the perfect snack for game nights, movie nights, an appetizer, or after school.

Air fryer frozen meatballs make a great appetizer when unexpected company shows up. I also love to use Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings or these Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings for an easy, no-fuss finger solution.

air fryer cheat sheet printable

Meatballs cook up perfectly in the air fryer. They go from frozen to slightly crispy with a tender, juicy interior. And the good news is you won’t be using any oil, so they are so much healthier and full of flavor. 

You can enjoy these air fryer meatballs as a snack, combine them with marinara, and serve over pasta for a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love.

There really are aaalllll sorts of ways to cook up frozen meatballs. Learn How To Cook Frozen Meatballs in my handy guide!

Why Make This Air Fryer Meatballs Recipe

  • Quick and Easy – Simple and ready in under 10 minutes.
  • Crispy and tender – Cooking frozen meatballs in the air fryer makes them crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
  • Kid-friendly – Perfect for snacking.
  • Affordable – Grab a bag of budget-friendly frozen precooked meatballs.
  • Versatile – Coat or dip the air fryer frozen meatballs in your favorite sauce. We love making this easy Air Fryer Pasta Sauce to go with ours!

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Ingredient Notes For Meatballs

  • First, we’re using store-bought precooked meatballs that we haven’t thawed for this recipe. Therefore, they are cooked straight from frozen.
  • In addition, you need no oil for cooking these.
  • Good frozen meatballs come in a variety of sizes. So, please note that you may need to adjust your cooking time slightly for smaller meatballs, larger meatballs, or if you are not using precooked frozen meatballs. 

Ready to learn how to cook frozen meatballs in air fryer? Then grab the frozen meatballs ingredients, and I will show you…

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Air Fryer

Don’t forget to check out my best air fryer tips to get better results with every recipe.

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Firstly, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  2. Then, place frozen meatballs inside the air fryer basket and air fry them, cooking in batches if needed. This ensures that the air fryer cooks the food evenly.
  3. Air fry the meatballs and cook for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown, just on top. Turn meatballs halfway through cook time, or shake the air fryer basket halfway through.
  4. Finally, serve as is, add them to the sauce, or serve with a dipping sauce on the side.
image collage showing the steps for making air fryer frozen meatballs

Expert Recipe Tips For Meatballs In Air Fryer

  • Don’t crowd the air fryer basket. Place meatballs in a single layer; leaving some space will allow the air to circulate so the exterior gets nice and crispy and the interior has a juicy inside.
  • Before air frying, preheat your air fryer to ensure even cooking and help to achieve that crispy exterior.
  • As per the recipe notes, preheat the air fryer for best results.
  • You will only fit around 20 meatballs at a time, so plan to cook the meatballs in batches.
  • Good meatballs can be served as is or coated in sauce.
  • No extra oil is needed for this recipe. 
  • In addition, gently shake the air fryer basket halfway through the time to turn the meatballs. 
  • Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific air fryer model and exercise caution to ensure safe and effective use.
  • Grab our Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet for more information.

Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness, then adding more time as needed.

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Air Fryer Tools on Amazon.

Delicious Variations Of Meatballs In An Air Fryer

  • Switch up the seasoning – Meatballs are available in various flavors or even unflavored. For example, Italian, Asian, or Greek are all popular options. So, selecting a meatball that will work best with your final recipe is essential.
  • Use different meatballs – Fortunately, you can use this recipe to cook frozen turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs, Swedish meatballs, or vegan meatballs.
  • Serve with a sauce – You can coat the cooked meatballs in marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, a nice hot sauce for spice, or even any favorite sauce. Finish by topping with sesame seeds, cheese, herbs like parsley, or any other toppings you prefer.
close up view of one meatball on a toothpick

Prep and Storage of Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs

  • Prep Ahead – Do not make these ahead of time if you want the crunchiest exterior and juiciest interior. However, if you are serving these meatballs in a sauce, you can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge. Add the meatballs to your sauce to heat them through.
  • Store – Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat – To learn how to reheat meatballs, place them in a microwave-safe container, cover them with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
  • Freeze – Since using frozen pre-cooked meatballs, it is not recommended that you freeze them again. It is best to store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
side view of meatballs served as appetizers on a white tray

FAQs For Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs

How Long To Cook Frozen Meatballs in Air Fryer?

How long it takes to cook meatballs in an air fryer varies depending on factors such as meatball size, air fryer model, and the type of meat used. As a rule of thumb, when using leaner meats like turkey, they tend to cook more rapidly owing to their lower fat content.

As a starting point, therefore, begin checking at 9 minutes and make adjustments as needed within the cooking times range of 9 to 15 minutes.

How to Make Sure Frozen Meatballs Are Fully Cooked?

To ensure your meatballs are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check they reach 65 degrees F / 74 degrees C internally. Then, follow package instructions, arrange evenly, and look for a golden-brown exterior for doneness.

What Are The Best Store Bought Meatballs?

When it comes to the best store-bought meatballs, there are standout options.

For instance, Costco’s Kirkland Signature Italian Meatballs are known for their robust flavor and value, while Trader Joe’s Mini Meatballs offer convenience. IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs are iconic, Walmart’s Great Value Meatballs are budget-friendly, and Publix’s store-brand ones are praised for quality.

So, explore these choices to find the best-frozen meatballs your family will love.

Do You Thaw Frozen Meatballs Before Cooking?

No, you typically do not need to thaw frozen meatballs before cooking them. Instead, you can cook your meatballs directly in the oven, on the stovetop, in a microwave, or in an air fryer.

Thawing is unnecessary, but always follow the specific instructions on the packaging for the best results.

the cooked frozen meatballs inside the air fryer basket

More Frozen Foods Air Fryer Recipes You May Like

Looking for more EASY, delicious, and Frozen Food flavorful recipes? I’ve got you covered. Check out my full collection of Air Fryer Frozen Foods or start a few of my most popular recipes:

More Meatball Recipes You Might Like

6 of the finished air fryer frozen meatballs with toothpicks inserted served on a white plate

Serve Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs With:

  • Bang Bang Sauce – Elevate your Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs with a zesty Bang Bang Sauce in just 5 minutes.
  • 5-Minute Yum Yum Sauce – Add a delightful twist to your meal with this sauce.
  • Remoulade Sauce – For a touch of sophistication, you need to add this 5-minute sauce.
  • Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce – Experience homemade comfort.
  • Marinara sauce – A classic and savory go-to dip.
  • BBQ sauce – Infuse a smoky flavor with this pairing.
  • Good ol’ ketchup – Sometimes, all you need is the familiar and satisfying taste of good ol’ Ketchup.
  • An Air Fryer – There are different makes and models. So, it is important to choose the right size for your family.
  • Tongs – A good pair of tongs is useful for turning over frozen foods in the air fryer.
  • Instant-Read Thermometer – This lets you easily check the internal temperature of your meatballs to ensure they are cooked through thoroughly and safe to eat.
  • For the best tools to help make your air fryer recipes even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Air Fryer Tools on Amazon.

Weight Watchers Points

There are 10 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

a graphic of an air fryer cooking bundle

Thank you for reading my air fryer frozen meatballs recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipesInstant Pot RecipesAfrican Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

Get The Meatballs in the Air Fryer Recipe:

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the finished frozen meatballs served in a white bowl
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5 from 9 votes

Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs

Air frying frozen meatballs is incredibly speedy and effortless!
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time11 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Western
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie
Servings: 4
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • 16 ounces (454g) pre-cooked frozen meatballs 1 bag


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  • Remove frozen precooked meatballs from the package and place them in the air fryer basket. You should be able to fit around 20, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook in batches if needed.
  • Cook for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown just on top. Shake the basket halfway through the cooking time to turn them.
  • Remove meatballs and serve as is, or with a dipping sauce of your choice.
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  • Don’t crowd the air fryer basket. Place frozen meatballs in a single layer; leaving some space will allow the air to circulate so the exterior gets nice and crispy and the interior has a juicy inside.
  • As per the instructions, preheat the air fryer for best results.
  • You will probably only fit around 20 meatballs at a time, so plan to cook the meatballs in batches. 
  • Good frozen meatballs can be served as is or coated in sauce.
  • No extra oil is needed for this recipe. 
  • Gently shake the basket halfway through the cooking time to turn the meatballs. 
  • Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific air fryer model and exercise caution to ensure safe and effective cooking.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for 3 days.
  • There are 10 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.


Calories: 298kcal | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 325mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hey there! Air-fried frozen meatballs are my go-to quick snack too! Have you tried adding a twist with a zesty sriracha dip? It’s a game-changer notepad online

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, game-changer! Tried this with my favorite marinara, and the results were amazing. Have you experimented with different sauces? I’m thinking of trying sweet chili next time wheel spinner

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