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Home » Air Fryer » Easy Air Fryer BBQ Beef Meatballs (Fresh or Frozen)

Easy Air Fryer BBQ Beef Meatballs (Fresh or Frozen)

This Easy Air Fryer BBQ Beef Meatballs recipe is prepared with ground beef or turkey using fresh or frozen meat. These are ready in no time and don’t take long to cook. These are perfect for weeknight dinners!

keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce

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This post was originally published in December 2018. It has since been updated.

FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

What Type of Beef to Use

I like to use ground beef or ground chuck beef. Lean beef is preferred because as the meatballs cook, they will release a good amount of fat.

80% lean will release a lot more than 93% lean, but you can still use it. You will have to drain the excess fat before adding BBQ sauce.

ingredients for keto low carb air fryer meatballs

How to Keep Them From Falling Apart

Eggs and breadcrumbs are used to provide structure. You also don’t want to overwork and over-mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs. I like to use my hands because it’s a lot easier to be gentle with your hands than using a spatula or spoon.

You want to mix the meat mixture until the ingredients are combined. If you over-mix the mixture, the meatballs will fall apart.

How to Season and Add Flavor

I love to use my Homemade BBQ Rub in this recipe. You can use any rub you like or any seasonings you wish.

What Type of BBQ Sauce to Use

Use your favorite sauce. The BBQ sauce is really the star of this dish. I love to use a local favorite, Gates BBQ Sauce or the BBQ Sauce from Primal Kitchen because it doesn’t have any added sugar.

How to Cook Meatballs in an Air Fryer

  1. Combine onions, garlic, shredded cheese, egg, almond meal, and seasonings in large bowl.
  2. Use clean hands and combine the ingredients and form one large ball.
  3. Use a spoon to form about 10 smaller meatballs.
  4. Place the meatballs in the air fryer. Air Fry.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the air fryer and drizzle them in BBQ sauce.
step by step photos of keto low carb air fryer meatballs

How Long to Cook the Meatballs/How to Test if They Are Done

I let my meatballs cook for about 13-15 minutes. The key is to use a meat thermometer. The meatballs are ready when the internal temperature reachs 165 degrees F. Check out this post for a great Meat Temperature Guide.

raw keto low carb meatballs on parchment paper

Air Fryer Temperature

Load the meatballs into the air fryer and cook on 360 degrees.

Can You Substitute Turkey

You can use ground turkey if you wish with no adjustment to cook time.

raw keto low carb meatballs on parchment paper

How to Store/How Long They Last in the Fridge

You can store them tightly sealed and covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

keto low carb meatballs in an air fryer

Frozen Meatballs

Frozen meatballs will need 15-16 minutes of cook time. Always use a meat thermometer to test doneness.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze these tightly sealed for up to 4 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or you can reheat them in the air fryer frozen for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees.

keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce

Side Dishes to Pair With this Recipe

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southern Baked Beans
Southern Coleslaw
Southern Potato Salad
Southern Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese
Easy Spaghetti Salad

Southern Macaroni Salad
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob

keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce
keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce
person holding keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce

You may also enjoy my Air Fryer Marinated Steak and Air Fryer Cheeseburgers.

Popular Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer French Fries
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Air Fryer Fried Pickles
Air Fryer Ribs

Air Fryer Hot Dogs
Air Fryer Meatloaf

Looking for more keto recipes? Check out my listing of The Best Air Fryer Keto Dinner Recipes.

This recipe works great with my Homemade BBQ Seasoning and Rub.

keto low carb air fryer meatballs with bbq sauce
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Easy Air Fryer BBQ Beef Meatballs

This Easy Air Fryer BBQ Beef Meatballs recipe is prepared with ground beef or turkey using fresh or frozen meat. These are ready in no time and don't take long to cook. These are perfect for weeknight dinners!
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 336kcal

Ingredients

Homemade BBQ Seasoning (If using a store-bought seasoning or rub, use 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons of the store bought rub. Use your judgment)

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, cheddar, egg, worcestershire sauce, and seasonings to a large bowl.
  • Using clean hands, combine the ingredients and form one large ball.
  • Use a spoon and form 10 smaller meatballs.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent sticking or use air fryer parchment paper. Load the meatballs into the air fryer. Do not stack. Cook in batches if needed.
  • Cook the meatballs for 8 minutes on 360 degrees.
  • Open the air fryer and flip the meatballs.
  • Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Remove the meatballs from the air fryer and drizzle in BBQ sauce. 

Video

Notes

  • A lot of time lean ground beef is preferred when making meatballs because as they cook, they will release a good amount of fat. 80% lean will release a lot more than 93% lean, but you can still use it. You will have to drain the excess fat after the meatballs have slow-cooked for 2 hours on High or 4 hours on Low. Be careful when doing this because you don’t want to disturb the meatballs. At this point, they aren’t fully cooked, so you risk them falling apart.
  • Eggs and breadcrumbs are used to provide structure. You also don’t want to overwork and over-mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs. I like to use my hands because it’s a lot easier to be gentle with your hands than using a spatula or spoon. If you overmix, the meatballs will fall apart.
  • You can use ground turkey if you wish with no adjustment to cook time.
  • Frozen meatballs will need 15-16 minutes of cook time. Always use a meat thermometer to test doneness.
  • If you want low carb meatballs, use 1/2 cup of almond meal. This is different than almond flour. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds and typically have the skins removed and is ground more finely than almond meal. It’s commonly used in baked goods and bread recipes. Almond meal typically still contains the skins and is more coarse. Almond meal works better for recipes that require breading. You can use almond flour in this recipe, but the results will differ. You can read more about The Differences Between Almond Flour and Almond Meal here.
  • Macros assume Primal Kitchen sugar free BBQ sauce and Lakanto Golden monkfruit sweetener. Feel free to use the macro calculator of your choice to calculate your macros using the branded ingredients you choose to use in the recipe.
  •  
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 2meatballs | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 26g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Recipe Rating




Monica Black

Monday 26th of April 2021

I tried this meatball recipe for my weekly meal prep and they were a hit. I used ground turkey since that’s what I had already at home. This recipe was so easy and delicious. This was my first time using almond flour. I literally had to make sure my husband didn’t eat the entire pan. LOL!

staysnatched

Thursday 29th of April 2021

haha! Love to hear it.

Erin Lewis

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

SO GOOD. My fiancé RAVED about these! They were so easy and so delicious! I cooked some in a pan on the stovetop as well (we were impatient because we also used the air fryer for Brandi’s tater tots with this) and they turned out awesome, so if anyone does not have an air fryer and wants to pan fry, they still worked that way! Would be great for holidays, parties, or just enjoying for a weeknight meal. Recommend to pair with the homemade air fryer tater tots too!

staysnatched

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!

Nikki

Monday 2nd of November 2020

First off, these are so easy to make. They take no time at all. Second, they taste great, the seasoning is on point! I used these to make spaghetti and meatballs for my kids, and I had them plain with sugar free BBQ sauce. Either way they were delicious! Will be making them more!

staysnatched

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Wonderful! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Yoshiko

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Omg! These were so good and had such good flavor! It was hard to just eat 2 ?! The recipe was very easy and delicious paired with mashed cauliflower!

staysnatched

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

I love that pairing! Glad you enjoyed them!

ARD

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

I made these tonight for dinner and they were delicious. They were kid approved which is always a bonus. They are super easy to throw together with simple ingredients. I only needed to cook mine for 12 minutes in the air fryer. You should definitely give these a try. We paired our meatballs with cauliflower rice and roasted veggies.

staysnatched

Thursday 4th of June 2020

So easy to make. Glad you enjoyed them!