Quick and easy air fryer lamb meatballs will be the star of any lunch or dinner! They are tender and juicy, fragrant, and full of so much rich flavor. These ground lamb meatballs are delicious served with marinara sauce over pasta, with salads, or as a tasty party appetizer or snack!
Meatballs are one of my favorite things to cook in the air fryer. It’s more convenient than oven-baked or pan-fried meatballs and they are much healthier too! Any excess fat drains off while they are cooking and they crisp up so nicely while remaining perfectly tender and juicy on the inside.
Ground lamb is a great alternative to beef or pork for meatballs. It is rich in flavor with a slightly gamey taste. Lamb meatballs are quick to make, taking only 15 minutes to cook in the air fryer. This recipe is also seasoned simply so you can totally customize it according to your flavor preferences! Also try my air fryer bison meatballs or air fryer lamb steaks, so juicy!
Aside from mixing all the ingredients together and shaping, these homemade lamb meatballs are pretty hands-off to make because the air fryer does most of the work! Ground lamb meatballs are great to meal prep or prepare during the summer for easy lunches or dinners because you don’t need to turn on your oven.
Ground lamb. A tasty alternative to ground beef or pork.
Onion. Diced, adds flavor and keeps the meatballs moist.
Panko breadcrumbs. Used so that the meatballs hold together when air fried.
Egg. Binds all the ingredients together. Make sure the egg is at room temperature so it combines better.
Seasonings. Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
How to make air fryer lamb meatballs
Get a medium size bowl. If the meat is frozen you need to thaw it first by leaving in the fridge overnight. Or simply leave ground lamb on the counter for a few hours.
Mix all the ingredients together. Shape little meatballs. I made 12 pretty big meatballs. If you are making smaller meatballs, you will have more and you will need to cook them in batches. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket.
Cook meatballs for 13-14 minutes. You can preheat the air fryer if you want, its not that necessary though. There is no need to shake the basket during the cooking time. Serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect meatballs
Oil your hands. Rub your hands with a tiny bit of vegetable oil when shaping the meatballs so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands too much.
Use a small cookie scoop. This will help you make even-sized meatballs.
Don’t over-mix. Simply mix the ingredients together until well combined, otherwise, you can even up with dry and chewy meatballs.
If the mixture isn’t holding its shape the meatballs could be too wet or too dry. Add more panko or a splash of milk if needed.
Preheat your air fryer. Preheat using a preheat function or simply set the timer for 5 – 10 minutes. This helps to achieve a crispier exterior on your meatballs.
Ground lamb. Use ground elk, deer, ground beef, or bison instead.
Panko. You can use seasoned or unseasoned bread crumbs or a gluten-free alternative. Dry bread or a slice of fresh bread torn into pieces can be used instead in a pinch.
Seasonings. Dried or fresh herbs if you have them. Italian seasoning, rosemary, parsley, or mint all complements the flavor of ground lamb.
Onion. Use onion powder instead if you prefer the taste over fresh or use minced shallots because they have a milder onion flavor.
Lamb and beef. If you are new to eating lamb, try making this recipe with half ground lamb and half ground beef.
Onions. Finely chop, grate, or blend the onion if you cooking for kids or don’t want large chunks of onion in your meatballs.
Mediterranean-style lamb meatballs. Add ground cumin, cinnamon, and parsley for a Middle-eastern-inspired recipe.
Seasoning suggestions. Red pepper flakes, minced garlic, lemon zest, and grated parmesan cheese.
Frequently asked questions
Lamb meatballs are made with ground lamb, bread crumbs, herbs and spices, and an egg.
This usually means that there are too many breadcrumbs in your meat mixture. Breadcrumbs are used as a binder but too many can dry out your meatballs causing them to fall apart.
Another reason could be large chunks of vegetables. Make sure the other ingredients used are as small as possible because it can make shaping the meatballs difficult.
Not for this recipe! Many cooking sprays are harmful to the non-stick coating of your air fryer. In addition, ground lamb has a high-fat content so it doesn’t need any extra oil in order for it to crisp up.
- Rice: Serve the meatballs with basmati, jasmine, or brown rice. You can also try a flavorful pilaf or a Mediterranean-style rice with saffron, pine nuts, and raisins.
- Couscous: Opt for regular or pearl (Israeli) couscous as a side dish, and consider mixing in herbs, vegetables, or dried fruit for added flavor.
- Quinoa: Prepare quinoa with chicken or vegetable broth and toss in some chopped vegetables, herbs, or nuts for a nutritious accompaniment.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes or a root vegetable mash (such as parsnips or sweet potatoes) make a satisfying side for lamb meatballs.
- Orzo or other pasta: A simple orzo or pasta salad with vegetables, herbs, and a light vinaigrette pairs well with lamb meatballs.
- Grilled or roasted vegetables: Serve the meatballs alongside a medley of vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
- Tzatziki: A tangy and refreshing yogurt, cucumber, and garlic sauce that complements the flavors of lamb meatballs.
- Tomato sauce: A classic marinara or a rich tomato sauce with Mediterranean herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme.
- Yogurt sauce: Combine Greek yogurt with lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs like mint, dill, or cilantro for a creamy sauce.
- Tahini sauce: A smooth sesame seed-based sauce with garlic and lemon juice adds nutty and tangy notes to the dish.
- Mint sauce: A simple sauce made from mint, vinegar, sugar, and water to accentuate the flavors of the lamb meatballs.
- Pesto: A basil, garlic, and pine nuts sauce that adds a fresh and vibrant touch to the dish.
- Refrigeration: Allow the meatballs to cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the meatballs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the meatballs. Place the cooled meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour or until they are firm. Then, transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Frozen bison meatballs can last up to 3 months.
- Reheating. To reheat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in the air fryer, oven, or microwave.
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Hope you will like this air fryer lamb meatballs recipe as much as we do. Rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- ¼ cup panko
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder each
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- Mix all the ingredients together in the medium size bowl. Shape little meatballs.
- Place them in to your preheated to 390 degrees air fryer for about 13-14 minutes. Cook meatballs in batches trying not to overcrowd the air fryer basket.
- Serve and enjoy.
Refrigeration: Allow the meatballs to cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the meatballs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the meatballs. Place the cooled meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour or until they are firm. Then, transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Frozen bison meatballs can last up to 3 months.
Reheating. To reheat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in the air fryer, oven, or microwave.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g