Make the most tender, juicy and flavorful bison meatballs in the air fryer in under 30 minutes! They’re great to serve with your favorite side dishes, include in casseroles, or enjoy on sandwiches for an easy and satisfying dinner the whole family will love.
Ground bison is a lean and delicious protein that’s great to use in place of beef. This bison meatballs in air fryer recipe is a perfect example of how easy it is to use this swap even in classic comfort food dishes! Also try my bison tartare and bison bolognese recipes, delicious!
Bison is particularly terrific to make meatballs, where you can really taste the flavor and still get that tender meatball texture you crave. And because air fryers cook foods crisp and golden with only a small amount of oil, this ground bison recipe is a healthy choice compared to pan frying.
Along with the ground bison you only need a handful of kitchen pantry staples like bread crumbs, seasonings, and eggs. Then from start to finish the recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make! Simply combine all of the ingredients in one bowl, shape the meatballs, and air fry.
Before you know it you’re ready to enjoy juicy meatballs with nearly any sides or in hearty sandwiches. Or include them in other recipes, like casseroles and crockpot dishes! They’re even great for meal prepping to make part of your weekly lunch or super quick dinner plans.
Ground bison. Lean and flavorful red meat. 85% lean/15% fat is ideal for this recipe.
Bread crumbs. Use a variety with Italian seasoning if you like. Then skip the additional Italian seasoning listed below.
Parmesan cheese. Grated is best for full flavor without big pieces of cheese.
Italian seasoning. Blend of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder.
Salt and pepper. Classic seasonings to elevate all of the flavors in the dish.
Garlic. Earthy and savory, garlic is a must-have ingredient in nearly any savory Italian-inspired recipe!
Eggs. Binds the ground meat together to form the best meatballs.
Milk or water. Keeps the bison meatballs juicy and tender in the air fryer.
Spray oil. Choose a high quality high-heat oil like avocado, canola, or grape seed oil to lightly spray the fry basket.
How to make bison meatballs in air fryer
You cant use frozen ground bison in this recipe so take in out of the freezer a few hours prior cooking. Or thaw meat overnight in the fridge.
Mix all the ingredients in a medium size bowl. I used ground bison, panko or regular breadcrumbs, egg, shredded Parmesan cheese, milk and seasonings.
Mix ingredients all together. Shape about 18 meatballs. They will be not too small not too big. Spray air fryer basket with olive oil spray.
Place bison meatballs in air fryer basket, leaving space between. I was able to fit 16 meatballs. If they don’t fit all at once, cook in two or even three batches. To properly cook food, air fryer needs space for hot air to circulate between meatballs.
Air fry bison meatballs for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. If unsure that they are fully cooked, insert an instant meat thermometer in one meatball. The temperature should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Swap grated parmesan cheese with shredded cheese, like parmesan, cheddar, or Monterey jack. Note this will make the meatballs slightly more fatty, and will get the air fryer a bit messier.
- Change up the spices! Try BBQ, steak (Montreal seasoning), or taco seasonings – or use a simple combo of garlic and onion powder.
- Add a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper for deliciously spicy bison meatballs.
- Make this a gluten-free recipe by using GF-friendly breadcrumbs or almond flour.
Frequently asked questions
Bison and beef are both red meat that have deep, earthy and umami flavors. But bison is leaner and has a slight gamey and sweet taste… So it’s a bit different but still very familiar.
Yes, pound for pound bison is a more healthy red meat vs beef. It has more protein and iron, but less fat and fewer calories. So bison is a great option if you want the flavor and health benefits of red meat while also keeping things lean!
Just like ground beef, bison can be cooked any number of ways. Use it to make stroganoff, meat sauces, tacos, casseroles, burgers, and more!
No, there is no need to coat the bison meatballs in flour before air frying. The breadcrumbs and egg keep the meat together, and air frying practically ensures that they will come out crisp and golden on the outside.
Absolutely! Use 85% lean ground beef in place of bison to make healthy meatballs in the air fryer.
Here are some side dishes that pair very well with air fryer bison meatballs:
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are an excellent side dish to serve with meatballs, especially if they are served with a rich gravy or sauce.
- Rice: Plain steamed rice, garlic rice, or even a flavorful risotto can be a great side dish to accompany meatballs.
- Vegetables: Roasted, steamed, or sautéed vegetables, such as green beans, asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, add color and nutrition to your meatball meal.
- Salad: A fresh green salad or a tomato and cucumber salad can provide a light and refreshing contrast to the richness of meatballs. HEalthy dinner option for those who count calories.
- Couscous: Fluffy couscous, either plain or with added vegetables and herbs, pairs well with meatballs, particularly those with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavors.
What to do with leftovers
- Meatball Sandwich: Place meatballs in a hoagie roll or baguette, top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, then broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Meatball Pizza: Add the meatballs as one of the toppings on your favorite pizza, along with other preferred toppings, and bake.
- Meatball Tacos or Wraps: Use the reheated meatballs as a filling for tacos or wraps, adding your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado.
- Meatball Pasta: Reheat the meatballs and serve them over cooked pasta with marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.
- 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 bison meatballs air fryer recipe as much as we do. Please rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- 1 lb ground bison
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup milk or water
- Mix all the ingredients in a medium size bowl.
- Shape about 18 meatballs. Spray air fryer basket with oil spray.
- Air fry meatballs for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g