Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Danone. All opinions are 100% mine.
Are you looking for a turkey meatball that isn’t dry? These Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are for you! Cook in an air fryer or oven, and they turn out juicy and flavorful every time.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021, dear friends. I think more than ever, we’re all looking for a way to start anew, aren’t we?
Even if things probably won’t be perfect this year, I’m still looking forward to it. We have to keep moving forward, right?
Personally, I don’t think this is the appropriate year for big, sweeping resolutions. I know that I’m in no mood to completely overhaul my diet or exercise routine. Who has the energy for that right now?
So I’m setting the bar low and vowing one simple thing: starting this year, I won’t eat a dry turkey meatball (or black bean meatball) ever again. And I’m going to use my air fryer for more than air fryer turkey bacon.
These Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are NEVER dry!
I have a friend who texts me at the start of every summer, asking how to make a turkey burger that isn’t dry. Every year, I tell him him “you have to add fat and moisture.”
It’s the same for turkey meatballs and turkey burger salad. I know that the whole reason many people eat ground turkey instead of beef is because turkey has less fat and saturated fat.
I get that, I do. But you simply can’t use super lean ground turkey and no additional fat or moisture, and then wonder why your burger or meatball is dry.
So, I like to think of it in terms of adding GOOD fat. Instead of relying on the saturated fat that beef would contain, I’m using 85% lean ground turkey, and adding good fat like olive oil, and moisture from plain Two Good Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is used in this air fryer meatballs recipe, and the sauce too.
Not only does the yogurt add moisture to the meatball mixture, but the enzymes in the dairy help tenderize the turkey, which makes it more . . . tender . . . to eat.
You guys know I have long been a fan of savory yogurt. We don’t eat a ton of yogurt for breakfast around here, and we don’t like sweet things added to it.
The way yogurt fits into our lifestyle is almost alway savory. We dollop it on top of slow cooker lentil soup for a low sugar creamy condiment and use it in place of sour cream for healthy buffalo chicken dip.
We make chip dip with it for a tasty treat with a probiotic punch. And of course, we add herbs to it and it becomes a high-protein savory dipping sauce for these turkey meatballs (it’s also a great sauce for kafta.)
The ingredients for these air fried meatballs are simple:
- panko breadcrumbs
- olive oil
- Two Good Greek yogurt
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken, like I use in my chicken sloppy joes!)
How do you keep turkey meatballs from falling apart?
To keep turkey meatballs from falling apart, soak breadcrumbs in milk, olive oil and yogurt, and then add the wet breadcrumbs into the turkey mixture. The wet breadcrumbs act as a binder that will hold everything together.
How long to cook turkey meatballs in an air fryer?
In an air fryer set at 400 degrees F, turkey meatballs should take about 10 minutes. This may vary slightly based on your model of air fryer, how spaced out the meatballs are in the basket, etc.
Try air frying them for about 10 minutes, turning once, and then use an instant read thermometer to check that they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for food safety.
This timing also works for Greek chicken meatballs.
Can I make these meatballs in a regular oven?
Of course. To cook meatballs in an oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray and place the meatballs on the pan.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the meatballs 12 to 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned and their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Psst – these turkey meatballs are delicious served in a bread roll with some meatball sub toppings, or on top of noodles with Greek yogurt pasta sauce! If I have leftover meatballs, I’ll chop them up and use them to make my Greek rice recipe.
And if you don’t prefer the yogurt dipping sauce, they are amazing drizzled with my easy gravy recipe made with turkey stock!
For the Meatballs:
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup minced white onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pound 85% lean ground turkey
- Nonstick cooking spray
For the Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Make the Meatballs: In large bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, milk, oil and yogurt. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, onion, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir until well combined.
- Add turkey and stir (or mix with hands) until just combined. Do not overmix. Using hands, gently form into 24 meatballs (each using about 1-1/2 tablespoons of meat mixture and ending up about 1-inch wide).
- If necessary, preheat or set air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. In batches, transfer meatballs to basket and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once.
- Meanwhile, make Yogurt Sauce: In small bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, mint and salt and pepper.
- Serve meatballs with yogurt sauce.
Home Chef Tip: To cook meatballs in oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray and place meatballs on pan. Bake meatballs 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 6 meatballs and 1/4 cup sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 831mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g