Buffalo Air-Fryer Turkey Meatballs

Made with just a few ingredients, these Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are tossed in buffalo hot sauce for a quick and easy party appetizer. Both keto and gluten-free, these air fryer meatballs can also be used in soups, salads, sandwiches and more.


I love recipes that are versatile, ones that I can prepare for one purpose but also use for others. This ground turkey meatball recipe began as a party appetizer. Coated in buffalo sauce, they’re perfect for game days, tailgating, holiday parties, and more. Serve them on toothpicks for an easy grab-and-go treat.

But, I quickly realized how many other things turkey meatballs in the air fryer could be used for. With or without the sauce, they work in sandwiches, soups, salads and more. As these are keto turkey meatballs, they are a great protein source for anyone opting for low-carb dishes. 

While many meatball recipes include breadcrumbs, I chose to keep them out so keep these gluten free turkey meatballs. These meatballs hold together well without it, so it’s not missed in the flavour.

The air fryer cooks these gluten-free turkey meatballs quickly, ensuring they’re crisp on the outside but remain juicy and don’t dry out on the inside. They require just 15 minutes in the air fryer and the prep is quick as well, so these make for a quick and easy appetizer or dinner!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Ground turkey – Ground turkey has a mild flavor and is healthier than ground beef or pork.
  • Onion – Finely chopped onion adds a light flavour and bit of texture to the meatballs.
  • Herbs – Dried sage, finely chopped fresh rosemary, and dried thyme are my spices of choice for seasoning these meatballs. They give them plenty of flavor to be enjoyed on their own but also don’t compete with the hot sauce. 
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce – Any buffalo sauce will work here but I prefer the classic Frank’s Red Hot.
  • Butter – Adding butter to hot sauce helps to reduce the spice level.
  • Cornstarch – A cornstarch slurry thickens the buffalo sauce mixture to allow it to stick to the meatballs.
  • Cold water – Added to the cornstarch to make a slurry.

How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.  Add the turkey, onion, herbs, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands until combined.

Roll heaping teaspoons of the turkey mixture into balls. Place on the air fryer tray, leaving space in between each so air can circulate. Air fry for 15 minutes. Remove from the air fryer and set aside. 

To make the sauce:

In a small pot, melt the hot sauce and butter together over medium-high heat.

In a small cup, mix the cornstarch and water together to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the buffalo sauce to thicken it. Let it simmer for a minute or two until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon.

Place the cooked turkey meatballs in a bowl, toss with the buffalo sauce, and serve hot. 

How To Store air Fried Turkey Meatballs

You can store these homemade turkey meatballs in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep them in an airtight container to avoid them drying out. Reheat in the air fryer for 3 minutes or so, until heated through, in the microwave, or add the cold meatballs to sandwiches and salads. 

Why are my turkey meatballs rubbery?

Turkey meatballs – or any homemade meatballs, for that matter – become rubbery when they are over-mixed. You need only to mix the ingredients until they are well combined. Any mixing or working of the dough beyond that can result in a rubbery texture. 

Can you freeze turkey meatballs made in the air fryer?

Yes, you can easily freeze these turkey meatballs made in an air fryer! Once they’ve cooled, transfer to a baking sheet to flash freeze in a single layer. Once frozen, you can transfer them to freezer bags or containers.

Are frozen meatballs good in the air fryer?

Yes, you can heat frozen, cooked meatballs in the air fryer. Just arrange in a single layer and take care not to crowd the air fryer.  Cook for 9 to 11 minutes, depending on the size and amount of meatballs. 

How do you heat frozen cooked meatballs?

As mentioned above, the easiest way to heat frozen cooked meatballs is in the air fryer. Just drop them straight from the freezer to the air fryer and heat them until cooked through.

How Else Can I Use Air Fried Turkey Meatballs?

While these turkey meatballs in the air fryer are great topped with buffalo sauce and served as an appetizer there are a myriad of other ways to serve them up.

With or without the buffalo sauce, these keto meatballs cause be served atop a salad, as a protein with veggies, or in a sandwich. 

You can also add the meatballs without sauce in soups and stews as well, or even cut them in half and use them as a pizza topping. 

If buffalo sauce isn’t your thing, feel free to swap it out for your preferred sauce, like your favorite barbecue sauce or some homemade Italian marinara.

What to serve with this air fryer turkey meatball recipe?

I like to serve these buffalo air fryer meatballs with a side of ranch or bleu cheese as well as celery and carrots.

If you’re going the party appetizer route, you can serve these turkey meatballs next to any of your other favorite appetizers like chipotle queso, air fryer ravioli, or calamari fritti

As a meal, try serving these gluten free meatballs with regular fries or sweet potato fries, maybe even a baked potato, and some roasted or steamed veggies. 

If you Like This Recipe You may Also Enjoy…

Gluten free turkey meatballs in buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs

Made with just a few ingredients, these Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are tossed in buffalo hot sauce for a quick and easy party appetizer.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Snack
Cuisine: North American
Keyword: Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs, Air-Fryer Recipes, Appetizers, Baked Turkey Meatballs, Ground Turkey Recipes, Healthy Appetizer Recipes, Turkey Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 197kcal

Ingredients

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cold water

Instructions

Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F. In a medium bowl add the turkey, onion, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands just until combined.
  • Roll heaping teaspoons of the turkey mixture into balls and place them on an air-fryer tray leaving space in between each so air can circulate. Air fry for 15 minutes. Remove from the air-fryer and set aside.

Buffalo Sauce

  • In a small pot add the hot sauce and butter and melt together over medium-high heat.
  • In a small cup add the cornstarch and water together and mix well to create a slurry.  Add the slurry to the pot of buffalo sauce to thicken. Let simmer for a minute or two until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon.

Assembly

  • Place the cooked turkey meatballs in a bowl, toss with the buffalo sauce and serve hot.

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Reheat stovetop or in the microwave.
Options: Serve plain without sauce or with BBQ sauce, marinara sauce or any sauce you like on meatballs.
Serve the sauce on the side for dipping instead of tossing them in a sauce.
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Buffalo Air-Fryer Turkey Meatballs Story.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are super delicious, and that sauce is amazing. I love how quick to prepare the meatballs too.

  2. 5 stars
    Tried these last night and they were super delicious! My boys scarfed them down, thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    My husband has been raving about these non-stop since I made them! They were delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

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