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Air fryer lemon chicken meatballs on a plate with orzo pasta.

Air Fryer Lemon Chicken Meatballs

Looking for a delicious and easy dinner idea? These juicy air fryer lemon chicken meatballs are perfect for you! With only a few simple ingredients, these meatballs are saucy, flavorful, and perfect for a quick and easy meal.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 475kcal



  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, for serving


For the Meatballs

  • Grease the basket of the air fryer with olive oil spray or brush it with olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • Next add the beaten egg and grated garlic. Mix to combine.
  • Finally add the chicken and very gently mix to combine– you don’t want to compact the meat or you’ll end up with dense meatballs.
  • Coat your hands with olive oil and scoop out golf ball sized portions. Roll them into smooth balls and place them in the air fryer, making sure not to overcrowd the basket.
  • Cook the meatballs at 375°F for 12-14 minutes, or until the outside of the meatballs is golden brown and the inside registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
  • Coat the meatballs in the sauce (below) and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Enjoy immediately.

For the Lemon Brown Butter Sauce

  • Add the butter and garlic to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and then cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it begins to foam on top.
  • When the butter begins to foam, gently swirl the pan for 30-45 seconds, or until the butter turns golden brown. The foam should subside and the butter will smell rich and nutty.
  • Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside until ready to use.


  • Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Ground chicken: You can substitute ground turkey, beef, or pork in this recipe.
  • Breadcrumbs: If you're looking for a gluten-free option, you can use almond flour or coconut flour in place of the breadcrumbs.


Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 1176mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg
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