Air Fryer Sweet and Sour Meatballs are the Perfect Holiday App

Air fryer sweet and sour meatballs on a plate
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
6-8 servings

These meatballs are a holiday must-make appetizer for me! They are so addictive, glazed with a mix of sweet and tangy sauce. For the ground meat I recommend a mix of beef and pork for maximum flavour, but for a lighter version using ground turkey or chicken works too. The meatballs and sauce can be prepared a day in advance. Simply air fry the meatballs and reheat the sauce just before serving. Watch as they rapidly disappear when your guests arrive!

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For the meatballs

lb lean ground beef and/or lean ground pork
large egg
cup panko bread crumbs
Tbsp minced onion
cloves of garlic, minced
tsp salt, or to taste
tsp black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg

For the sweet and sour sauce

cup apricot jam
cup apple cider vinegar
cloves garlic, grated
Tbsp chili paste
Tbsp mustard
tsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Tbsp water
Tbsp cornstarch


Ingredients for air fryer meatballs
Step 1

In a large mixing bowl add the ground meat, egg, panko, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Ingredients for air fryer meatballs in a bowl
Step 2

Using your hands, mix until well blended. Do not over mix or the meat will become tough.

Ingredients for air fryer meatballs being mixed by hand in a bowl
Step 3

Evenly divide and shape mixture into 24 meatballs. Use a small ice cream scoop for consistent sizing.

Uncooked meatballs on a plate
Step 4

Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Working in batches (depending on the size of your air fryer) transfer the meatballs in a single layer to the air fryer and cook at 400°F until cooked throughout, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 5

As the meatballs cook, prepare the sauce. To a saucepan over medium heat whisk together the jam, vinegar, garlic, chili paste, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the mixture begins to cook down, about 5 minutes.

Sweet and sour sauce in a skillet
Step 6

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the water and cornstarch to create a slurry. Add mixture to the pan and whisk until sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Step 7

Coat meatballs in the sauce.

Meatballs in a skillet of sweet and sour sauce
Step 8

Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Air fryer sweet and sour meatballs on a plate

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