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These Cheese Stuffed Meatballs made in the air fryer are about to change the way you think about meatball appetizers (looking at you jelly crockpot meatballs!). I mean, who doesn’t love a stuffed meatball filled with cheese, and when that cheese is brie, all I need is two words to describe them – “so good!”. Plus, they are so easy to make, packed with flavor, and perfect for serving as a hors d’oeuvre for a fancy dinner party – or as a simple appetizer for a tailgate!
Table of Contents
- Recipe At a Glance
- Ingredients to Make Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Popular Substitutions & Additions
- How to Make Stuffed Meatballs
- Tips for Making the Best Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- What to Serve With Stuffed Meatballs
- How to Store & Reheat Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Holiday Appetizer Recipes:
- Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Recipe
What I love most about this stuffed meatball recipe is its simplicity and the burst of flavors. The blend of spices like garlic powder, paprika, and thyme gives these meatballs amazing flavor, while the breadcrumb coating adds just the right amount of crunch. And let’s not forget about the brie – it melts into a deliciously gooey center that pairs wonderfully with the beef. For the holiday, I like to serve them with cranberry sauce it adds a nice contrast, balancing the savory with a hint of sweetness. If you’re in the mood for something different yet easy, these air fryer cheese stuffed meatballs should be your new go-to appetizer.
Recipe At a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Air Frying
Dietary Info: High Protein
Key Flavor: Savory beef with creamy brie
Skill Level: Easy
- Quick Cooking: Ready in under 20 minutes, these meatballs are perfect for those needing a fast yet tasty appetizer.
- Fun Finger Food: These meatballs are the perfect pick-up-and-eat treat. You can use your fingers, because why not, or serve with toothpicks.
- Low-Carb Friendly: By skipping the breadcrumbs or opting for a low-carb alternative, these meatballs become a great choice for those watching their carb intake.
Ingredients to Make Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Lean Ground Beef: You want to use lean ground beef for this recipe around a 90/10 blend, so your meatballs do not come out greasy.
- Brie Cheese: Cut into small pieces, it melts inside the meatballs, adding a creamy, silly texture.
- Avocado Oil: Used to bind and moisten the meatball mixture, contributing to the overall tenderness.
- Breadcrumbs: Gives the meatballs a slight crunch and helps hold them together.
- Seasoning Mix: A blend of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme to infuse the meatballs with depth and flavor.
- Avocado Oil Spray: Used in the air fryer to achieve a crispy exterior without needing to deep-fry.
- Cranberry Sauce (for serving): Offers a sweet and tart contrast to the rich and savory flavors of the meatballs. You can use canned or you can make your own!
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Different Cheeses: Swap brie with mozzarella, cheddar, or gouda for a different cheesy experience inside each meatball.
- Meat Variations: Ground turkey or chicken can replace beef for a lighter version or to suit dietary preferences.
- Herb Mix-ins: Add fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to the meat mixture for additional flavor.
- Spicy Kick: Incorporate a bit of finely chopped jalapeño or a sprinkle of chili flakes into the mix for those who like it hot.
- Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make these meatballs suitable for gluten-sensitive diets.
- Sauce Varieties: Besides cranberry sauce, try serving with BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or a tangy yogurt dip.
How to Make Stuffed Meatballs
Making stuffed meatballs is super easy and you can get 16 with just a single pound of ground beef!
Prepare and stuff meatballs with cheese
- Flatten and divide the ground beef into portions.
- Place a cheese cube in the middle of each square.
- Roll and form each portion into a meatball. Make sure to seal it very well.
- Roll each meatball in the prepared breadcrumb mixture and set aside.
Air fry your meatballs
- Transfer the meatballs to the air fryer and arrange in a single layer. Spray the meatballs with the avocado oil cooking spray.
- Cook until the meatballs are browned, and cooked through.
Tips for Making the Best Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Keep the Cheese Hidden: When forming your meatballs, make sure the brie is completely enclosed within the ground beef. This prevents the cheese from oozing out while cooking and keeps the cheese instead of the meatball while cooking.
- Even Meatball Sizes: Aim for uniform meatball sizes for even cooking. Using a cookie scoop or measuring spoon can help keep them consistent, which is especially important when cooking in the air fryer.
- Don’t Overmix: Mix the ground beef just enough to incorporate the flavors and form the meatballs. Overworking the meat can lead to tough meatballs, so a gentle touch is key.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Just like an oven, preheating your air fryer ensures that the meatballs start cooking immediately and get that nice crust without overcooking the inside.
- Give Them Space: Avoid overcrowding the meatballs in the air fryer. Cooking them in batches, if necessary, allows the air to circulate properly, giving you an evenly crispy exterior.
- Rest Before Serving: Let the meatballs rest for a couple of minutes after cooking. This not only helps them to retain their shape but also gives the cheese inside a moment to set slightly, making them less messy to eat.
What to Serve With Stuffed Meatballs
How to Store & Reheat Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
Place any leftover meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Ensure they’re cooled to room temperature before sealing in the container.
To reheat, simply place the meatballs in the microwave or back in the air fryer for a few minutes until they’re heated through. If using the microwave, cover them to avoid drying out.
How Long Will Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Last in the Fridge?
Properly stored in the refrigerator, these meatballs can last for 3 to 4 days.
Can I Freeze Cheese Stuffed Meatballs?
Yes, you can freeze these stuffed meatballs, either cooked or raw.
Freezing Cooked Meatballs:
- How to Freeze: After cooking, allow the meatballs to cool to room temperature. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Reheating from Frozen: Preheat your oven or air fryer to 350°F. Place the frozen meatballs on a baking sheet or air fryer basket and heat for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. There’s no need to thaw them beforehand.
Freezing Raw Meatballs:
- How to Freeze: Form the meatballs and place them on a baking sheet, ensuring they’re not touching. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Cooking from Frozen: Preheat your oven or air fryer to 400°F. Place the frozen meatballs on a baking sheet or in the air fryer basket. If using an oven, bake for about 20-25 minutes; in an air fryer, cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until they’re browned and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. No need to thaw before cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatballs. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Absolutely! Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the meatballs on a lined baking sheet, ensuring they’re not touching. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re browned and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. This method is great if you need to cook a larger batch at once.
If the meatball mixture is too dry, add a little more avocado oil or even a splash of water to help them hold together. Also, chilling the meatball mixture for about 30 minutes before forming can make it easier to handle.
So there you go, cheese stuffed meatballs that are as fun to make as they are to eat. They’re a perfect mix of tasty and convenient. The next time you’re thinking of making a meatball appetizer, give these a try – they might just become your new go-to favorite.
More Holiday Appetizer Recipes:
- Cheesy Chickpea Stuffed Mushrooms
- Brie and Cranberry Bread Bowl
- Christmas Antipasto Wreath
- Kale and Feta Wreath Salad
- Christmas Tree Vegetable Platter
- Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Easy Mushroom Tartlets
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Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Preheat an air fryer to 400ºF.
- Flatten and divide the ground beef into 16 equal portions. Place a cheese cube in the middle of each portion.
- Rub the avocado oil on the palm of your hands to make it easier to roll and form each portion into a meatball stuffed with the cheese. Make sure to seal very well.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and thyme. Roll each meatball in the breadcrumb mixture and set aside.
- Transfer the meatballs to the air fryer and arrange in a single layer. You may need to cook in two batches. Spray the meatballs with the avocado oil cooking spray. Cook until the meatballs are browned and the internal temperature of the beef reaches 160°F, 5-7 minutes total.
- Serve the meatballs with cranberry sauce for dipping, if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.