Air fryer meatloaf is so juicy and cooks in a fraction of the time and clean up is a breeze.
This meatloaf contains a mixture of meat & seasonings and it’s topped with a delicious zesty topping!
Why Make Meatloaf in the Air Fryer
A classic meatloaf is a favorite meal and we love this air fryer version for a quick weeknight dinner.
- this can be baked in about half of the time compared to an oven recipe.
- the fat drips away into the pan so the meat doesn’t cook in the fat.
- this makes 2 smaller meatloaves so they’re easier to handle (and you get more of the crispy edges)
- cleanup is a breeze (I have the Cosori 5.8QT XL and a quick rinse and it goes into the dishwasher)
No Air Fryer? No problem!
MEAT We use lean ground beef (80/20), however, a combination of ground beef and ground turkey or pork can work just as well.
VEGGIES Finely diced bell pepper, onions, parsley, and garlic add flavor.
BINDER & SEASONINGS Breadcrumbs are mixed together with milk and egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, and a handful of Italian seasoning.
The topping in this recipe contains chili sauce (which is not spicy) and ketchup and it’s my favorite part of meatloaf.
If you’ve never had chili sauce, it is like a very zesty tangy ketchup with tons of flavor. It’s amazing combined with BBQ sauce and put on burgers and ribs.
How to Make Air Fryer Meatloaf
Air fryer meatloaf is a super quick and easy way to put a delicious meal on the table, and it takes just a few easy steps!
- Mix all of the ingredients, shape them into two equally-sized loaves (per the recipe below).
- Place meatloaves in the air fryer basket & cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add topping and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the meatloaf reaches 165°F.
Remove meatloaves from the air fryer & allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Don’t overmix the meat, mix just until combined.
- Preheat the air fryer before adding the meatloaf.
- Air Fryers can vary so be sure to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf and ensure it reaches 165° F.
- Check the meatloaf early to ensure it doesn’t overcook. Add more time as needed.
- Rest the meatloaf before slicing so it doesn’t fall apart.
- Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat in the air fryer or the microwave.
Air Fryer Faves
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken – with crispy skin
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers – so easy to make
- Air Fryer Salmon – a healthy dinner
- Juicy Air Fryer Meatballs – perfect for a crowd
- Air Fryer Hamburgers – tender & juicy
Did your family love this Air Fryer Meatloaf? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Air Fryer Meatloaf
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ green bell pepper finely diced
- ⅓ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- ¼ cup onion* finely diced, see note
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup chili sauce
- Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
- Mix all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl just until combined.
- Divide the mixture into 2 and shape into small meatloaves, about 5" long by 2" wide.
- Cook in the air fryer for 20 minutes.
- Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Add topping and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until meatloaf reaches 165°F.
- Rest 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Do you have to use milk?
The milk and the egg together act as a binder and the milk helps keep it moist. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out if you left it out. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
This was perfect to say the least. Just bit more prep time than I expected, but that could have just been me – anyway, well worth it. Came out just right so thanks for the great ingredients, air fryer temp & timing, etc. I thought I’d make the whole recipe for 4 just for us 2 so we could have meatloaf sandwiches tomorrow, BUT, my husband ate most of the 2nd meatloaf …. sigh! Will definitely make again.
love meatloaf just delicious
Best meatloaf I have made ever. Thank you
Holly, in my third paragraph. that should read “Next time, I will likely add more garlic, a little more salt” … not “sauce”. Sorry!
Another big thumbs up for the mini meatloaf recipe!
This is an easy-to-follow, very basic recipe that is spot on. I “almost” always follow recipes to the letter the first time I make them so that I will know where to start making adjustments to better suit my palette. I like a little more spice than this recipe provides … but now I have a good solid starting point for my air fryer meatloaf and it is very much like the meatloaf my Mum used to make!
Next time, I will likely add more garlic, a little more sauce, some Montreal Steak spice, maybe some paprika, and perhaps a dash or two of Worchestershire Sauce.
I have a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer. I found the cooking times to be close, but somewhat long for the 2″ x 5″ loaves. I would shorten the initial cook time to 17 or 18 minutes and the second cook to 4 or 5 minutes. The point, as Holly suggests, is to be sure to have your instant-read meat thermometer handy and check the temperature at the 15 or 16-minute mark … assuming you make the loaves 2″ x 5″ as recommended.
And for Canadians, you may want to try Dianna’s Original BBQ sauce instead of the chili sauce/ketchup combo as the topping! It was the one change I made to this recipe … simply because I had no chili sauce on hand … and it was wonderful!
Another triumph for Holly!
Thank you for sharing your tips and experience, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe Liane!