Who doesn’t secretly love fried food?
While I normally just say no to fried food, the concept of an air fryer that cooks food crisp without added oil is immensely intriguing.
So when America’s Test Kitchen had a sale on the air fryer it rated as a “best buy”, I scored a GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 7-in-1 Air Fryer for just $55.99 as a Christmas present to myself!
Perhaps you received an Air Fryer for Christmas and are as daunted as I was the first time I used mine? If so, I’ve got a great new recipe for you!
I’ve made my own meatless meatballs before, but loved the idea of having a melty mozzarella surprise inside.
My recipe uses small mozzarella balls that are about the size of a cherry (called Ciliegine), which are thoroughly drained and then dried off with a paper towel or a clean dish towel . . .
and my new obsession, Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef . . .
For the base of my binder, I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Panko mixed with a little milk . . .
. . . fresh flat leaf parsley . . .
some minced onion, pressed garlic, freshly grated parmesan, and an egg . . .
Mix all of that binder up before you add the Beyond Beef.
Once your binder is mixed well, add the Beyond Beef and get your wooden spoon ready to stir!
Take about a golf-ball sized scoop of your mixture and shape it around a mozzarella ball. Make sure to dry off the mozzarella balls with a paper towel or clean dish cloth or the Beyond Beef mixture won’t adhere well! Put the finished stuffed meatballs on a plate covered with wax paper.
It’s incredibly helpful if you have a patient family member or friend (or in my case, my wonderful hubby), who is willing to get their hands messy and shape the meatballs!
Spray the basket of your Air Fryer with some non-stick spray (or better yet, lightly brush it with olive oil), and don’t overload it! Your meatless meatballs need to have enough air circulating around them to air fry properly!
Spritz the tops of the meatballs with some olive oil and cook them at 380 degrees for 3-4 minutes on each side, using tongs to turn them so they stay nice and round and don’t flatten out . . . like mine did! Remember, you’re not using meat, so everything cooks much more quickly than you think. Here are the meatballs after about 10-12 minutes of cooking (I turned them three times.)
Because you’re working with small batches so as not to crowd your air fryer, have an oven set at 200 degrees, and put the finished meatballs on a foiled lined rimmed sheet pan so that they stay nice and warm in the oven while you’re making the rest of the meatballs in the air fryer.
- 6 tablespoons Ian's Gluten-Free Panko
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ib. Beyond Beef, thawed
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine), about the size of a cherry
- Extra virgin olive oil in a mister
- Combine the panko and milk in a medium sized bowl and let soften while your mince your onion, press the garlic cloves and chop the parsley.
- Add the minced onion, pressed garlic, chopped parsley, egg, parmesan, salt, and pepper to the softened panko mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Add the Beyond Beef and mix well.
- Drain and dry the mozzarella balls with a paper towels. If they are wet, the Beyond Beef mixture won't stick to them.
- Take a golf-ball sized scoop of the Beyond Beef mixture and shape it over the dried mozzarella ball.
- Spray the inside of tray of your air fryer with cooking spray or olive oil, turn it to 380 degrees and let it heat up for a few minutes.
- Mist the tops with olive oil from a spritzer and turn them about 3-4 times so that one side doesn't flatten. Cook for about 10-12 minutes total, and then remove to a waiting foil lined tray that you'll pop into a pre-heated 200 degree oven while you air fry your next batch.
- Serve with spaghetti or linguine with your favorite tomato sauce and a nice green veggie like Brussels Sprouts or broccoli.
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Serve with spaghetti or linguine (whole wheat preferred!) and perhaps some roasted Brussels Sprouts for a well-balanced satisfying dinner that should fool any carnivore!
Trust me! My Beyond Beef Meatless Mozzerella Meatballs are truly beyond belief!