Air Fryer Meatloaf

4.86 from 7 votes

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Are you a fan of your 🌬️ air fryer? If yes, then you’re in for a treat! Today, I have a modern twist on a classic comfort food that you can make in your favorite kitchen appliance – Air Fryer Meatloaf. This recipe is an adaptation of my mom’s original recipe, but with a twist. By using an air fryer, you can create a juicy and flavorful meatloaf with a crispy exterior, all in half the time it would take in the oven.

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Meatloaf

Juicy meatloaf in 40 minutes, including prep time? Yep! You’re going to love this Air Fryer Meatloaf for its short baking ⏲️ time (thank you air fryer!) and crispy exterior. But what’s really going to keep you coming back for more is how easy it is to throw together. Not to mention that everyone is going to want seconds, thirds, and fourths of this!

How to Prepare Air Fryer Meatloaf

🧅 Cook onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a pan with oil over medium-high heat until onion is translucent. Add pickle, salt, paprika, garlic powder and oregano. Set aside to cool slightly.

🥚 Combine seasoned vegetables with ground meat, egg, Parmesan (optional), and bread crumbs. Mix well.

🍞 Shape the mixture into a loaf by wrapping it in plastic wrap. Then remove the plastic wrap and place the loaf in the air fryer basket. Brush loaf with barbecue sauce (optional).

🔥 Air fry at 380°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. Brush with more barbecue sauce if desired.

♨️ Continue air frying for an additional 10-15 minutes, checking to avoid burning.

❄️ Let the Meatloaf cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip 🥕

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can absolutely bake this in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet, in a 375°F (200°C) oven, for 30 to 40 minutes or until fully cooked.

Air Fryer Meatloaf

Variations and Substitutions for Air Fryer Meatloaf

Feel free to mix and match these variations to create your own unique take on this Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe!

  1. Instead of using traditional ground beef, you can try ground turkey, chicken, pork, or a blend of ground meat. However, the texture will depend on the type of meat you use so be careful as some can result in a more crumbly or dry texture.
  2. You can include other vegetables such as diced mushrooms, celery, 🥬 spinach, or even grated zucchini in the vegetable mixture.
  3. Experiment with different 🌿 herbs and spices such as dried thyme, rosemary, chili powder, or cumin.
  4. You can substitute regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour.
  5. Instead of 🧀 Parmesan, you can use cheddar, mozzarella, or any other cheese you prefer. Alternatively, omit the cheese altogether for a dairy-free version.

More Ground Meat Recipes

Best Served With

Common Questions

How can I make this dairy-free or Gluten-Free?

You can easily make this dairy and/or gluten-free by omitting the parmesan and using almond flour in place of bread crumbs.

what type of ground meat do you suggest?

I enjoy this Air Fryer Meatloaf with ground pork or beef, but any ground meat will work: turkey, chicken, etc. However, the texture will depend on the type of meat you use so be careful as some can result in a more crumbly or dry texture.

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can absolutely bake this in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet, in a 375°F (200°C) oven, for 30 to 40 minutes. 

How can I make a firmer meatloaf?

If you prefer a firmer meatloaf, after shaping the mixture in plastic wrap, leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. 

Air Fryer Meatloaf

Air Fryer Meatloaf

Using the air fryer, you'll create a deliciously moist and flavorful meatloaf with a crispy outside, in half the time!
4.86 from 7 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot , finely diced
  • ¼ bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 pickle, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder , or fresh minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon oregano, dried
  • 1 pound ground meat, (500 grams) pork or beef
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan , grated and good quality Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs , or almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce , I used Diana's


  • Warm the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper, if using, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent. Add the pickle, if using, and the salt, paprika, and oregano and stir to combine. Take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool a bit.
  • Add the ground meat to a large bowl with the slightly cooled seasoned vegetable mixture. Add the egg, parmesan, if using, and bread crumbs. Using clean hands or a spoon, mix well.
  • Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and place the meat mixture in the center. Wrap the plastic around the mixture and shape it into a loaf that will fit in the basket of your air fryer.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the plastic wrap, place in the air fryer basket, and brush with barbeque sauce, if using.
  • Cook at 380°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, open the air fryer and brush with more barbecue sauce, if using. Bake for another 8 minutes, checking the loaf twice to make sure it's not getting burnt.
  • Let the meatloaf cool a bit and enjoy.


Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 123mg, Sodium: 1030mg, Potassium: 549mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 3802IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 117mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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    1. Hi there, I will be redoing this recipe soon and will add it in. I have to weigh everything first but it’s on my list of things to do 🙂