Warning, these are addictive. Air fryer cheese balls are a surprisingly elegant appetizer idea that comes together as a fun warm appetizer or a snack. I like this ninja foodi cheese ball recipe because you can use any kind of firm and stringy cheese and I just happened to have mini bocconcini mozzarella balls! These fried cheese balls can also be made gluten free with a couple simple substitutions. Unlike some air fryer recipes, you also don’t miss the deep fryer with this one because the cheese and batter make them so decadent.
The cheese is the star here! If you have access to cheese curds, they’d be a good choice, but for elegance and even sizes, I used mini bocconicini mozzarella balls. If you don’t have access to mini balls, feel free to cut up a big bocconcini into even sized pieces. To make these gluten free you can simply sub any all purpose gluten free flour as well as some gluten free bread crumbs. I enjoyed seasoning the bread crumbs to taste with some Italian seasoning but you can leave them plain if you don’t want any herbs on them. To serve? Use any kind of dip you want. Red pepper mayo? Pesto? Marinara sauce? It’s up to you! Or even just straight mayo – I’m not going to judge.
- mini bocconicini balls
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- marinara sauce for dipping
Coat the Balls
These cheese balls require the 3 step coating process used for many things, like breaded chicken, some types of fritters, etc. Arrange in three bowls, one with flour, salt and pepper, the other with egg and cream and the third with seasoned breadcrumbs. Toss the cheese with the flour, dust off excess flour, and roll them in the egg mixture. Allow excess egg to drip off the cheese and roll into the breadcrumbs. Good thing there’s a video to show you how I did it! Don’t forget to check it out.
This cheese ball recipe is like most delicious Ninja Foodi recipes, so don’t overcrowd while you cook. I cooked mine in two batches but you may be able to squeeze all of your cheese in one layer. Either way, preheat your Foodi with the trivet insert and spray it with cooking oil. Add the coated cheese balls in one layer on the trivet and cook until the cheese JUST starts to seep out. If you’re serving these with a dip, serve them with a room temperature or slightly warmed up dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Cheese Ball Recipe
- Ninja Foodi
- cooking oil spray
- Paper Towel
- 1 cup mini bocconcini mozarella balls
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour I used gluten free
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp 10% cream also known as half and half
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs I used gluten free
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup marinara sauce optional
- Place all of the bocconicini on a paper towel lined tray and pat dry.
- Place flour in a shallow plate and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add egg to a shallow plate and whisk with cream. Season with a small pinch of salt.
- Mix breadcrumbs together with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Place in one shallow plate
- Preheat the Ninja Foodi to 390F ensuring your air cirsp trivet is inside of the insert.
- Roll each bocconcini in the flower, then roll each individually in egg and finally in breadcrumbs.
- It's highly recommended to go back and roll each breaded cheese ball back into the egg once more and then once again in the breadcrumbs.
- Spray the Ninja Foodi insert with cooking oil then layer the breaded cheese in one layer onto the trivet. Spray generously with cooking oil spray.
- Air crisp for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is beginning to seep through.
- Serve immediately with optional dipping sauce.
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