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Bison Meatballs (Air Fryer or Baked)

Looking to try something new? Make Bison Meatballs for dinner! This easy ground bison recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep time, and then you can air fry or bake the meatballs—your choice! The meatballs are flavorful and meaty, and can be paired with your favorite sauce.

Bowl of bison meatballs

Whether you choose an Italian tomato sauce to serve over pasta or teriyaki sauce to toss the meatballs in to serve over rice, they're DELICIOUS! These meatballs are also great in meatball subs or lettuce wraps.

Plate of bison meatballs with marinara sauce over pasta

More quick and easy meatball dinners: 30 Minute Swedish Chicken Meatballs

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Why make bison meatballs

I never need any convincing to try a new ingredient, but if you're on the fence about why you should make bison meatballs instead of sticking to classic beef meatballs, here are a few reasons:

  • Bison meat is typically leaner and healthier, but still has plenty of flavor even without the fat. If you're looking for ground bison meat, you'll probably find 90% lean easily.
  • Speaking of flavor, bison has a really great meaty flavor without being too "gamey."
  • Bison meat has has higher amounts of vitamin B12, zinc, iron, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids (Source).
  • Bison is typically raised in more of a free-range grass-fed environment, versus farmed beef. It's not always the case, but chances are the bison you find at a grocery store lived a better life than the cow.
  • With the price of beef nowadays, ground bison is actually not a bad choice budget-wise, compared to buying lean ground beef. See ideas here for how to stretch the meat budget
Fork holding bison meatball with a bite taken out of it to show texture inside

So I hope you give these ground bison meatballs a try!

Related recipe: Venison Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground bison (I had 90% lean)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ plain breadcrumbs (if using Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, reduce salt to ½ teaspoon)
  • 2-3 scallions, very finely diced (¼ cup diced scallions), see "recipe variations" section for substitutions
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or use 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning instead of the two dried herbs)
  • ¾ - 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for bison meatballs

Related recipe: Moroccan Meatballs with Polenta

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Spray or brush with olive oil.

Step 2: In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well with a fork, making sure all the seasoning is well distributed.

Collage of 2 pictures showing how to make bison meatball mixture from ground bison meat

Step 3: Use your hands to form small ~1-inch meatballs (about a rounded tablespoon of the bison mixture) and place on the prepared baking pan.

Uncooked bison meatballs on a baking pan

Step 4: Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve hot, tossing with your favorite sauce. It's normal if the meatballs release a little bit of grey stuff, that's just protein and water an is completely edible and harmless. Just use tongs to remove the meatballs from the baking pan.

Baked bison meatballs

Related recipe: Peach Glazed Meatballs

Recipe variations

→ For gluten-free bison meatballs, use gluten-free breadcrumbs, or substitute with ¼ cup instant oats (1 minute oats). I often use oats in burger and meatball recipes (like these ground pork burgers).

→ No scallions? Use 1 small onion that's very very finely minced.

→ Want to add fresh parsley? Chop up ¼ cup very finely and add it to the mixture.

Related recipe: Pork Meatloaf

Air fryer bison meatballs

These bison meatballs come out FANTASTIC in the air fryer!! Preheat your air fryer to 375F and air fry for 6-8 minutes, or until they're fully cooked on the inside. No need to flip them halfway through. The actual air fryer time will vary depending on your air fryer size and model, so check on the meatballs after 5-6 minutes.

More game meat recipes to try: Frog Legs Recipe

What to serve with bison meatballs

Since bison meatballs have a great gamey flavor, they go so well with many kinds of sauces and dishes!

These hold up great to well-seasoned tomato sauces. They are great over pasta or in a meatball sub with a slice of melted provolone. They pair well with a sweet-and-sticky sauce. They are also great in a creamy Swedish meatballs type of sauce, which balances out their gaminess. 

More unique protein recipes: Air Fryer Cornish Hens

Italian-style bison meatballs

For Italian meatballs, toss with your favorite heated up marinara sauce and pasta, serving with lots of freshly grated Parm.

Plate of bison meatballs with pasta

More recipes using game meat: Ground Venison Tacos

Asian bison meatballs

Try tossing these cooked meatballs with teriyaki sauce or a sweet and sour sauce. Or make your own sauce: whisk together ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1-2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon each minced fresh garlic and ginger in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce starts to simmer and thicken. Stir in the meatballs and toss to combine.

Serve over rice with steamed veggies, or try them in lettuce wraps with grated or julienned carrots and daikon radish. Either way, garnish with toasted sesame seeds!

Bison meatball lettuce wraps

Leftover meatballs

These meatballs (like most meatballs) keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan with a little sauce (or with a splash of water to keep them from drying out). They can also be frozen and reheated from frozen or after thawing in the fridge. A great meal-prep and make-ahead recipe!

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Bowl of ground bison meatballs.
Print Recipe
4.78 from 35 votes

Bison Meatballs (Air Fryer or Baked)

Make delicious ground bison meatballs and serve over pasta with marinara sauce or over rice with a teriyaki-type sauce. The notes below the recipe have air fryer instructions.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Kosher
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground bison - (I use 90% lean)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ plain breadcrumbs - (if using seasoned breadcrumbs, reduce salt to ½ teaspoon)
  • 2-3 scallions - very finely diced (¼ cup diced scallions), or use a small yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano - (or use 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning instead of the two dried herbs)
  • ¾ - 1 teaspoon salt - or to taste
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper - or to taste

Special equipment

  • Large baking dish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Spray or brush with olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well with a fork, making sure all the seasoning is well distributed.
  • Use your hands to form small ~1-inch meatballs (about a rounded tablespoon of the bison mixture) and place on the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve hot, tossing with your favorite sauce. It's normal if the meatballs release a little bit of grey stuff, that's just protein and water an is completely edible and harmless. Just use tongs to remove the meatballs from the baking pan.

Notes

→ Serving ideas: With marinara sauce over pasta or in a meatball sub, with a teriyaki or Korean BBQ sauce over rice with steamed veggies, in lettuce wraps.
→ For gluten-free bison meatballs, use gluten-free breadcrumbs, or substitute with ¼ cup instant oats (1 minute oats). I often use oats in burger and meatball recipes (like these ground pork burgers).
→ Want to add fresh herbs? Chop up ¼ cup parsley very finely and add it to the mixture.
→ Air fryer bison meatballs: Preheat your air fryer to 375F and air fry for 6-8 minutes, or until they're fully cooked on the inside. No need to flip them halfway through. All air fryers cook at different speeds, so check on the meatballs after 5-6 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal (14%) | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g (46%) | Fat: 19g (29%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (40%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 120mg (40%) | Sodium: 1110mg (46%) | Potassium: 397mg (11%) | Fiber: 0.4g (2%) | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 125IU (3%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 33mg (3%) | Iron: 4mg (22%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

4.78 from 35 votes (35 ratings without comment)
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Renee F

Friday 1st of March 2024

My husband loved this recipe. He ate all of them in a matter of 2 days. He put them in spaghetti for dinner that night. Then he made a sandwich the next day for lunch. Then had some with nothing on them at all. I was able to eat 3 before he got possessive over them. 😂 I was going to bring 4 over for my sister and BIL to try, who live next door, he said “Where are you going with those, I know you like to share but not this time”. So they passed a very rigorous test of my picky husband when he won’t share food 😂 I used a medium size cookie scoop to make them all even and it made it faster to scoop and dump them on the baking sheet. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

Renee F

Friday 1st of March 2024

@Kate, oh he asked that already. Luckily Costco sells that double pack of bison. 😍

Kate

Friday 1st of March 2024

Oh no, sounds like you have to make a double batch next time!

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