If you are a fan of meatloaf but want to make it more healthily, making it an air fryer might be the best option. Air fryers are known for their ability to cook food without using little to no oil, making the food perfect for people who follow a healthy diet.
Making meatloaf in an air fryer is convenient and a healthier alternative than traditional baking or frying methods. The best part of this recipe is that it does not contain any extra oil to cook it.
This meatloaf is full of flavor and is made with bread crumbs, minced chicken, chopped onions, cajun spice, eggs, and a few other ingredients, then shaped into a loaf and baked in an air fryer.
Unlike baking in an oven, this homemade meatloaf requires less than 30 minutes. Making this recipe is easy and requires minimum effort and steps.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
- Flavor: This meatloaf is made with minced chicken, which sets it apart. This brings a lighter and milder taste, making it perfect for any chicken lover like me. It has a slightly sweet flavor with a delicate and tender texture.
- Texture: The minced chicken has a tender, delicate texture that offers a lighter and leaner mouth feel. The natural juiciness in the chicken creates a soft interior, while the exterior is slightly crispy and caramelized. The contrast between the soft interior and crispy exterior gives you a delightful experience with the meatloaf.
- Easy and fast: This recipe of meatloaf is quite easy to make. Almost all the air fryer baskets are nonstick, so it is easier to clean up the basket, making the cooking process a lot simpler. An air fryer cooks food faster than the oven or the stove, saving a lot of time and making it perfect for those who are always in a hurry to do the next chore.
- Healthier: As air fryers often do not need oil, the food is healthier than baking it in an oven or cooking it on the stove. This means you can enjoy this delicious meatloaf with less fat and calories, making it a healthier choice.
Important Ingredients Used In The Recipe
- Minced chicken: It is the star ingredient of this recipe. Since beef is banned in India, as people do not consume it for religious reasons, I have developed a meatloaf recipe made with chicken. It provides a milder and lighter flavor. It is also more juicy than beef, making the meatloaf much more juicer and tastier.
- Chopped onion: Chopped onion adds a subtle, sweet, and savory flavor to the meatloaf. While cooking, it softens and becomes tender, blending beautifully with the chicken and complimenting it.
- Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent that helps blend all the ingredients together and helps hold the shape of a loaf. It also contributes to the texture of the meatloaf.
- Barbeque sauce: Barbeque sauce has been added to the meatloaf to make it sweet, smoky, and rich in flavor. Cooked with chicken imparts a tangy and savory flavor to the meatloaf.
- Panko or bread crumbs: Adding bread crumbs or Panko to the meatloaf mixture will help prevent the meatloaf from becoming dry and keep it moist by absorbing excess moisture from the eggs. It also absorbs the flavor of other ingredients and distributes them evenly in the meatloaf while cooking.
How Does an Air fryer work
An air fryer is a mini convection oven on your countertop. An air fryer cooks with air rather than oil. An Air fryer has a heating element that circulates hot air through a fan around your food. This makes your food crispy from the outside, keeping the juiciness and moistness on the inside.
How To Make Meatloaf In An Air Fryer?
Preparations: Gather all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe box below. Make sure that minced chicken is cleaned beforehand. If you do not have minced chicken, make your own by grinding raw, boneless, and skinless chicken in a blender until you have the desired texture of grounded chicken. Although preheating is important while baking, I did not preheat the air fryer as the basket will turn hot, and there is a high chance of burning yourself while placing the meatloaf in the basket.
Make meatloaf: In a bowl, add the minced chicken along with chopped onions, chopped coriander leaves, egg, salt, cajun spice, garlic powder, and barbeque sauce. Mix everything with your hand. Once mixed properly, add bread crumbs or Panko and mix everything again.
Shape: Now, shape the mixture into a loaf, then wrap it tightly with cling wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Cook: After resting, take it out of the refrigerator and remove the cling wrap. Now place butter paper inside the basket, then place the loaf and bake it at 180° C or 350° F for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. After 10 minutes, flip the meatloaf and cook again for 8 to 10 minutes.
For the barbeque sauce glaze: In a bowl, mix both the barbeque sauce and ketchup, then keep it aside for the completion.
Completion: Once the loaf has cooked properly, brush the barbeque glaze on top generously with a pastry brush.
Chef’s Tips For The Recipe
For The Meatloaf
While combing the ingredients, be gentle with the mixing process, as over-mixing can lead to denser meatloaf.
Shape the meatloaf uniformly and compactly to ensure even cooking.
Keep the loaf in the refrigerator overnight for the flavors to develop.
To avoid overcooking, check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer. If the temperature is between 165° F and 170° F (74° C and 79° C), then the meatloaf is cooked perfectly.
For Barbeque Sauce Glaze
You can use different sauces instead of ketchup with barbeque sauce, like hot sauce, to make meatloaf more flavorful.
How To Store Meatloaf
It can be stored in the freezer for 3 months if kept in an air-tight container or wrapped tightly with food-grade plastic wrap.
You can store it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Keep it in an air-tight container so it does not dry out and absorb the smell of other food.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Use a kitchen thermometer to check whether the meatloaf is done or not. If the temperature is between 165° F and 170° F (74° C and 79° C), then the meatloaf is cooked perfectly.
You should let the meatloaf rest after taking it out of the air fryer. It allows the juices to stay intact within the meatloaf and makes it juicier when sliced.
To achieve a crispier texture, brush the barbeque sauce glace on top of the meatloaf before cooking it in the air fryer. Or you can increase the temperature to high when only a few minutes are left until fully baked.
You can line the air fryer basket with butter paper that has holes in it to prevent the meatloaf from sticking to the basket, making the cleaning easier, too.
- 230 g Minced chicken
- 1/2 Medium chopped onions
- 1 Egg
- 1 + 1/2 tbsp Chopped coriander
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cajun spice
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- ¼ cup Bread crumbs or Panko
- 1 tbsp Barbecue sauce
For Barbeque Sauce Glaze
- 10 g Barbecue sauce
- 10 g Ketchup
- Add the minced chicken and chopped onions, coriander leaves, egg, salt, Cajun spice, garlic powder, and barbeque sauce in a bowl.
- Mix everything with your hand. Once mixed properly, add bread crumbs or Panko and mix everything again.
- Now, shape the mixture into a loaf, then wrap it tightly with cling wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- After resting, take it out of the refrigerator and remove the cling wrap. Now place butter paper inside the basket, then place the loaf and bake it at 180° C or 350° F for 10 minutes or until it turns brown.
- After 10 minutes, flip the meatloaf and cook again for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, the meatloaf is cooking. Make the barbeque sauce glaze by mixing the barbeque sauce and ketchup in a bowl, then keep it aside for completion.
- Once the loaf has cooked properly, brush the barbeque glaze on top generously with a pastry brush.
- Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes