Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs (Air Fryer)

Sweet and sour chicken meatballs that are FAILSAFE and delicious?! Oh my.

I’ve been struggling lately with finding safe ways to cook meat and poultry. My usual methods of pan frying and broiling seem to be setting me off (high heat and browning are two no-no’s when it comes to amines), so I wanted to try another cooking method.

That left me with two options: oven baked (my tried and true with meatballs) or the air fryer. And since I’ve been wanting to branch out and try more things in our air fryer, I decided to give meatballs a go.

I was going to keep the meatballs plain to see how they cooked up, but last minute decided to figure out a fun sauce to dress them up. I went with a sweet and sour sauce because we (well, my husband and I) love Asian-inspired meatballs. The FAILSAFE Dipping Sauce tastes like duck sauce (a sweet and sour dipping sauce found in Chinese restaurants in the United States) to me, so I figured it would be easy to hack a sweet and sour sauce with the sauce and a little extra citric acid. 

Turns out I was right.

The sweet and sour sauce is a lovely addition and really rounds out the meal. If you’d prefer to keep the meatballs plain (I definitely did for the kiddos), feel free. And if you want to switch things up and use ground beef or turkey for your meatballs, I certainly won’t stop you.

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 mins
Servings: 4


Sweet and sour chicken meatballs that are FAILSAFE and delicious?! Oh my. 


For the meatballs:

For the sauce:


  1. Combine meatball ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix together with your hands until everything is evenly incorporated.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 350°F/180°C. (If you’d prefer to do it in the oven, preheat to 375°F/190°C.)

  3. Roll chicken mixture into 12-15 balls and place into the tray of your air fryer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway. (If using an oven, bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside and internal temperature reaches 160°F/75°C.)
  4. While the chicken is cooking, combine all sauce ingredients into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Once meatballs are fully cooked, remove from the air fryer and place into sauce pan with sauce. Toss to coat.
  6. Serve with steamed rice and green beans, as a meatball sandwich with fried flatbread and some sautéed cabbage, or enjoy it as is!


This recipe is FAILSAFE and RPAH Elimination Diet friendly. It is also gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free, soy free, corn free, and low salicylate. 

Keywords: air fryer, chicken, dairy free, failsafe, gluten free, low salicylate, meatballs, nightshade free, rpah elimination diet, soy free

The FAILSAFE Dipping Sauce, in case you need it:

Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 20 Calories: 20 kcal


A FAILSAFE Dipping Sauce to add a little variety (and joy) to your plate. Because FAILSAFE doesn’t mean NO FUNSAFE.



  1. Purée pears and syrup in a blender until smooth and pour into a small sauce pan. Add remaining ingredients (sugar, citric acid, salt, garlic) and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens by about 1/3-1/2 in volume. The sauce should still be pourable but noticably thicker.
  3. Allow to cool before transferring to a small jar or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 20kcal


*Make sure to read ingredients in the pears you use. Most canned pears use corn syrup or fruit juice. Del Monte LITE pearsDel Monte LITE pears** are only pears, sugar, and water and is what I use for this and the Pear + Carob BBQ Sauce. Del Monte also make pears in water only if you want to go light on the sugar.


This recipe is FAILSAFE and RPAH Elimination Diet friendly. It is also gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free, corn free, soy free, and low salicylate. 

Keywords: dairy free, failsafe, gluten free, low salicylate, nightshade free, pear, rpah elimination diet, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Emily @ My Failsafe Life

Diving feet first into a FAILSAFE diet after years of struggling with digestive issues and feeling like crap.

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