Air Fryer Meatballs in Caper Sauce

Though this recipe looks long and complicated, it’s worth the time and effort. An air fryer makes life much easier here too. I originally found meatballs in caper sauce in a book from the library, so I made it my own. It’s like a fancier version of meatballs with brown gravy.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onion till tender.

1 T. butter

1 small onion, diced

Add the parsley and stir for 1 more minute:

2 T. parsley, chopped

Set the onion mixture aside in a medium bowl.

The Sauce

In the same saucepan, melt more butter:

4 T. butter

Add and whisk until smooth:

4 T. flour

Gradually stir in the beef broth and stir until thickened:

4 c. beef broth

Add and simmer for 5 minutes:

1 bay leaf

Set the sauce aside.

The Meatballs

To the bowl with the onion, add all of the following and mix well:

1/2 c. breadcrumbs

2 lbs. ground beef or beef/pork mix

1 egg

1 T. stone ground mustard

1/4 t. pepper

1 t. salt

1/4 t. paprika

Form into small balls (I use a cookie scoop) and air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees, shaking once. You may need to cook 2 batches if your air fryer is small or use the oven to broil them if you don’t have an air fryer.


Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce:

1 T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. capers with juice

1/2 c. sour cream

Serve meatballs in caper sauce with a side of mashed potatoes. I keep the sauce separate until serving so the meatballs stay crispy.

Find more delicious, German recipes here.

meatballs in caper sauce
meatballs in caper sauce

Air Fryer Meatballs in Caper Sauce

Serve with mashed potatoes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 8


  • air fryer


  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped

The Sauce

  • 4 tablepoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf

The Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 pounds ground beef or beef/pork mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers with juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion until tender. Add the parsley and cook for 1 more minute. Set aside in a medium bowl.
    1 onion, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons parsley

The Sauce

  • In the same saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Add the flour and whisk till smooth.
    4 tablepoons butter, 4 tablespoons flour
  • Gradually add the beef broth and whisk until thickened. Add the bay leaf and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
    4 cups beef broth, 1 bay leaf

The Meatballs

  • Mix the meatball ingredients into the onion mixture from earlier.
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 2 pounds ground beef, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Form meatballs using a cookie scoop or your hands. Air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.


  • Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce and heat through. Serve the meatballs with the sauce and mashed potatoes.
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers with juice, 1/2 cup sour cream
Keyword beef
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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