These tender buffalo chicken meatballs are a fantastic party appetizer or a great twist on the classic meatball sub. Topped with an effortless buffalo sauce, these will be gone in no time!
Buffalo chicken meatballs wrap up all of the classic flavors of traditional buffalo chicken wings in each hearty little meatball. Finely diced celery and onion provide a nice contrast in texture to the tender ground chicken, while each meatball is infused with Franks RedHot Sauce for added buffalo wing flavor.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Ground Chicken
- White Bread - This will be used to make a panade, however breadcrumbs can be substituted if desired.
- Franks RedHot Sauce - This particular brand of hot sauce famously gives buffalo sauce its classic flavor.
- Garlic - Fresh is always best but garlic powder can be substituted.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Blue Cheese Dressing - This is to serve with the meatballs, omit it if you don't enjoy its strong flavor.
How to Make Meatballs
When prepping your ingredients it is important to finely dice the vegetables, you do not want large chunks. When chopped finely, they will blend in with the meatball rather than being distracting when bitten into.
I also like using a panade to make my meatballs wonderfully tender. Simply let the bread fully soak in the liquid for 10 minutes, until softened and can easily be dispersed into the meat mixture. Check out my How to Make Meatballs guide for more tips!
Once the meat mixture is combined you can form the meatballs. I like mine formed with approximately two tablespoons worth of meat.
How to cook them
The easiest way to cook your buffalo chicken meatballs in a 350-degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. Since you are working with raw chicken, it is important to have the meatballs reach 165 degrees to ensure they are fully cooked.
I often like finishing my meatballs under the broiler when they are getting close to being done cooking. The broiler adds additional texture and color to the meatballs.
How to make Buffalo sauce
Buffalo sauce is exceedingly simple to make. A classic buffalo sauce combines melted butter with Franks RedHot Sauce. Personally, I like adding just a touch of Worcestershire sauce as well for an added layer of flavor. As soon as the ingredients are stirred together, the sauce is ready to use.
Can this be made in the slow cooker?
Slow cooker meatballs are always popular. You can certainly make buffalo chicken meatballs in your slow cooker, but I recommend cooking them first in the oven and then keeping them warm in the slow cooker when serving.
Chicken meatballs release rendered chicken fat while cooking, which will look unappetizing to your guests if left in a slow cooker. However, when first baked in the oven, the meatballs can easily be added to the slow cooker after cooking, leaving the unappetizing yellowish rendered fat behind on the baking pan.
How to serve them
I recommend tossing the buffalo chicken meatballs in buffalo sauce and serving them with blue cheese on the side. If you wish to offer them as a stand-alone party appetizer, cocktail meatballs always make a great hor d'oeuvre. Otherwise, they also make a phenomenal lunch when added to a sub roll with blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep your hands wet when forming the meatballs. This prevents the meat from sticking to your skin.
- Finishing the meatballs under a broiler gives them a better texture.
- Chop the vegetables finely to ensure large chunks to ruin the harmonious texture and flavor of the meatball.
If you wish to eat these as part of a meal, a simple green salad would be a great accompaniment.
Butter forms the base of the sauce, making it thick yet silky smooth. Without butter, the sauce would just be thin hot sauce.
A panade is a mixture of starch, such as bread or crackers, and liquid. This is often used in meatballs or meatloaf as a binder while also making the texture of the meat taste more tender.
More Meatball Recipes
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- 2 lb ground Chicken
- 4 slices White Bread (crust removed)
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Franks Hot Sauce
- ⅔ cup diced Celery
- ½ cup diced Onion
- 2 Eggs
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
- ½ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 6 tablespoons Butter
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Gently tear or chop bread slices into cubes and add to a dish with milk and hot sauce. Ensure bread is evenly saturated with liquid and let sit for 10 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients.
- Gently crumble ground chicken into a large bowl and add remaining meatball ingredients. When bread has soaked for 10 minutes, add that to the meatball bowl as well, and gently combine all ingredients together,
- Scoop out two tablespoons of meatball mixture at a time and gently roll into balls and set on a rimmed baking sheet. (will yield ~36 meatballs)
- Place meatballs in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Optionally: For added texture and color, you can finish cooking meatballs under the broiler.
- When meatballs have finished cooking, toss them in buffalo sauce and serve with blue cheese dressing on the side.
- Melt butter and combine with hot sauce and Worcestershire.
This recipe was originally published on January 14, 2019, on FoxValleyFoodie.com.