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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These buffalo chicken meatballs give you all the zing you'd get from a wing—in a super simple recipe.

This is a bowl of buffalo chicken meatballs. There are bright orange sauce coated meatballs stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with chopped green onions.

Buffalo chicken meatballs

Buffalo Chicken can take many forms: a dip, a roll, even a pasta bake. This is not even to mention the mother of all of these, the buffalo chicken wing.

Is it any surprise? People love the peppery goodness that comes with a buffalo hot sauce, and it turns out to taste good in a variety of contexts.

As beloved as buffalo sauce can be, meatballs don't always get the credit they deserve. You might see them on top of spaghetti or simmering in a bath of bbq sauce, but it's rare that they stand out on their own.

These buffalo chicken meatballs are different. Combining the star power of buffalo sauce with delicious baked chicken is a match made in oven. And heaven.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Ingredients

Some people accuse meatballs of being a bit finicky. It's hard to nail the moisture level just right, and no one wants a batch of bland, dry rocks to serve up. This is probably the reason why the slow-cooker bbq method is so popular—covering up a bad thing!

But you're different. You want to start—and end—with a good thing. This buffalo chicken meatballs recipe is exactly what you want. It's not complicated or fussy, and it consistently generates great results.

Here's what goes into these buffalo chicken meatballs:

Meatball Ingredients

  • ground chicken
  • egg
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

Sauce Ingredients

  • buffalo sauce
  • ranch seasoning

Optional Ingredients

  • green onions
  • ranch or blue cheese dressing
This is a bowl of buffalo chicken meatballs. There are bright orange sauce coated meatballs stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with chopped green onions.

Chicken meatballs recipe

What meat do you normally use for meatballs? It might not be chicken. But, as it turns out, chicken is a great choice.

It's relatively lean on its own, which might make you think it won't make it through the baking process without dehydrating. But with the right combination of supporting ingredients (egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, etc.), you'll wonder why you didn't use a chicken meatballs recipe sooner.

How to make buffalo chicken meatballs

Now for what you came to see: how to make these buffalo chicken meatballs. It goes like this:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Add all meatball ingredients (not the sauce ingredients) in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls.
  • Spread the meatballs evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the meatballs for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the buffalo sauce and ranch seasoning.
  • In small batches, add a few of the meatballs to the bowl of sauce. Coat completely and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat this step until all meatballs are coated.
  • Bake the sauced meatballs for 5 more minutes.
  • Top with green onions (optional).
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!

What is the secret to making good meatballs?

  • Pick good meat: If you don't want to eat it on its own, you might not want to eat it as a meatball.
  • Bake: I'm not saying baking is the superior method (more on that later), but with the right balance of ingredients, baking can produce some tasty results.
  • Balance wet/dry: Generally speaking, you need to have a mix of wet and dry ingredients to form a meatball. If you have a leaner meat, you might need more moisture/fat to keep things balanced. If you start with a richer, more fatty meat, you may not need to supplement as much.
This is a bowl of buffalo chicken meatballs. There are bright orange sauce coated meatballs stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with chopped green onions.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

I don't think it's possible to answer this question, as it depends on what you want to end up with. I can say something in favor of baking meatballs:

  • Lack of frying oil = less mess, less fat
  • Using an oven = hands off (just set the timer and remove when ready), more consistency

It might sound like I'm bashing a frying method—I'm not! Baking just offers more convenience and lines up with my ideal meatball experience.

Should I put egg in my meatballs?

Egg works really well as a binding agent in the meatballs, helping everything stay together. There are definitely some possible substitutes—greek yogurt or cheese, for example. I've even heard of someone using applesauce!

Why do meatballs come out dry?

This comes back to the balance of ingredients.

Because this is a simple recipe, you're really just looking to balance the dry breadcrumbs with the wetness from the egg/chicken. It's definitely easier to add more breadcrumbs than to add more egg, so I'd err on the side of having a slightly more moist mixture, knowing that they will lose moisture as they bake in the oven.

Want some more meatballs?

Try one of these recipes:

This is a bowl of buffalo chicken meatballs. There are bright orange sauce coated meatballs stacked on top of each other, sprinkled with chopped green onions.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These buffalo chicken meatballs give you all the zing you'd get from a wing—in a super simple recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buffalo chicken, buffalo chicken meatballs, chicken meatballs, meatball recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 238kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • baking sheet
  • oven

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tbsp ranch seasoning

Optional Ingredients

  • green onions
  • ranch or blue cheese dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Add all meatball ingredients (not the sauce ingredients) in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls.
  • Spread the meatballs evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the meatballs for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the buffalo sauce and ranch seasoning.
  • In small batches, add a few of the meatballs to the bowl of sauce. Coat completely and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat this step until all meatballs are coated.
  • Bake the sauced meatballs for 5 more minutes.
  • Top with green onions (optional).
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!

Notes

One serving is about 7-8 meatballs

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.2g | Protein: 24.1g | Fat: 14.4g | Cholesterol: 136.7mg | Sodium: 1060.3mg | Potassium: 28.8mg | Vitamin A: 20.1IU | Calcium: 56.1mg | Iron: 10.1mg

Recipe Rating




Amie

Thursday 3rd of November 2022

These have become a staple meal for me, I have made them for meal prep lunches 2 weeks in a row now - they’re that good

Margot

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

Delicious and easy! Love having another version of meatballs to add to my arsenal

Richa

Thursday 7th of July 2022

These meatballs were sooo good. And so easy! Definitely going to make it onto our “go to’s” list for quick and easy dinners. And leftovers too!