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BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS

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Baked buffalo chicken meatballs are perfect Game Day appetizers! These ground-chicken small bites are a great alternative to chicken wings. If you loved our buffalo chicken bites, you’ll enjoy these buffalo balls too!

PIN BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Overhead view of buffalo chicken meatballs with garnishes: crumbled cheese, green onions, ranch dressing.

When hosting an indoor gathering, saucy buffalo chicken wings eaten with fingers is a very messy option. So like BBQ meatballs served from a crockpot with food picks, these buffalo chicken balls are here to save the day.

Say goodbye to orange fingerprints on surfaces beside a stack of gooey napkins. Say goodbye to a pile of ugly chicken bones. These small bites are designed to be be eaten cleanly off a toothpick or with an appetizer fork.

Appetizer fork piercing a baked chicken meatball covered in buffalo sauce.

This is a very versatile recipe. If you love the taste of blue cheese, assemble the ground chicken meatballs with blue cheese crumbles. If you’re not a fan, use feta cheese instead. If you love extra garlicky food, include more garlic.

In a pinch, garnish buffalo chicken meatballs with whatever you have on hand: sliced green onions, minced red onion, cheese crumbles, Italian parsley, cilantro, or sprinkling of sesame seeds. If desired, drizzle the top of the dish with blue cheese dressing or creamy buttermilk ranch dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in a serving dish garnished with crumbled cheese and sliced green onion.

Like our ultra-popular baked chicken meatballs, air fryer lemon butter chicken meatballs, and Greek lamb meatballs, this party favorite won’t last long on the appetizer table. For a gathering of any size, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe so you can snack on a few ahead of time.

When prepping food for a party, my family breezes in and out of the kitchen “recipe testing” appetizers. To have enough buffalo balls to share during the event, I always account for this ahead of time and make extras.

A buffalo chicken meatball with a bite taken out of it.

HOW TO USE LEFTOVER BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS

If you’re lucky enough to have leftover meatballs after your party, turn them into a main dish. Imagine this: savory seared meatballs in a cast-iron skillet coated in a thick and spicy sour-cream-ranch sauce. Ahhh…the aroma!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Rewarm buffalo balls in the oven.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a hot skillet and sear the meatballs. Remove the balls to a plate. To the pan: add 3 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce, 1/3 cup chicken broth, and 1/4 cup sour cream (or Mexican crema). Whisk to combine. If needed, adjust quantities of broth and sour cream until desired thickness is achieved. Add 1/2 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Toss warmed meatballs in the thick luscious sauce.
  4. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice, with a garden salad on the side.

ANOTHER IDEA: turn buffalo balls into a meatball sandwich. Rewarm the meatballs. Tuck them inside a Mexican bolillo roll (or small baguette) that’s been smeared with mayo. Add fresh produce like shredded lettuce, sliced red onion, and sliced tomatoes. An easy lunch or dinner for busy families.

Buffalo chicken meatballs on a serving plate with forks.

INGREDIENTS

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • Large Egg: Helps bind the buffalo balls together so they don’t fall apart.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: This ingredient soaks up extra moisture so the meatballs are tender and moist but not juicy.
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles: Adds delicious creaminess to the recipe with a salty, pungent sharp flavor. Blue cheese is a classic pairing with buffalo sauce. But if you don’t care for blue cheese, use feta instead.
  • Buffalo Sauce: My preferred brand is Frank’s Red Hot. But if you can’t find it at the market, feel free to use another brand.
  • Garlic Powder: Amplifies the savory warmth of the buffalo flavor.
  • Onion Powder: Evenly disperses the flavor of onion throughout the buffalo chicken meatballs.
  • Paprika: This earthy flavor adds an extra layer of complexity to the seasoned ground chicken while enhancing the taste of the buffalo sauce.
  • Sea Salt: This seasoning enhances the flavor of food.
  • Black Pepper: Its vibrant bitter flavor adds depth to mix of seasonings.
  • Ground Chicken: Is the main ingredient in buffalo chicken meatballs. It’s the perfect type of meat to pair with buffalo sauce. Use either ground chicken (both dark and white meat) or ground chicken breast.
  • Olive Oil: Helps the meatballs brown and crisp in the oven.

Sauce for Tossing

  • Buffalo Sauce: If you can find it at the market, use Frank’s Red Hot. Most chain restaurants and sports bars that serve buffalo chicken appetizers use this particular brand.
  • Butter: Thins out the buffalo sauce and helps it stick to the meatballs. It also provides a rich buttery taste.
Ingredients for buffalo chicken meatballs recipe.

RECIPE STEPS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the baking tray to grease it. Reserve second tablespoon of olive oil for later.

  • STEP 1: In a large bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Add the breadcrumbs, blue cheese (or feta), buffalo sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • STEP 2: Add ground chicken to the bowl. Mix it gently. This is very important. We don’t want to overly compact the meat.
  • STEP 3: Fill a small bowl with water for dipping your fingers and hands. Having a bit of liquid on your hands will make it easier to handle the meat without it sticking. Divide the meat mixture into 15 golf-ball sized meatballs. Roll the balls between your palms until smooth and round.
  • STEP 4: Arrange meatballs on the prepared baking tray. Leave room between the pieces so they can brown on all sides.

KITCHEN SMARTS: For uniform-size meatballs, use a metal scoop (large scoop for extra-large balls, medium scoop for average-size balls, small scoop for mini ones). After portioning out the meat, roll the balls between the palms of your hands until they’re smooth and round.

How to make buffalo chicken meatballs in 4 easy steps.
  • STEP 5: Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the meatballs. Bake for 15 minutes or until the interior temperature registers 165°F on a food thermometer.
  • STEP 6: While meatballs are in the oven, prepare the buttery buffalo sauce sauce on stovetop. Add buffalo sauce and butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk to combine. Remove pan from heat.
  • STEP 7: Add meatballs to a large bowl. Pour sauce over the balls and toss until well coated. Transfer buffalo balls to a serving dish. Garnish with cheese crumbles and sliced green onion. Serve immediately with dipping sauce: chilled blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.
Making a buttery buffalo sauce for baked chicken meatballs.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making buffalo chicken meatballs, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

HOW TO KEEP MEATBALL MIXTURE FROM STICKING TO HANDS?

Fill a bowl with water and put it next to your work area. Dampen your hands with water before rolling the meatballs. The moisture will help prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands. You can also use olive oil or cooking spray.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN GROUND CHICKEN IS DONE?

The USDA recommends cooking ground chicken to an internal temperature of 165ºF. Read more about this at foodsafety.gov: safe minimum internal temperatures.

WHAT GOES WITH CHICKEN MEATBALLS?

Meatballs pair well with potato salad, classic macaroni salad, cauliflower rice, or a fresh garden salad.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN MEATBALL APPETIZERS?

Serve with dipping sauce like blue cheese or ranch dressing. If desired, include a crunchy side like celery sticks or carrot sticks. In Mexico we include juicy wedges of lime, and a pinch bowl with flaky sea salt.

RECIPE VARIATIONS?

For a low-carb option use almond flour instead of panko breadcrumbs. For more nutrients, add minced carrot to the meat mixture.

HOW TO STORE BUFFALO CHICKEN BALLS?

After meatballs have cooled, place them inside an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Making meatballs in advance is a great meal-prep idea.

HOW TO FREEZE MEATBALLS?

Arrange meatballs on a parchment-lined tray in a single layer, leaving room between the pieces. Freeze about 45 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm. Transfer balls to an airtight container lined with parchment paper, or to a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze up to 1 month.

Buffalo balls on an appetizer table with forks and garnishes.

MORE SMALL BITES

If you enjoyed these buffalo chicken balls, you’ll also want to try these delicious small bites. Each recipe is easy to make and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Print your favorites for later, or pin them to Pinterest.

Bite taken out of a buffalo chicken meatball to view the beautiful tasty texture.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Recipe testers provided feedback on this delicious appetizer. They said this final version of the recipe produced the BEST buffalo chicken meatballs. It rivals the taste and texture of those served at sports bars and restaurants.

If you agree these buffalo balls are super tasty, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero! Share it with a friend.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Overhead view of buffalo chicken meatballs with garnishes: crumbled cheese, green onions, ranch dressing.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 15 Large Meatballs 1x

Description

These buffalo chicken meatballs have a rich savory flavor with a delicious kick of heat. They taste just like those served at sports bars and restaurants. Enjoy with blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce.


Ingredients

Units Scale

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (or feta cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons buffalo sauce, preferably Frank’s Hot
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

BUTTERY BUFFALO SAUCE FOR TOSSING

  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce, preferably Frank’s Hot
  • 3 tablespoons butter

GARNISHES – OPTIONAL

  • Green onion, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • Blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese

 

 


Instructions

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the baking tray to grease it. Reserve second tablespoon of olive oil for later.

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Add the breadcrumbs, blue cheese (or feta), buffalo sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Add ground chicken to the bowl. Mix it gently. This is very important. We don’t want to overly compact the meat.
  2. Fill a small bowl with water for dipping your fingers and hands. Having a bit of liquid on your hands will make it easier to handle the meat without it sticking. Divide the meat mixture into 15 golf-ball sized meatballs. Roll the balls between your palms until smooth and round.
  3. Arrange meatballs on the prepared baking tray. Leave room between the pieces so they can brown on all sides. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the meatballs. Bake for 15 minutes or until the interior temperature registers 165°F on a food thermometer.
  4. While meatballs are in the oven, prepare the buttery buffalo sauce sauce on stovetop. Add buffalo sauce and butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk to combine. Remove pan from heat. 
  5. Add meatballs to a large bowl. Pour sauce over the balls and toss until well coated. Transfer buffalo balls to a serving dish. Garnish with cheese crumbles and sliced green onion. Serve immediately.

Notes

HOW TO SERVE APPETIZER MEATBALLS: Serve with a dipping sauce like blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing. If desired, include a crunchy side like celery sticks or carrot sticks. In Mexico we include juicy wedges of lime and a pinch bowl with flaky sea salt.

HOW TO STORE BUFFALO BALLS: After the chicken meatballs have cooled, place them inside an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through. 

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Buffalo Balls, Buffalo Chicken Meatball Recipe, Buffalo Chicken Balls

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Do you order buffalo balls at sports bars or restaurants? Do you like to eat them at home during Game Day gatherings? Share your thoughts on these saucy chicken meatballs in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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