Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! Get your snack menu in order with these game-day-ready Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. They have the irresistible combo of juicy chicken, zesty buffalo sauce, and a whole lot of spice rolled into bite-sized perfection. Or maybe like 3-4 bite perfection? They’re not the smallest meatballs but you can totally make them bite sized if you want to.
Whether you’re gearing up for a game night feast or just craving a bold and savory snack, these meatballs are about to become your new culinary obsession. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s dive into the deliciousness that is about to unfold!
The sauce will take some time and whisking to fully emulsify the butter into the hot sauce, but once it’s fully incorporated, you’re left with a velvety smooth looking sauce that’s absolutely delicious on these chicken meatballs!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe at home:
- Ground chicken – I prefer a leaner ground chicken (92%) to keep the protein content in these meatballs high, but you can use whatever fat content you like here. Obviously the higher the fat content, the more tender the meatball.
- Panko breadcrumbs – I used the 4C brand seasoned panko breadcrumbs since that’s what I had on hand, but you can use whatever kind you like.
- Milk – Whole milk, half and half, or even non-dairy milk will work great here. I like to use something with at least a little bit of fat content in it. Rather than just dumping the breadcrumbs and milk
- Eggs – The binder that holds the meatballs together!
- Garlic – 4 cloves were just right flavor-wise. If you don’t have fresh garlic cloves on hand, try 1/2 or 3/4 tsp of garlic powder.
- Ranch seasoning – We’re making use of those Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets to help flavor the meatballs with very little effort. You can even mix up the leftovers with sour cream or Greek yogurt for an easy dip for the meatballs!
- Hot sauce – Use whatever hot sauce you like that won’t burn your lips off. I highly recommend Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, which to me is just the standard for buffalo hot sauce flavored anything.
- Butter – Like your favorite buffalo wings, the hot sauce needs butter to stick to the meatballs and tone down the heat. The more butter (and honey) you add to the sauce, the more mild it becomes.
- Honey – Just a touch of honey helps balance out the vinegar and spice of the hot sauce without having to add too much butter, making it less of a punch to the face and easier to eat (especially if you’re turning these balls into a meal). Maple syrup or brown sugar would work here too.
Make it a Meal
Buffalo Chicken Meatball Bowls
I paired the meatballs up with a cooling ranch slaw, carrot ribbons, chopped celery, and creamy avocado over rice for a complete meal. Top it all off with ranch dressing, some crumbled gorgonzola cheese, and green onions to make the flavors pop!
Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches
Serve the meatballs up on a Hawaiian mini sub roll with carrot and celery ribbons, gorgonzola cheese, and ranch dressing for an easy game day sandwich that everyone will love.
Shop for this Recipe
- 2 lbs 92% lean ground chicken, (0.91 kg)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, (56 grams)
- 1/4 cup whole milk, (2 fl oz)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, (1 fl oz)
- 1 tbsp Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, (10 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt, (2.5 mL)
- 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, (4 fl oz)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, (2.67 oz)
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey, (0.75 fl oz)
- Add panko breadcrumbs to a small bowl and mix in milk and 2 tbsp hot sauce. Stir to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Add all meatball ingredients to a large bowl, including the panko breadcrumbs soaked in milk and hot sauce. Use your hands to mix until just combined, then use a cookie scoop for form 30-32 meatballs on the lined baking sheet.
- Optional: once all meatballs are formed on the baking sheet, spray with a little bit of cooking spray to help encourage browning.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through so that no pink remains inside the meatballs.
- While the meatballs bake, make the sauce. Add hot sauce, butter, and honey to a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat until all the butter is melted. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the butter and hot sauce.
- Pour sauce over the baked meatballs and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, if desired.
Tips & Tricks
- The meatball mixture will be very sticky – a 1.5 tbsp cookie scoop will help you avoid frustration in forming the meatballs. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, wet your hands with water to help prevent sticking.
- If you like extra saucy meatballs, increase the sauce ingredients to 2/3 cup hot sauce, 1/2 cup butter, and 2 tbsp honey.
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