Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These flavorful chicken meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your next party, game day, or any day.

In this recipe

  • The Inspiration for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
  • Dare to only have one
  • Which buffalo sauce to buy
  • 4 practical tips and tricks
  • Ingredient swap that works
  • What to serve with Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
  • Make-Ahead Meatballs

Say hello to your new favorite game day treat: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs! They’re everything universally revered about wings, only in the form of tiny meatballs smothered in spicy buffalo sauce.

The Inspiration for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

While the inspiration here is 100% buffalo chicken wings, the ingredients resemble a typical Italian meatball: ground beef, breadcrumbs, spices and an egg. The main difference is that instead of Italian herbs and parmesan for flavor, this recipe relies on bottled buffalo sauce, both in the meatball mix and on the baked meatballs.

Because these are based on traditional spicy wings, the meatballs are made with ground chicken instead of beef or pork. And here’s a plus: Eating them in mixed company might feel a little less barbaric than a messy bunch of wings.

Dare to only have one

The balance of spiciness and spiciness makes Buffalo Chicken Meatballs so damn addictive. That’s because traditional buffalo sauce is rich in both chilies and vinegar, delicious flavors. They are also very tender and slightly lighter than the red meat ones.

Which buffalo sauce to buy

As far as I know, Frank’s Red Hot was the original sauce used when wings were invented in Buffalo, New York in the ’60s. It was mixed with melted butter before being applied to the chicken.

Buffalo sauce is widely available in supermarkets these days. You might even find a selection of different brands. For this recipe I used Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. You don’t need to add butter. If you choose a hot sauce that doesn’t have “Buffalo” on the label, I would suggest whisking together 3 tablespoons hot sauce with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

  1. Don’t overmix the chicken. Once you’ve added the chicken to the breadcrumbs, use your hands to gently mix the ingredients until combined. Aggressive hands make the meatballs tough.
  2. Make the meatballs uniform in size. You want the meatballs to cook at the same speed, so make them all the same size.
  3. If you find the chicken is sticky when rolling the meatballs, Slightly wet your palms with water and try again.
  4. Keep an eye on the oven. Ground chicken is typically leaner than beef and pork, so it’s more likely to overcook. They should just be pink in the center when you pull them out of the oven. Cut one to verify!

Ingredient swap that works

Dietary needs and food supplies may mean that ingredients need to be swapped out. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap another ground beef for the chicken. There’s no reason why turkey or beef can’t be used instead.
  • Make it vegetarian! Use Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger in place of the ground beef.
  • Go gluten free! Instead of plain breadcrumbs, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko.

What to serve with Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

As far as serving goes, this is a recipe you can play with. Serve on a plate with toothpicks. Keep it traditional with a stack of celery sticks and crumbled blue cheese on the side, or this Blue Cheese Dressing.

Alternatively, thread some meatballs onto wooden skewers and spread them out on a pretty platter. Or turn the meatballs into a savory hero by arranging two or three on a crusty bun with a squirt of mayonnaise, a pile of shredded cabbage, and extra sauce on the side. Yummy!

Make-Ahead Meatballs

These meatballs make the ideal appetizer. Here are a few different options:

  • Make the meatball mixture up to a day ahead, cover and refrigerate. Shape and bake the meatballs when ready to serve.
  • Make and shape the meatballs on a tray or sheet that fits in your fridge. Cover and refrigerate uncooked up to a day ahead. Place the patties on a baking sheet and put them in the oven when the guests arrive.
  • Cook the meatballs up to a day in advance. Get them out of the oven 2 minutes early, but don’t add the buffalo sauce yet. Place them in the fridge in a covered container. Place them on a baking sheet to reheat, cover with foil to prevent drying out, and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Then roll them in buffalo sauce.

More Buffalo Chicken Recipes

  • Buffalo Wings
  • Buffalo chicken dip
  • Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Wings
  • Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
  • Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with Ranch Sauce

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
14 minutes

total time
29 minutes

4 servings

20 small meatballs

If using Frank’s Red Hot or other hot sauce without “Buffalo” on the label, use 3 tablespoons of the hot sauce whisked with 2 tablespoons of melted butter instead of 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of buffalo sauce.


  • Non-stick cooking spray, for the baking sheet

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons milk, any kind

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce, divided, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 2 spring onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Make the Meatballs:

    In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce with a fork. Add breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and stir well. Add the chicken and use your hands to gently combine the ingredients, just enough to mix. Don’t mix too much or the meatballs will become chewy. The mixture will become soft and sticky.

  3. Shape meatballs:

    Scoop out a rounded tablespoon of chicken, roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken. You will have about 20 small meatballs. If your hands get sticky, wet them with water while doing this.

  4. Bake Meatballs:

    Bake the meatballs until golden brown on the bottom and cooked through, about 14 minutes.

  5. Serve Meatballs:

    Place the meatballs in the center of the baking sheet and drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup buffalo sauce over them. Use a spoon to roll the meatballs in the sauce. Transfer them to a plate and sprinkle the spring onions on top. Serve with toothpicks and a small bowl of extra sauce.

    Refrigerate leftover meatballs in a covered container for up to 3 days. Heat them in the microwave until warm.

    To freeze, allow the meatballs to cool completely. Then store them in a tightly sealed, freezer-friendly container or bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, transfer straight from the freezer to a 350°F oven, cover with foil and bake until warmed through.

    Did you like the recipe? Leave us a review in the comments.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!