Irresistibly tender, packed with spicy buffalo flavor and perfect for popping one after the other, our Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are ready for their inaugural appearance this football season. Thank you to AE Dairy for sponsoring today’s post!
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Chicken meatballs get a notoriously bad rap for being dry and boring but when you have a couple secret ingredient weapons up your sleeve, what results is a tender meatball brimming with flavor rivaling any pork or beef variation.
Secret number 1: Instead of adding in chopped onion, try grating it instead. This adds moisture and ensures there’s onion flavor in each bite.
Secret number 2: The combination of breadcrumbs + egg results in tender meatballs that don’t resemble hockey pucks.
Secret number 3: AE Dairy Buffalo Ranch Dip. Adding a sour cream-based dip to the chicken mixture is another genius way to add moisture to the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. In addition to the texture enhancing benefits it has, it also adds a tremendous amount of addictive buffalo ranch flavor in each bite.
Let’s get started!
Chicken. As the name implies, these buffalo meatballs are made with chicken. I use ground chicken breast but for more flavor you can use regular ground chicken.
Onion + garlic. As mentioned prior, whenever I make meatballs, I like to grate the onion into the meat so there are no large chunks of onion. In addition, the grated onion keeps the meatballs extra moist. Garlic is a no brainer.
Egg. Here we only need the egg yolk.
Breadcrumbs. I like to use plain panko breadcrumbs but whole-wheat, regular or even dry old bread will work.
Celery. Where there’s buffalo flavor there’s celery. Finely dice the celery to avoid large pieces.
Green onion. For flavor and color.
Hot sauce. Use your favorite brand, anything will do!
AE Dairy Buffalo Ranch Dip. The pièce de résistance of our buffalo meatballs. Not only do we use the dip in the meatballs to keep them extra moist (secret number three in achieving tender, tasty meatballs) and add flavor but we dip the finished meatballs in the dip as well. Life changing.
If you’ve been around a while, you know AE Dairy is a daily part of our lives when it comes to dairy. And their dips are no exception! I love using them as they’re meant to be consumed – i.e. demolished simply with a chip or veggie crudités however I also love to use them as flavor builders to existing recipes.
Of course AE Dairy is known for the classic dips such as French Onion and Ranch there’s a whole creative dip world out there. I was borderline giddy when I found out they had a Buffalo Ranch dip I could use to spruce up my go-to buffalo chicken meatball recipe. Spooning a dollop or two into the meatball mixture lets us add a vast amount of flavor and moisture without a lot of added ingredients.
Let’s Make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Mix the ingredients. Add ground chicken breast, minced green onion, garlic, grated onion, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, salt, celery, 2 tablespoons dip, and hot sauce to a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together just until combined.
Form into meatballs. Use a small cookie scoop to form 1 1/2-inch balls of the chicken mixture. Wet hands with cold water to keep the chicken from sticking. Roll into even balls. Line on prepared baking sheet
Bake. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Drizzle with sauce. Remove from the oven and drizzle with remaining hot sauce.
Serve with Buffalo Ranch. Done!
Can I make buffalo chicken meatballs in advance?
Yes! You can bake the meatballs, cool them and freeze until you’re ready to eat.
Can I make these meatballs in the air fryer?
Yes! Line the air fryer with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and cook at 350 for 7-8 minutes until cooked through.
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Don’t over-mix the chicken and other ingredients. We’ve done so much to ensure moist, tender meatballs and over-mixing can jeopardize that.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the internal temp of the chicken. Overcooked chicken is no bueno.
- Use ground turkey in place of chicken
- For extra veggies, throw in chopped, shredded carrots or shredded zucchini with any excess water squeezed out
- For extra spice sprinkle in a little bit of crushed reed pepper flakes
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion, plus more for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 small onion, grated
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp finely diced celery
- 2 tbsp buffalo dip
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add ground chicken breast, minced green onion, garlic, grated onion, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, salt, celery, 2 tablespoons dip, and hot sauce to a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together just until combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop to form 1 1/2-inch balls of the chicken mixture. Wet hands with cold water to keep the chicken from sticking. Roll into even balls. Line on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with remaining hot sauce. Serve with extra Buffalo Ranch Dip.