These buffalo chicken meatballs are smothered in a spicy and tangy ranch sour cream sauce for a fun and flavorful meal!
You can't go wrong with meatballs, and dressing them up with Frank's Red Hot is never a bad idea. If you're looking for something a bit different for dinner and love hot wing flavors, you might want to give this a try!
When I first had the idea for these meatballs, I did a little research and saw that most of the buffalo chicken meatball recipes online are presented like appetizers (served with toothpicks and a dip), but I wanted to create one that eats like a meal.
This recipe is fairly spicy, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for kids if that's a concern for you. The sour cream and ranch in the sauce do offer a bit of a cooling effect, however.
How to make buffalo chicken meatballs (overview):
Add the meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix together using your hands. Form into 1" meatballs (recipe will make about 20). Place meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for easy clean-up. Sear the meatballs in a skillet in two batches (about 5 minutes/batch), turning the meatballs often until they're nicely browned all over. Transfer meatballs to a plate. In the same skillet, make the sauce (using butter, Frank's Red hot, ranch seasoning, and chicken broth), then add the meatballs back in and cook until the sauce has reduced and the meatballs are cooked through. Stir in the sour cream to finish. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- The meatball mixture is a bit sticky, so rolling them the same way as your standard beef/pork meatballs may not work as well. I gently form them into balls without actually rolling them. It can help to put a bit of olive oil on the palms of your hands so it sticks less.
- You could add some crumbled blue cheese either into the sauce or as a topping if it's integral for your buffalo chicken experience.
- I used Frank's Red Hot Original sauce. I recommend using that if you possibly can since not all hot sauces are created equal, and some can be much hotter than others.
- Chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165F. Use an instant read thermometer to easily test.
- I used Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning. If you prefer to make your own, check out this recipe for homemade ranch seasoning.
- This recipe probably isn't the best to freeze (the sauce is likely to go a bit weird), but leftovers should be good for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat slowly on a low heat so the sauce is less likely to separate.
What to serve with this dish?
Try rice (like in the photo below) or mashed potatoes or even pasta!
Love buffalo chicken? Try these recipes:
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Easy Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Buffalo Chicken Soup
Questions about this buffalo chicken meatballs recipe? Ask me in the comments below.
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
- Chopped scallions (for serving) optional, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning I used Hidden Valley
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- To a prep bowl, add all the meatball ingredients (except for the olive oil and scallions). With your hands, mix it together well, but don't overwork the mixture. The mixture will be quite wet. Form 1" meatballs (it'll make around 20 or so). Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for easy clean-up.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet and let it heat up for a few minutes. Fry the meatballs in 2 batches until they're browned all over (about 5 min/batch). I use tongs to turn them quickly and easily. They will brown quite fast, so turn them often. If needed, add another splash of olive oil to the skillet for the second batch. Transfer meatballs to a plate once they're browned.
- If there's a lot of excess oil in the skillet, drain it, but leave the browned pieces (don't wipe out the pan). Take the skillet off the heat for a minute or so to let it cool a bit.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the skillet, along with the hot sauce, ranch seasoning, and chicken broth. Whisk until smooth. Let it bubble for a minute or two, then add the meatballs back to the skillet.
- Cook the meatballs for 5 minutes or so, until they're cooked through (165F) and the sauce has reduced a bit.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the sour cream (I toss it with 2 spoons to do this easily). Serve with chopped scallions sprinkled over top.
- The sauce is fairly salty, so you may want to make your own homemade ranch seasoning if you need it to be low sodium (see a recipe linked within the blog post).
- If the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of chicken broth.
- Meatballs will cook at a different rate depending on how big/small you make them, so I recommend using an instant read meat thermometer to be safe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.