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These buffalo chicken meatballs are pan seared and smothered in a spicy and tangy ranch sour cream sauce for a fun and flavorful dish with a kick!

Try these Grape Jelly Meatballs or my Chicken and Spinach Meatballs next.

close-up of easy buffalo chicken meatballs

Why you’ll love it

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy eating meatballs for dinner as the star of the meal. Dressing them up with hot wing flavors just might be the best riff on buffalo chicken out there! The creamy sauce with Frank’s Red Hot is just so saucy. It has a spicy punch followed by that irresistible cooling effect from the sour cream and ranch.

It’s true that you’ll usually find these buffalo chicken meatballs on a snack table at a party as an appetizer, but I’m so excited to bring you this recipe that eats like a meal. It’s just such a cozy and creative way to eat ’em, hot and tasty, for a comforting weeknight dinner.

Can I serve these as a party appetizer?

  • Of course! I designed it as a meal, but you can serve them in a big bowl with the creamy sauce drizzled over top.
  • Simply add a toothpick to each one so that everyone can help themselves.
  • You could serve them with a small bowl of Homemade Ranch Dressing or blue cheese dressing or dip on the side.

What you’ll need

For the meatballs

  • Ground chicken – or use ground turkey if you prefer!
  • Egg – for binding everything together
  • Panko – they’re breadcrumbs that are lighter and less dense than regular ones
  • Worcestershire sauce & Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce – they are the best savory and spicy pairing. Iconic!
  • Garlic powder and onion powder – another layer of savory flavor
  • Olive oil – for pan frying

For the sauce

  • Butter – to start it off right
  • Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce – 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.
  • Ranch seasoning – I always go for Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning. If you prefer to make your own, check out this recipe for Homemade Ranch Seasoning.
  • Chicken broth – we’re using low sodium here
  • Sour cream – use full fat for optimal flavor and texture
  • Scallions – optional topping, but a pop of freshness
best buffalo chicken meatballs in a skillet

Tips for success

  • 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.

How to make buffalo chicken meatballs

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

a glass bowl with meatball ingredients

Add the meatball ingredients to a bowl, and mix together using your hands. Form into 1″ balls. This recipe will make about 20.

buffalo chicken meatballs before and after pan frying

Place meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for easy clean-up. Sear the meatballs in a skillet in two batches, turning the meatballs often until they’re nicely browned all over. Transfer meatballs to a plate.

making creamy sauce in a skillet for buffalo chicken meatballs

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!

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

What to serve with these meatballs

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers should be good for 3-4 days in the fridge in a covered container.
  • Reheat slowly on a low heat in a small saucepan so that the sauce is less likely to separate.
  • This recipe isn’t the best to freeze. Sauces with dairy just don’t hold up well in the freezer.
buffalo chicken meatballs on a plate with rice and scallions with a golden fork on the side

If you made this buffalo chicken meatballs recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! I’d love to hear from you. Or tag me on Instagram!

close-up of easy buffalo chicken meatballs
4.95 from 18 votes

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These buffalo chicken meatballs are pan seared and smothered in a spicy and tangy ranch sour cream sauce for a fun and flavorful dish with a kick!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

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

Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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 over medium-high heat. 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 395kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 168mg, Sodium: 1380mg, Potassium: 715mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 414IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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4.95 from 18 votes

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54 Comments

  1. Rachael A Rossi says:

    5 stars
    I actually started making these as written but recently I’ve been making them as burgers. Everything is the same I just omit the chicken broth in the sauce and use it as a spread. Add a bun, thin sliced celery, lettuce and if you like some bleu cheese. Absolutely delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that idea!!

  2. Amy says:

    5 stars
    This is the 5 recipe I have made of yours since new years and every one has been 5/5

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Amy!!! Appreciate your review! 😀

  3. Susan says:

    5 stars
    I used ground Turkey but otherwise prepared this exactly as the recipe is written – and served it over rice. Yummy!!! Will be repeating this one often.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! I’m so glad it was a hit!

  4. Stella says:

    5 stars
    These meatballs turned out so well! I was surprised how easy it was to make.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s great!! Thanks for letting me know, Stella!

  5. Gwen Hazard says:

    5 stars
    My family really liked the meatballs and sauce. I’m glad I doubled it so we could have extra. They were even better the next day after the flavors set in. We ate them on King’s Hawaiian Rolls and it would make a hearty appetizer served this way.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled they were a hit! Thanks for you review!

  6. Sherry says:

    This recipe looks amazing…I have 3 boys (and a husband) with huge appetites…I know they’re gonna love it!! I have been checking out your recipes for a couple weeks now…I made your Creamy Tomato pasta a few nights ago — I served it over cheese tortellini — and it was a big hit….tonight I’m gonna make the Chicken piccata! Thanks so much for your creativity and simplicity that ends up tasting like a meal that took much more effort!

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Sherry! Thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipes. 🙂

  7. Val says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Loved the heat which gave the chicken an extra pop of flavor. I needed to do some meal prep for freezing and made the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and the Chicken Parmesan Meatballs ahead of time. I assembled the ingredients and put in refrigerator to get everything nice and cold. Scooped out with a medium size scoop and quickly formed the balls and placed on a cookie sheet to freeze. Popped them in a bag and they were ready for cooking. I partially thawed then browned the meatballs finished in sauce per your recipe. I was thrilled to see this was something I could prepare ahead of time to simplify a hectic lifestyle. I’ll be making again.

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Val! Thanks for sharing your tips.