Easy buffalo chicken meatballs whipped up in the slow cooker and smothered in a spicy buffalo sauce! It's a recipe worthy of any weeknight dinner or appetizer spread for game day.
It's no secret I'm obsessed with buffalo chicken if you haven't noticed from our healthy buffalo chicken dip, buffalo cauliflower tacos, or buffalo chicken zucchini boats. In fact, we wrote an entire post about the best ways to serve buffalo chicken. It's a classic flavor combination, especially for appetizers.
These tender meatballs feature many of the same ingredients as your favorite buffalo wings. Roll the meatballs quickly and slow cook them in a homemade buffalo sauce for the perfect appetizer for football Sundays.
Here are the simple ingredients to make these healthy buffalo chicken meatballs. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Ground chicken: lean ground chicken is ideal for these meatballs, but you could use ground turkey if you have that on hand.
- Tapioca flour: this is the binder for the meatballs and just so happens to be gluten-free and grain-free. You can use bread crumbs if you have them on hand.
- Egg: this helps bind the meatballs together and adds fat to them since chicken doesn't have much fat in it.
- Seasoning: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Hot sauce: we like to use Primal Kitchen or Frank's Red Hot.
- Butter: unsalted butter, vegan butter or ghee are all good options.
- Green onions: for freshness and flavor.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Here are the steps to make this buffalo chicken meatballs recipe. Skip down to the recipe card for printable instructions.
Combine the chicken, tapioca flour, egg, green onions, and seasoning in a large mixing bowl with clean hands or a wooden spoon. Use a cookie scoop to scoop and roll the meatballs into 1 1/2 balls. Wet your hands with water if you find the meatballs are too sticky.
Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until the outsides are brown.
Place the partially cooked meatballs in the slow cooker then quickly mix the butter and hot sauce and pour the mixture over the meatballs. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours until the center of the meatballs reach 165°F. Spoon a little bit of the sauce over the meatballs before serving and enjoy with your favorite toppings or dips.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buffalo sauce is made of hot sauce (I like Frank's Red Hot) and butter. That's all! Only 2 ingredients. But you could add a bit of honey if you want to sweeten it up.
You may be wondering why these are slow cooker meatballs but they go in the oven for a bit. That's because sticking them in the oven helps brown the outside and set the meatballs before throwing them in the crock pot. It gives them additional flavor and helps them keep their shape while cooking.
Buffalo chicken meatballs take 2 hours on low to cook in the slow cooker. They cook in the sauce so they absorb all that awesome buffalo chicken flavor.
Mushy meatballs are usually a result of too much moisture and not enough dry ingredients to absorb and bind everything together. You shouldn't need more than 2 eggs per pound.
How to serve buffalo chicken meatballs:
These meatballs are best served right out of the crock pot. Once they're done, leave the slow cooker on warm and set them out for people to grab with a toothpick. Here are a few of our favorite toppings/dips:
- blue cheese dressing
- ranch dressing (we love our whole30 ranch dressing)
- blue cheese crumbles
- celery sticks
- carrot sticks
- sour cream
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Meatball Recipes
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¼ cup tapioca flour (or breadcrumbs)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup hot suace sauce (we like Frank’s Red Hot or Primal Kitchen)
- ¼ cup butter, vegan butter or ghee melted
- Ranch, blue cheese, celery sticks, or carrot sticks for serving
- Slow Cooker
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, foil or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, tapioca flour, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, green onions, salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Using a spoon or your hands, roll the meatball mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs. Mixture will be sticky. Add a little tapioca flour to your hands to help keep from sticking.
- Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until all sides are browned.
- While the meatballs are browning, make the sauce. Whisk the melted ghee and hot sauce together in a small bowl.
- Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add prepared buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
- Serve immediately with paleo ranch and celery.