Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce and then cooked in the slow cooker or Crock-Pot for an easy and hands-off appetizer recipe. These bite-sized snacks are a healthy and low-carb finger food idea perfect for game days, holidays, or Super Bowls. Easily meal prep these ahead of time so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your party!
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Have you ever tried making meatballs in your slow cooker?
They. Are. Incredible!
When they are baked in the oven they tend to turn out a bit on the dry side.
But that’s not the case with Crock-Pot meatballs! And this recipe is living proof of it.
Not only do they turn out super moist and tender…
But they are also LOADED with spicy hot sauce flavor!
After all, they have been marinading in a homemade buffalo wing sauce for HOURS.
And bonus – you can prep these ahead of time and let the slow cooker do the work for you!
So when you’re throwing that game day or holiday party you can actually sit back and relax. <– I know, crazy concept for a hostess!
This recipe is made with easy-to-find ingredients and can be made low-carb and gluten-free, too.
First, you will need the ingredients for the meatballs:
- Ground chicken – A lean, 93/7, ground chicken works best. You can also substitute with ground turkey, ground beef, or ground pork.
- Egg – The egg helps to bind the ingredients together.
- Bread crumbs – Regular or gluten-free Panko bread crumbs can be used in this recipe. Also, if you are keto you can also use a Pork Panko crumb mixture to lower the carbohydrate count.
- Cayenne Pepper – This is optional and can be left out if you prefer less spice.
For the homemade buffalo sauce ingredients you will only need 4 ingredients:
- Hot sauce – Frank’s RedHot sauce (original) is the preferred one to use. Crystal’s hot sauce or even sriracha may be substituted.
- Butter – This makes up a large part. If you are dairy-free or vegan, you can always substitute with a vegan butter substitute.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves give the sauce an extra punch of flavor. Garlic powder may also be substituted.
- Salt – Adjust according to your taste preference.
Best Buffalo Sauce to Use
Making your own homemade buffalo sauce is the best type to use for this recipe.
Not only can you control the amount of salt you add and the ingredients you use, but it just flat out tastes better! (And only takes 5 minutes to make!)
Also, store bought brands tend to be on the spicier side. So if buying and using one of these, just know you might need to adjust the amount you use accordingly.
Brands to try:
- Frank’s RedHot
- New Primal Noble
- Moore’s Original
How to Make
There are a few simple steps you will need to follow when making these buffalo chicken meatballs in the slow cooker.
- Combine the ground chicken, egg, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
- Divide the mixture into 8 sections.
- Scoop out ~2 tablespoons worth of meat (or half of each section.)
- Roll the meatball mixture into a round ball. Repeat with remaining meat.
- Whisk the sauce in ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour half of the buffalo sauce into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Place meatballs in a single layer along the bottom of the Crock-Pot.
- Top with remaining buffalo sauce.
- Cover and cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 4-6 hours.
Best Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are an extremely affordable kitchen appliance that are well worth the space they take up in your kitchen. (Especially when hosting game day or Super Bowl parties!)
They come in various sizes, but I would highly encourage you to get at least a 6-QT Crock-Pot.
If you tend to double recipes or cook for more than 5 people, you may want to get an 8-quart Crock-Pot.
Prep Ahead for Game Day Parties
We all know throwing parties at your home can be a bit hectic.
Especially when there is a football game on and all you want to do is enjoy your company and the sport!
That’s exactly why this recipe is so perfect for game days. You can meal prep it ahead of time, plop it in the slow cooker, and have delicious meatballs ready when your guests arrive!
How do you meal prep these for a party?
- Prepare the buffalo wing sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Mix and shape the meatballs. Place the formed meatballs on a baking sheet or in a large bowl.
- Follow the directions as outlined below. Allow 3-4 hours for them to be ready.
How long to cook meatballs in the slow cooker?
Cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 4-6 hours.
What to serve with this recipe?
Buffalo meatballs pair well with a drizzle of blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.
Since these are on the hotter side, the dairy-based dressings help to balance out the spicy kick.
Add a sprinkle of green onions, parsley, or cilantro for a pop of color.
You can also serve them with chopped celery sticks for an added crunch.
Also, don’t forget to place some cute bamboo toothpicks out for your guests!
Can I double this recipe?
This meatballs recipe can be doubled. I would recommend using an 8-quart slow cooker if you have one.
If using a 6-quart Crock-Pot you will want to increase your cook time by 1-2 hours.
Easy Appetizer Recipes
Looking for a few more game day recipes that can be prepped ahead of time? You might also enjoy:
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are made in the slow cooker or Crock-Pot for a simple, easy, and low-carb appetizer recipe. These bite-sized snacks are a healthy finger food idea for game days, holiday get-togethers, or Super Bowl parties!
- ½ cup hot sauce Frank's RedHot, original
- 6 Tbsp. butter melted
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- ¼ tsp. salt to taste
- 1 lb. ground chicken 93/7
- 1 egg whisked
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper optional
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs gluten-free
- Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing optional
- Green onions finely chopped, optional
In a medium-sized bowl combine hot sauce, butter, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk until smooth.
Add chicken, egg, ½ teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and Panko breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Mix by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Roll chicken mixture into 2-tablespoon sized balls to form meatballs.
Add half of the buffalo sauce into a 6-quart slow cooker.
Next, place meatballs in a single layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.
Lastly, pour remaining buffalo sauce over the meatballs.
Turn slow cooker on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 4-6 hours. Stir meatballs and sauce during the last 30-60 minutes to prevent burning.
Turn off heat and let meatballs and sauce set for at least 20 minutes before serving.*
Serve buffalo chicken meatballs with a sprinkle of green onions, a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing, and these cute bamboo toothpicks. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is calculated without dressing and assuming some sauce (2-3 tablespoons) will not be consumed.
- If you are keto or low-carb you can also use a Pork Panko crumb mixture to lower the carbohydrate count.
- Sauce will begin to separate when very hot. If it does not thicken up after letting it sit for 20 minutes, remove meatballs, whisk the sauce until smooth, and return meatballs to the slow cooker.