Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

July 28, 2021

The answer to your perfect party appetizer dreams has come true. These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a real crowd pleaser, and are infinitely better than those frozen meatballs you can find at the grocery store. They’re gluten-free from a special ingredient (hint: a way better alternative to bread crumbs) and they’re so good, you’ll want to eat the whole tray.

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that there’s two categories of food that I absolutely do NOT mess around with: cookies and appetizers. Why? Because everyone loves a good cookie, and everyone loves a good appetizer. I will go to a party just because I know I’ll be able to nosh on the delicious appetizers the whole time. And I’m not ashamed to admit it!

These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are the ultimate crowd pleasing appetizer because 1. They’re bite-sized (nobody wants to nibble an appetizer), 2. They’re packed with flavor, and 3. They’re gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about being sluggish after eating one-too-many. I’ve served these at parties, on game day, and also just to my hungry boys, and the verdict is clear: everybody loves them.

As I mentioned earlier, these meatballs are bound together with a super special gluten-free ingredient… tortilla chips! While most traditional meatball recipes use breadcrumbs (alas, making them not gluten-free), we are using tortilla chips, not only because it-s gluten free, but also because tortilla chips are delicious, crush up really small, and are easy to find.

I personally love using the Siete grain-free tortilla chips, but any tortilla chips you have on-hand will work for this recipe. 

What you need to make these buffalo chicken meatballs

As you can see below, the ingredients you need to make these buffalo chicken meatballs are super simple:

  • Ground Chicken: Make sure you use a mixture of both dark and white meat for this one. I love Belcampo meat- it’s the only meat that I buy / eat / serve my family. And if you have been curious to try Belcampo meats, my code KALEJUNKIE saves you 10% off + free shipping! 
  • Tortilla Chips: Tortilla chips are the secret ingredient in this recipe. I always use Siete Foods sea salt tortilla chips, because they are thin and crush easily, and they are gluten-free! But any tortilla chips will work.
  • Egg: This is going to be our binder for these meatballs!
  • Carrot, Celery, and Green Onion: These veggies add a nice balance of flavor to the meatballs and are a great way to sneak in some extra veggies!
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a little extra zest to these bad boys, so I never skip it.
  • Paprika: The slight smokiness of the paprika adds a nice depth of flavor to this recipe.
  • Sea Salt and Pepper: Let’s be honest, no recipe is complete without a little salt and pepper!
  • Buffalo Sauce: My favorite buffalo sauce is the Frank’s brand – if you can find this one, get it!
  • Ranch Dressing: Ranch dressing is optional, but for me, it’s not. I love dipping these meatballs into ranch dressing, but every other family member of mine eats them plain, with no added sauce. Taste and experiment and find what you like!

How to make these buffalo chicken meatballs

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it well so that the meatballs don’t stick.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, crushed tortilla chips, egg, 1/4 cup of the buffalo sauce, carrot, celery, green onions, paprika, salt, and pepper. I recommend using your hands to really mix everything together well.
  4. Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to form meatballs and line them up on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Once cooked, transfer meatballs to a bowl and toss them with remaining 1/4 cup buffalo sauce.
  7. Sprinkle with extra green onion if you want. Add toothpicks and serve with ranch dressing on the side!

Looking for other fun appetizers? Try these recipes next!

Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower “Wings”

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Mayo-Free Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

Comforting Chicken Burrito Casserole

The Best Creamy Vegan Queso

Air Fryer Pretzel Bites

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment/rating below. And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations, so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
SERVES 6
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The answer to your perfect party appetizer dreams has come true. These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a real crowd pleaser, and are infinitely better than those frozen meatballs you can find at the grocery store. They're gluten-free from a special ingredient (hint:a way better alternative to bread crumbs) and they're so good, you'll want to eat the whole tray.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken both white and dark meat
  • 1/2 Cup Tortilla Chips very finely crushed, or pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 Carrot finely grated
  • 1 Celery Stalk finely grated
  • 3 Green Onions finely minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves mashed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Buffalo Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Ranch Dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it well with cooking spray so that the meatballs don’t stick.
  • In a large bowl, mix the chicken, crushed tortilla chips, egg, 1/4 cup of the buffalo sauce, carrot, celery, green onions, paprika, salt, and pepper. I recommend using your hands to really mix everything together well.
  • Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to form meatballs and line them up on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Once cooked, transfer meatballs to a bowl and toss them with remaining 1/4 cup buffalo sauce.
  • Sprinkle with extra green onion. Add toothpicks and serve with ranch dressing on the side!

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in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they are fantastic!! My 17 year old junk food loving son even devoured them! They were so good I even had a leftover one for breakfast this morning .. it was calling to me as I made my smoothie lol. Thank you Nicole! This will become are regular in our rotation!

    • I’m so thrilled to hear that it was such a hit for you and your son, Rebecca! Thank you so much for your amazing review!

  2. 5 stars
    These meatballs are INSANE! My husband and I literally make these at least a couple times a week. The recipe is pretty simple and really quick to make, plus packs in protein with the added bonus of veggies built inside! Make these one time, and I promise you won’t STOP making them again and again and again!

    • YESSS aren’t they nuts?! So thrilled to hear that you and your husband love them so much! Thanks for the awesome review, Katie!!