Cooking with Lauren: Irresistible buffalo chicken meatballs

by Lauren Hallow Published:

Don’t get mad … but I made another buffalo chicken dish.

I know I just wrote a column about Buffalo Chicken Dip in January, but if you took the time to make that, then you will completely understand why I had to make another buffalo chicken meal.

Since I’m the most boring person in the world, my big plan for the weekend was to watch the Grammy’s on Sunday with my two cats, Wrigley and Sasha Fierce, and I needed something to munch on while grading the dresses on the red carpet.

Maybe some of you snack on chips and candy. But me? I snack on chicken. My go-to snack is usually chicken nachos or buffalo chicken dip, but I had some extra time Sunday so I decided to try something different.

But nothing too different – I still needed my chicken fix, you know.

So I went to my computer and perused Foodgawker. If you don’t know what Foodgawker is and you love to cook (and you must if you’re reading my column. Either that or you’re my mother – hi Mom!), go to your computer right now and type in www.foodgawker.com.

It’s a website that gathers recipes from food blogs into one place, and you can view them by which ones were most “favorited” that past week or month. It’s a great place to get new recipes because most of the blogs give step-by-step instructions with photos so it’s super easy to follow.

Anyway, I was on Foodgawker and saw a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. I knew I had to make them when I started drooling on my laptop.

But then I clicked on the recipe and it looked like a lot of work. Plus, it asked for Sriachi sauce instead of buffalo sauce, and I just thought that was wrong.

So I looked at a few other recipes to get an idea of how these were made and took a few steps from each to make my own recipe. 

Here are the ingredients you need to make Buffalo Chicken Balls:

  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 4 T of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce, but if you can’t find that, regular hot sauce will work just as well)
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • half a sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup of bleu cheese crumbles
  • 2 t of chopped parsley (I use the dried chopped parsley you find in the “spices” aisle at the grocery store. If you use fresh parsley, use 2 T)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup of bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle 2 T of olive oil onto baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the buffalo sauce and butter. Heat while stirring occasionally (shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the other 2 T of olive oil on a large skillet, then add the garlic and onion. Cook until the vegetables start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Mix chicken, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and bleu cheese crumbles in a large bowl.
  5. Add vegetables and mix. Add sauce and butter and mix again.
  6. Roll into 1-inch size balls. Use your hands or an ice-cream scoop. Place balls on prepared baking sheet (don’t worry about the balls touching).
  7. Pop them in the oven and cook for about 22-25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve.

The recipe made about 20 balls, so this lasted me three days. I had my snack on Sunday, then added a side item and had these for dinner Monday and Tuesday. I served them with mac ‘n’ cheese Monday and a baked potato Tuesday.

You can also adjust this to your liking. Take out the veggies and decrease the bread crumbs for a meatier ball, or add more veggies to make it more chunky. I saw a few recipes that added chopped celery to this but I didn’t have any in my fridge so I didn’t use it.

This may be my new staple food for parties or whenever I’m asked to bring a dish somewhere. They’re not messy at all and have so much flavor. I first thought to dip these in ranch and bleu cheese dressing, but then I realized I was masking the buffalo flavor and stopped. To me, they tasted so much better without dipping them in something.

This may also be my new “comfort food.” I think I had eight of these as my Grammy “snack.” I know this wasn’t the healthiest thing to make, but when it’s cold out, you can hear the wind blowing and you’re just happy to be snuggled up all nice and warm on your couch, the last thing you want to eat is a salad.

And let’s face it: it’s baggy-sweater season. Eat as much of these as you want. You can hide it – you got a few more months until it’s tank-top season.

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