Slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs are spicy, tangy, and simmered to perfection in a flavorful bath of buffalo sauce. Easy chicken meatballs and homemade buffalo sauce meet to make the perfect, bite-sized appetizer.
Buffalo chicken meatballs are one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers out there. We make these and a batch of crockpot BBQ meatballs every year around the holidays or when we need snacks to feed a crowd.
The chicken meatballs are made with a few simple ingredients then baked for a short time. Then they're transferred to a savory, homemade buffalo sauce to finish cooking.
Buffalo meatballs are topped with either bleu cheese or ranch dressing and are a hit at every get-together.
What is Buffalo Sauce?
Buffalo sauce is said to have originated in Buffalo, New York around 1964 at a restaurant called the Anchor Bar.
A special sauce made from hot sauce, vinegar, salt, and butter was served on chicken wings with a side of bleu cheese dressing.
It came to be known as buffalo sauce, and it's been recreated, served, and loved ever since.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs:
First, in your slow cooker, combine the hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt.
Now, set the heat to high and let it cook for about an hour. It is important to whisk the sauce about halfway through the cooking process.
Whisking will help the sauce mix properly. Otherwise, the fat from the butter will separate from the hot sauce.
(Speaking of hot sauce, we use Frank’s Red Hot. It’s a wonderful condiment, and I put it on everything.) While the mixture is cooking, get started on the chicken meatballs.
Make the Chicken Meatballs:
First, preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. In a large bowl combine the chicken, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and the egg.
You’re basically going to mix all the ingredients together like you are making a meatloaf, so you may need to use your hands to get everything well combined.
Afterward, roll the chicken into little balls. Try to make the meatballs the size of golf balls. You should get approximately 15 meatballs out the pound of chicken.
Last, line the balls of meat on a sheet pan about an inch apart. Place the pan in the oven, and bake the meatballs for 25 minutes.
Finishing Up the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs:
When the chicken meatballs have finished baking, remove them from the oven.
Then, transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker. Reduce the slow cooker heat to low and let the meatballs simmer for another 30 minutes.
That should give them plenty of time to soak up that delicious sauce.
Last, after the 30 minutes have passed, serve the meatballs in a large bowl with toothpicks. The dish can be stored in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Looking for more buffalo chicken ideas? Then take a look at our easy Instant Pot buffalo chicken and rice recipe!
Tips for Making the Best Buffalo Chicken Meatballs:
Adjust the ingredients in the buffalo sauce to your tastes. If you like less vinegar or butter, use less.
If you prefer a buffalo sauce without Worcestershire sauce, leave it out. You know what flavors your family likes, so it's important to use our recipe as a guide and adjust the flavors accordingly.
Make gluten free chicken meatballs by substituting regular breadcrumbs with gluten free breadcrumbs. Make sure to use gluten free Parmesan cheese.
This recipe can easily be adjusted for a gluten free diet.
To make this appetizer super simple, purchase a bag of frozen chicken meatballs from your grocer's freezer section, and use bottle buffalo sauce.
Place the frozen meatballs into the buffalo sauce, and allow them to simmer until they are heated/cooked through.
Make sure to follow the package instructions to bring the meatballs to a temperature that's safe for consumption.
Top with your favorite dressing with ranch or bleu cheese, and serve with celery or carrot sticks.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 cups hot sauce
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- In a slow cooker, combine the hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt.1 cups hot sauce1 cup unsalted butter3 tablespoons white vinegar1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Cook on high heat for 60 minutes, whisk ingredients together about halfway through the cooking process.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with cooking spraying or lining it with aluminum foil and placing a cooling rack on top.
- While sauce cooks, combine chicken, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and egg in a large bowl. Use your hand or a spoon to combine the ingredients until well incorporated.1 pound ground chicken½ medium onion2 garlic cloves¼ cup Parmesan cheese¼ cup breadcrumbs1 large egg
- Roll into meatballs the size of golf balls. Then, place the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and transfer the meatballs into the buffalo sauce.
- Turn the slow cooker to low, and simmer in buffalo sauce for additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from buffalo sauce and serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.