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Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs – The Real Food Dietitians

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Add these Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs to your weeknight dinner menu, weekend meal prep rotation or enjoy them as a tasty and fun appetizer! Serve them on top of tender spaghetti squash strands or lightly steamed zucchini noodles for a delicious, satisfying and veggie-filled meal. A recipe the entire family will love!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in a cast iron skillet drizzled with ranch and topped with green onion and cilantro.

Juicy, saucy, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are easy to make, totally scrumptious and made with simple, real food ingredients.

This recipe comes together quickly and can be prepped ahead whether you’re including it as part of your weekend meal prep to enjoy as a reheat-and-eat meal or maybe you’re just trying to get a jump start on food preparation to make for an easy weeknight meal. These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are perfect for both of those scenarios. You can either make them entirely or you can prep them up to the point of cooking. In addition, you can either make this recipe with homemade buffalo sauce or if you’re wanting to take the quickest approach you can certainly use a store-bought buffalo sauce of your choice. If you’re making these for kids, you may want to go with a more mild buffalo sauce as most kids are not too keen on spicy foods.

Ingredients for the Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in a bowl ready to be mixed.

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Ingredients for Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • Olive oil or avocado oil – we like Primal Kitchen Foods oils.
  • Carrots, celery and yellow onion – minced finely and sautéed.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ground chicken or ground turkey – use what you have on hand or what’s available to you. We love ButcherBox for its quality meat options.
  • Almond flour – or flour of choice (if using coconut flour use about half the amount the recipe calls for)
  • Buffalo Sauce – use your favorite store-bought buffalo sauce like this one from Primal Kitchen or our Homemade Buffalo Sauce
  • Ranch dressinguse your favorite store-bought ranch like this one from Primal Kitchen or homemade Ranch
  • Green onion & Cilantro – optional for garnish

For 10% off of all Primal Kitchen products use code: REALFOODRDS

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in a cast iron skillet drizzled with ranch and topped with green onion and cilantro.

How to serve Buffalo Chicken Meatballs?

These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are multi-purpose in that they can be served on top zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a delicious Whole30 friendly meal or serve as a tasty appetizer. Best of all, we’ve loaded them with veggies. But shhhhhh, don’t tell those non-veggie eaters that little bit. Pre-sautéing the veggies until nice and soft before mixing into the meat is a great way to keep them veggies a secret. Once the meatballs are cooked and tossed in a delicious buffalo wing sauce and drizzled with ranch, them non-veggie eaters will never know carrots, celery & onions are involved.

Can you make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with ground turkey instead of ground chicken?

Sure can! In any recipe that calls for ground chicken or ground turkey you can almost alway substitute one for the other. Often times you may find one of them at the grocery store but not the other so use what you have on hand or what’s available to you.

Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store. 

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs served over spaghetti squash, topped with a drizzle of ranch and garnished with cilantro and green onion. Served on a white plate.

How to store Buffalo Chicken Meatballs?

If making meatballs as part of a meal prep or if you have leftovers, simply store the cooled meatballs in an appropriate sized glass, airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs?

You sure can. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are freezer-friendly. So if you’d like, go ahead and double the recipe and then freeze half for a future meal or appetizer. Then all you’ll need to do is thaw the meatballs out in the fridge overnight and throw them in a slow cooker on low to heat through. Easy peasy! Also, if you’re making them as an appetizer, you most certainly can cook them up ahead of time and place in a slow cooker on low to keep warm.

The Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are lightly covered with sauce, so feel free to double the sauce in the recipe if you’d like them more…”saucy!”

Looking for guidance with meal planning? Check out Real Plans, a highly customizable online meal planning service that includes over 300 of our very own recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs served over spaghetti squash, topped with a drizzle of ranch and garnished with cilantro and green onion. Served on a white plate.

Other Healthy Buffalo Chicken recipes you’ll love!

Note: this recipe was updated on November 24, 2020. The original recipe was made in one-skillet but after much testing, we found that the meatballs hold together much better and are more evenly cooked when baked in the oven. 

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Add these Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs to your weeknight dinner menu, weekend meal prep rotation or enjoy them as a tasty and fun appetizer! Serve them on top of tender spaghetti squash strands or lightly steamed zucchini noodles for a delicious, satisfying and veggie-filled meal. A recipe the entire family will love!

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main-entree, Appetizer, Whole30

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil or avocado oil 
  • 1/4 cup minced carrots
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 
  • 1 lb. 90-93% ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or flour of choice
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Buffalo Sauce, divided (or use our Homemade Buffalo Sauce)
  • Ranch for drizzling (or use our Paleo Ranch Dressing & Dip)
  • Garnish – green onions and/or cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375.
  2. In a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, add the oil, celery, carrots, onion and garlic cloves. Sauté until onions translucent and vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the skillet and let cool slightly.
  3. Next in a bowl, combine and mix together the chicken, flour, 2 Tbsp. buffalo sauce and sautéed veggies.
  4. Form into 16-20 golf ball-sized meatballs. Meat will be sticky but dampening hands a little with water will help to prevent meat sticking to hands. Place them on a large baking sheet. 
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 14-18 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and insides are no longer pink. Flip meatballs after about 10 minutes of baking. Total baking time will depend on size of meatballs.
  6. Pro tip: This step is optional but if you’d like to brown up the meatballs a little bit, simply turn your oven to broil to finish. Watch closely so they do not burn.
  7. Return the meatballs to the skillet over medium high heat. Add 3/4 cup of buffalo sauce (more if you wish). Toss gently. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve on spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles and drizzle with ranch, additional buffalo sauce and garnish with green onions.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/5 of recipe (4 meatballs + 1 Tbsp. Ranch)
  • Calories: 340
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 20g

Pin now, make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

 

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About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.



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