Football Snacks: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Ok so…let’s all take a moment and acknowledge the fact that buffalo anything is always a safe bet for football snacks. I’ve made buffalo chicken quesadillas, buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken omelettes (seriously), and now I decided to try my hand at buffalo chicken meatballs via the slow cooker.

Here’s my pro tip: brown the meatballs lightly in a skillet first. I baked mine for 5 minutes first, but I think the pan sear is really the way to go. It seemed to lock in the flavor better. But obviously, if you want to be extra healthy, no one is stopping you from baking them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.I served these with store-bought blue cheese dressing. If I’m making meatballs in a slow cooker, you can assume I’m really looking for ways to cut corners so making homemade blue cheese dressing aint happening. Pro tip: save the sauce from the slow cooker to drizzle over the top of them when they’re done.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

  • Vegetable Oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • Chives, chopped fine (optional) for garnish
  • Blue Cheese Dressing (optional) for dipping

Directions

  1. If baking, preheat oven to 400 and line a large sheetpan with parchment paper. If pan-frying, add vegetable oil to large skillet, but don’t heat until meatballs are done being formed.
  2. in a large bowl, add egg, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, green onions, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Now add the ground chicken and the breadcrumbs. Using clean hands, mix  together until well combined but don’t overmix or you’ll get a tough meatball.
  3. Shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Fry quickly in batches over medium-high heat just a few minutes each batch. You don’t want them to be a deep golden brown or cooked through, as they will be cooking mostly in the slow cooker. Or pop in oven for 5 mins.
  4. While those are cooking, melt the Frank’s Red Hot with the butter and Worcestershire in a small saucepan.
  5. Once meatballs are done, place in slow cooker and toss them lightly with the Frank’s Red Hot mixture. Set your slow cooker to low for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from slow cooker and drizzle with blue cheese dressing/sprinkle with chives, if desired. Serve immediately.

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