It’s time for a reeeeally good game day snack.
One that you barely have to work with. One that you can make and throw in the slow cooker and forget about while you watch all the commercials and drink all the sangria.
This sounds like fun! Please invite me.
If you’re on the hunt for superbowl eats, I have a bunch of them (like, 190!) right here. I’m thinking about making some nachos, a dip and a big house salad, along with something in the slow cooker. If not these meatballs, probably something sandwich-like. Have you tried that whole Mississippi roast thing? It’s pretty darn good.
The problem is that I’m so fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants when it comes to party planning. I know what I want TODAY and what sounds good TODAY but what will I want a week from now? Don’t make me choose
I love this recipe so much more than I expected to. But! There are some important things that you really need to do.
First, ground chicken. Not ground chicken breast. I made them once with ground chicken breast and they were so, so dry. So unappetizingly dry.
Next, butter in your buffalo wing sauce. It’s my go-to ingredient in all of my buffalo chicken recipes, but this time you’re going to cube it and add it to the slow cooker. Weird and perfectly delicious. It makes a huge difference, I swear!
Third, all the toppings! I sound like a broken record if you’ve made my other buffalo-inspired recipes, but these are the required goods for LOADS of flavor:
Crumbled blue cheese!
Ranch dressing drizzle, and I don’t even like ranch so trust me.
Thinly sliced green onions…
And a sprinkle of cilantro.
YES YES YES.
I’m not really a meatball-on-a-stick girl. There is something about meatballs that scream “I belong in a bun with cheese!” to me, so if that’s your game plan, we are right on the same page.
But don’t get me wrong. You can absolutely serve these as is, with a little toothpick poked in the center for easy grabbing. I just don’t always go for a big bite of meat and want to give the carbs some loving. Grab a few brioche buns for those like me and keep some extra blue cheese on the side. Maybe even cheddar!
Maybe even all the cheese.
slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs
yield: makes about 30 meatballs
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 3 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1/3 cup romano cheese
- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 egg
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 2/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- to serve: chopped cilantro, chopped chives, sliced scallions, ranch dressing for drizzling, crumbled blue cheese
In a large bowl, add chicken, egg, 3 tablespoons wing sauce, oil, ranch dressing, green onions, cheeses, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and parsley. Mix to combine, gently tossing a few times with your hands. Don’t overmix – it will result in tough meatballs!
Roll the chicken into 1-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons of chicken). If your slow cooker can sear and saute food, you will want to heat the slow cooker to the highest setting to sear the meatballs. If it doesn’t, you can heat a skillet over medium heat and add the canola oil, the brown the meatballs until just golden on the outsides. I find that this helps the meatballs hold together as opposed to adding them raw to the slow cooker.
Place the browned meatballs into the slow cooker and cover with the buffalo wing sauce. Add the butter pieces on top. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. If you’re home at the time, you can toss the meatballs and stir them a few times.
To serve, cover with the ranch dressing drizzle, chopped chives, green onions, cilantro and blue cheese.