Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a delicious twist on traditional meatball recipes. Better yet, they’re healthier and are ready in only 20 minutes!
Traditional meatballs don’t have a reputation for being healthy, but these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs aren’t an ordinary meatball recipe. Using ground chicken, they are significantly lower in calories and fat. Preparing the meatballs in the air fryer also decreases the cooking time required compared to traditional meatball recipes and leaves minimal cleanup!
Meal preppers will love this recipe! These meatballs freeze really well. You can prepare them ahead of time and freeze them prior to cooking, or freeze your leftovers to reheat another day. In this case, both options work really well. Whether you’re looking for an appetizer for your next party or a weeknight dinner, these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are an excellent option!
What You Will Love About this Recipe
- Quick and Easy. This recipe only requires 20 minutes and a handful of ingredients!
- Great for Meal Prepping. This recipe is a great option for meal prepping. These meatballs freeze really well. You can freeze them prior to cooking or freeze the leftovers to reheat later.
- Healthy. Lean ground chicken keeps these meatballs nice and light! Preparing these in the air fryer is also much healthier than traditional frying.
Ingredients for Chicken Meatballs
- Ground chicken: if you prefer to use a different protein this recipe will also work with ground turkey or ground beef.
- Breadcrumbs: You can use breadcrumbs or make these meatballs keto friendly with this Pork Rind Panko.
- Buffalo sauce: adds that delicious tangy, spicy flavor; We prefer Frank’s buffalo sauce for the best flavor!
- Diced green onion: this is always a perfect compliment to tangy buffalo sauce.
- Grated parmesan cheese: since chicken is so lean this helps add a little bit of fat to the dish ensuring they do not dry out and stay nice and juicy!
- Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, dry parsley, salt, black pepper
- Egg, large: helps maintain moisture and hold the ingredients together
How to Make Chicken Meatballs
I love how quick and easy these meatballs are. You just need to follow three simple steps and you will have perfect juicy, spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in under 20 minutes!
- Combine: Mix the ground chicken, breadcrumbs (or pork rind panko if keto), buffalo sauce, green onions, shredded cheese, spices, and egg in a large bowl until well combined. You can do this with a silicone spatula, or it may be easier to use your hands, in which case I love these kitchen gloves. Once the mixture is combined shape into 2-inch balls and place on a plate until ready to cook.
- Cook: Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray, then place the meatballs about 1 inch apart in a single layer in your air fryer basket (you may have to cook in batches). Air fry at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. *It is much better to cook in batches rather than overcrowding your air fryer. Overcrowding affects cook time and the crispness of the meatballs.
- Sauce: Once the meatballs are cooked through toss them in the remaining buffalo sauce, then serve with bleu cheese or ranch!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
These meatballs freeze really well for up to 3 months in a freezer safe. You can freeze prior to cooking or freeze your leftovers. Make sure you allow them to cool completely before placing them into a freezer bag. In an airtight container, they will also keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat already cooked meatballs place them in the air fryer at 375 degrees and heat 5 minutes, rotate and cook another 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. To cook frozen, uncooked meatballs add the meatballs to a preheated 400 degrees air fryer for 10 minutes, rotate and cook an additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.
What to Serve With Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Keto Three Cheese Biscuits– Each low carb biscuit is loaded with sharp cheddar, mozzarella and fresh basil for just 2 net carbs each!
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower– Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is perfectly seasoned and roasted until crisp and full of flavor! Each serving has about 3 net carbs, making it an excellent keto cauliflower side dish!
- Keto Garlic Bread Chaffles– For just 2.4 net carbs per chaffle, you’ll want this cheesy, gluten-free garlic bread with every meal!
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries– An easy, delicious, and healthier alternative to traditional French fries. These sweet potato fries only require a few ingredients and can be ready in 20 minutes or less!
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. This will affect cook time and the outside will not be as crisp. Remember, the point of an air fryer is for the air to circulate and fry the food. If the air cannot move it will actually steam the meatballs and they will have a very different texture.
- If batching, I found that the first batch takes about 10 minutes, the second batch takes about 9 minutes (just because the air fryer is already preheated at that point). If you have a larger air fryer or duel basket air fryer you will likely be able to do this in one batch.
- Don’t fret. These seem really wet before you cook them, but trust me, they stay together in the air fryer and are so juicy and delicious!
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs FAQ
Yes, this recipe can easily be made gluten-free with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Yes, just ensure you use a keto breadcrumbs option such as our Pork Rind Panko.
Absolutely. See the storage instructions section above for further details.
Yes! This recipe freezes really well. You can freeze them prior to cooking or freeze your leftovers. Both options work really well. See the storage instructions section above for further information.
Other Great Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Okra– Only 3 ingredients and about 10 minutes of cook time! Enjoy perfectly crunchy, salty, Fried Okra with this simple side dish recipe!
- Air Fryer Sausage and Veggies– Only requires 5 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cooking time. An easy, well-rounded meal for one of those long, busy weekdays!
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders– Ready in less than 10 minutes! Parmesan, cornflakes, and a tasty Italian seasoning give these juicy chicken strips loads of flavor.
- Air Fryer Zucchini Pizza Bites– A low carb, keto-friendly, and require just 6 minutes of cook time!
- 1 lb ground chicken
- ½ cup breadcrumbs OR pork rind panko if keto
- ½ cup buffalo sauce, divided
- ¼ cup finely diced green onion
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp EACH onion powder, dry parsley, salt, black pepper
- 1 large egg
- Mix ground chicken, breadcrumbs, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, green onion, cheese, spices, and egg in a large bowl until well combined.
- Shape into 2-inch balls and place on a plate until ready to cook.
- Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray, then place the meatballs about 1 inch apart in a single layer in your air fryer basket (you may have to cook in batches). Air fry at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
- Toss in the remaining buffalo sauce, then serve with bleu cheese or ranch!
- Nutrition using breadcrumbs: 247 calories, 11.7 grams fat, 144mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, total carbs 11g, fiber 0.8, sugar, 1.1, protein 24g
- If doing these in batches, I found that the first batch takes about 10 minutes, the second batch takes about 9 minutes (just because the air fryer is already preheated at that point).
- These seem really wet before you cook them, but trust me, they stay together in the air fryer and are so juicy and delicious!
- These would make a great appetizer for game day, but they also just taste really good on their own.
- I would recommend using Frank’s buffalo sauce, it's superior to literally any other one I’ve ever tried.
- Meatballs freeze really well for up to 3 months, and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serving Size:5 meatballs (nutriton calculated with pork rind panko)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 17gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 907mgCarbohydrates: 1.5gNet Carbohydrates: 1.3gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3gProtein: 35g