My first sign that it’s fall isn’t the leaves changing or even a chill in the air: it’s when I look at our list of recorded TV and see that my reruns of The Pioneer Woman and Rachael Ray have been replaced by every football game on every station from now until the end of January. Yes, football season has arrived. Or, as I prefer to think of it, football FOOD season has arrived! First up: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.
These super juicy, buffalo-sauce-bathed, cheese-sprinkled slow cooker chicken meatballs are the essence of football food (as is this Buffalo Chicken Pizza).
They’re a little messy.
Everyone loves an excuse to eat them.
They might stain your couch.
You can DEFINITELY turn what would at other times be considered an appetizer into a full meal and not be judged.
Why I Love These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
While I won’t prioritize watching a football game over socializing with friends, here in Wisconsin, where Packer games are the state religion, the two are often the same event.
Football has grown on me considerably since college, and while I can’t break down the strategy of a game and I fall for the fake play Every. Single. Time., I love getting together with friends to cheer, to eat, and to eat some more.
These easy buffalo chicken meatballs are a done deal crowd favorite for any game day. Since they cook in the crock pot, you can easily transport them from place to place if you’re heading to friend’s house to watch.
If you are the one hosting, these buffalo chicken meatballs will ease your party prep. They can be made in advance, and guests can serve themselves right out of the slow cooker.
How to Make Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Although I created this recipe with football on the brain, I’d also like to stress that you do not need to wait for a football game to make them. These tasty buffalo chicken meatballs are lean, low carb, protein rich, and legitimately dinner appropriate.
- Chicken. The base for these meatballs.
- Panko + Egg. Helps bind the meatballs together.
- Spices. Flavor. Flavor. Flavor.
- Green Onion. A delicious addition!
- Buffalo Sauce. The most important flavor ingredient.
- Cheese. My topping of choice! Both blue cheese and feta would be tasty.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray. Coat your slow cooker with nonstick spray.
- In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, bread crumbs, egg, spices, and onion. Mix ingredients until combined, and shape into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet. (You will have about 22 to 24 meatballs total.)
- Bake for 4 minutes at 400 degrees F until browned, then flip and bake for 2 additional minutes.
- Transfer to the slow cooker. Pour the buffalo sauce over the meatballs and stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with green onion and cheese. ENJOY!
What to Serve with Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Sweet Potato. Take a note from my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and serve these alongside baked sweet potatoes for an ultra tasty, healthy dinner. The combo of the spicy buffalo sauce with the natural sweetness of the potatoes is a keeper.
- Tater Tots. For a perfect game day spread, serve these with with my homemade Tater Tots.
- Veggies. Easy Sautéed Zucchini with Parmesan and Roasted Zucchini would be delicious with these.
Whether or not you watch football, with these slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs, everyone wins!
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3/4 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 green onions finely chopped (about 1/4 cup), plus additional for serving
- 3/4 cup buffalo sauce such as Frank’s
- Crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese optional for serving
- Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Coat a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, place the ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and chopped green onion. With a fork or your fingers, lightly mix until all of the ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to compact the meat. Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. (You will have about 22 to 24 meatballs total.)
- Bake for 4 minutes, until the meatballs are lightly browned, then flip and bake for 2 additional minutes.
- Gently transfer to the slow cooker. Pour the buffalo sauce over the meatballs and, with a large spoon, very gently stir to coat. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours, until the meatballs are tender and cooked through.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with green onion and feta or blue cheese.
- Meatballs can be assembled up through step 4 one day in advance. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, transfer to the slow cooker and proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a bit of extra buffalo sauce.
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