These buffalo turkey meatballs are seriously heaven in meatball form. They are easy to make and insanely flavorful. They also happen to be low-carb and gluten free, so bonus points for that!
I’m pretty much a sucker for any and all things buffalo sauce. My all-time favorite sandwich is buffalo chicken. My all time favorite wrap is a buffalo chicken wrap (that I’m officially still obsessed with). And my all-time favorite vegetarian dish is the buffalo falafel from Bad Manners. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve made that one over the years…
Everyone in the House of Lev has told me that they prefer ground meat to pretty much anything else, so I wanted to see if I could come up with a meatball version of a buffalo fill-in-the-blank. So these meatballs are a play on all of my favorite things: ground turkey or chicken, the sauce from buffalo falafel, and the mix-in’s of the buffalo chickpea burgers I used to make way back when (don’t worry, I’ll be sharing that recipe eventually).
The husband and I enjoyed these buffalo chicken meatballs so much that they are basically on the menu weekly or every other week. I leave off the hot sauce for the kids and they do well with them (they truly have no idea that there’s a little hot sauce IN the meatballs) which is really helpful.
I always tell myself that I need to make a double batch when I make them next time because there are never any leftovers. Which is a dang shame. (At least for my husband and I, the kids don’t actually care because they don’t like anything but Mrs. T’s pierogis and corn dogs.) And then I never do. Insert crying emoji here.
I’ve made these using both ground turkey and ground chicken. Both versions are delicious. Which means I always have one of each on hand to make these.
Do yourself a favor and add these to your menu plan for the week so that you can enjoy them, too. I promise you it’s worth the (absolutely minimal) effort.
Buffalo Turkey (or Chicken) Meatballs
for the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3/4 cup almond flour (or bread crumbs if not keto)
- 1 large egg
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 tsp 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot or hot sauce of choice
for the sauce:
- 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot or hot sauce of choice
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar can add up to 1/4 cup if you prefer a more mild sauce
- 2 tbsp butter or Earth Balance
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum to thicken
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone liner and set aside.
- Combine meatball ingredients (ground turkey through hot sauce) in a medium to large mixing bowl. Form into 1- 1 1/2 inch balls and place on your prepared baking sheet. Transfer to oven and cook for 20 minutes or until internal temperature of meatballs is 165°F/74°C.
- While the meatballs are cooking, prepare your sauce: in a small sauce pot, combine hot sauce, rice vinegar and butter or earth balance and heat over medium heat. Once the mixture starts bubble, sprinkle with a small amount of xanthan gum (I did about 1/8 tsp at a time). Stir to combine, making sure it doesn’t get clumpy. Remove from heat.
- Once meatballs are done, transfer them to the sauce pot with your sauce. Toss to coat and serve!