Buffalo wings are a common bar staple and one of the most famous American food creations. Yet you don’t need to make wings to enjoy some tasty buffalo sauce. These buffalo sauce meatballs are a great way to substitute those chicken wings for some spicy beef meatballs – perfect as an hors d’ouevre (no messy fingers).
I have a few different meatball recipes on this site, and very rarely do I make meatballs the same type. Usually I try to pair the inside ingredients with what I think will taste great with the outside. So every meatball recipe is kind of custom.
Not to mention the various ethnic meatballs I have like my Ukrainian meatballs which came from my grandmother in law, or my tsukune, which are Japanese chicken meatballs. These buffalo sauce meatballs have ingredients like mustard and paprika inside, which I felt would go great with the spicy buffalo sauce that coats them.
What Is Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce is a simple two ingredient sauce that was invented in Buffalo, NY. It is traditionally understood as a 50/50 mix between Franks’ Red Hot (hot sauce) and melted butter. These days you can make a buffalo sauce with variations, but the root should always be a hot sauce and butter base.
How To Make Buffalo Sauce Meatballs
Since I am using beef as my meat, I didn’t want to call this recipe buffalo chicken meatballs. However you can easily use ground chicken, or even pork or a mix if you like. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are also a great recipe, but I do the seasonings a little differently since chicken is less flavorful than beef.
500 grams Ground Beef – about 1 pound. I am using 90/10 ground beef but you can use more fatty or more lean if you prefer. You can also use other ground meats if you prefer.
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Onion – finely chopped. You really need to chop the onion quite finely otherwise the large pieces will prevent the meatball from shaping up and sticking together when you roll them.
2 tbsp Parsley – chopped
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Mustard – I am using German style deli mustard but you can use one you like. Both yellow mustard and Dijon would also be good in this recipe.
100 grams Butter – melted
3 tbsp Hot Sauce – I am using more butter than hot sauce, because my hot sauce is hotter than the often used Franks’ Red Hot. I find the hotter the sauce, the less you should use – but it really is up to you. For example if I were to use my homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce I wouldn’t add more than a half teaspoon unless I knew my guests could handle the heat.
1 tbsp Heavy Cream – this is optional, but I find it helps thicken the sauce and make it better stick to the meatballs. Even though it is optional, I do highly recommend it.
Blue Cheese – crumbled, for garnish
The first thing you should do is preheat your oven to 175C or 350F. Then add all your ingredients (not sauce ones) into a large mixing bowl.
Like any good home cook will tell you, you’ve gotta use your hands. Mash the buffalo sauce meatball mix with your hand until you have a sticky, homogenous mix. The more you work the meatball mix the easier they will stick together when you roll them.
Roll about a heaping tablespoon worth of meat between your palms into little balls. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking tray, and repeat until you have used up all the meat. You should be able to get around 20-25 meatballs out of this recipe.
Place the tray in the oven around the middle shelf and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, flip the meatballs, and bake another 15 minutes.
In a bowl whisk together the melted butter with your favorite hot sauce. Add cream if you are using it and give it a taste. Feel free to add more butter, or sauce, or cream, or even seasonings like salt and pepper. There’s no harm in customizing the food you are going to eat so have fun with it.
Add about half the meatballs to the bowl and give them a toss to coat. Plate the buffalo sauce meatballs and then repeat with the other half. If there is any sauce leftover you can drizzle it over the already plated meatballs before serving.
Garnish these tasty buffalo sauce meatballs with some blue cheese crumbles, sliced chili pepper, green onion, more sauce, herbs of your choice, or a mix! You can even drizzle over some ranch dressing if you think your buffalo sauce is going to be too spicy for most people to enjoy!
What Hot Sauce Should You Use For Buffalo Sauce Meatballs?
As mentioned earlier, a traditional Buffalo sauce uses Franks’ Red Hot. However you do not need to stick with that. I love using my Mama Africa’s Habanero sauce, or even some of my dried pepper hot sauces if I have them on hand.
Buffalo Sauce Meatballs
- 1 Oven
- 1 Baking Tray
- 1 Large Bowl | for mixing and saucing
- 500 grams Ground Beef I am using 90/10 ground beef but you can use more fatty or more lean if you prefer. You can also use other ground meats if you prefer.
- 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Onion finely chopped. You really need to chop the onion quite finely otherwise the large pieces will prevent the meatball from shaping up and sticking together when you roll them.
- 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Mustard I am using German style deli mustard but you can use one you like. Both yellow mustard and Dijon would also be good in this recipe.
- 100 grams Butter melted
- 3 tbsp Hot Sauce I am using more butter than hot sauce because my hot sauce is hotter than the often used Franks' Red Hot. I find the hotter the sauce, the less you should use – but it really is up to you. For example if I were to use my homemade Carolina Reaper hot sauce I wouldn't add more than a half teaspoon unless I knew my guests could handle the heat.
- 1 tbsp Heavy Cream this is optional but I find it helps thicken the sauce and make it better stick to the meatballs. Even though it is optional, I do highly recommend it.
- Blue Cheese crumbled, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 175C or 350F
- In a large bowl add all your ingredients except the cheese, hot sauce, cream, and butter
- Mix everything together with your hands until you have a sticky, somewhat homogenous mix.
- Take a heaping tablespoon of meat and roll it between your palms until you get a ball. Place it on the parchment lined baking tray and repeat until you have made all the meatballs (you will be able to make around 20-25 of them).
- Place tray in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove, flip, put back in, and bake for another 15 minutes. While they are baking you can make the sauce.
- In a bowl whisk together the melted butter and the hot sauce of your choice. Add cream if you are using it and taste. Adjust to suit your preference.
- Place half the meatballs in the sauce and toss to coat. Plate, toss the rest of them and add to the serving dish. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese, spring onions, chili pepper or whatever else you feel like garnishing these meatballs with. Enjoy!
Buffalo Sauce Meatballs
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