Because it’s summer, and it sounds low key excellent – we’re making savory, yet light, chicken meatballs!
For the meatballs, you will need ground chicken (turkey works, too) and some basic seasoning from the pantry:
- onion powder (or minced onion)
- garlic powder (or minced garlic)
- pepper (or red chile flakes)
How to Get Really Juicy, Tender Meatballs
Since ground chicken is prone to drying out, this meatball recipe includes an egg and some dairy. While Parmesan and a splash of whole milk are typical, I like how sour cream works with the flavor of the chicken and buffalo sauce.
Technique Tip: Since over-mixing can cause meatballs to become dense, try a little tenderness.
Do chicken meatballs need sauce?
These meatballs are quite good by themselves, but I really prefer them with sauce. I tested both a plum and buffalo sauce, and preferred the buffalo style hot sauce. The plum sauce was…interesting, but didn’t quite do-it for me.
Variation Tip: Short on time? Serve the chicken meatballs with your favorite jarred pasta sauce.
Easy Buffalo Sauce for Finishing
Once the meatballs are cooked, I add a couple tablespoons of butter to the already-hot pan and swirl it around until melted. Next, add a dash of honey and coat the meatballs generously with some tangy hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot or Tobasco Buffalo Sauce.
How to Make a Quick Plum Sauce
To the pureed plums, taste and add a splash of balsamic or honey. You could also add a splash of tamari or ginger juice, if you like. As the meatballs cook, you can warm the sauce in a pot on the stove just until bubbly.
Garnish and Serving Ideas:
Serve the meatballs with a fresh green salad or garnish them with fresh herbs to add a pop of color. Parsley, fennel fronds, green onion, or chives are all good options. For the buffalo style sauce, I really like serving these with a side of celery sticks and ranch dressing for dipping.
Here are a few more ideas:
- serve with marinara, fresh basil, and Parmesan with noodles
- serve sandwich style with lots of sauce
- make it a wrap with tortilla or lettuce cups
Common Questions About These Chicken Meatballs
Can I make chicken meatballs without breadcrumbs?
Sort of. I suggest removing the sour cream and breadcrumbs but leaving the egg, if possible. You may want to add some shaved Parmesan for flavor and moisture in place of the sour cream.
What temperature should chicken meatballs be?
Same as any cooked chicken: 165°F
Can you freeze chicken meatballs?
Yes! After cooking the meatballs, allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Place them inside a sealed container to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake from frozen until completely warmed through.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Whole Roast Chicken Over Radishes
- Fiery Hot and Juicy Jerk Chicken
- Grilled Rosemary Chicken Cutlets with Leeks
Chicken Meatballs with Buffalo Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs *
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon onion powder or 1 tablespoon onion, minced
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup tangy hot sauce such as Frank's, Red Hot, or Tobasco Buffalo Sauce
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet or baking dish, such as a Dutch oven, with olive oil.
- Mix: In a medium bowl, lightly mix the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Roll: Use an ice cream scoop to form uniform balls and set on top of the prepared bakeware.
- Bake: Bake until slightly golden, about 25 minutes. Right out of the oven, add the butter and honey to the hot baking dish and swirl around to melt. Pour the hot sauce over the top and turn the meatballs in the buffalo sauce to coat. Enjoy!
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