These Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They take less time to cook than the baked version and require less than 10 basic ingredients. These will be ready in under 30 minutes. Use them as the perfect appetizer during football season or add a side to make them a weeknight dinner meal.
Why Make Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Easy appetizer: This is an easy-to-make and quick appetizer, perfect for game day. All you need to do is mix the ingredients, form the meatballs, and let the air fryer do the rest.
- Crisp and juicy chicken meatballs in the air fryer: The air fryer delivers top-notch results faster than the traditional oven.
- Simple ingredients: You need only 8 simple ingredients for this buffalo chicken meatballs recipe.
Making the best chicken meatballs with homemade buffalo sauce doesn’t require much. Here’s what you’ll need to gather:
- Ground chicken: 93% lean ground chicken (works best with the highest fat content available). I prefer ground dark meat like chicken thighs as to ground chicken breast.
- Plain breadcrumbs: this allows you to season these ground chicken meatballs to taste. Panko breadcrumbs would also work.
- Ranch Seasoning: ranch and buffalo work well together. I’m using it as a quick way to add in things like garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley without measuring them individually.
- Grated Parmesan
- Mayo: this helps to keep the meatballs moist.
Homemade Buffalo Sauce
- Frank’s Red Hot: You can use the regular hot sauce or the buffalo wing sauce.
- Butter: I use melted butter.
You can get the exact ingredient amounts and full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs In The Air Fryer
- Make the chicken meatball mixture: Add spices, mayo, egg, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl. Whisk (or use a fork) to combine (it will look like a paste). Add the ground chicken to the bowl. Use a rubber spatula or hands with gloves to mix to combine.
- Form 14 meatballs from the meat mixture: using a meatball scooper, cookie scoop, or round tbsp measuring spoon – about 1.5 tbsp per meatball
- Air fry the chicken meatballs: Preheat the air fryer for 5 min at 400 degrees. Line the air fryer with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the meatballs generously with oil spray. Air fry the meatballs for 6 minutes. Spray again and air fry for 6 more minutes.
- Make delicious buffalo chicken meatballs: Add the cooked meatballs to a serving dish or large bowl. Mix the ingredients for the buffalo sauce in a small bowl. Pour the buffalo sauce on top of the cooked meatballs. Top with diced green onions, blue cheese crumbles, etc.
Recipe Tips & FAQs
- Use meat with high-fat content for tender and juicy buffalo meatballs. This usually works best with ground dark meat like ground chicken thighs.
- Use cold ingredients to avoid melting the fat in the meat before cooking starts
- Adjust cook time if needed: small meatballs will cook faster than large meatballs. So, you can be sure to add more time if your meatballs are larger. Be sure to cook them until they have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Use wet hands or tools: when forming the meatballs, keep your scoop or hands wet. This allows the meat to fall off. Refrigerating the meat for 15-20 minutes also makes them easier to scoop.
Storage & Leftovers
Store your leftover buffalo meatballs in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
The main ingredients for chicken meatballs are ground chicken meat, seasoning, breadcrumbs, eggs, and cheese.
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs can be a main dish or perfect party appetizer. So, you can serve them with popular sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, and others. Or, you can enjoy them with things like celery sticks and homemade ranch dressing.
Use a binder. I add one egg to the mixture to help keep the meatballs together. I also add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese as extra helpers.
More Buffalo Chicken Appetizers
Enjoy these meatballs with these other buffalo chicken recipes:
- Buffalo Chicken Flatbreads
- Buffalo Chicken Sliders
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Honey Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Air Fryer
- 1 lb ground chicken 93% lean ground chicken (works best with the highest fat content available)
- 2 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp Ranch seasoning click for a recipe
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan I get this fresh from the refrigerated section of the market
- 1/4 cup Mayo
Homemade Buffalo Sauce
- ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- Add spices, mayo, egg, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl. Whisk (or use a fork) to combine – it will look like a paste.
- Add the ground chicken to the bowl. Use a rubber spatula or hands with gloves to mix to combine.
- Form 14 meatballs (using a meatball scooper or round tbsp measuring spoon – about 1.5 tbsp per meatball)
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 min at 400 degrees.
- Line the air fryer with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the meatballs generously with oil spray.
- Air fry the meatballs for 6 minutes. Spray again and air fry for 6 more minutes.
- Add the cooked meatballs to a serving dish or bowl. Mix the ingredients for the buffalo sauce in a bowl. Pour it on top of the cooked meatballs.
- Top with diced green onions, blue cheese crumbles, etc.